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Fri, Oct. 18

Ask the Contractor: Spring cleaning hacks for all year long!

It is spring and time to de-clutter and sparkle. I love cleaning “hacks” and thought I would share some with you that I have tried and use regularly. I have my trusty cleaners at “ready-set-go” such as baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and club soda.

Let’s start in the kitchen.

My favorite cutting board, which my father made for me years ago, always receives a spray of 3% hydrogen peroxide after carving and slicing chicken or fish. Hydrogen peroxide bubbles away any food “junk” left after slicing and dicing. I take my handy dandy opaque spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide and spray the cutting board. I let it bubble for a few minutes, and wash and as fresh as new ready for the next meal.

Do you know why hydrogen peroxide is always in an opaque bottle? Exposure to light kills its effectiveness!

We use our refrigerator to store food items. How in the world do the shelves become littered with food items, spillage, and never seem to be squeaky clean? I use hydrogen peroxide and wipe the shelves and they always look so nice and fresh. I also take a wet rag and wipe out the dishwasher as well. Hydrogen peroxide is non-toxic so it is OK to use in the kitchen.

Sponges and dish cloths — yuck! I soak them for maybe 10 minutes or so in a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water. Rinse and they are good as new and, oh, so fresh.

The other night I managed to bake food on a pan and it seemed like no amount of soaking was going to help. I used hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda, made a paste, rubbed into the basked food crust and left it sit overnight. The next morning, using a Brillo Pad, and scrubbing lightly, the baked food slipped right off the pan. Clean and sparkling as new.

With our hard water, hydrogen peroxide also helps keep the toilet bowls clean and no water marks. Every week I pour maybe a cup of hydrogen peroxide into the toilet bowl, let it sit for 20 minutes or so, then scrub and it sparkles.

When I want my white clothes white, I pour a cup of hydrogen peroxide into the washing machine and it enhances and heightens the whiteness. I have also used hydrogen peroxide to remove stains from clothes. Pour directly on the stain, let it sit and then wash.

Cleaning my tile floors, I mix one cup of hydrogen peroxide with water, maybe a gallon or so and wash the tile floors. No rinsing needed and the floors seem to sparkle.

I am armed and ready to spray my plants with hydrogen peroxide and water — just waiting for the spring critters to show up. Not sure if that will work, but since I am a raving hydrogen peroxide devotee and aficionado, I am ready to try it. I will let you know what happens.

Along with the hydrogen peroxide, I love club soda as a cleaning hack.

Club soda works because the salts in club soda keep things from staining and the carbonation bubbles up dirt and spots so they are easier to remove.

Club soda, like hydrogen peroxide, also removes stains. Pour the club soda directly on the stain and blot. For tougher problems, soak the area in club soda for an hour or so and then blot.

Club soda works wonders when removing wine stains. Generously douse the fresh stain with club soda and gently blot (don’t rub) the stain with a clean cloth or pad of paper towels until it disappears. Club soda is slightly acidic, so be sure to flush the fabric or carpet with water once the stain is gone.

I have been pouring club soda on a few plants here in my office and it perks them up. I read that club soda contains a bunch of macronutrients that plants love such as carbon, oxygen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, and sodium and they seem to love the spray and drink of club soda.

If you have some stubborn nuts and bolts that have rusted on, and no WD-40 on hand, pour some club soda over them and soak for a few hours. For items you can’t soak, wrap a soda-dampened towel around the nuts and bolts and let it sit. The carbonation helps to bubble the rust away, loosening the bolts without requiring a lot of elbow grease on your part.

I would love to hear your cleaning hacks — let’s publish them for cleaning inspiration.

Happy spring.

Remember to tune in to YCCA’s Hammer Time twice each weekend Saturday and Sunday at 7 a.m. on KQNA 1130AM, 99.9FM, or 95.5FM — or on the web at Listen to Sandy and Mike talk about the construction industry and meet your local community partners and contractors, and so much more.

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