Monday, March 16, 2009

Household Tips from The American Homemaker

I thought I'd share a few household tips and hints that I have used over the years.

Once a week:

To keep your dishwasher fresh and clean: Pour a cup or so of white vinegar into the bottom of your dishwasher and run it empty.

To keep your kitchen sink & drain sanitized: Fill up both sides of the sink with hot water. Add bleach. Let sit for 10-20 minutes. Drain and rinse. I've had my food handlers permit since I was 14 with very little lapses. I know some people don't like using bleach, but I love it! I'm sure my love for bleach comes from the food handlers training classes.

To keep your garbage disposal blades sharp: Pour ice down the drain and chop.

To help keep your bathtub from getting clogs: Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to melt soap build-up.

Once a week throw your dish drainer, scrubby, etc in the dishwasher to keep them clean and sanitized.


I keep my dish soap in an old hand soap dispenser. It makes it easy to pour dish soap one handed and keeps my sink area looking nicer.

I learned from my mom (who used to clean houses) that water is the best glass/mirror cleaner. Use a wet rag to wash the windows and a dry rag or paper towel to dry them right after. There are no streaks and they come out perfectly sparkling clean.

Clorox wipes are fantastic cleaning the toilet. I use them a couple of times a week.

Magic erasers are magic! When we had rentals we used them like crazy! Be careful, they are sooo addicting! You clean up the crayon or grease or whatever from the wall and then you see that the part you didn't clean looks dingy compared to what you cleaned. So then you clean the whole wall. Then the other walls look dingy compared to that and soon you're magic erasering the whole house.

What some of your household tips?


Lois Christensen said...

Thanks so much for the tips. I'm going to use the dishwashing one tomorrow morning!! And the one about the drain, pouring hot water, I'm going to do that as well because our shower is draining slowly and I can't use anything commercial, we have a septic. Great ideas!!! I love the magic eraser as well! Works great on our fiberglass showers and tubs!

Another Suburban Mom said...

I love the tips. I will be doing the dishwasher thing. Its also good to throw the sponge in the microwave once a day for 30 seconds to kill germs if the dishwasher is not ready to run.

The Raggedy Girl said...

What great tips. I am going to do that white vinegar one right away but I liked them all.

Roberta Anne

Me said...

Hey Angie,

Thanks for this post; it's awesome!

The main dishwasher in my house (the people kind) never cleans out the sinks or drains before filling them. Thus, they get to smelling, which drives me crazy. I alternate pouring vinegar and baking soda down the drain and do this three of four times then let it soak over night.

I also was in food service for years and learned a neat trick for cleaning coffee pots (herbal tea pot in my house ;)

Fill with crushed ice (you can put ice cubes in a bread bag and hammer them until crushed), quite a bit of salt, and a lemon slice. Swish it around several times and rinse out. If the pot is stained, you’ll need to let it sit longer and then use a large brush to clean.

I also run a vinegar wash through the pot every once in a while to keep mineral build up from happening. Add white vinegar—maybe ¼-½ cup—to your pot full of water. Pour in top of coffee maker and brew as normal.

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home said...

This is a really great list of tips. I use vingegar for some of my cleaning including the sink, but I'm also going to try the bleach; and I'll have to try the vinegar in the dishwasher too.

Welcome to the Garden of Egan said...

Thank you for the great ideas. I've been so frustrated with my dishes in the dishwasher. I'll do this today.
Your blog is awesome!

♥Rosie♥ said...

Thank you SO much for all those tips and I am sure they will come in handy. The dishwasher one I must try out.

Jill @ Sneaky Momma said...

Ooooh I'll have to try the ice in the disposal tip. Thanks so much for sharing!

BrittWilk said...

great tips! and thanks for stopping by the skinny bovine's kitchen. i love michelle - she's darling! that is so fun that you work with her!

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Wow! Thanks for all the great tips. I've run vinegar through my coffee maker and then just water a few times to clean, but I've never tried doing vinegar to clean the dishwasher.

Anonymous said...

I love magic erasers! I have to do the dishwasher thing - soon!

Happy Tueday!

Anonymous said...

Great tips, I love using vinegar to clean. I never knew about putting ice in the disposal, great idea.

Kimmie said...

Thanks for visiting my Blog....I loved your household tips. I am going to try the dishwasher tip tomorrow....we have very hard water and so I am so glad to have something to try and keep my year old dishwasher running smooth and great, for many more years to come.

What a fun Blog you have!

Tiffany said...

What great tips! I will definitely be trying some of these out. Thanks for sharing.

Rainy Day Farm said...

Very cute site. I love your cleaning tips. I am going to use the vinegar in the dishwasher for sure.
My cleaning tip is to invest the money in a swiffer wet jet for mopping floors. It is so easy and my floors sparkle. It is a little expensive, but I cut in other areas in order to use it.
Thanks for sharing.

Heidi ~ Inspired Nest said...

Wow, thanks! My house would love you to visit!

xo Heidi

Anonymous said...

I am so gonna aput my dish drainer in the dish washer. I have never thought of that!

Julie said...

Wow ...thanks for all the tips! I had no idea about most of these!
I am going to try the hot water trick! I love your BLOG!!! Julie

Carey-Life in the Carpool Lane said...

Wow...those are some great tips! I'm going to try the ice in the disposal and the dishwasher tips tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Great tips!

To add to your vinegar tip, there is a little cup at the bottom of your dishwasher that catches food crumbs and stuff. You should take that out and wash it every now and then.

After I'm done squeezing a lemon into my tea or water, I throw the rind down the garbage disposer. The citrus cleans and freshens the blades. (Plus it's safe for your septic.)

Which reminds me, I can't believe your landlord didn't tell you that you had septic! There's stuff you can't use (like bleach!) when you have septic. Oh what a mess.

American Homemaker said...

We used to do the lemon one in the garbage disposal too. I forgot about that one. I don't have a garbage disposal in this house :(

Angela said...

Angie! Wow... I LOVE your blog!! Thanks for finding me and leaving a comment so I could find you. You are A MAY ZING!! Love these household tips! I just went to a RS thing and learned some great tips recently, so your's added even more inspiration for me. Can't wait to link to you from The Creative Homemaker! Did you even know about me before? I didn't know about you. Our blog names are similar as well as our own first names, and we both started these blogs the same month and year! So funny... We must be kindred sisters!! Looks like we have a lot in common. That's the beauty of blogging. LOVE it! Great to meet you from one "ANG" to another!