In my opinion, dirt and grime seem to sneak up on me when I least expect it. I may be in the shower, when I look down and see the filthiest shower curtain liner I’ve ever laid eyes on. Or getting ready to heat up some leftover soup when I open the microwave and see that it looks as though a plate of spaghetti exploded.
Here are five tips for cleaning “unexpectedly dirty” things.
1. The Shower Curtain Liner
I’ve never been lucky enough to have a shower with sliding doors. All my life, I’ve had a shower curtain liner, and once I was on my own, I learned how quickly they can get slimy, grimy, full of mold and just plain gross! Even the liners that are mildew resistant will, over time, develop mold. Making sure to pull the curtain closed after you have finished showering can help keep it mold free for a while, but eventually you will either need to wash it or replace it. I always opt for washing. Simply place the shower curtain liner in your washing machine, fill the machine with hot water and add about a half cup of bleach. Wash the curtain on gentle, and then wash it a second time (without the bleach) to make sure it is completely rinsed.
2. The microwave
I hate cleaning the microwave. Hate, hate, hate it. But it needs to be done. And I’ve learned that it is better to do it at the first hint of grime, rather than waiting for it to become an unholy mess. To clean the microwave easily, simply place a cup full of hot water in the microwave, and run your microwave for 3 to 4 minutes, allowing the water to boil. The steam will loosen the grime and stuck on food, and it should easily wipe away. (If you are having a hard time wiping some of the spills, repeat the process a second time).
3. The Kitchen Sponge
There are two easy ways to disinfect your sponge. First, you can throw it in the top rack of the dishwasher, and clean it with your dishes. I do this every time I run the dishwasher, and it keeps my sponge smelling and looking great. If you don’t have a dishwasher, simply soak the sponge in water, place it on a microwavable plate and microwave for 2-3 minutes.
4. Mold in the Bathtub
I admit it – I used to have a serious mold problem around the perimeter of my shower. The caulking seem to hold water and no matter what I tried, I couldn’t keep mold from growing. We’ve since re-caulked the tub, and I don’t have the problem anymore, but I know a surefire way to fix it. Fold a sheet of paper towel in half, then in half again (making an L shape). Press the paper towel into place over the mold and soak with full strength bleach (I used a squeeze bottle, so I could really control where the bleach landed). Let sit for a few hours (or overnight), and when you remove the paper towel, the mold should be gone!
5. Spills on Hardwood Floors
My entire house (kitchen and bathroom included) has hardwood floors, and my four-year old is constantly spilling things on them. I used to use a special cleaner made especially for hardwood floors, but then I learned a secret from the man who refinished our floors – that fancy floor cleaner has the same key ingredients as Windex! So now, I simply use Windex and a microfiber cloth to clean up the (many) spills around the house.