Beth R. | May 19, 2016 | 0 Comments
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Our Best Cleaning Tips For the Kitchen

We have been cleaning tips with you all month long. Many of you start the spring with a good spring cleaning and so far we cleaned our spice rack, decluttered the pantry, and last week cleaned and organized the refrigerator. If your goal is to have a sparkling clean kitchen, you are in the right place!  We searched the web for kitchen cleaning tips, tried them out and now we are sharing them with you! We love that most of these use simple products that you already have!  Did you know that baking soda and vinegar are your cleaning companion?!  Each one of these tips use one or the other or a combination of both!

Wood Cutting Boards

We love our wood cutting boards! And some can be rather expensive so in order to keep them around for a while, here are our tips for cleaning and taking care of them.  Wood cutting boards should never be put in a dishwasher or soaked in water where they can warp, split or crack.

The easiest way to clean them is using some lemon, kosher or coarse salt, white vinegar and baking soda. For general cleaning wash the board with hot, soapy water and dry immediately. It’s best to let it stand upright so air can hit all sides to make sure it is dry. To deodorize smells like onion or garlic, wipe the board down with white vinegar which can act as a neutralizer. To get rid of stains, sprinkle the surface with baking soda and a bit of coarse salt. With a lemon that has been cut in half, work the paste into the wood and rinse. To keep boards from drying out wipe then down occasionally with a small amount of mineral oil and a slightly damp rag.

Garbage Disposal

Being that we should never, ever put our hands in the disposal; it’s kinda hard to know just how dirty is in there. But trust me, it is really dirty, like disgusting dirty. And here is an easy way to get it clean and odor free!

What you need: baking soda, coarse sea salt, lemon (or lime) and some ice. You also want to grab an old toothbrush and soft sponge Have some hot water on hand, about 3-4 cups worth.  Pour about ½ cup of baking soda down into the disposal and add one cup of white vinegar. This will fizz a bit, let it go for a few minutes and pour the hot water down the drain to rinse. To get the grime and other junk from the grinding blades, fill the drain with about 2 cups of ice and pour 1 cup of coarse salt over the ice. Run cold water and turn on the disposal and let that grind (be prepared, it makes a horrible noise!) until the ice is gone.

To deodorize, cut a lemon or lime in half and run water and turn on the disposal. Toss the lemon or lime half down the drain and the citrus cleans and deodorizes your drain! Now, if you are brave, you can clean the grimy, slimy stuff out of the rubber cover in the drain with baking soda or powder kitchen cleaner. Not many people like putting their hands near the disposal, and we totally get it. You could use a toothbrush to scrub to save your hands.

Grimy Cabinets

Over time cabinets get greasy from the stove, kitchen mishaps and dirty hands.  With just two ingredients, your cabinets can look amazing again!

It seems counter-intuitive to use oil to remove oil, but trust us it works! Mix together 1 part vegetable oil (or mineral oil) and 2 parts baking soda in bowl. Depending on how many cabinets you have to clean will determine how much of the paste you need. Take the paste and apply directly to the cabinets, you can use your fingers, a soft cloth or a sponge. If your cabinets have nooks and corners, you might want to use a toothbrush to get into the tight spaces. Just work it around and let it fall off to your counter (we put down towels to catch the dropping paste). You will be amazed with the nasty gunk that comes off!  Use a mild cleaner to remove any remaining oily residue.

With the clean cabinets, it seemed the right time to condition ours! You can wipe on lemon oil or orange oil to your condition cabinets.

Microwave

Microwaves are used daily in many households, even by the most saavy of cooks! And how many times have you yelled, “put a napkin over that!” only too late...as a mild explosion happens in your microwave from your husband warming up last night’s spaghetti and meatballs!!  If you are quick and clean it up immediately, no problem, but often times it sets and hardens to concrete consistency in there. An easy way to clean the inside is with water, vinegar and steam!

Grab a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup, a toothpick, sponge, some vinegar and water. Fill the bowl or measuring cup with 2 cups of water and add 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Drop the toothpick in the cup (apparently it helps to get the water boiling, we’re not scientist, but that is what is said to do so we did) and place in the microwave. Run on high for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, don’t open the door! Let it set for 2-3 minutes to let the steam works its magic! The steam will loosen stuck on food spills to make it easier to wipe. After 2-3 minutes, remove the bowl/cup – be careful the water will be HOT! Carefully remove the turntable and wash in your sink. Take your sponge and wipe down the interior of your microwave and watch the food come right off!

Dishwasher

You wouldn’t wash dishes in a dirty sink, so why wash dishes in a dirty dishwasher? Check the manual that came with your dishwasher to see if there is a filter than can be removed and cleaned. What, you don’t have the manufacturer booklet? Just kidding, most of don’t, thank goodness for the internet! Just search for the brand and model, if you can’t find the model try searching for the customer service number and they should be able to help you. If you are able to locate the filter, remove it and wipe off all solid food and rinse under warm water to dislodge any small stuff. This filter is where all that food you supposedly don’t have to clean off goes. Personally, my dishes are nearly clean before they are put in the dishwasher.

Next use some hot water and a toothbrush or a rag to clean the seal around the dishwasher. Sometimes food will get stuck here and needs to be wiped away.

White vinegar can be used to clean any clogged holes in the dishwasher sprays.  Place a dishwasher-safe cup in the top rack and fill with about 8 ounces of vinegar. Run a cycle on the hottest setting and make sure the dishwasher is empty. You can also use a powdered lemonade mix to dissolve hard water and mineral deposits. The citric acid solution is what does the trick! Pour the contents of a package into the soap dispenser and run an empty load on the hottest setting.

There you have it!  Our best and favorite ways to deep clean the kitchen using basic things you have on hand.  With little elbow grease you kitchen will be sparkling clean!  Tell us your favorite tried-and-true cleaning tips?  We'd love to hear from you!  Tag us using #tuttorossotomatoes on social media!

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