5 Cleaning hacks for a sparkly kitchen and bath

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Home sweet home. It’s the place that is your unique space on earth. Whether you live alone or with a house full of people, your home is your “castle,” which is why you want it to look nice and feel comfortable. If you’re one of those super-organized people who have a stringent cleaning schedule that you adhere to religiously, we applaud you. On the other hand, you might count yourself among your fellow countrymen who have to “wade” their way through clutter and mess to find the front door. In that case, we extend our sympathy. Most people are somewhere in between. They do their best to maintain a neat and tidy home. However, life’s busyness and their hectic schedules often lead to build-up and grime that’s tough to clean.

The kitchen and bathroom areas of a home typically gather the most dirt. Both are high-traffic areas that get a lot of use on a daily basis. They’re both also rooms that you might not clean as often as the main living areas and bedrooms of your home. Sure, you do dishes and wipe down sinks and countertops, etc., but you probably notice icky build-up in certain areas that you keep “meaning to get to” but don’t. By the time you finish reading this post, you’ll have five new cleaning hacks! These simple steps will make your kitchen and bath areas look and feel tidy and sparkling clean!

Use baggies and vinegar for cleaning bathroom fixtures

cleaning, shower head

Especially if you have high levels of lime deposits in your water, you’ve probably noticed build-up on your shower head and bathroom fixtures. This is an issue that can really get out of hand if you don’t have time to deep-clean on a regular basis. The more build-up that forms, the harder it becomes to remove; that is, until now! To make your shower head and faucets look sparkling clean again, all you need is a sandwich or freezer baggie, a rubber band and vinegar.

It’s important to note that you’ll want to leave the baggies on the fixtures and shower over night, so plan accordingly. All you do is fill a baggie with vinegar (Some people use a mixture of vinegar and water.), then slide it on and fasten it with the rubber band. It’s easy to do for shower heads and faucets. If it’s too tricky to manage for the hot and cold water fixtures, you can remove the knobs and soak them in a pail of vinegar overnight. The next day, you’ll simply use a rag or scrubbing pad to rinse the fixtures and voila! Lime deposits will wash away! White distilled vinegar is a valuable, non-toxic cleaning tool that you can use in many ways to keep your home looking its best.

Cleaning your microwave is about to get super easy

cleaning, sliced lemons splashing into glass bowl of water

If you are not the only person in your household, chances are you’ve opened your microwave at some point, then stood gaping at the mess inside. You’ve probably also wondered what might possess someone to walk away after seeing that a bowl of chili or spaghetti sauce exploded everywhere inside. We’ve all been there. It happens, and it can be annoying to try to clean, especially if the grime has been there for days before you discovered it.

Cleaning your microwave is super easy if you use a bowl of water and sliced lemons. Simply squeeze some of the lemon juice into the water. Then, set the lemon slices in the bowl with the water. Put it in your microwave and turn it on high power for several minutes. It typically takes three to five minutes, depending on how powerful your appliance is. You want to keep it going until the water boils. DO NOT open the microwave when it beeps! Let the bowl sit inside WITH THE DOOR CLOSED for another three to five minutes. The steam that occurs as the microwave cools down will loosen all the grime that is stuck to the walls, ceiling and tray. Also, opening the door too soon is a safety hazard because steam can hit you in the face, causing a severe burn!

So, to recap this cleaning hack: Slice and squeeze lemons into a bowl of water. Place in microwave on high for several minutes, until boiling. LET SIT WITH DOOR CLOSED for several more minutes. Then, carefully open the door and wipe down the inside of the appliance. You’ll be delighted at how easily the grime comes off.

Make enamel cookware spotless again

white enamel cooking pot with lid

If you have an enamel pot that you can use on the stove top or in the oven, chances are it has a few stains. Even if you scrub it well after every use (i.e. taking casseroles to potluck suppers or whipping up hot dips for family parties) it’s not uncommon for a bit of hardened grime to collect over time. Cleaning enamel cookware so it sparkles again is easy if you set it on your stove top and fill part-way with water. Bring it to a boil. Next, add a couple tablespoonfuls of baking soda. Gently stir the mixture and turn the heat down to let it simmer for a few minutes. Finally, use a wooden spoon to work away at any charred spots inside the pot, then wash as normal and it will be clean as new!

You’ll never guess what you can use to buff your stainless steel sink

cleaning, stainless steel double basin sink

If you want your stainless steel sink to shine, you can use this easy cleaning hack once a month, or whenever the spirit moves you. The key to success is to wash and THOROUGHLY dry your sink first. The secret hack item you’ll be using to buff your stainless steel sink is flour! Yes, you read that right — ordinary baking flour! You’ve likely already figured out why the thorough drying step is critically important. If you leave the sink wet, you’ll wind up with clumps of messy flour goo, which is not good.

Instead, use towels to thoroughly dry your sink after washing it. Next, sprinkle flour all over the sink. Now, take a soft cloth (like you might use to wax a car) and buff the sink. Use gentle, circular motions and keep at it until you’ve gone over every surface a couple of times. In very little time, your sink will be shining like new!

Use this super easy hack to freshen your garbage disposal

sliced lemons and ice cubes

If you want to get rid of old odors and grime in your garbage disposal, this cleaning hack will help. Fill an ice cube tray with vinegar and bits of chopped lemons. Simply plop a vinegar/lemon cube (or two) into your disposal and turn it on to instantly clean and deodorize it! By keeping a tray of vinegar/lemon cubes ready in the freezer, you can use this quick and easy hack at any time.

To each his own and  “Happy Cleaning” to all

Some people don’t want to deal with household chores, so they hire a cleaning team to do it for them. Other families have a weekly schedule and work alongside each other or assign zones to each family member to clean. Whether your rooms are so clean that people remark on how you could probably eat off your floor or you recognize this as an area in need of improvement, these cleaning hacks can come in handy to help spruce up your bathrooms and kitchen. And, if these tips have inspired you to do a little deep-cleaning in the kitchen, you might want to check out this “kitchen cabinet post” from our archives.


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