Kitchen Cleaning Tips from Merry Maids

Learn more tips and tricks from MerryMaids. Your kitchen goes through a lot in one week. Whether it's a sauce-splattered stove topor coffee-stained counter, cleaning every surface in your kitchen on a daily basis can be challenging, especially on a tight schedule. Not to mention, your kitchen is easily one of the most trafficked rooms in the house and where you prep your meals—making it even more important to clean regularly.

Nobody likes cleaning out that gross, crusty, burnt-on foodstuff in the microwave. To make that process a bit easier, The Kitchn suggests using a lemon.

The process here just requires a lemon, a microwave-safe bowl, and a dry towel:

  1. Pour water in the bowl: Measure about a half cup of water into the bowl.

  2. Squeeze the lemon: Slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the water. Drop the lemon halves into the bowl.

  3. Microwave for 3 minutes: Place the bowl in the microwave. Microwave on high power for 3 minutes so the liquid comes to a boil.

  4. Let stand for 5 minutes: Do not open the microwave door. The steam trapped inside will help loosen food gunk. Let stand for 5 minutes.

  5. Wipe the microwave clean: Open the door and carefully remove the bowl with the lemons. If your microwave has a turntable, lift it out and wipe it clean. Wipe the inside of the microwave clean starting with the ceiling and the sides. Finish with the floor, sweeping any crumbs into your hand. Don't forget the door!

  6. Cleaning stubborn spots: If you come across stubborn spots that won't easily wipe away, dip the corner of your dishtowel in the lemon-water and scrub until the spot comes away.

With that, you should have a clean microwave with very little work.

If your kitchen sink is a bit dingy, then make it look just like new with eco-friendly materials you already have in your kitchen. And there's no scrubbing involved with this quick clean that basically costs nothing to make. Safely buff your way to a fresh and sparkling basin that will stay that way for weeks.

What You'll Need:

  • Sponge

  • Baking soda

  • Vinegar

  • Lemon or orange peel

  • Olive oil

  • Paper towel

Directions:

  1. Give your sink a quick wash and rinse, removing all dishes and any food bits from the drain. Then sprinkle the entire sink with baking soda and use a soft sponge, working in a circular movement, to scrub the basin. Baking soda softly cleans without scratching stainless steel.

  2. Rinse the sink with vinegar, which will bubble and fizz. Vinegar naturally disinfects while helping remove hard water stains from your stainless steel sink. Then lightly rub with the sponge and rinse the sink with water. You can also drop a garbage disposal refreshing bomb down the drain to keep the entire sink smelling fresh.

  3. Put lemon or orange peel to good use, and rub the entire sink basin with a section of peel, rubbing the skin against the stainless steel, which helps deodorize the sink while helping the basin keep its new shine.

  4. Finish by buffing with a paper towel and a touch of olive oil. Your sink will stay wonderfully shiny for several weeks before needing a refresher.

How to Clean Your Cast-Iron Skillet
  1. To remove stubborn bits of food, pour 1 cup coarse kosher salt into the still-warm skillet. Use a folded kitchen towel to scour. Discard the salt and rinse the skillet with hot water. Dry immediately with a kitchen towel, or heat skillet over a medium-low flame to evaporate the moisture.

  2. To season the pan, rub a light coat (1 Tbsp.) of flaxseed oil on the cast iron. This helps the pan develop that glossy patina, ward off rust, and retain its nonstick properties. Vegetable oil or rendered lard (for nonvegetarians) does the trick, too. Gently heat the pan to help the oil soak in.

Note: We use two kosher salts in the BA Test Kitchen: Diamond Crystal, with its finer crystal structure, is our everyday seasoning choice. Morton is our go-to for scouring cast-iron skillets, thanks to its larger, coarser grains.

Cast iron skillets get better with age- as long as you’re consistently cooking with them, and as long as you don’t clean them with soap. If it’s been ages since you’ve actually used your skillet, chances are it’s in need of some TLC. Covered in rust, you say? No problem! Reach for these three simple kitchen staples to help you return your pan to its former glory.

What You Need

Materials

  • Coarse salt

  • Oil (vegetable, olive- even Crisco works!)

  • 1 potato

Instructions

Depending on the shape of your pan, this job could get messy. I recommend going outside, or covering your table in newspaper for easy cleanup.

1. Sprinkle a hefty amount of course sea salt into the pan. I used about a half cup to start for my 12″ skillet, and added more as needed.

2. Cut your potato so that one half easily fits in the palm of your hand.

3. Place the potato cut side down on top of the salted pan and start scrubbing.

Work your way around the pan in a circular motion, apply a good amount of pressure.

The potato is just moist enough to help the salt work off the rust.

4. Continue to scrub the sides, edges, and bottom of your pan. Don’t forget the handle!

The salt will get very dirty very quickly. Depending on the condition of your pan, you may want to rinse the dirty salt out and start over with new, clean salt as you continue the process.

5. Once the pan is clean, rinse with water and pat dry. Place the pan on the stove over low heat for a minute or so to help dry out any remaining moisture.

6. Once dry, pour a small amount of oil in the pan and rub it in with a paper towel until the bottom and sides of the pan are coated. Use a clean paper towel to remove any excess oil.

7. Keep pan over low heat for 30 minutes.

8. Once your skillet has cooled, wipe off any remaining oil before storing away.

 

To keep your skillet in tip-top shape, repeat the oil/heating process after each time you use and clean your skillet. If possible, store your cast iron in the oven to keep away ambient moisture.

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