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10 Cleaning Conundrums Solved

Toby Vogel

Even experienced balabustas might feel flummoxed by crusty hot water urns or off-smelling washing machines. The best ways to tackle ten common household items

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

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LIKE MAGIC The magic sponge is your friend for walls, doors, cabinets, drawers, and any type of woodworking or panels with washable paint. They can look new again, saving you money on a new paint job

Ready to tackle the tough spots? 

Get your cleaning gloves on and let’s go.

Oven Grates
The traditional way to clean oven grates — spray strong chemicals liberally and let them sit for a long time — doesn’t do much to remove baked-on grease. And if you don’t want to destroy the shiny chrome finish of your oven grates in the self-clean cycle, here’s my tried-and-true method. 

Lay a towel in a bathtub to prevent scratches, and place the grates on top. (Be sure to mark the milchig or fleishig ones with a twist tie or the like so you can tell them apart later.) Fill the bath with hot water and add a generous amount of strong dishwashing soap. Let the grates soak for at least an hour or more.

For the next step, you can remove the grates from the tub if it’s more comfortable, and continue in a large sink or on a towel on the kitchen counter. Wipe each line of the grate with either steel wool or half a piece of magic sponge. The grease should come right off, leaving shiny chrome. If you’re continuing in the bathtub, make sure to use steel wool that doesn’t shed; otherwise, the small pieces could cause rust damage to the bathtub and towel.

For stubborn grime, apply a little more elbow grease. If all else fails, repeat the soak.

Iron
If you thought you never had to clean an iron, think again. A scorched iron can ruin clothing. To get it back in working order, first heat it slightly, then wipe down with a white miracle sponge. Repeat this process a few times.

Filters catch dust, dirt, bacteria — all that grimy stuff you don’t want in your home. Cleaning them out improves the efficiency of the machine

If the stainless steel plate is still dirty, dip a rag in a vinegar-water mixture and dab with a bit of baking soda, then scrub the dirty spots. (Never use steel wool or abrasive cleaners — they can damage the special coating on the bottom.) Clean off residue with a clean rag and another round of miracle sponge if necessary.

Remember, it’s easiest to clean the iron when it is warm. But remember to protect your hands with heatproof gloves.

The steam vents can also get clogged. If you’re lucky, your iron has an auto-clean button. If not, heat the iron for a few minutes on the highest setting. Then hold the iron over the sink, turn to the highest steam pressure, and push the steam button repeatedly. Twist the iron in both directions to make sure you hit every vent. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 545)

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