Easy Dishwashing Tricks
I heat water on the stove until it's hot but not boiling. Then I carefully pour it into the sink (with the drain closed) where I've already stacked my scraped, dirty dishes with a little detergent. Let the dishes sit in the hot water. The heat of the water does most of the cleaning for me and it helps sanitize. By the time it's cool enough for my hands, dishwashing is a snap. I use much less water this way than running the tap until the water is hot.
Tricks for Hard to Clean Surfaces
Sprinkle baking soda on hard to clean surfaces and dishes. Mist with water and let sit a couple of minutes. Clean as usual.
To clean your plastic cutting board, sprinkle salt on the board. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze half of the lemon onto the board. Scrub and clean. Use warm water to rinse off the lemon/salt mixture.
If your cutting board is made of wood, you can clean it this way. Once every month or so (depending on use) sand lightly. Rub a small amount of olive oil into the board. Never immerse into water.
Trick for Hard to Clean Pans
Your stainless pans would not be harmed by the use of oven cleaner to do a quicker job. I would not recommend oven cleaner for a stainless steel pan with an aluminum or copper bottom. After you get the black stuff off with the oven cleaner, I would recommend Bar Keeper's Friend, which is available in your local supermarket in the soap and cleaning section. It is a cleanser that is great for stainless steel, porcelain, fiberglass, copper, tile and brass. I have both stainless bottoms and aluminum clad bottoms. I use it on both, and it does a good job.
Ketchup and Steel Wool Make Dishwashing Easier
Simply apply ketchup (any cheap brand) to the pan and scrub with a steel wool pad. Sometimes it takes a little elbow grease, but it works great! The acidity of the ketchup works wonders and steel wool is a great shiner. I've also used this technique on brass and chrome with great results.
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