Saturday, August 24, 2013

Head Start on Fall Cleaning

I decided that once all of our summer fun was over I was going to tackle some serious cleaning around here. Spring isn't the best time for me to deep clean, with school ending and VBS preparations and a million other things. Fall is a little bit better, but I knew no matter what the calendar said I wanted to get started as soon as my sister left-that officially signaled the end of summer for us! I started the kids back to school on Thursday and I got elbow deep into cleaning!

I think it is really hard to know what works and what doesn't when it comes to cleaning tips and tricks, but I will freely admit that I usually try whatever looks easiest first. Living in a rental causes two problems: first, I feel like I am constantly cleaning after someone(s) else and second, I don't want to kill myself with exertion because we won't be living here forever and the next tenant probably won't care! However, I found a couple of things on Pinterest that worked like a charm.

Cleaning The Stove Vents and Filters
First, I realized that the vents above my stove (the hood is actually connected to my microwave-ugh!) were super greasy. I think whoever lived here before us was running a back-alley KFC or something- the whole kitchen was covered in a sticky orange paste of grease-gross! Baking soda is the best thing I have found to clean that-and a little elbow "grease".  But I knew that wasn't going to work for the vents. So I when I saw this pin by "One Good Thing", I knew I had to try it! She says that she actually got the instructions from a different site, but she basically duplicates it on her's. You take a 1/2 cup of baking soda, add it to boiling water and place your stove vents in the pan. Then, according to the other site, you boil them for five minutes. My vents were kind of long, so I had to turn them upside down to do the other part. And it made a HUGE mess on my stove because I overfilled my pot- I think I need a bigger one! I also had to do it twice, because I have covers for my vents, and filters, and I did both. However, I think you can see from the above pictures-it was well worth it. My vent covers and filters are the cleanest they've ever been-and I was thoroughly disgusted by the goo left in my pot!

Cleaning the Microwave
Next, I tackled my microwave. I keep it pretty clean, normally. One of my best tips is to keep a plastic microwave cover *in* the microwave! Anytime anyone goes to heat anything they have to move it, so it usually helps to remind them to use it-usually. That helps a ton, but since I was gone for  six weeks, Joel is not quite as fastidious about it as I am. I had used the vinegar and water trick before, but in case you need the instructions Jillee came to the rescue again! It literally takes no effort to get your microwave clean by "cooking" a cup of water and a cup of vinegar for 10 minutes, and then you just wipe it out! It makes me happy, and you can see from the photo above it left it pretty darn clean.

What's Next
So I hope to tackle each room in my house individually, but I haven't finished the kitchen just yet. I am planning on:

-Deep cleaning my dishwasher
-Lining the cabinet under my sink to improve it's appearance and keep it cleaner
-Cleaning my oven-ugh!
-Wiping down the insides and outsides of all my cabinets and purging them (by the way, Murphy's Oil Soap works so well for this-it cleans *and* gives a nice shine!)
-Clean the refrigerator and freezer

And on the finished list:
-Clean and reorganize the pantry
-Clean the microwave
-Clean stove hood and vents
-Clean and reorganized 1/4 of the kitchen cabinets

Hopefully it won't take until spring to get it all done... I would love if you have any tips and tricks you would like to pass on as I work on the kitchen and the rest of the house-I'm all about the easy way!;)

Linked up to:
Thrifty Thursday at Living Well, Spending Less 
Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife

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