Keeping The Kitchen Clean: A Home-Ec 101 Guide

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.

keeping the kitchen clean

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 Unclog The Sink Without Using Chemicals

Is there a “green” way to unclog the kitchen sink? I really hate having to use heavy drain cleaning chemicals. I have used boiling water (2 pots full) then the drain cleaner set 10= minutes followed by a pot of boiling water again.

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 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?

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 Remove Soap Residue from Plastic

Help!  My plastic dishes are starting to taste (and smell) like soap.  I hand wash, and switched to a “moisturizing” dish soap this spring.  Since then, the taste is very very pronounced, even after I switched back to plain blue Dawn which several friends recommended as a remedy.

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?

Is Rust In The Microwave A Safety Issue?

There has always been a bit of rust spots along the bottom of the micro door, but just now I noticed it’s suddenly become quite extensive. I wiped it, shut the door & reopened it, and rust dust was spreading around.

Minimize Food Waste By Thinking Like A Kitchen Manager

I recently noticed that we were wasting food quite often because of the disorganization of our refrigerator. I talked it over with Mr. Ivy, who just happens to be a restaurant manager and was a kitchen manager for many years, and asked him for some tips.

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?

What To Put In The Crisper Drawer

Every refrigerator I have ever seen has a crisper drawer, yet I have never figured out what to put in mine. What is the slidy thing for?

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?

Why is There a Ban on Phosphorus in Dishwasher Detergent

I can’t buy phosphorus detergent anymore.  My cousin found a website that offers Cascade with phosphorus but hasn’t tried it out yet.  My only concern is that it says “for commercial use only”.  Is there any reason it couldn’t be used in home dishwasher?

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

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2 Comments

  1. Twin B on March 12, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    My mom reused the bacon grease to fry potates & other food. She strained it then poured it in jar & kept it in the fridge to use again. You could do the same thing but just throw it out when the jar is full

    • Heather Solos on March 13, 2015 at 9:14 am

      Just letting you know that you won’t have a problem commenting going forward. First time comments are held in moderation to keep the spam / bots at bay. 🙂 That is a good idea, I keep bacon grease for re-use, too.

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