Microwaves are often well-worn. Spills and splatters dot their ceilings; splattered food stuffs line their walls.
To clean your microwave, you can use the harsh chemicals on sale at supermarkets and hardware stores, or you can apply an all-natural approach which yields the same results, with only slightly more preparation time.
The extra time may be worth it, too, considering that the chemicals of an over-the-counter cleaner may seep into your foods over time.
To keep your microwave fresh and clean, using organic materials only, here’s what to do :
- Unplug your microwave from the wall for safety.
- Gather a microwave safe bowl; 1 1/4 cups of water; a lemon; baking soda; white vinegar; and cleaning cloths.
- Slice the lemon and place the slices into your bowl. Add the water.
- Heat the bowl in the microwave for 7 minutes. Leave the microwave door closed for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove the bowl (CAUTION : Bowl will be hot).
- Remove the microwave’s glass cooking surface and wheel system. Hand wash and set aside to dry.
- Dip a clean cloth in the lemon water mixture.
- Wipe down the microwave’s exterior and interior surfaces, remoistening the cloth as required.
- Moisten a clean cloth with vinegar. Wipe down the microwave door’s interior surface.
- Replace glass and wheel system, and plug the microwave back in to the wall.
If you find lingering stains in your microwave, mix baking soda with water to form a thick paste. Dip a corner of your cleaning cloth into the paste and apply it to the stain directly, gently rubbing in a circular motion until the stain is gone.
Microwaves should be cleaned at least once weekly for optimal performance.
Germ studies show that a kitchen cutting board carries up to 200 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.
This is because homeowners clean their bathrooms with fervor, while only “rinsing” down parts of their kitchens.
In failing to disinfect cutting boards (among other kitchen mainstays), homeowners in Mason and everywhere else leave untouched a prime bacteria breeding ground, and may be getting sick as a result.
According to the CDC, 48 million Americans get sick from food-borne bacteria each year.
If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your kitchen cutting board, here are some tips on how to do it properly.
Homeowners with plastic cutting boards will have an easier go that homeowners with wooden cutting boards. If your cutting board is plastic, just place it in the dishwasher with dishwasher detergent. If your dishwasher has a “sanitize” feature, be sure to select it.
If your cutting board is made of wood, or another material that may crack and/or splinter in a dishwasher, follow these steps instead :
- Prepare a solution of natural dish soap and hot water.
- Without submerging the cutting board, scrub it with the solution.
- Towel dry the board and allow it to air-dry until completely dry.
- Apply a thin layer of undistilled white vinegar to the board surface either by spray can or paper towel.
- Allow the vinegar to sit for 30 minutes, then wipe clean.
For preventative care, you should also consider using separate cutting boards for meats and for fruits and vegetables. This can prevent cross-contamination. In addition, purchase a food-grade mineral oil and apply it to your wooden cutting boards regularly.
The kitchen is among the “germiest” places in your home. With extra attention, though, you can help keep it as bacteria-free as possible