If you’re suffering from clothes washer odor, the solution could be as simple as leaving the front door open.
Front load washers clean better, use less water and energy and treat clothes more gently, but they’ve earned a smelly reputation. A frontload washer necessitates an airtight seal on the washer door to prevent water from leaking all over your floor. But the lack of airflow breeds that mildew-y odor in a washing machine.
Simple solution? Leave the door open after wash cycles, and teach your family to do the same. Then, water remaining in a front loading washer following a cycle can dry out and you’ll go back to having the best washer ever.
To eliminate existing washing machine smells, try cleaning the washing machine with Affresh or run a vinegar cycle on the hottest setting.
If your dishwasher isn’t working as well as you would like, that doesn’t necessarily mean it needs service or that it’s a clunker. Maybe you just need to perform some cleaning and/or maintenance. Have I already answered your problem in a previous post?
For those of us who end up wearing 10% of what we eat, stain removal is a constant battle.
Washing machines themselves are getting better at removing stains from clothing without any kind of pretreating or spot removal.
But for tougher jobs like grass stains, you might need to some additional help.
Tide Stain Brain collects real people’s successful stain removal tricks and displays them by stain type. So if you need to figure out how to get rid of wine stains, click on the wine button and you’ll find out that white wine actually removes a red wine stain, according to several submissions. Or learn that hydrogen peroxide is the best stain remover for blood.
If you have a smartphone, you can download a mobile app, which could be real handy when I spill coffee all over myself while walking into work (happens at least twice a week).
There’s really no harm in using vinegar in your dishwasher, but I suggest only using it in lieu of rinse aid between trips to the store. Rinse aid should be called drying aid, and modern dishwashers need it to properly dry dishes.
2. Microwave cleaner – Heat a microwave-safe cup of vinegar in your microwave and let it boil, so the steam can loosen up all the stuck-on splatters for a minute or so. Wipe down the interior immediately, while it’s still moist inside — no scrubbing necessary!
3. Clothes washer cleaner – Just like your dishwasher, your washing machine benefits from a regular vinegar cleaning. Run a cup through an empty cycle using the hottest setting.
4. All-purpose surface cleaner – Equal parts vinegar and water work well for cleaning windows or glass. Also try the solution for an all-natural way to clean the inside of a refrigerator. I hear you can use it to clean stainless steel as well, though, I recommend using a stainless steel cleaner for a shiny, polished finish.
5. Coffee maker cleaner – This tip, learned from my mom, is among my favorites. I try to run a full coffee pot of vinegar through my coffee maker (remove any coffee or filter, obviously) every few months. It’s satisfying to watch all the grime flake off into the pot, and you’ll be amazed how much faster your coffee brews without all the sediment slowing it down!
6. Stove top and oven cleaner – I’ve already blogged about using a paste of vinegar and baking soda for oven cleaning, but that same paste can be applied to your stove top to scrub out those stubborn brownish discolorations and food splatters.
Have you ever tried cleaning with vinegar? What other household cleaning remedies have you tried?
Drip pans for stoves rank among the toughest cleaning jobs in the kitchen.
Grime on aluminum burner pans, which fit under the electric coils on your range, often seemed to me to be resistant to scrubbing.
And they probably are, if you’re using regular cleaners and scrubbers.
But my two tricks for cleaning drip pans — one for weekly cleaning and one for deeper cleaning — will keep them looking new and thus, keep you from replacing them so often!
Bonus: Clean drip pans for your electric stove don’t just serve cosmetic purposes; keeping the surface reflective ensures the most efficient use of heat, meaning you’ll use less energy when you keep your burners and drip pans clean.
Spot cleaning burner pans
For day to day drips and stains, make sure the burner’s completely cooled and pull it up and out from the stove top (see photo below). I usually remove the drip pan to my sink to avoid peripheral messes. Wet the drip pan and sprinkle on a liberal amount of my co-favorite household cleaner, Bar Keeper’s Friend (name the other in the comments for a gold star). Use a rag to work the cleaner into a paste and polish off the mess. Rinse and dry thoroughly before replacing the pans.
Deep cleaning drip pans
Pick a time when you don’t need to use your sink or stove for several hours, like right before bed or work. Again, wait until the stove is cool and remove the burners. Put each burner pan in separate gallon plastic bags. Add 1/4 cup of ammonia to each and fill the remainder with hot tap water. Close the bags and let them sit overnight (or for several hours).
Then, drain the bags and scrub off the loosened mess. Rinse well before applying any other cleaners, as ammonia can create toxic fumes when mixed. Rinse and dry thoroughly before replacing.
Let me know if you try this and how it worked for you!
After an attempt to broil salmon last week prompted cacophonous disagreement with our smoke alarms, my roommates and I entered into a game of chicken with our manual clean oven.
Basically, it needs to be cleaned, and we don’t want to clean it.
I know it’s silly because my mind contains more appliance cleaning and maintenance knowledge than God graces on just anyone, but you know what they say about the cobbler’s kids.
Plus, it’s a royal pain. And it’s easy to make the excuse, “But I don’t have any oven cleaner!” or “I hate the idea of using harsh oven cleaner!” or “‘The Biggest Loser’ is on!”
Well, in efforts to invalidate the first two excuses and motivate me — and probably you too — here are three non-oven cleaner cleaning methods that really work.
Ron Popeil solution
For the “Set It And Forget It” overnight set: Pour ¼ cup ammonia and 2 cups of warm water in a bowl in your oven, and close it up tight. If you’re at home during this, make sure you open a window so no one gets sick. You can clean out the dirty oven with a scrubby sponge the next day.
Mike Wallace solution
If you have 60 minutes, fill a spray bottle with 1 tablespoon Borax (which also works great as a cheap laundry detergent booster and all-purpose cleaner!), 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil dishwashing soap and a quart of warm water. Spray the oven walls, scrub it clean after an hour and rinse thoroughly.
Jesus Jones solution
If you want it clean right here, right now, a paste of baking soda and vinegar left on the oven cavity surface could work well. Be careful to cover the holes of the gas line if you have a gas range really REALLY well, because if they get clogged, that’s a bad thing. If you go this route, you should be able to scrape off food mess with a spatula. Wipe out the oven thoroughly afterwards.