Kitchen Secrets - Cleaning products for the kitchen
Running out of cleaning products for the kitchen is horrible - espically when you have that overwhelming urge to clean. I've done it before. I've stacked the dishes, getting them ready to wash, just to look under the cabinet and realize that I forgot to go to the store to get more dish soap!
I turned to my Mom (the all knowing oracle - as called by my husband) to get some ideas. She sent me a copy of a book she uses that has many different Kitchen Secrets in it. I'm writing this hub to share to you some of those secrets starting with some cleaning basics.
- Scouring Powder (Comet) - In a covered container, mix 1 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of borax powder (usually available at super-markets and drugstores) and 1/4 cup of table salt. Make it easy to use by keeping a portion of the mixture in a large salt shaker (make sure you mark it somehow with what it is). Sprinkle some on whatever suface you need to scour, like sinks and bathtubs, scrub and rinse. Works like a charm.
- Dish Detergent - In a plastic squeeze bottle (the old one under the sink you forgot to throw away) combine 1 part liquid dish detergent with 1 part distilled white vinegar and 3 parts water. Shake it a few times before using to mix all ingredients. This detergent cuts the grease, the white vinegar disinfects and helps cleans, and the water acts as detergent-extender. All making it last longer.
- Dish Detergent Substitute - if you have a sink full of dirty dishes and no dish detergent, use shampoo (make sure it's the non-conditioning kind) to clean them. If you have oily hair and use shampoo specifically formulated for it, all the better. It will cut right through the oily pots and pans and greasy dishes.
Here's some awesome information for some of the tools used for cleaning in the kitchen - steel wool, sponges, gloves, etc.
- Steel Wool - After using a steel-wool pad, and there's still some left to use it again, place it in a little plastic bag and store it in the freezer. It will stay rust-free. When you are ready to use it again put it under warm water and it will thaw in just a few seconds. Also, to avoid getting metal splinters, wear rubber gloves. If you don't have them you can protect your fingers by cupping the steel-wool pad in the rind of a lemon, orange or grapefruit.
- Sponges - The average kitchen sponge contains more germs then the average toilet seat. To help disinfect and deodorize the sponge try this. Each time you run your dishwasher, toss the sponge on the top rack and let it go along for the ride. Soak the sponge overnight in a solution of 1 cup of hot water, 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar and 3 tablespoons of table salt. In the morning, rinse the sponge and use it as usual.
- Rubber Gloves - Before you put the gloves on, sprinkle a bit of baking soda or talcum powder on your hands or into the gloves. This helps you to get them off when you are done with them. If you are having a hard time taking the gloves off run your hands under cold water, they will slip right off. If water does get inside the gloves, take them off by grabbing the cuff and pulling them off inside out. Make sure you dry the outside of them first.
- Plastic Wrap - If plastic wrap gets unmanageable because of the way it sticks to itself (which always happens to me, always) keep the box in the freezer. Cold plastic wrap will behave the way you want it to. If you have a hard time finding the beginning of the plastic wrap roll (again, always happens to me), take a piece of tape (any kind) and dab at the roll until it picks up the loose edge. If plastic wrap doesn't stick to the bowl or dish you are wrapping, dampen the outer edge of the bowl or dish and then put the plastic wrap on. Problem solved.
- Aluminum Foil - When aluminum foil touches acidic foods like tomatoes, onions or lemons, a chemical reaction takes place that can affect the taste of the food. Also foil may rust when it comes in contact with salty foods. So if you think a food is acidic or salty, use plastic wrap on it instead of aluminum foil.
Baking Soda Fresh Test
Baking soda can be used for so many things in life. I always keep a box with my spices, one in the pantry to keep it smelling fresh, one under the sink for cleaning and of course the one in the fridge. I often forget to change them out so when I do remember I do a little baking soda test to see how fresh it is. Here's how I do it:
pour 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar in a little bowl, then add 1 tablespoon of baking soda. If it fizzes, it's fresh enough to use. If there is no reaction when the baking soda combines with the vinegar, it's stale. Just pour the contents of the box down the drain. Stale or not, baking soda is always good for the drain.