Wednesday, March 13, 2013

5 Ways to Clean with Olive Oil

Delicious, rich and healthy olive oil. When you think of that gorgeous, green-tinted oil you likely think of whipping up some fresh vinaigrette - not cleaning with the stuff. But, olive oil is a useful cleaner for nearly every room in the house. Here are five of my favorite ways to use olive oil to clean your home:

  1. Remove fingerprints and smudges from stainless steel. Just a tiny amount of olive oil (any type - light, extra virgin, etc.) on a soft cloth will buff out any fingerprints, smudges or marks on stainless steel. Just literally a few drops will do the trick. Don't use too much oil or you'll be left with an oily residue.
  2. Polish wood. I like a combination of olive oil and a little squeeze of lemon to polish wooden furniture or surfaces - but even a wee bit of olive oil alone will give you a lovely, shiny clean wooden surface. Adding the lemon also  makes it smell wonderful.
  3. Polish leather furniture. Whether it's leather chairs at the dining room table, or leather sofas or couches, a tiny bit of olive oil on a soft cloth will buff that surface up beautifully.
  4. Add moisture to wooden utensils. Especially in dry climates, wooden utensils, spoons and wooden cutting boards need a little love and attention. Rub some olive oil into the wood and watch the wood soak it up like a thirsty little sponge!
  5. Remove glue and other sticky stuff. A bit of olive oil left to sit on sticky residue (such as leftover goo from a price tag or sticker) will make it easy to gently scrape it off.
Those are my favorite uses - now, do you have a secret way to clean with olive oil? Share it in a comment!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Give the Kitchen Cupboards a Scrub - Cleaning the Kitchen

Want an easy, quick and inexpensive way to freshen up your kitchen, pronto? Give your kitchen cupboards a scrub! For most finishes, the following will work just great:
 * Pour a splash of white vinegar into a bucket, along with a squirt or two of your absolute favorite dish soap. Fill up with warm water.
* Use a scrubby sponge, or other favorite scrubber to give the kitchen cabinets a good cleaning. The vinegar will help to naturally scrub through the accumulated grease and gunk.
* Wipe down with a moistened cloth and let dry naturally.

Seriously -- this little step will freshen up and clean up your whole kitchen. And hey, don't be shy -- get the whole family involved and your kitchen will thank you.

P.S. If you don't have the time - or frankly, the inclination - to do the entire regiment of cupboards in one go...just put on your faithful timer for the amount of time you can afford, and then just accomplish the bigger task in little chunks over a week or so.