Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Cleaning Machines

We all take for granted those workhorses in our homes – the washer and the dishwasher. They work for us every day, and all they ask of us is that we take good care of them to keep them running. I’m as guilty as the next person of not regularly keeping the interiors of my machines clean and sanitary. It’s one of those jobs we just assume will be done by the detergents and hot water that we put into them.

They do, however, need our attention occasionally in order to do their jobs properly. Here is your Tip Tuesday information on cleaning them - and some of the other appliances around the house.

There are products on the market that can be used for these jobs, but we can do the same things without the use of chemicals and much less expensively!

Cleaning the Washing Machine
This should be done every month or two in order to keep the washer clean and fresh-smelling. Place 2 cups white vinegar, lemon juice or bleach in the washer, fill with hot water and run through a full cycle. Also, wipe down as much of the interior as you can and clean the softener receptacle. While the washer is running, clean the exterior, check hoses and connections. Always leave the lid open for a while after using the washer so it can dry out and prevent formation of mildew.

Cleaning the Dishwasher:
Unload the dishwasher and wipe out the bottom drain area. Place a cup of vinegar on the top shelf and run the dishwasher on the hottest cycle you have. Also, between uses pour a cup of baking soda around the bottom of the dishwasher to keep it fresh. Again, check the hoses and connections, and check the racks for cracks or breaks. You can leave the door open so the dishwasher will dry out thoroughly.

Cleaning the Refrigerator:
Wipe down interior sides, bottoms and racks. Remove and wash crispers. Use vinegar to clean the gaskets around doors and remove any mildew. Clean the coils and the drip pan.

Cleaning the Coffeemaker:
Pour a couple of cups of white vinegar into the reservoir and run it through a brewing cycle. Follow with a cycle of plain water. Check the cord for damage and wash the carafe and brew basket.

Cleaning the Furnace:
Change the filters on a regular schedule, and vacuum as much of the interior as you can. Removing the dust on the exterior won’t help it run better, but it sure will look better!

Homemade Drain Cleaner:
Mix and keep on hand:

1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup baking soda
4 tablespoons cream of tartar

Pour about 1/2 cup into drain and follow with boiling water. Allow to work for a few minutes, then flush with cold water. Use this regularly to keep drains open.

I’m not a big fan of those chemical drain openers, although we do keep a bottle for emergencies. This helps to keep the drains running freely.

If you have secret cleaning formulas, please share them!
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Today is National Pancake Day, Mardi Gras, National Grammar Day and Peace Corps Day. Tomorrow is Discover What Your Name Means Day. On Thursday we’ll observe Oreo Cookie Day (yum!) and World Book Day (what are you reading now?). Please see the “Holidays” page for a full listing.
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“Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.”
(Phyllis Diller)

“Housework is something you do that nobody notices until you don't do it. “
(Author Unknown)

“Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy.”
(Author Unknown)
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Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

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