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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just a few Cleaning Tips

Boil apple peels in aluminum pots: it will make cleaning 
them (the pots) much easier 
Stained Or Darkened
Boil 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar in 1 quart of water for 10
minutes to lighten darkened aluminum. 
If the bottle brush just doesn't cut it, fill the bottle half-full of warm soapy water and add a handful of pea-size pebbles. Shake vigorously. If you are  afraid of breaking the bottle, try this with split-peas or other dried beans. 
To Remove Smell
Fill bottle half-full of water and add 1 tablespoon of mustard or baking soda. Shake well and allow to stand for about 1 hour. 
Cutting Board
Rub it with a sliced lemon or lime.
Dishes or Plates
For hairline cracks, put the plate in a pan of milk and boil for 45 minutes.  The crack should disappear: if not, it was probably worse than you originally thought. 
Soak in hot water with baking soda. Chemically, baking soda plus grease  equals soap, not soap to wash the baby mind you, but soap just the same.
Soak overnight in a mixture of hot water and soda. Then rub in a vinegar moisten cloth dipped in salt. This works very well with tea stains.
Try cleaning them with an old toothbrush.
Garbage Disposal
Grind up half a lemon, orange or grapefruit in it. Never throw lemon rinds out, keep them in quarters in a plastic bag in your freezer.  Throw a lemon rind quarter down the disposal whenever it starts to smell funny.
Glass Bakeware
If the stains are coffee stains, make tea in the utensil, the tannic acid in the tea should remove the coffee stands (but don't let it stand too long or you will have to look for ways to remove tea stains). 
Stuck Together (glasses)
Put cold water in the one and the bottom one in hot water. 
They should come apart.
This is one of the most useful hints here, and perhaps the oddest.
To keep your griddle from smoking: rub it regularly with half a rutabaga.
Grinder [clogged]
Insert a crumpled piece of wax paper and keep grinding away. 
The paper will force every last piece of food out that would not move by itself.
To Clean
Run a piece of bread through it before you wash it.
Hands [burns]
Vanilla will help to take away the initial pain, so will a paste of baking soda and water. 
Very hot water will generally dissolve and remove most food grease. Next time, for greasing cooking pans, wear wax paper or a plastic bag as a glove. If you have a lingering onion smell on your hands, trying rinsing them  with cold water, rubbing them with salt, and then rewashing them. You can also rubbing your hands with half of a potato. For a fish odor, do as you would for
the onion, then rub your hands with lemon rind. 
Rubbing with a raw potato and then washing may remove many fruit and some vegetable stains.
Pour in lots of salt and you can easily wipe up both the grease and  the salt with paper towels. 
Immerse in turpentine for anywhere form 1 hour to 3 days, depending on how much rust. Scour with steel wool. You will have to re-season the ironware all over again. 
Kitchen [odor]
For an inexpensive deodorizer, put some orange peel in the oven at 350F with the door ajar. If you have a really powerful odor to deal with, boil some cloves in a mixture of 1 cup of water and 1/4 cups of vinegar.
Knives [rust]
Stick them through an onion and leave them there for 1/2 hour, then wash and polish. Wipe them very lightly with a very light coating of vegetable oil to keep the rust from returning.
Microwave Oven [odor]
Chop half a lemon into 4 pieces. Put them in a small bowl with 1 cup of water and a few whole cloves. Boil for 5 minutes.
Omelette Pans [sticky]
Presumably you have seasoned it following manufacturer's instructions. Don't use soap and water on it now. Pour a small mound of salt in it and scrub it with a paper towel moistened with cooking oil. Wipe it out with a clean paper towel. 
(This is the best way to clean a wok as well.)
Sprinkle a combination of salt and cinnamon on any spillovers that occur while baking. Not only does it prevent the burnt smoky smell from filling the house, but you should also be able to use a spatula to lift the whole piece after the oven cools. 
Pastry Tips
Clogged Metal ones can be boiled clean. Plastic ones must be soaked in hot water. Ream them out with a wooden toothpick or a bamboo skewer.
Pitcher [drips]
You can sometimes make a better seal if you rub a tiny bit of butter around the top lip of the pitcher (these will create a water proof seal between the lid and the container).
Plasticware [stained]
Soak for 20 minutes in a gallon of warm water plus 1 cup of bleach. Wipe dry and then wash normally. If this doesn't work, sand the plastic with a very fine grade of silicon carbide paper (the black stuff that feels like sandpaper).  Make sure you keep the plastic wet as you sand it (so it will turn out smooth). 
Plastic Wrap
Can't find end If you keep your plastic wrap in the fridge, overall handling becomes much easier. 
Pots and Pans [burned]
For aluminum, iron, ceramic, Pyrex and stainless pots, first scrape out what you can (use a wooden spoon for minimal damage). Then partly fill with water and strong detergent. Boil for 10 minutes then let stand overnight. Pour off the water and the burned part will be cleanable with a scouring pad or steel wool. 
For aluminum pans, the following trick often works. Boil an onion in the pan, the burned stuff will detach itself and float to the top. Some kinds of dirt are best cleaned in cold water, not hot. These include eggs, dough, sauces and puddings. 
Hot soaking in soda water as with other greasy dishes. 
This works especially well with cake pans. Scour them with a hunk of raw potato dipped in cleaning powder. 
Scissors [dull]
Cut a piece of sandpaper into strips. You'll not only develop a lovely collection of sandpaper pieces, but you will sharpen your scissors as well. Cutting a piece of aluminum foil into strips with the dull scissors will also sharpen scissors.
Screw-Top Containers
Never fear a hard to open jar again. Just bang the top of the jar flatly on any hard surface. Not the edge, but the flat surface on top of the cover. Just once, hard. That's all. Now the jar should open with relative ease. 
Stainless Steel
If you have rainbow like stains on your stainless steel, they are permanent. If you have brownish stains, soak a cloth in full strength ammonia and place of stain for at least 30 minutes. Wash normally (always use ammonia in a well ventilated area only).
Teflon [stained]
In the utensil, boil a mixture of 1 cup water, 1/2 cup bleach and 2 tablespoons baking soda. Then wash in warm suds. Recoat the Teflon with oil before using it.
Thermos Bottle
Fill with warm water plus 1 heaping teaspoon of baking soda.
Let sit overnight then clean and rinse thoroughly. 
If it is really worth saving, here's how. Sand thoroughly. Make a mixture of tablespoon mineral oil and 1/2 teaspoon powdered pumice (from the hardware store). Rub on the wood with cheesecloth until it is dry and smooth -- perhaps a 1/2 hour. Let dry for 24 hours. Repeat if necessary. It could take as many as 10 - 12 times to restore a really battered wooden item. 
Never, never wax or shellac or polish a good wooden bowl.

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