cleaning tips

Discover Our 3 Quick and Easy Oven Cleaning Home Remedies

3 Quick and Easy Oven Cleaning Home Remedies

Cleaning the oven is undoubtedly one of the most difficult aspects of keeping the kitchen looking pristine. Often it takes a great deal of physical strength to get the grease and grime off an extensively used oven. Worse still are the harmful smells of industrial-strength oven cleaners available in the market. Popular oven cleaners have highly caustic chemical such as butane and sodium hydroxide that can be hazardous to your family’s health.

The good news is that there are effective homemade solutions for oven cleaning that are safer not only for you but also for the environment. If your oven does not have a self-cleaning function, here are three relatively chemical-free ways of keeping your oven sparkling clean.

1. Baking soda with water

Use water and large quantities of baking soda to make a paste. The baking soda paste does not have an unpleasant odour like the harsh oven cleaners available in the market. Apply generous amounts of the paste to the walls and doors of your oven using a cloth. Spread the paste evenly. Let the paste remain for a couple of hours. This softens the stains, which can now be removed using a wallpaper scraper. Use a soft cloth dipped in warm water to wipe clean any residual paste and stains on the oven. Your oven will now be sparkling clean.

2. Lemon juice with water

Citrus oils have natural degreasing properties. Cut two lemons and squeeze the juice onto a baking dish that is one-third full of water. Place the lemon pieces in the dish as well and put the dish in the oven at a low temperature for about half-an hour (or longer depending on the state of the oven). The vapours from the lemon solution loosen the grime stuck on the oven walls. Turn off the oven, remove the baking dish, and let the oven cool. Remove the grime in the oven using a scouring pad, the same lemon solution, and a sponge. Wipe dry with a soft cloth. This technique is great for cleaning convection ovens.

3. Baking soda and vinegar

Spray vinegar inside the oven and sprinkle baking soda over it.  Allow the mixture to fizz for 30 minutes to an hour depending on how bad the grime situation is. Like the lemon juice method, scrub the walls and base of the oven using a scouring sponge. Since vinegar is a great degreaser, dip the sponge in vinegar as you scrub.  Wipe clean the oven using water and a soft cloth.

If you have been using chemical oven cleaners, perhaps it is time you tried one of these homemade oven-cleaning solutions that are safer for your family as well as the environment.

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Simple Tips for Safe Hob Cleaning

Simple Tips to Safely Clean your Hob

The hob is often a place you prepare food every day, so it’s an essential place in your home to keep clean. The best way to ensure that the hob & cooker area is hygienic is to wipe after each use when any food residue or stains are still fresh.

Despite doing this, it’s still possible for a layer of oil and grime to settle on your hob. Depending on which type of cooker you have, using the right cleaning agents and tools can help you remove this stubborn material with relative ease.

Hob cleaning products and tools

You will find a wide range of cleaning products in the supermarkets specifically for the kitchen. For ease of use look for products that come in spray bottles. Alternatively, instead of using cleaning liquids with strong chemicals, you can try using some of the more natural hob cleaning products that are better for your health, as well as for the environment.

In addition, before you clean the hob, it would be helpful to have the following cleaning tools on hand:

  • Rubber gloves to protect your skin
  • A blunt blade or plastic scraper available at hardware stores, to remove the softened food residue ( after using the stain remover)
  • A scrubbing brush with a medium bristle
  • A microfiber cloth to clean the hob and give it a good smear-free shine

Cleaning the hob

Hob cleaning techniques differ depending on whether you have a gas, ceramic, enamel or a combination cooker.

  • Enamel hobs are relatively easy to maintain as they can take some forceful cleaning. Use a blunt blade to remove the stains, while being careful not to scrape the curved surface of the hob.
  • Ceramic and induction hobs are more prone to scratches and therefore need to be tackled carefully. Use a plastic scrapper to remove the grunge. In case of the ceramic hob, prevention really is the best cure. Wipe off any spills as soon as they happen.
  • The majority of the gas hobs have an aluminium base. Soak the base and burner lids in soapy warm water for a while. Clean the base with a scouring pad to remove the grime. Enamel burner lids can also be cleaned the same way.
  • A stainless steel hob should be cleaned rather gently. Clean the hob using a microfibre cloth and a mild bicarbonate of soda solution. To maintain your cooker, never leave any food residue on the hob as it can easily create permanent stains on the stainless steel surface.
  • Cleaning a hob with cast iron racks can be cumbersome. Wash the racks in a warm soapy water solution in a dipping tray. Use soda crystals and a wire wool to scrub clean the racks. Avoid washing them in the dishwasher as the salty dishwater can cause them to rust.

Whenever you clean your hob, follow basic safety tips.  If you are cleaning the hobs with a chemical based cleaner, then keep kitchen windows open for ventilation. Also, wear gloves and goggles for protecting your hands and eyes.

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Help! There’s Mould in my Tumble Dryer

There’s Mould in my Tumble Dryer

Mould spores are nasty, and can go unnoticed for quite some time, especially if they’re hidden in hard to see spots like your tumble dryer. Mould can grow just about anywhere and thrives in places with even slight traces of moisture. Over time, the mould will cause your dryer to have an odour problem; it can also penetrate and even stain your newly-washed laundry.

Your tumble dryer could retain damp if you overload, or sometimes leave still-damp clothes in it; this creates the perfect conditions for mould to multiply.

You can minimise the chances of mould growing in your tumble dryer by using the hottest dryer settings that your laundry allows. It’s a good idea to dry clothes that require a low setting first and finish with items that can take higher settings, for example, towels and jeans, to ensure that your dryer ends on a dry note.

Types of Mould

There are five common types of mould that can be found in most households, but only one is likely to grow in your tumble dryer: Cladosporium Herbarum. It is most often found on dead plants and soil, fridges, window frames, straw houses with poor ventilation and low damp areas.

The best way to prevent mould from growing is to ensure your home is well ventilated in general, and that your laundry area is particularly well ventilated. Regularly check for damp spots, keep the area clean and make sure that your washer and tumble dryer are not pressed right up against the wall or against one another. If you have to dry clothes indoors in your laundry area, make sure that you have a good breeze blowing through so that the air doesn’t get damp. Also, make sure that all windows and doors to the laundry area are closed in wet weather and repair any leaks as soon as possible. Make sure your tumble dryer is vented outside when in use, or use a condenser-dryer.

Eek! There’s Mould in my Tumble Dryer!

With our busy schedules we often have to do about 10 things simultaneously, like boiling the kettle for a cup of tea, which will also be used supper’s rice, while shoving the laundry into the dryer. Under these conditions, who has the presence of mind to check for things like mould growth in the tumble dryer?

Get rid of mould

If you do have mould, these tips should help restore the laundry-fresh smell to your clothes and linens. First, unplug the tumble dryer, and then:

  1. Wipe clean the insides of the tumble dryer with antiseptic wipes.
  2. Dilute a fabric softener and dip a clean sponge in the solution to soak up the perfume. Squeeze out the liquid and put the wet sponge along with the clothes in the tumbler. This should remove the smell in the dryer.
  3. Put some bicarbonate in an old sock and knot the sock at the top. Put this in your condenser dryer for a ten-minute tumble. The smell should be completely gone.
  4. Add a fragrance sheet to your dryer for no more smelly clothes.This next tip needs a bit of patience.
  5. If are using a condenser dryer, let the clothes dry for 30 minutes. Then remove the clothes and shake them out in the air one by one. Put the clothes back in the dryer for another 30 minutes. Not only will this make the smell go away, but your clothes will dry faster.
  6. Make a thin paste of baking soda and soak a sponge in it. Clean the inside of the dryer with the sponge. After a thorough wipe with the sponge, clean the dryer with a soft cloth. Run a normal cycle in the dryer when it is empty for about 10 minutes.

If the mould proves to be stubborn you could try this way to get rid of the problem:

Bleach is a really good way to get rid of mould. You’ll need two clean cloths, a litre of warm water, ¼ cup of bleach, small spray bottle filled with a solution of water and ten or so drops of vanilla essence / eucalyptus oil or undiluted plain vinegar, and few clean towels. Be sure to use the hottest dryer setting and not the delicate cycle or the permanent press cycle when you do the last step of the process

  1. Add the bleach to the warm water.
  2. Wet your cloth completely in the water-bleach solution and then wring out so that it’s wet but not dripping.
  3. Wipe the dryer inside and out, making sure you do the door too. A thin layer of the solution will remain on the surfaces, which will kill all mould.
  4. Leave to dry completely and once dry take a clean cloth rinsed in clean water and wipe down the dryer again. Wiping the tumble dryer clean is important because if you leave the bleach solution as it, you may well find that your next load of laundry comes out the machine discoloured.
  5. Spray the clean towels with the vanilla-water or eucalyptus-water solution or vinegar and then put into the dryer. This will remove the smell of bleach from the drum. Note, if you use vinegar your next load might remind you of fish and chips. Vanilla and eucalyptus, on the other hand, will absorb the bleach smell and leave your tumble dryer smelling quite pleasant. Remember to wash the towels once you’re done.
  6. Make sure you clean the condenser dryer regularly too and leave the door ajar after use.

If the smell persists, call an appliance service professional.

You can help prevent mould in the future by regularly checking for and cleaning out lint as it collects and retains moisture. Just remove the lint screen and wipe it with a dry cloth to get rid of the residual lint. To make sure you get all the lint out, use your vacuum hose attachment which will loosen clogged or backed up damp lint. Make sure you’ve removed all the lint before replacing the screen. It’s a good idea to clean the lint screen after every drying cycle to make sure you don’t get lint build-up.

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