If you cook often, you know your kitchen gets dirty pretty quickly. There is just no way around it with all the chopping, mixing, measuring, grease splatter, and dirty dishes. Cooking is messy business, and since cooking happens in the kitchen. Your kitchen tends to suffer too. Most of us who cook frequently tend to clean our kitchens fairly frequently too (though maybe not as often as they should be).
Despite regular cleaning, there are some items that just don’t get cleaned well or that we’ve given up for hopeless. There are always multiple ways to clean everything, and some work better than others, so we’ve gathered seven of the most pain-in-the-butt kitchen items to clean and offered two different tricks to get them perfectly (and easily) spotless. If one doesn’t work for you, the other surely will.
If you cook at all, you have had those times when you end up with pans that have burnt on gunk that doesn’t even resemble food anymore. You may question how the pan got in that state, but you never question quite how difficult it is to clean it up. You are in luck though. It just became a whole lot easier. You’ll need some baking soda, cream of tartar, and dish soap for this trick.
Pan Gunk Take Two
This alternative method for getting the gunk off pans and other kitchen items still has you using baking soda, but you can skip the dish soap and cream of tartar in favor of hydrogen peroxide (you know, that stuff in the medicine cabinet for disinfecting scrapes and cuts). The reaction these too ingredients cause is sure to get that gunk up in no time, leaving you with sparkling clean plans.
Wood Cutting Boards
To keep your wood cutting boards clean, you’ll need a lemon and some coarse salt. Scrub with both as per these directions. It may seem strange, but this is by far the best way to clean those wood boards. Too much water can damage and warp the wood, and harsh cleaning chemicals can sink into the wood, so you want to avoid both.
Cutting Boards Take Two
If your cutting board is plastic, don’t worry. There is a tip for you too. This tutorial uses several methods to clean and white plastic cutting boards. You can see the recipe for each method as well as the results. Use these methods and brighten your board as well as disinfect it, leaving you with a cutting board that looks, as well as is, clean.
Greasy Kitchen Dust
It’s really hard to reach the top of the cabinets, or the fridge for that matter, but dust loves to accumulate up there. The easiest way to deal with this is not with a step ladder or long-handled duster. It’s with wax paper. Line the top of your cabinets with wax paper, and the dust will accumulate there, making clean up easy.
Greasy Kitchen Dust Take Two
Even with the preventative measures outlined in the previous tip, there will be some areas that just get greasy and will accumulate greasy dust. Luckily, it doesn’t matter what type of area this is or what material it is made out of, the cleaning method is the same and is equally as easy. Check out this tutorial to see how to clean those places in your kitchen that still seem to get greasy.
If you have a stainless steel fridge, you may notice how easy it is for it to get smudged and look generally grimy. Even a general washing can leave streaks and may not eliminate fingerprints. However, you can keep your fridge spotless using an unlikely method: Pledge. That’s right. Pledge doesn’t just work to clean and polish wood. It is great for stainless steel as well.
Stainless Steel Take Two
If you are uncomfortable with the idea of using a wood cleaner on stainless steel (or you just don’t have any Pledge handy and really want to clean your fridge), you can actually use plain old white distilled vinegar instead. Vinegar also works wonders at removing build up, streaks, and finger prints and has the advantage of being cheaper than Pledge. It might not shine the steel as much though.
Hard Water Stains
It doesn’t matter what it is, if it comes in contact with water, it can develop hard water stains. Some things, like faucets and bathroom fixtures, are more prone to these stains than others, but anything that has water drying or sitting on it is susceptible. Luckily, if you just soak whatever it is in vinegar for a while, those hard water stains will easily wipe off.
Hard Water Stains Take Two
The vinegar method of dealing with hard water stains is genius, but some things you can’t easily soak or wrap in vinegar. For these items, you can use a lemon. All you need to do is rub the cut half of a lemon on the stains, and the citric acid will do the rest. Lemons work on the same principle as vinegar since they are both acidic.
If you want to help keep nasty spills and sticky messes off your fridge shelves, line the shelves with plastic wrap or Press N Seal. You just need to change it out every now and then, and it will prevent you from having to scrub those shelves or deal with questionable leakages. Changing out the liner will be far quicker than a full fridge cleaning!
Fridge Shelves Take 2
If you don’t like the look of saran wrap lining your fridge, or you don’t like the idea of wasting all that saran wrap for just a little help cleaning up, you can get reusable fridge liners, marketed as coasters, to place in your fridge and line the shelves. They work exactly the same as the saran wrap idea. You just take them out periodically and wash them instead of tossing the saran wrap.
It’s nearly impossible to cook in a microwave often without getting it dirty. Something is bound to splatter eventually, and when it does, the inside of the microwave ends up a cooked-on mess of ickiness. However, just putting lemon and some water in the microwave and microwaving for a bit can help loosen the gunk and make clean up easy.
Microwave Take Two
If you don’t have any lemons available, don’t worry. You can just use straight vinegar to loosen up all the gunk on your microwave walls as well. The downside of this method, of course, is that heating up straight vinegar is a good way to make your whole kitchen smell like vinegar for a few hours. It is great at keeping you from having to spend a lot of time scrubbing that microwave though!
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