Quick Cleaning Tips for Kitchens and Baths

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Steam-Clean Your Microwave

MicrowaveThe inside of your microwave oven probably looks like an abstract painting: spaghetti sauce from last Thursday, chicken soup from the weekend. And, of course, it’s all baked on so hard that you’ll need an archaeologist’s chisel to chip it off (which you don’t want to do, by the way, because you would damage the walls). There’s a simple secret that will transform this cleaning nightmare into a simple weekday chore, says Greg Longe, president and CEO of Molly Maid in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Fill a microwave-safe dish halfway with water. Place the dish in the microwave and heat it for a few minutes, until the water boils. Open the door, and you’ll see that the crusted-on grunge is now a steam-softened smudge that you can sponge away with ease.

Clean Dishware Safely with Baking Soda

Using an abrasive cleanser on dishware is a balancing act. Use a cleanser that’s too wimpy, and you’ll never remove that oven-hardened cheese. Use a cleanser that’s too abrasive, and you’ll permanently scratch the dish or pan. What to do? Scrub with a paste made from baking soda and water. If that combo doesn’t rub your cares away, sprinkle on some Bon Ami, recommended by manufacturers as a dish-friendly abrasive cleanser. You’ll get the job done in the shortest amount of time possible, and the finish on your dish or pan will remain sparklingly scratch-free.

Make Fixtures Sparkle

Nothing improves the look of a kitchen or bathroom like sparkling fixtures, and it’s easy to get that shine. Just spray glass cleaner on the fixtures, wipe them down, and take a bow. If there’s no glass cleaner handy, use rubbing alcohol. Or wipe the fixtures with toothpaste (a very mild abrasive) and rinse, says Barbara Webster, president of Nice N Clean Maid Service in Miami.


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