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.

Spring into Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung and it’s time for a little spring cleaning! Open those windows, let some fresh air in, and get ready to organize and declutter. Whether you’re going top to bottom, or hitting just the essentials, keep in mind a few basics for spring cleaning. There’s no time like the present to make and check off that to-do list.

Spring into Spring Cleaning

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Windows

With the sun shining more, you’ll notice dirty windows. And, you don’t want to miss any of that beautiful natural light because of smudged windows! Try a squeegee on big windows for a cleaner, streak-free shine.

Lightbulbs

Change out old light bulbs and brighten up your space. When you do replace bulbs (and even where you don’t), take a few moments to dust fixtures and wash light bulb covers. You should also clean the area around recessed bulbs in your ceiling. Dust and bugs accumulate in these areas and you won’t feel your spring freshest with dirt over your light fixtures.

Blinds and Curtains

Like everything else, the dust has settled on your blinds and curtains. Winter weather means less air circulating around the home. Open the winds to get a breeze but also run your curtains through a quick wash cycle. Wipe down blinds as well so they won’t look discolored.

Check Your Supplies

As you’re spring cleaning, it’s the best time to check stock of all your specialty cleaning supplies. In addition to your basics, make sure you have stain fighters, floor cleaners, vacuum bags, and any other cleaning supplies you may need.

Change the Bedding

While this isn’t at all necessary for spring cleaning, a new bedspread or duvet cover can change the entire look and feel of a room. Brighten and lighten for the spring, so that your bedroom feels like a luxurious spa or ocean getaway.

Speaking of Change…

Don’t forget to change the direction of your ceiling fans! You want your fans to run counter-clockwise during warm months. A cool breeze will hopefully postpone the inevitable need to turn on the A/C.

Deep Clean the Fridge

It’s necessary. It’s not fun. But take time to do it. Baking soda and water make a great combination to scrub the shelves. To keep down odor, keep a fridge box of baking soda in the fridge and freezer and replace as needed.

And DON’T FORGET

Replace batteries in your smoke detectors every six months. A handy reminder is to do that when the time changes. This year, that’s March 12th. So change those batteries and make sure all detectors function properly.

Mantel Decorating Ideas for a New Look

Mantel Decorating

Whether you’ve lived in your home for years, or have just recently moved to a home with a fireplace, you know how the mantel can be the focal point of the home.

Often, it’s the first place someone looks upon entry to the living area, and is a great reflection of our personality and style. So, whether you decorate once or update seasonally, you want to make sure your mantel reflects your awesome personality.

Balance and Scale

The key to remember is BALANCE. You want a symmetrical, balanced feel to your room. Consequently, it will feel streamlined and well put together. You can go about this in classic or modern ways. But in the end, you want it to feel balanced.

The second main key to remember is SCALE. You want to highlight the space but you don’t want to overwhelm the room with pieces that are too large for the space. Play with different sizes and colors in order to get the feel that you like.

Here are a few ideas to place with as you get started…

Greenery. Often, fire places are tough and heavy, with construction of brick or stone. They can easily make the room feel heavy and dark if they are not adorned properly. Lighten and soften the space with the use of green plants.

Art Pieces. If you have a large piece of art, a great place to hang it may be above the mantel. The eye is already drawn to the area, and it can be a great place to display your fine tastes.

Mirrors. The use of a mirror can make the room feel double it’s size. Because mirrors come in a variety of shapes and borders, they will add great character to a space. Also, the reflective surface will add light to the space.

TVs. It’s pretty common to hang the television above the mantel. For that, we suggest wall mountings and lovely and simple frame around the television. Also, make sure your furniture is arranged in a way that is comfortable to see the TV.

Seasonal. Lastly, f you’re super creative or motivated, you can change out the decor for the holidays or seasons. It’s a fun way to add some personality and character into the space.

Photo Credit and Additional Ideas Can be Found at DIY

 

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.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Lately there has been an uptick in DIY and homemade products. Recipes for laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo, deodorant, and others are increasingly more common. A number of factors contribute to this rise. One, social media sites like Pinterest just make recipes easier to access and easier to share. Another thing is that for those with sensitive skin, allergies, or a concern about ingredients, making your own products lets you be in control of what goes into your products. And lastly, and for some, most importantly, there is the cost.

Homemade items, especially when made in bulk, just cost less in the long run. Sometimes, a lot less. In the case of laundry detergent, the savings can be quite significant, depending on the type of detergent you normally buy. Although many people have completely switched over to homemade laundry detergent, if you are unsure of its effectiveness, another common method is to switch between a few loads of homemade, and a few loads of store bought detergents.

But, if you choose to go all in for the homemade kind, it’s quite a bargain. For around twenty dollars, you can have up to six months worth of cleaning powder (depending on the number of loads of laundry you do daily.)

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

One of the great things about DIY projects is that they are entirely customizable. So, you can adjust as needed. Do you have a family member who gets especially dirty at work? Add extra oxyclean to your batch. Like extra scents? Add more essential oils or fabric softener powder.

The following is a basic recipe that works well and smells good. But feel free to adjust as needed!

  • 1 bar soap (Fels Naptha is a common option, but castille soap, or Ivory works too)
  • 1 big box baking soda (the bigger boxes can sometimes be found on the cleaning aisle next to the washing soda)
  • 1 box washing soda
  • 1 box borax (found on the cleaning aisle as well)
  • Small Container of OxyClean (or a big container if you prefer)
  • 1 Container of fabric softener pellets (or add essential oils)

Simple grate the bar soap and then combine all the ingredients together. 1-2 tablespoons is all you need per load!

Recipes like this one are not certified in any way to be HE safe. However, because they are low suds, many people use homemade recipes in their HE washing machines with no problems at all.

Do you make your own cleaning supplies? Let us know your favorite recipes by commenting on our Facebook page!