Stove Burner Cleaning Tips

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Having a messy stove top is not only unattractive but can cause an effect on your cooking. Caked on gunk can make your kitchen smell, and can cause a fire hazard if any of the residue were to catch flame. Whether you’re using a gas or electric stove, with regular grates or glass top, keep your stove in it’s best condition by cleaning it regularly.

Methods for Cleaning Stove Burner Grates

The methods below can be useful but will depend on the about of work is necessary to get the job done. Like many other household chores, maintenance and prevention is always easier than deep cleaning. So, spend the time, get it cleaned right, and stay on top of future spills to prevent build-up.

Using Vinegar to Clean

This method is good for daily and light cleaning. Vinegar is a great cleaning agent that is useful for so many household chores. (And even, some of us crazies like the clean smell of vinegar as well!)

  • Apply vinegar to your burners with a spray bottle.
  • Allow the vinegar to sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • Then, wipe up!

It’s really as simple as that, provided that you catch the spill before it has time to set/get baked in.

Using Baking Soda

Baking soda is another great household cleaning supply. It is granulated enough to cause some friction on surfaces, but gentle enough to not scratch surfaces. For hard stains,

  • Wash burners with soap and water to start with.
  • Make a paste with baking soda and water.
  • Cover the burners with the baking soda paste and let it sit for 20 minutes.
  • Scrub the burners afterwards.

For Glass Tops

For glass top stoves, you can purchase a cleanser specifically for that top. That cleanser is recommended so that you do not scratch the surface of your glass top. Scratched burners would cause uneven cooking surfaces and look unattractive.

  • Wipe with a microfiber cloth.
  • Use stove top cleanser as needed.
  • For caked on debris, scrape  GENTLY with a razor and then wipe with a cloth.
  • You never want to scrub your glass top and risk scratching it.

Eliminate Sugar Ants in Your Home

Sugar ant infestations are a common problem in the Texan summers and not easily removed. Sugar ants are a simple pest, eating sweets and other food scraps left behind. The ant however, isn’t technically a “Sugar Ant”, as that is a specific species of ant common in Australia. They aren’t found here. The ant species we have is most likely Pavement and Pharaoh ants, but for this post and to use common terminology, we will refer to these ants as sugar ants.

Sugar Ants and Other Ants

The Pavement and Pharaoh ants we refer to as sugar ants are the most common and abundant ants found here in North America.

Sometimes, Little Black Ants are called by the same name, although they are completely different. The black ants will eat a variety of foods and really prefer dark spaces and rotting wood.

Whether you have sugar ants or Little Black Ants, getting rid of them can be accomplished by the same methods. Baits are going to be your friend, both indoor and out.

Best Ways to Control Ants

It really is a daily task to control ants during the peak season. The season runs March through September and ants are most likely to be found in your kitchen.

Kitchen Sink

Keeping your kitchen sink clean and dry is the most important preventative method. Washing dishes, cleaning the sink, and wiping down the counters are crucial. You want to make sure there is no residual food particles on the surfaces that may attract the ants.

To be extra cautious, you can add a little bleach water down the drain to get rid of any food smell.

Counter Tops

Be extra detailed by the coffee station. The few crumbs of sugar is all that’s needed to signal that food is available to ants. Once again, bleach water is a good option to get rid of any lingering smells.

Floors

Sweep and mop DAILY during the summer to take care of extra crumbs. Vacuum carpeted areas daily as well.

Garbage

Use strong trash bags and make sure the trash is taken out regularly. Also, check the bottom inside of your trash can for any spills after removing the bag. Always, make sure everything is clean and dry.

Baits

Lastly, sweet baits can be put in your home as well for an extra elimination method. The ants eat the sweet bait that is poisoned with Borax and take some of the bait back to the colony. Using baits will help get to the bottom of the problem and wipe out the colony.

Things You Should Clean More

Things You Should Clean More Than You Probably Do

You clean your house, are you getting it all covered?

Even the cleanest people can miss things if they aren’t thinking about it. Now, of course, we don’t advocate for anyone to get obsessive in their cleaning. BUT, you don’t want to overlook some important items either. Check out the following list of things you should clean more than you probably do and see if there are any items you are completely overlooking on your household chores.

Don’t Forget the Remote Control

Everyone’s grimy hands fight over the remote. You don’t want to be fighting over each other’s germs as well. Use a Q-Tip and rubbing alcohol to wipe between the buttons and to get everything all sanitized. (And use that alcohol again for your computer mouse and your phone buttons too.)

Don’t Forget the Dishwasher

Clear out that extra gunk by pouring a cup of baking soda in the bottom basin of the dishwasher, and put a measuring cup of vinegar in the top shelf. Run the dish cycle as normal. The extra cleaning cycle will freshen the odor of your dishwasher and help clean out any caked-on gunk, for a more effective dish cycle.

Don’t Forget the Ceiling Fans

That dust builds up over time, and it always seems to fall off in the most inconvenient times. Catch that dust by wrapping an old pillowcase around the fan blades and pulling the dust into the case.

Don’t Forget the Fridge Handles

And can opener, and any other gadget, tool, or appliance you touch daily that doesn’t go into the dishwasher. These things don’t need to be done often, but an occasional sanitizing is well worth the extra couple of moments. Especially in the kitchen.

Don’t Forget the Pillows

Did you know it is generally safe to throw pillows in the washer and dryer? It won’t extend the lifespan forever, but it is good to give pillows a quick washing every now and then. Cut down on germs, improve smell, and add some extra fluff by washing bed pillows and throw pillows when needed.

Trash Overhaul, Reduce Waste Now

Trash Overhaul

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was not “Reduce Waste”, then you may want to consider it. Whether you cut back on trash production for environmental reasons, cost reasons (some cities charge for bigger garbage receptacles), or just because it’s a hassle to take out the garbage SO much, a few helpful tips can get you on the right track. Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done, and try out a few of these tips this week!

Reduce Waste With these Trash Overhaul Tips

  1. REUSABLE BAGS! Did you know that some cities have now banned plastic bags? Some stores have gotten rid of all bags together. And some charge for disposable bags. We may not be in an area where those things are happening, but they are very likely around the corner. So, get into the habit now of bringing your reusable bags to the store. (If you forget, make sure to reuse your bag later in the week or recycle it, but don’t just toss it in the trash can.)
  2. Cut back on single serve containers. It may be more convenient, especially for packing lunches and for after school snacks, but it’s less wasteful and less costly to buy in bigger packaging. So, bag up your chips and cookies in reusable containers, and TRY not to leave them at work at the end of the day.
  3. Try your hand at composting. Quite a bit of our trash comes from food waste. Plan your list in advance, buy what you need, and if you do have scraps, consider a compost heap in the back yard.
  4. Unsubscribe from junk mail. Find out how HERE. 
  5. Purchase soaps and detergents in concentrated forms. Some products are made to be diluted, or can be used for multiple purposes. Try to cut back on plastics by finding refillable options!

February Pre-Spring Cleaning

February Pre-Spring Cleaning.

We’re getting to the coldest time of the year. And granted, we’re in Texas, and that doesn’t mean a whole lot, there are still some days when we’d rather just not go outside.

We’re also at this in between stage. Hopefully, by this point, the holiday decor is put away. (If not, please make a plan to get that done in a timely manner. No one wants Christmas lights still hanging in March.) So, the holidays are over, and we’re not quite to the adrenaline rush that comes with Spring Cleaning.

But, there are a few things that should be done once or twice a year, and this is the perfect time to do it! So, take Texas’ one day of winter that will happen sometime in the next three weeks, and check off some important, but often overlooked chores. We’ll call this the February Pre-Spring Cleaning to do list.

If You’re Nesting, then GO FOR IT!

Embrace the cleaning bug when you catch it. Comforters, pillows, bed skirts… they can all take their turn in the laundry. If you feel like cleaning, put down the Facebook distractions, crank up the music, and GET IT DONE.

Poofy Pillows

Send your pillows for a spin in the dryer for a few minutes to puff them back up. Also, replace the cheap ones if need be, or throw them in the washing machine if dirty. Most pillows can be safely washed and dried.

Tackle that Linen Closet

Some things, like those emergency sheets you only use when the kids get sick, could use a trip to the laundry. After a year in the closet, they’ll collect dust. Also, make sure your towels are rotated, and take the time to refold everything.

Flip the Mattresses

Such an easy task. Such an easy task to forget.

Read a Book (and Clean a Book)

Seriously though, check those bookshelves. Grab a few to read, donate some you’ll never read again, and dust everything off. Books are great. Dusty books are not so great.

Filters!

Replace the air conditioning or heating filters. Check filters in air purifiers as well.

Do the Heavy Things

When’s the last time you moved the washer and dryer and vacuumed behind them? The fridge? Under that drawer under your oven? If you don’t remember, please make sure to add them to your list. Any debris behind the dryer can be a fire hazard. Droppings behind the fridge or other kitchen appliances could attract rodents. Grab a friend (one with strong muscles) and clean behind the heavy things.

Did we miss anything in our February Pre-Spring Cleaning list?

Did we miss anything? What chores are a must for your February pre-spring cleaning list? Let us know and join the conversation on our Facebook page!

 

 

Floor Waxing Tips for Great Floors

Finishing for waxing your floor is a good investment of time and energy for the longevity of your floor. Floor waxing creates an attractive shine and a non slip surface. Although it requires work up front, the once to twice yearly maintenance is a minimal investment to keep your floors in their best condition.

To Prep the Floor

First, make sure whether you know if the floor has been treated/ waxed before. (Note: “treated” refers to a synthetic product, while “waxed” refers to a natural product.) You can tell this by examining the floor. If it is not shiny and you can feel the flooring material, it is untreated. If that is not the case, a wipe test with mineral spirits will leave a residue with a waxed floor, and will not leave a residue with a treated floor.

Then you need to choose the right type of new finish to add to to the floor. If it is previously unfinished, then you can choose either option. If it has been treated/waxed previously, you need to follow up with the same treatment, or invest in a proper floor stripping.

You also need to be prepared to be out of the room for no less than eight hours after treatment. 

If you do not need to strip the floor, or you have already taken care of that step, you can move on to waxing.

Floor Waxing Application

Before proceeding with anything else, it is crucial to read the directions on your treatment product. Natural wax and synthetic treatments differ in their application instructions, so you’ll want to be careful to follow the specific instructions.

  • The floor needs to be as clean as possible before beginning. Sweep, mop, and then dust mop to remove all debris.
  • Use a new sponge mop when applying wax. Line a bucket with a trash bag and then fill with the floor wax.
  • You then dip your mop into the bucket, and then carefully press the mop to the side of the bucket so it is no longer dripping.
  • Apply the wax in small bits at a time, making sure the layers are not too thick and there is no excess dripping on the floor.
  • Cover the entire section and then mop over it for consistency. Then move to the next portion of the floor.
  • Wait for the floor to dry (an hour is generally enough) between coats of application. In general, 3-4 coats will be the appropriate coverage.

Follow up

Wash all of your tools immediately and stay off the floors for 8 hours or more. Afterwards buffing may be required, but again, make sure to carefully read all instructions.