I read an article yesterday about cleaning the grates or burners on your stove by putting 1/4 cup of ammonia in a large plastic bag along with the grate or burner and letting it sit overnight to get rid of the crud on the grate. The article I read said to leave it outside on a cookie sheet because of the fumes are so strong.  One grate or burner per bag. The idea isn’t for it to soak but for the fumes to dissolve all the grease and hardened oil. I have a gas stovetop that has burners that were covered in gunk from the day we bought the house.  I have tried everything! Nothing got this stuff off.  I even looked at replacing the grates, but at $200, it just didn’t make sense.  I thought I had to live with these disgusting things until I finally forked up the moolah to purchase a new stovetop. Guess what? This little gem worked like a charm.

Which reminded me. I have a few other household cleaning products I do around the house that I thought I would share with you.

My favorite is something a carpet cleaner shared with me years ago.  He said if you purchase those spot removers at the store they do nothing but trap the dirt and make it worse. You know what, he was right.  I looked at the areas where I had put spot treatment and they were the filthiest areas.  I was making the problem worse instead of better.  He told me to use two tablespoons of powdered dishwashing detergent in a spray bottle with VERY HOT water to dissolve the stuff.  I use this all the time.  I just make up a fresh batch whenever I need it (because the stuff really works best with the hot water and the spray bottles always get clogged if I leave it).  It works great on carpet and upholstery.  I use it on my car mats too.  Try it!

Second tip is about three or four times a year I take a cup filled with vinegar and sit it on the bottom of my empty dishwasher.  It cleans the inside of the dishwasher and gets rid of any soap build-up you have in your dishwasher.  This tip came via a dishwasher repairman who told me my problem was I was using too much soap and it was leaving a coating on my plastic tumblers and storage containers.  He told me to start using the pre-measured tablets so that I wouldn’t overuse, and to clean it with vinegar three to four times a year.  You know what? It works! Why would I share these tips with you otherwise?

You can also put vinegar in an empty washing machine and do the same thing.  Gets rid of the gunk and grit.

Hate those pesky price stickers that won’t come off? Try a blow dryer first to heat it up and loosen the sticker.  Then if there is anything remaining just spray a little windex to soak the rest of it off.

Once I was at my brother’s house when he was single and my son and I took turns throwing a rag to his ceiling fan and watching all the filth fall down.  And he wasn’t even embarrassed! Best way to clean a ceiling fan without having a bunch of dust bunnies fall in your face is to take a pillowcase over the blade and wipe off the blade. Then all the dust stays inside the pillowcase.  I’m a genius, right?

Finally, let me just hit on the beauty of the bounce fabric sheets. I use them in drawers, cabinets, pantry, closets, and the bottom of my trash cans (under the liner) to keep them smelling fresh.  Try sticking one in your luggage after a trip.  Stick one under your car seat and in the trunk as an air freshener.  Stick them inside of smelly shoes and in the bottom of your clothes hamper.  Don’t tell Matthew, but I run one across my little granddog when I babysit him so he doesn’t smell.

Do you have any great household cleaning tips? Please share with me in the comment section! Happy Cleaning!