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13 Hacks for Cleaning Your Kitchen

Keep your kitchen cleaner than ever before—all with a few home essentials.

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
Clean kitchen

Save your surfaces and appliances. These DIY tips will help keep your kitchen clean and odor-free with the common household items you already have.

Easy Oven Cleaning

1. Speed Away Grease
You can loosen grease and grime in an instant with a handheld clothes steamer. Just point the steam to where you need a little extra help, then wipe oven crud away.

2. Renew Your Oven Racks
The surprising secret to help lift grime from your oven racks: antistatic dryer sheets. Line your bathtub or a utility sink with four to six dryer sheets. Set the racks on top, and fill the tub with enough hot water to cover. You can add grease-fighting dish detergent for extra cleaning power. Let sit for at least a few hours and preferably overnight, then wipe clean and rinse.

3. Microwave Cleaning Made Easy
With all the use they get, microwaves can get grimy fast. Time for freshening up? Soak a sponge in water until it’s completely saturated, then set it in the microwave. In a spray bottle, mix 1 to 2 drops of lemon essential oil per ounce of water. Spray the mixture all over the inside of your microwave. Run the microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes. The steam will help release the built-up dirt. Once the sponge is cool, you can use it to easily wipe down the interior and exterior of the microwave. Another approach: In a microwavable bowl, combine ½ cup vinegar and 1 cup water. (You can also add a few drops of lemon juice, if you like.) Microwave for 3 to 5 minutes, then let sit for a few minutes while the steam goes to work. Either way, your microwave will be fresh and clean again!

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Fast Fridge Fixes

4. Attack Dried-On Mess
If someone didn’t spot and wipe up a fridge spill right away (“not me!”), don’t worry—you can still lift it away easily. Make a paste of baking powder and water, then rub over the spill to make cleanup a cinch.

5. Food That Chase Odors
Besides baking soda and vinegar, a number of foods are capable of removing odors. Pour a little vanilla extract into a bottle cap and set it in the refrigerator to absorb odors. Or hollow out a grapefruit or an orange, fill it with salt, and place it in the back of the fridge. Leave it there until the salt gets completely damp, and then throw the whole thing out and replace.

6. The Fishy Way to Freshen
Head to the fish section of any pet store and pick up a container of activated carbon (used in aquarium filters). An open container will work even better than baking soda to deodorize your fridge.

7. Chase Away Smudges
Keep some vinegar in a spray bottle for easy stainless shining anywhere, anytime. After wiping clean, dip the cloth in a little olive oil and smooth onto the surface in the direction of the grain.

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