Food - - Spring Cleaning -

1 Mi­crofi­bre cloths pick up more dust and dirt than reg­u­lar cloths and can be a way of re­duc­ing the amount of house­hold clean­ers you use.

2 To pre­vent stain­ing of kitchen tops and bench sur­faces, con­sider coat­ing with a pro­tec­tive sealer, par­tic­u­larly if you have a soft, por­ous bench, such as mar­ble. De­pend­ing on use, th­ese coat­ings should be reap­plied ev­ery year or two. Reg­u­lar clean­ing should also be as gen­tle as pos­si­ble, us­ing your favourite mild kitchen cleaner or a mix of wa­ter and dish­wash­ing liq­uid.

3 Spring is a great time for break­fast smooth­ies, but wash­ing a blender can be a chore. In­stead, fill it up half­way with wa­ter, add a few drops of dish soap and blend on low for 10 sec­onds. Wipe down with soapy wa­ter and a sponge then rinse.

4 Scrub the burnt bot­toms of your pans by ei­ther soak­ing them in Coca-cola, or for cop­per-bot­tom pans, use tomato sauce or tomato paste (a great way to use up left­overs). Ap­ply it to the bot­tom of the pan, leave for 10 min­utes and scrub with a non-scratch sponge.

5 Get la­belling and sort­ing. La­bels are a great way to or­gan­ise your kitchen and recycle your old jars. Put all of your dry in­gre­di­ents – flour, pasta, bak­ing soda, salt etc – into jars and la­bel them. You can do the same for your spices.

6 De­clut­ter your cup­boards by us­ing a cur­tain rail to hold pot lids on the wall, or hang­ing pots and pans from the ceil­ing.

7 Freshen up the air in your kitchen with vanilla ex­tract. Put two caps-full into an oven­proof dish, then place it in your oven for an hour at 150°C. The smell will waft through your kitchen and other parts of your home for about a day.

8 Re­con­di­tion stained food stor­age con­tain­ers by putting them in the sun, which acts like nat­u­ral bleach and elim­i­nates stains. Clean them and then leave the con­tain­ers in the sun for eight hours.

9 Clean your stain­less steel ap­pli­ances with glass cleaner or, for a more nat­u­ral op­tion, flour. Sim­ply ap­ply a dust­ing of flour to a mi­crofi­bre cloth, buff the stain­less steel and then rinse off the sur­face.

10 Clean your dish­washer and oven by run­ning a cleaner through the dish­washer and us­ing a spe­cial cleaner for the oven. For a nat­u­ral op­tion, try bak­ing soda for the oven and white vine­gar for the dish­washer. You can use a so­lu­tion of vine­gar and wa­ter for the fridge, too.

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