Monday, January 18, 2010

A Clean Sweep

At a time of resolutions, goals and new beginnings, perhaps having a cleaner home is on your list. Your own personal haven of happiness and cleanliness where fairies do all the work so you don't have to. But if the fairies go on strike, it's always a good idea to have a back-up plan. I think I may have killed off my fairies with the smell of the Diaper Champ. Either that or they found the tasks too daunting and quit.

In any event, I found this book called 1001 Simple Solutions for a Clean and Clutter-Free Home. It was in the bargain books section at Barnes and Noble (my favorite section of the store) and just skimming through it, I found some really neat tricks and figured it was worth trying out. There are a LOT of really great tips in here, from making your own dish detergent to prolonging the life of cut flowers with vinegar and sugar. It covers every room in your house and a few extras like keeping ants out using chalk or removing gum from your carpet using peanut butter.

I'm mostly stuck in the kitchen section of the book, but I thought I would share some of my favorite tricks.
  1. Remove stubborn stains in the microwave by placing a bowl of hot water inside and heating on HIGH for 5 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes, then wipe clean. Get rid of odors by adding lemon juice to the water.
  2. To keep cake from drying out, fasten a slice of bread, to the cut edge of cake, with toothpicks.
  3. When sauce refuses to come out of the bottle, push a drinking straw right to the bottom and then take it out again. This adds enough air to get it flowing.
  4. Wrap fruit and vegetables with newspaper before storing in the bottom of the fridge and they will last longer.
  5. Include some sprigs of fresh mint in a picnic basket when eating al fresco. Bees and wasps will stay away from your food if you place mint on the picnic basket.
  6. Empty the kitchen trash can and mix up a cleaner-and-water solution inside. Now mop the floor. While you're mopping away, the dirt in the trash can will loosen. Drain and scrub with a stiff brush, rinse in running water, and dry with a cloth
  7. Fatty wastes can build up inside a garbage disposer so occasionally grind a handful of ice cubes and baking soda. Together they will safely scour the inside of your unit.
  8. Restore luster to chrome trim on faucets and kitchen appliances by polishing with baby oil and a soft cloth. Remove any rust spots with crumpled-up foil.
If you happen to come by and my house is still a mess, it's because I haven't given up hope on the fairies.

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