How To Clean And Shine a Dull, Grimy Kitchen Table

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Dear Home Ec 101,
I love receiving your info! So much fun to read! Anyway, I really need help with the following: I
bought a beautiful dining room table and chairs from a friend with children. Unfortunately, she has never instilled the clean-hands rule with them and the table is sticky and dulled with finger marks every single place hands can reach! I am confident that I could remove them, but no luck and I am at my wit’s end. I have tried Murphy’s Oil Soap, liquid dish washing detergent, vinegar, vinegar and oil. Please help.
I have a formal home and this looks so dirty and tacky that I am embarrassed.
Signed,
Greasy Grimy Finger Prints

How to remove ground in dirt and grime from wooden furniture
Heather says

The clean hands rule is such an uphill battle, I can sympathize with your friend and because my kids leave the frustrating grime, I can sympathize with you, too.

That doesn’t accomplish much, does it?

I am going to make an assumption from the information provided, the hand prints and grime are noticeable because the table is a lighter, blonde wood without a high gloss finish. Do not use the following suggestion for a glossy piece of furniture.

Removing built up dirt and grease from a table has a fairly simple, if tedious solution. Grab a box of baking soda and some cheap vegetable oil, leave the fancy EVOO for another time. You’re also going to need a sponge or rag, a bowl, and a whole lot of patience.

Mix the baking soda and oil in the bowl in a 2:1 ratio. ( For every 1/2 cup of baking soda, you’ll use 1/4 cup of oil, make sense?) Stir to form a paste and apply with a rag or sponge following the grain of the wood.

The baking soda acts as a very mild abrasive and brings the grease into the solution. Remember the adage about like dissolving like? That’s what is happening here, the baking soda can get down into the tiny crevices and bring the bits of greasy dirt into the oil. Tasty!

Once you’ve removed the grimy hand prints from the table, wipe the entire table down with a damp rag with just a tiny bit of soap or cleaning agent like Murphy’s. (I, as most of you are tired of hearing, am a fan of Method’s line, especially the wood cleaner) and then wipe again with a rag that’s just dampened with water.

Now to restore a nice shine to the table, you’ll want to wax or oil it. Paste wax is the easier of the two options. And if you’ve ever waxed a car, you’ve got the basic idea. Wax on, wax off.*

Supplies needed:

Apply the paste in a circular motion, this works the wax into all of the tiny nicks, pores, and cracks in the finish of the table. Allow the wax to dry for a few minutes and then buff the table with the grain rather than in circles.

I know that was a lot of work, but on the bright side, if there aren’t kids in your home, you probably won’t have to repeat the oil and baking soda trick.

Waxing your table every six months or so will help maintain the finish of your table.

Submit your questions to helpme@home-ec101.com

*Award yourself One Internet if you said that like Pat Morita, please take care of it, all of my friends live in it.

internet

 

Home-Ec 101 Guide To Spring Cleaning

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guide to spring cleaning

The snow is finally melting and the smell of spring is in the air. The urge to open the windows and clean the house has come upon me. If I try hard enough I can squash it, but it is actually a good thing so I guess I won’t. Here are some articles with tips, tricks, and info to help; just click the title of the post you want to read.

Why Is Spring Cleaning A Thing Anyway?

Spring cleaning serves as a convenient time to perform annual and semi-annual chores both inside and outside of the home.

Don’t Forget To Dust Your Computer

The next time you are at the store and snicker when you see the canned air – grab a can anyway. Why? Because it’s time to clean out your computer.

Friendly Spring Cleaning Encouragement

Since I can’t send my mom over to your houses for cleaning encouragement, I’ll have to do my best here. There’s something very spiritual and emotional with a good, all-over cleaning and decluttering.

Spring Cleaning: The Family Room

This has been a hard one for me to write, because I have a small house. My living room or family room or great room or whatever you want to call it is also my office, sewing room, dining room, etc, etc, etc. So the way I spring clean my living room wouldn’t necessarily be the same as yours.

Spring Cleaning: Bedrooms

Let’s talk about spring cleaning your bedrooms. Here we go, wheee!

Spring Cleaning For Disastrously Mess Homes

So how can you get that super-messy house under control? First, you have to be completely determined that you are going to get your house under control once and for all. It might take you months, but I doubt it. Check your supplies and make sure you have enough cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, and trash bags.

Spring Cleaning: Room By Room

If your kids are anything like my 4 year old who is part Tasmanian Devil, it can be hard and frustrating to have kids who go right behind you messing up as you’re cleaning. Don’t stand for it- put them to work.

There are plenty of people with super messy houses, it happens. Now you’ve just got to get it clean and I know you can do it!

Happy Cleaning!

Clean Up with Home Ec 101

Click the picture for lots more tips!

 

Bleach Spots Appearing on Khaki Shorts

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Dear Home-Ec 101,

I have been puzzled by this mysterious pink / red stains on my khaki shorts for years. Whenever I get new khaki shorts, it will get these red / pink stains on them whenever I wash them. I don’t use bleach or fabric softener. I only use powdered detergent, cold/warm water and that’s it. Whatever I do, it will only create new red/pink marks across the khaki shorts. What is truly bizarre is that I tried not washing one of my new khaki shorts I bought and the stains still appeared! It looks like it has something to do with the water in the home I live in. It only occurs on my khaki shorts and not anywhere else. I need help with this as I have google searched for months without any answer. I’m afraid to buy new khaki shorts now.

Signed,

Shorted on the Shore

Heather says:

The stains you describe sound like bleach stains. Bleaching agents -not necessarily chlorine bleach- can appear in many innocuous forms in our modern lives. However, acne creams, whitening toothpaste and mouthwash are the usual culprits. Some dyes are less able to resist these bleaching products, which is why you will only notice this on some fabrics. After giving this some thought, my guess is splatter from vigorous toothbrushing landing on the bathroom counter or the shorts, themselves. Then, all it takes is a lean in for a close look in the mirror and voila, bleach stains on khaki shorts. The would appear either as a dot or a smear depending on the contact method.

In all likelihood you wouldn’t notice the tiny spatter or rub for several hours until that pink / orange / reddish spot appeared.

To prevent bleaching stains like these in the future, be extra careful with your bleaching products. Try to get in the habit of wiping off your bathroom counter and washing your hands thoroughly after applying acne creams or medication.

For what it’s worth, some people’s sweat seems to oxidize the dyes of some fabrics leaving mysterious stains. However these stains would be in very specific areas, prone to sweating. Since you mentioned spots rather than blotches -these would appear where the shorts crease when sitting- my money is on one of the previously mentioned products.

On an unrelated note, getting to the bottom of these mysterious bleach stains has felt like an episode of House the Domestic Edition and heck, I’ve been cranky enough to play the lead.

Submit your questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.

Happy 8th Birthday Home-Ec 101

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Heather says:

Thank you all for being a part of Home-Ec 101 these past eight years.

I was just looking over my calendar, this afternoon, when I realized it was March 1, 2007 when Ivy and I officially launched this site. The past eight years have been one hell of a ride. Thank you for being there when my youngest was born, when my sister passed away and all those events in between.

In that time, almost 9 million people have visited this site, that’s like having had the entire population of NYC pass through the door.

I have learned and experienced so many things thanks to you, the Home-Ec 101 community.

Thank you for your comments, your companionship, your wisdom, and your patience.

Thank you for letting me run a site where we’re allowed to be human. Where we can screw up, we don’t have to be perfect, and we know that time is sometimes the best remedy.

Thank you for inviting me into your homes and trusting me in your kitchens (and bathrooms and and and)

amazoncardIt’s only the slightest token, but on March 15, 2015 I’m going to give away a $100 Amazon Gift Card, you just need to be a current newsletter subscriber to be eligible. (If you’re reading this via email, you’re already entered). The winner will be contacted via email.

This giveaway is sponsored by Home-Ec101.com and is in no way affiliated, sponsored by, or approved by Amazon.com.

How to Enter:

Subscribe to Home-Ec101.com via email.

Rules:

You must be over 18 years of age to enter. This giveaway is open to US Residents except where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary.

Thank you, here’s to the next eight years.

The Home-Ec 101 Guide To Keeping The Kitchen Clean

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keeping the kitchen clean

It’s said to be the heart of the home. The kitchen is certainly the most used area with a lot of traffic. It’s also the source of a lot of work, but there is a certain satisfaction in making it clean and shiny. Here are some articles that might help you; click the title of the ones that you want to read more of.

How To Hand Wash Dishes

Here’s a question for those of us in Nashville who are conserving water due to the flood, what’s the best way to conserve water while washing dishes? I know the dishwasher is out. Should we wash dishes individually, or do the whole fill-up-the-sink-with-water thing? Does that really get dishes clean?

How to Repair Stained Grout

I’ve swept and mopped for three years on my tile floors, and I’ve been knowing I need to do something to make the grout white again. I did the test to see if my grout had been sealed. It hasn’t! Will I be able to restore them to white again?

How to Reduce Cooking Odors

I love having my home grown bacon or sausage on the weekend, but how do I get rid of the horrible grease smell after I have enjoyed breakfast?

Cutting Board Basics

This past weekend I attempted to fix a wood (plank, not end-grain) cutting board with some pretty deep cuts in it, and wound up totally botching the project. Do you have any tips or tricks for cutting board maintenance?

How to Clean a Dirty Broiler Pan

Even though I sprayed my roasting rack and pan with Pam, it still took a large SOS pad, an overnight soaking, and a lot of elbow grease to get it clean. Every time I use that pan I think there must be an easier way. How do you do it?

How to Clean a Smooth Top Range / Stove

I have a glass smooth top stove. Recently I managed to burn it pretty badly – I think there were some food particles either on the burner or the bottom of my pot, because when I put the pot on the burner it sizzled and then a very bad burning smell filled the air. I was able to scrub the pot bottom clean, but am not sure what to do about the burner.

How to Clean Dirty Drip Pans

How in the WORLD do you clean off the reflectors on the stove top after you’ve successfully made them the most horribly dirty items in your house? I am down to one burner that I can use without setting my fire alarms off!

How to Clean Stained Enameled Cast Iron

I have one of those pricey enameled cast iron Dutch, err…French ovens. One particularly rushed morning I let a chunky ragu scorch onto said pricey French oven. After several days of soaking I gave in and scrubbed. Now my cookware is stained and lacks the original luster I paid for. Can the enamel luster be restored and saved?!

How to Clean a Smelly Garbage Disposal

How do you de-stink a garbage disposal?

How to Remove Burnt Food from Aluminum Pots and Pans

Last night, I left an aluminum pot on a burner I thought I had turned off. I served dinner and by the time I came back to it, all I found was a pan full of burnt food. Is my aluminum pot ruined? How do I remove the mess?

How to Remove Burnt Food from Glassware

Any suggestions for cleaning a burned pan? It is glass, and I am hesitant to use steel wool on it. The glass cleaners don’t seem to be helping.

How to Remove Hard Water Spots from Glassware

I tried using “Kaboom” on the shower tiles and glass doors, but it seemed to have no effect. The scum on the doors is truly gross. We have relatively hard water, so it’s just caked on. Any suggestions for getting off years of mineral deposits and soap scum?

How to Remove Melted Plastic from Cookware

I burned carrots… how do you burn carrots? Anyway, while dumping the carrots in the trash the plastic bag that the carrots came in, that was in the trash can, jumped up and touched the bottom of the hot pot. Now I not only have no carrots for my daughters lunch… but I have a plastic bag stuck to the bottom of my pot. How do I get it off?

How to Get Started on the Giant Pile of Dishes

We’ve all had an evening where we’ve looked at the pile of dishes and thought, “I’ll get that in the morning.” Sometimes in periods of high stress, sickness, or just plain laziness we neglect the dishes longer than just overnight and the next thing you know, there’s no clean dishes in the house and you’re wondering if it would just be easier to trash all those dishes and just eat off paper plates from now on.

How to Clean and Shine Stainless Steel

I just got some new stainless steel appliances–and they streak–and have blotchy places on them. Any ideas?

How to Clean Out the Fridge

I’m gearing myself up to finally tackling the scary fridge. I don’t want to use any harsh chemicals, as I’m concerned about the smell/taste of it transferring over to the food once I’m done. Is there some sort of magic baking soda/vinegar/lemon juice/elbow grease combination that might get the ew nasty out of my fridge?

How to Clean Corian

I have Corian counter tops and sink. The sink is stained because my family never cleans it. I try to clean it, but even with a special Corian cleaner or bleach, I cannot get the stains out after several cleanings.

How to Clean Granite Counters

Can someone tell me why one of the hardest substances on earth is so picky about what it’s cleaned with? Seriously, new house, new coutertops, new to granite. How do you clean AND disinfect safely on granite?

How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Laminate Countertops

One of my darling monsters spilled acrylic paint on my laminate counters. Then, being the smart little cookie he is, he placed one of my cookbooks over the stain to hide the mess. I don’t know when this happened, but it was long enough to let the paint dry. I don’t care about the book, but how do I save my counter?

How to Remove Ink from Laminate Countertops

The other day, I set a wet a receipt on the bathroom counter to dry. (The cat has gotten a bunch of things wet.) It was one of those older fashioned ones with purple ink. The next morning, I discovered I’d put it ink side down and now had a nice copy of the receipt on the countertop.

How to Remove Kool-Aid from Laminate Countertops

Red Kool-Aid strikes again. This time on my new granite. How can I get it off?

How to Remove Milk Splatter from Wood Furniture

How does one remove dried milk from wood? No matter how I try to clean them, I get the same result: it looks clean while it’s still wet and I think I’ve won, but as soon as it dries, the spots are still all there!

How to Dispose of Cooking Grease

I have never had a good answer to the question: how should I dispose of cooking grease (that is, grease from hamburger, bacon, etc.)?

How to Clean Kitchen Light Fixtures

I had to change a lightbulb in my kitchen the other day and the globe is nasty with dust and grease. Is there an easy way to fix this?

Someone Put Dish Soap in the Dishwasher (How to get rid of the bubbles)

Some how dish liquid had gotten in the dish washer, there were 6 inches high of soap bubbles at the bottom of the dishwasher, not really knowing what to do I drained it, added some vinegar to try to kill the bubbles, it seemed to work, but I did notice bubbles in the next load as well, so much for rinsing the soap off. Any ideas of what to do in case this happens again?

Why Isn’t My Dishwasher Performing as It Should

My dishwasher just isn’t doing as great a job anymore. I haven’t changed anything: same soap, I scrape the plates, I still use a rinsing agent. What could be going on?

how to clean appliances

Click the picture for more tips!

furniture care guide

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Well That Wasn’t Fun

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Heather says

Hi, it’s been a couple weeks, hasn’t it?

Things started off with the best of intentions, but then my youngest decided to play Typhoid Mary (only she was sick, too) with a fun thing called Rotavirus.

Parents of very young children probably know this term and are cringing. I took the kids to a water park and she thanked us by giving us the gift of a highly transmissible stomach virus. And one by one we fell.

While I’m doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom, and disinfecting all of the hard surfaces, why don’t you tell me how you have been?

 

Menu Monday 26

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Heather says

Well, last week didn’t work out as planned. There were a lot more let’s make do with what we have that’s quick dinners, but I was able to reshoot one of the most popular recipes on this site.

Quick beef and cabbage skillet, it’s a handful of ingredients and thirty minutes until you’ve got a warm, filling (and believe it or not paleo if you’re into that) meal.

 

Quick Beef and Cabbage Skillet HE101

If I keep this up and manage to re-shoot one recipe a week, I may manage to catch up by 2018.

I kid.

Mostly.

I also started to make an interesting chicken fajita soup but I left the wheat-free flour somewhere else and ended up making a tortilla soup that the family loved, but it was too thrown together to write up. It’s still movement in the right direction and I’ll take that.

So what’s up for next week? Well, I’ll be sharpening my knives if the sharpening stone and ceramic rod arrive (they should).  Lent starts this week and I’m going to buckle down on the whole let’s not eat out thing, unless I’m on the road for work. I have to have the practical caveat in there, sorry.

And on the menu:

  • Monday – Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, cabbage, carrots
  • Tuesday – We’re headed out with some friends for Fat Tuesday, otherwise it’d be the perfect excuse for Shrimp Etouffee
  • Wednesday – Lentil casserole, baked sweet potatoes, kale (Ash Wednesday)
  • Thursday – Taco soup, tortilla chips (or maybe I’ll remake last week’s soup with a lot more attention to detail)
  • Friday – Fish and tomato stew, with bread and / or potatoes
  • Saturday – Sloppy joes / tacos, broccoli with cheese sauce (experimenting with a gf version) and what the heck chips
  • Sunday – Let’s shoot for the Chicken, mushrooms, and peppers dish, rice and peas, acorn squash

What will you be cooking this week?

Are you trying anything new?

 

How Long Will it Take to Clean My House?

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Dear Home Ec 101,
How long will it take to clean my house?
Signed,
Curious in Corpus Christi

time to clean

Heather says:

Well Curious, what is your favorite color?

Blue?

Ok. I’ve plugged that variable into the top secret Home-Ec 101 House Cleaning Algorithm and I’ve determined it will take you exactly 18.36 hours to thoroughly clean your house. Oh. Wait. That doesn’t make much sense does it? A question like “How long will it take to clean my house?” has an incredible number of variables.

What kind of home do you have?

Someone who lives in a McMansion is going to have a lot more surface area to clean than someone who lives in an efficiency. In that case, just doing surface cleaning? Just mopping? The person who lives in the tiny apartment will be done in no time. Even if the floors are equally grubby, it simply takes longer to mop more square footage.

How many people live in the house?

More people means more messes. Humans are rather nasty creatures and in this case I’m not even counting what the young ones do -one of my minions has a cold and she’s at the age where I have to remind her to blow her nose, good times. People shed skin cells and hair, they track in dirt, even if they wipe their feet. The oils from our skin lingers on keyboards, remote controls, wall plates, and door jams.

Did you know there is actually a guideline for how often you should vacuum? Don’t feel badly if you didn’t know I was recently involved in a focus group discussing a vacuum cleaner and it surprised the hosts. Each week you’re supposed to thoroughly vacuum a carpeted room AND add a quick vacuum of high traffic areas for each additional family member, including large dogs. So, if you have a family of four, that’s one deep vacuum and three quick. . . do you see how this adds up? For what it’s worth, babies don’t count, but you’ll probably vacuum even more often once they can crawl.

Are there pets?

We love our animal friends, but anything other than beta fish tend to bring their own measure of mess into a home. From tracked in dirt to litter boxes, shed hair and damage to furniture. They all have a cost when it comes to extra work. -How long until someone tells me about the hairless cat they trained to use the toilet? That’s the exception that proves the rule, people-

Are there children under the age of reason?

Do I really even have to explain this one? It’s chaos in a 3 feet tall package -unless you’re my kid and then you bump it up to under 5 feet-. Sure children can be taught to help with damage control, but for years even the most perfectly behaved, helpful, and polite children create more mess than they can possibly undo.

How many people actually clean in the home?

How well chores are divided will help reduce the amount of time any individual has to spend cleaning a home. For even the most well adjusted adults, this often requires a lot of effective communication of wants and needs on both parts.

Do you cook in your home?

Cooking food adds moisture and often sends aerosolized grease particles -yes, even vegetarians, just less so- into the air. The particles float around and cling to surfaces. Once they are on a surface a dust magnet has been created. The longer the dust magnet sits on the surface, the harder it will be to remove.

Let’s consider clutter.

Imagine two book cases. One has neat rows of books and the other has glass figurines, odds and ends, a pile of papers, etc. The first only requires the soft bristle attachment of the vacuum or a feather duster. The other? You’re going to have to unload each shelf, wipe the item carefully and replace gently. Multiply this around every horizontal surface in a home and it quickly becomes obvious that the amount of STUFF in a home drastically affects the time it takes to clean.

How often has the home been cleaned?

If you’ve lived in a home for five years and never cleaned the tub, it is going to take a long time to undo the damage. Some of it may not even be fixable. Regularly attending to chores keeps grime from building up. Without a lot of grime to remove, cleaning takes less time.

I wish I had a simple answer for you, Curious. The truth is I can’t give you a good answer, just trying to figure out how long it should take a person to clean their home without any other variable is a very overwhelming task. Here is what I do know.

house cleaning help

Click the picture for more cleaning help!

How to reduce the time it takes to clean:

  1. Communicate
  2. Delegate.
  3. Don’t procrastinate.

Good luck.

Send your questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.

The Home-Ec 101 Guide To Taking Care Of Furniture

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furniture care guide

Since I have 3 young children, a dog, and 3 parrots it’s just not the right season of life for me to buy brand new furniture. I buy secondhand and then try to take care of it – or cover it – until I get my money’s worth out of it. Here are some articles that will help you take care of your furniture whether it is wood, leather, microsuede, stained, stinky, and more! Just click on the title of the article to read the complete answer.

How to Care for Acacia Wood

We are young and with a house full of Ikea furniture it did not even dawn on us that we would have to take special care with our new lovely table in this dry, desert climate. We did some googling and found that it is recommended to use a wax on acacia wood. However, my husband’s parents said NOT to use a wax but an oil instead. Help!

How to Care for Leather Furniture

What is the best way to care for a leather couch? I have had my leather couch and loveseat for four years, and they have held up well, but a few scratches are starting to show up.  What can I do to keep them looking good in the long run?

How to Clean a Couch

I have tile floors and a couch, this sounds normal enough, but the couch slips and slides all over the tile and drives me crazy. How do I stop the couch from sliding? And the cushions, don’t get me started on the cushions, why won’t they stay on my couch? While we’re talking about couches, is there a specific way I should be cleaning mine?

How to Clean Microsuede Furniture

I have tan microsuede dining room chairs and, with four children, you can imagine what they look like.  I’ve looked, but there isn’t a cleaning recommendation tag on them.  What is the best way to clean them?

How To Fix A Stained White Dresser

We have a lovely bedroom set of furniture from a big box baby store. In white. One sick child + one classic orange popsicle + one apparently cracked emesis basin + one day = one bright orange stain on the white dresser. I tried a diaper wipe thinking the mess was still wet. It wasn’t. Then I hit it with one clorox wipe. Haha. HELP!!!

How To Remove Cat Hair From Furniture

We are getting a sofa and two chairs from my brother-in-law today. I know they will be covered in cat hair. I’m allergic to cats. Do you have any good tips for getting as much cat hair as possible off of the furniture fabric??

How To Remove Cigarette Odor From A Couch

The set appeared to be in great shape, and I got the furniture for what appeared to be a bargain.  When I got them in place in my basement rec room, I noticed a horrible odor of cigarette smoke emanating from both pieces of furniture.  They are upholstered pieces with foam cushions.  Do you have any idea how I can get rid of the cigarette smell?

How to Remove Feces ( Poop ) from Upholstery and Fabric

Do you have any tips for cleaning poop off of the cover of a cloth bean bag chair? The tag reads “Do not open under any circumstance.” It’s a $20 bean bag chair from Target and I don’t just want to “get anodder one” as my toddler suggests. As you may have guessed, the toddler was the poop culprit.

How to Remove Urine from an Upholstered Couch

Help!! Our adorable, yet slightly dumb dog has decided to use back of our lovely microfiber couch as a toilet! We contacted the manufacturer, who suggested spot cleaning the urine stained area with diluted dish soap. This got the stains out. Unfortunately, the smell of pee still remains. I’ve (unsuccessfully) tried some pet cleaner and multiple soakings with Febreze, but it just won’t go away!

How to Keep Fur off of the Furniture

My cats seem to drop enough fur to make a few new cats on my furniture every day. It’s ridiculous. How can I both prevent this and keep my furniture fur-free?

How to Remove Musty / Mildew Odor from Furniture

I recently retrieved a table from my garage that was stored for about a year and it smells like there could be a mold or mildew issue. How do I clean the table to remove any traces and the odor of mold and mildew?

How to Remove Wax and Silicone Build Up

My mother has wax build up on an antique secretary. It is a dark wood with a shiny surface. Over many years of waxing the wax has built up and in places the shine has dulled. Can you help?

How to Remove Candle Wax from Fabric

I accidentally spilled some candle wax on my favorite pair of jeans. What should I do to get it out?

How to Remove Grease from Upholstery

My husband works in a kitchen, so he comes home sweaty and covered with kitchen grease and steam and all that good stuff (Ivy, you know what I’m talking about).  After a year and a half of him coming home exhausted and flopping into his beloved chair, we’ve got a nice dark mark right where his head rests.

How To Remove Heat Marks From Furniture

At Thanksgiving I was being so careful not to put anything down with out a trivet but then I did it- I knocked over one of my candles and spilled wax all over it. There’s now a huge white mark from the heat of the wax. Is the finish of my table completely ruined? Is there anything I can do?

How to Remove Ink from Upholstered Furniture

My three year old son decided it would be fun to draw on our car upholstery with black pen. In the past I have been able to use hairspray on crayon with wonderful success (couch and table cloth), but I have never attempted it on pen. Any tips or am I better of just leaving the unsightly mess? I’d hate to try something and have it look worse.

How to Remove A Musty Odor from Dresser Drawers

An old roommate of mine borrowed a dresser from me and used it while we lived together. After she gave it back the drawers had a musty smell that I couldn’t get rid of. If I put any clothes in the drawers they come out smelling funky and musty too. What should I do??

How To Remove Dried Milk From Wood

How does one remove dried milk from wood? Every low surface in my kitchen (chair legs, table legs, cabinets) is full of dried milk spots from spills that always go farther and cover more area than you can initially see. No matter how I try to clean them, I get the same result: it looks clean while it’s still wet and I think I’ve won, but as soon as it dries, the spots are still all there!

How To Handle A Nail Polish Remover Spill

My daughter spilled finger nail polish remover on her dresser.  What can I do to repair it?

how to clean appliances

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guide to clean floors

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Weekly Menu 25

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Heather says

Last week turned out to be a really good week overall.

I used my stick blender to experiment with a sauce for fish tacos, it still needs some tweaking before I share it, but we’re on to something good. I didn’t make pho on Wednesday, instead I went with a Must Go style soup, loosely based on Sausage and Sweet Potato Soup.

IMG_20150204_110428

And then, I finally broke out some of my photography stuff and managed to get a decent picture of chicken bog.

Lowcountry Chicken Bog

This is a big step for me; I just haven’t had the mental or personal bandwidth to do this. And if any of you have any idea what I have done with my tripod, that’d be good to know. I guess it’s just lost in that mental fog of 2013.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Anyhow, let’s keep the ball rolling and make plans for this week:

  • Monday – CORN (That’s clean out refrigerator night as there is a ton of that chicken bog left)
  • Tuesday – It’s like Taco Tuesday, but on a. .. oh, Tuesday. Buffalo Chicken Tacos & BLT Salad (If there are any good tomatoes, doubtful but a girl can hope)
  • Wednesday – Let’s try that pho idea again… maybe, but definitely soup of some sort
  • Thursday – Spaghetti (squash) and meatballs 
  • Friday – Baked Fish and Chips, Broccoli
  • Saturday – Chicken roasted with mushrooms, peppers, and onions -It’s definitely time to redo these photos- Roasted potatoes, some kind of green vegetable or salad, it’s going to depend on what looks during the week.

Here’s hoping we can keep that momentum going and have another good week.

Is there anything you are looking forward to trying this week?

What did you make last week that worked (or didn’t)?

Submitted to: Menu Plan Monday