Wednesday, May 28, 2008

An Oldie but Goodie - Cleaning the Microwave with Steam Power

On the topic of steam of the most beneficial (and easiest!) ways to use steam to clean is in your microwave oven! It's sort of a natural little steam cleaner in and of itself.

All you need is a microwave-safe cup. (I really love using a Pyrex measuring cup for this. It works perfectly for me...and it's easy to pour from. More about pouring later!) Fill it up with some tap water, and a sprinkle of baking soda. For a freshening touch, I like to add a touch of fresh lemon juice - even a wedge of fresh lemon will do the trick very nicely indeed.

Anyhooo...pop the mix into the microwave and set it until the water comes to a nice rolling boil - it takes about 5 minutes in my microwave. The TRICK is -- let it sit and stew in all of that glorious, gunk-fighting steam for as long as possible! I like leaving it for at least 15 or 20 minutes, possibly longer if I have time.

When you do open the microwave door, you can pour a tiny bit of the heated water right out onto the bottom for a bit of extra scrubbing power. (I like to, but you don't need to...the steam is often all you need!) Just a regular sponge will easily wipe away all the loosened grunge and gunk and your microwave will look STUNNING! And the lemon and baking soda combo make it smell fresh and lovely, too.

Enjoy, slobbos!

The Cleaning Power of Water

So, you already know that I'm a bit passionate about cleaning with things like white vinegar, salt, baking soda, and fresh lemons. But, there is one often overlooked and powerful cleaner that a lot of us forget all about!

Water! Yes, you heard right - good old H20. Especially with sticky, mucky dishes or pots and pans that seem impossible to clean - usually a good, long soaking with water and a wee squirt of dish liquid will have that cookware shining and gleaming once again.

I haven't had the chance to try multi-purpose steam cleaners (not just for carpets anymore, no no!) but I would like to try one...these little babies are apparently a happy slob cleaner's best friend! They can help you get all sorts of surfaces clean and sanitized -- such as bath, tub, tiles, floors, etc. I would love to hear from any of you who have tried all purpose steamers for cleaning. time you're stuck with a sticky cleaning problem, give it a bit of a think and you might find that water will help you get un-stuck again!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

An Easy and Delicious Natural Air Freshener - Citrus Simmer

This is what I like to call my favorite natural air freshener - that actually simmers and bubbles away quite happily on top of the stove! You'll just need some citrus peels (a great way to use up leftover orange, lemon or lime peels after you've squeezed the juice). Add a couple of cinnamon sticks if you like, or even a sprinkling of fresh, whole cloves.

Combine the whole lot - citrus peels and spices - to a small pan of simmering water, and let simmer away and fill your home with a beautiful, natural clean aroma. Especially nice for when company's coming over!

Cleaning Cutting Boards with a Lemon and Salt

If you want to freshen up just about any old cutting board, try this quick and easy and all-natural little trick:

Chop a fresh lemon in half. Dip in chunky (kosher or sea) salt. Use as a citrus-fresh little scrubber to naturally clean and disinfect your chopping/cutting boards!