Cleaning / Laundry / Kitchen Tips


My friend sent this to me... she is a professional cleaner in Florida.

CLEANING AND KIDS

While straightening up, give your kids a large basket and ask them to go from room to room collecting anything they see that is out of place. When they are finished collecting, send them to drop the things off in the room they belong.

WALLS AND FLOORS

  1. For stubborn stains on kitchen linoleum floors, soak a cotton ball with alcohol, wipe cotton ball over stain. No more stain.
  2. Rubbing alcohol takes fingernail polish out of any carpet. Just pour a dab on stain and rub gently with a rag. The stain will disappear and the carpet will be fine.
  3. To remove stickers from glass or hard surfaces, just use rubbing alcohol and a cloth.
  4. Using baking powder and a dry rag will remove crayon on walls. It is like a crayon eraser.
  5. Baking soda is great for removing crayon marks on painted surfaces--and even on plastic surfaces. Just sprinkle a small amount on a damp sponge or wash cloth and wipe the area.
  6. Children use crayons on painted walls??? - Use toothpaste to clean it. Put a little toothpaste on a soft toothbrush, wet and lightly scrub. Wipe down the wall with a damp rag.
  7. To remove permanent marker from surfaces, apply breath spray on the marker, wait a few seconds, and wipe it away.
  8. To remove fruit juice stains, pour boiling water over the stain until it disappears. This will not set the stain - It will remove it.

MONEY SAVERS

  1. Make your own baby wipes: Cut a roll of paper towels in half. Remove the inside cardboard and place the rolled towels in a 10-cup, cylindrical Rubbermaid container. In a separate bowl, mix 2-3 cups of water with one tablespoon liquid baby bath and one tablespoon baby oil. Pour the mixture over the half roll of paper towels, then pull up a wipe from the center of the roll to get them started. If there's too much liquid, simply pour off the excess. Leave out the baby oil and you can use the wipes for cleaning surfaces around the house, especially in the bathroom! You can also change the ingredients for other uses, such as adding Pine-Sol for a quick floor or toilet wipe.
  2. Alternative Cleaning Solutions:
    ***To cut the grime from glass, use club soda and wipe with a crumpled newspaper.
    ***Baking soda is a wonderful scrubbing cleaner.
    ***Clean drains periodically with baking soda and distilled vinegar and rinse with very hot water. This recipe also helps some clogged drains and toilets.

BATHROOM

Cleaning fiberglass tubs: Make a paste out of vinegar and baking soda, saturate tub in this paste, and use a sponge to wipe clean.

PET TIPS

  1. Animal smells and other nasty aromas can be lifted from carpets easily and without toxic side effects using Borax. Sprinkle evenly over affected area, let sit for 12 hours, then vacuum.
  2. Before you vacuum, mix one part liquid fabric softener with four parts water in a clean spray bottle. Mist the rug and the furniture, wait a few minutes, then vacuum. The softener breaks up the static that holds the hair to the rug and the couch cushions.

LAUNDRY TIPS:

DETERGENT

  1. A great laundry booster: cider vinegar. In a regular large load, a cupful is all you need. Works great for whites as well as colors!
  2. Add one cup of ammonia or one-half cup of pine disinfectant cleaner to your wash, along with your regular amount of laundry soap.

STAIN REMOVAL

  1. You need a covered plastic bucket, a box of Mule Team Borax and some pre-treat spray. Spray any stains, then drop clothing into a bucket of warm water mixed with one cup of borax. When the bucket is full, transfer the clothes to the washer with another cup of Borax and Dreft soap. Set your machine to presoak and run the load.
  2. Use a 50/50 blend of ammonia and Joy dishwashing liquid. It is thick and gets stains out quickly. Put it in an old jar with a lid as soon as you mix it together.
  3. To pre-treat stains, just fill a clean roll-on bottle with ordinary liquid detergent. This makes it easy to target the stain.
  4. Spray Windex on a stain before you put it in the wash, and the mark will come out. Even old, washed and dried on stains often yield to the Windex treatment.
  5. Add 1/4 cup of baking soda to your laundry in addition to laundry detergent. Not only is it great for stains, but it also removes odors.
  6. Rub Hydrogen Peroxide on blood stains before washing.
  7. Gojo without pumice is great for getting out stains. Use it as a stain treater and throw it in the laundry.
  8. This removes most baby food stains. Mix equal parts powdered Clorox 2, Dove dishwashing soap, and warm water. Squirt on the stain and wash as usual.

FABRIC SOFTENER

  1. To save on fabric softener, spray a clean cloth with liquid fabric softener and throw it in the dryer with up to 5 loads.
  2. If you run out of a fabric softener, don't panic. Just use hair conditioner - Put a dab on a clean cloth and toss it in the dryer.
  3. Take a small sponge and cut it in half. Put in in a container that you can seal tightly. Add one part fabric softener to three parts water. Throw the wet sponge into the dryer when you get ready to dry your clothes.
  4. You can cut the regular fabric sheets into 4's. You only need a small piece to cut static and soften.
  5. To lighten your fabric softener bottle, use a water bottle with a sports lid on it. Just fill the water bottle and squirt your favorite softener right into the washer.

LINT TRICKS

  1. To avoid clothes coming out of the dryer with lint on them, just add and old pair of panty hose and the clothes will come out lint-free.
  2. Use the lint from the dryer to help birds make their nests. Just put the lint from the dryer near the feeder. The birds will do the rest and you will have less waste.

KIDS AND LAUNDRY

When clothes are ready to be folded, line up the kids' colored baskets by the dryer, and as you fold each item drop it into the proper basket. When the load is finished, each child can put their own laundry where it belongs. For small children use the little beach baskets. When finished they must return them to the dryer area.


KITCHEN TIPS:

FOOD TRICKS

  1. Wrap bananas individually in newspaper and store them in your veggie bin
  2. Cut the root off of a bunch of bananas and they will stay longer. Reason: You are cutting off the growth hormone.
  3. When having a party for preschoolers, keeping eager fingers off the cake is difficult. To avoid this, spread small edible treats on the tablecloth around the cake. Srinkles and dots work well.
  4. Transporting a cake? Spray your saran wrap with a non-stick cooking spray before you put it on the cake. End result: NO STICKING TO ICING :)
  5. Apply a thin coat of cooking oil around the top of the inside of pots to avoid boil-overs.
  6. Bacon strips won't stick together if you roll up the package like a jelly roll before you open it.

FRUITS AND VEGGIES

  1. Don't struggle to peel avocados, cut in half, remove the pit and use a large metal spoon to scoop out the insides.
  2. Revive wilted celery sticks by placing them in a bowl of ice water for an hour.
  3. Cut up those canned tomatoes quickly by snipping them right in the can with kitchen shears.
  4. Prevent sliced apples and pears from browning by sprinkling a bit of lemon juice on the cutting board. Then squeeze a little more on the cut fruit.
  5. When chopping garlic, crush the cloves and sprinkle a little salt on the garlic and the board. The salt keeps the garlic from moving around.
  6. Bake potatoes standing on end in muffin tins. They're easier to remove from the oven.

COOKING WITH LESS MESS

  1. Line up all ingredients and put away each one after you use it. Faster clean-up and you won't forget anything.
  2. Spread a piece of waxed paper under the cutting board when you do prep work. It catches crumbs, spills, and drips, and you just throw it away.
  3. Use as few dishes as possible. Grate cheese onto a paper towel instead of a plate, mix salad dressing right in the salad bowl, and so-on.
  4. Put a trash container on the floor near your work area. You can toss wrappers immediately and drop veggie peelings straight into it.
  5. Whenever you use a hand-mixer be sure to do so in a bowl that's large enough to prevent splatters.

ORGANIZING

  1. Keep a cardboard drink carrier in the cabinet under the kitchen sink to hold rolls of plastic wrap, aluminum, and waxed paper.
  2. Post a shopping list on your fridge and enact a house rule: Whoever uses up the last of something adds the item to the list.
  3. Plan menus for the week all at once and write down ingredients you don't have on hand. On shopping day you will know exactly what you need.
  4. Tape info you use often - equivalent measures, substitutions, calorie counters, etc. - on the insides of cabinet doors.
  5. Toss and extra set of measuring spoons in the spice drawer so they're always close at hand.
  6. Keep a small container for wayward objects that turn up in the kitchen (screws, buttons, etc.). Return or discard them periodically.

CLEANING

  1. If you have dried food on your pots and pans that you can't remove, even with vigorous scrubbing, try putting one or two tablespoons of powdered dishwasher soap and some hot water in the offending cookware. Let soak for 20 minutes to half and hour, then wash. If it is really, really bad, rub a little with steel wool or a scouring pad. Won't scratch pans or dull finish :)
  2. Spray bowls and containers with a non-stick cooking spray before storing sauces or dips. This will prevent any stains from forming.
  3. For the fridge...
    a... Group similar things together and put in a designated space-dairy products and beverages on the top shelf, leftovers and snacks on the second, and so forth.
    b... If you make a lot of sandwiches, keep condiments together on a plastic tray. They'll be easier to pull out and you won't have to hunt for things in the back of the fridge.
    c... Store leftovers in clear plastic containers and jot the date on them. To cut down on crowding, keep the oldest items close to the front so you'll remember to use them quickly.
    d... The plastic that grocery stores use for packing chicken and meat almost always leaks, Store these items on plates.
    e... Line the vegetable bin with a layer of paper towels to absorb moisture and speed cleanup.
  4. Remove burnt-on food on pots and pans by filling with a solution of water and a scant teaspoon of dishwashing detergent. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the residue loosens.
  5. Oven racks really grimy??? Put them in a heavy-duty trash bag, add ½ cup household ammonia, secure the bag tightly and let stand overnight. Open the bag, stand back and let it air out for a few minutes before removing racks, then wash-rinse thoroughly. (Check your manual to make sure this won't damage your racks.)
  6. For a quick defrosting, place pans of hot water inside and put down a towel to soak up the melted water. Then wipe down the compartment with a baking soda solution, rinse and let dry.
  7. Apply a thin coat of cooking oil around the top of the inside of pots to avoid boil-overs.

TIME SAVERS

  1. Use your microwave even if you're cooking the main dish in a conventional oven - it can melt butter, thaw veggies, whatever.
  2. Marinate in zip top plastic bags instead of bowls or containers you have to clean. Be sure to flip the bag from time to time to make sure everything gets a good soak.
  3. Don't pull the seal off a new bottle of cooking oil. Instead, make a small slit in it and pour the oil through. You'll cut down on spills and drips.
  4. Tired of wrestling with a big bag of flour when you only need to dust a pan lightly? Place some flour in a clean salt shaker and store it in the freezer.
  5. Wrap wide rubber bands over the opposite corners of a cutting board to keep it from slipping.
  6. Keep a large pair of tweezers in the kitchen to retrieve olives or pickles from narrow jars.