Phew! Have you ever burned popcorn in your microwave and wondered how to get rid of the smell? Try mixing ½ cup of lemon juice and 1 cup of water in a bowl. Cook in the microwave for 5 minutes. The fresh lemon smell will go up and out of the vents, cleaning them, since that is where the odor is residing. If the smell isn’t completely gone try adding more lemon juice and boiling it again!
If you have cloudy glasses after they come out of the dishwasher it could either be from hard water filming or etching. To identify the cause try soaking the glassware in undiluted white vinegar for about 5 minutes. If the film is gone, the cloudiness is from hard water. If it is not removed, the glasses are etched.
Etching is a permanent pitting or eroding of the actual glass surface. It usually appears as shades of blue, purple, brown or pink when the glass is held at an angle toward the light. As the etching becomes more advanced it starts to appear cloudy or can even look frosted. Unfortunately there is no way to restore glasses that are etched.
Here are some tips to help avoid etching on your glasses.
- If all of the food is removed from the dishes prior to loading them in the dishwasher it increases the alkaline concentration of the dishwasher detergent and it increases the possibility of etching.
- Adjust the amount of detergent according to the level of water hardness. If you have soft water less detergent is needed.
- Having the water temperature too high can also be a problem. Water entering the dishwasher should be between 120° F – 140° F.
If the vinegar removed the cloudiness here are some steps to keep it from returning.
- Use the correct amount of detergent for the level of hardness in your water. If you have extremely hard water it is very hard to get acceptable dishwashing results.
- If the water temperature is too cool it can also cause a film. Try running the hot water in your sink before starting the dishwasher. That will clear the cold water from the line. This is especially important when using a shorter wash cycle.
- The use of a rinse aid improves the sheeting action of the water, allowing it to slide off the dishes more easily and not leave water spots.
Use these tips to keep your glasses looking new!
Crayon stain on your child’s clothing? This is a dye stain so you will spray or sponge the stain with a dry-cleaning solvent (Goof Off or Goo Gone) then rub with heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent before washing.
Did a crayon accidently end up inside a dryer load of clothes? First place the amount of detergent you would use for that size load.
1 cup water conditioner (Spring Rain, Calgon or Rain Drops) and 1 cup baking soda.
Fill up washer with clothes and water, agitate for 5 minutes. Allow the load to soak for a bit before you finish washing. Check before putting in dryer. You may still have to try a dry cleaning fluid on remaining spots.
Need to clean the dryer?
Unplug or shut off the gas. Use a non-abrasive, non-flammable cleanser (Soft-Scrub) and clean. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Then tumble a load of old rags or towels on regular cycle to remove rest of stain.
Hope that this helps the next time you find yourself with this problem.
Sometimes, even in this day of Google searching and networking, it is hard to find the answer to a question. I’ve listed hotline numbers for Iowa and Minnesota that may be helpful. Remember that AnswerLine is only a phone call away if you don’t see a resource for the question that you have.
|Hotlines available for all|
|Iowa Concern (800-447-1985)
||Teen Line (800-443-8336)
|Farm On (877-BFC-1999)
||BETS OFF (800-BETS-OFF) (800-238-7633)
|Hotlines available to Iowa Residents Only|
||Iowa Healthy Families (800-369-2229)
|Hortline (515) 294-3108
The MN Bed Bug Hotline 612-624-2200 or 1-855-644-2200
The bed bug hotline at the University of Minnesota can:
Provide information on bed bugs
Suggest ways to reduce the number of bed bugs in your home
Provide advice on selecting a Structural Pest Control Company
Recommend steps you can use to avoid bed bugs in your everyday
life and while traveling.
Search: Lets Beat the Bug @letsbeatthebug
Minnesota Farm Information Line 800-232-9077
Minnesota agriculture and small acreage farm questions
Referrals made to local Extension Agriculture Personnel when available
Will answer some horticulture questions
Available: 8:30-1:30 Monday through Friday
Water Resources Center 800-322-8642
General water information and research information about water quality, shorelines, drinking water, and sewage and septic system questions.
Cleaning Electronic Screens
I am amazed at the number of electronic screens in my household. Between the computer screens, television screens, I Pad screens, and I Phone screens, I seem to have a great many finger prints to remove on a regular basis! Here are a few simple steps to keep in mind when cleaning electronic screens:
- Use a microfiber cloth or soft, lint-free cloth that has been slightly moistened with plain water. Never use paper towels, as they can scratch the surface of the screen. Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints.
- For glass CRT (television-style) monitors, use an ordinary household glass-cleaning solution and a soft, lint-free cloth or microfiber cloth. Never spray the cleaner directly onto the screen. Instead, spray the cloth, then use on the screen.
- Do not use alcohol or ammonia-based cleaners on the monitor unless the manufacturer recommends differently. They can possibly damage the anti-glare coatings. Follow the same instructions on television screens.
The holidays are right around the corner – a time we want to dress up our tables for special dinners. With this comes the possibility of staining our holiday tablecloths. Please read below to discover ways of removing certain types of stains from these special coverings.
For all stains, it is important to:
- Check laundry for stains before washing. Many stains need pretreatment.
- Take care of stains promptly. Fresh stains are much easier to remove than those over 24 hours old.
- Blot up any excess liquid with a clean white cloth or paper towel.
- Inspect wet laundry before drying to be sure a stain has been removed. If a stain is still evident, do not dryer dry. The heat of drying makes the stain more permanent.
For Cranberry, Apple, Grape, and Orange Stains as well as Wine Stains (also referred to as Tannin Stains):
- Do NOT use natural soap (usually in bar form). Wash in hot water with detergent (Wisk, Era, Tide). Fresh stains are usually removed by laundering the fabric using detergent in hot water (f safe for the fabric), without any special treatment.
- Old tannin stains may need bleaching for more complete removal.
For Candle Wax and Gravy, Use a two step treatment:
- Remove the oil/waxy portion of the stain, then
- Remove the dye portion using bleach (f safe for the fabric).
- Spray or sponge with a dry-cleaning solvent or tret with a stain stick. Then rub with heavy duty liquid detergent and scrub in hot water.
- Soak in an all-fabric bleach diluted according to package directions. Use liquid chlorine bleach for tough dye stains on fabrics that are color fast to bleach. Wash in as hot of water allowable for fabric using detergent.
Are your aluminum pans discolored?Discoloration that appears on aluminum utensils can be removed by boiling a solution of two to three tablespoons of cream of tartar, lemon juice or vinegar to each quart of water in the utensil for 5 to 10 minutes. Next, lightly scour with a soap-filled scouring pad. Cooking acid foods such as tomatoes or rhubarb will remove the stains naturally without affecting the cooked food product. To remove stains from the aluminum exterior, use a non-abrasive cleanser.
If you are thinking about replacing your iron because it just doesn’t steam like it used to, consider cleaning it. It really isn’t very hard or time consuming to clean a steam iron.
Place the iron on a rack on top of a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet on a cutting board or potholders to protect your kitchen countertop from the heat. Fill the water compartment and then put the iron face down (on the sole plate) on the rack. In just a few minutes, water will begin to drip from the holes. Let the water drip until the compartment is empty.
Next refill the water compartment and put the iron back on the rack. Set the iron for the hottest ironing temperature and again set it on the sole plate. Allow the iron to spit and steam until the compartment is empty again. You will be surprised to see the amount of lint and minerals that came out of the iron. I was surprised at the amount of mineral particles of left on the cookie sheet.
If the sole plate of the iron needs cleaning, use baking soda as a scouring power. That will remove any marks or debris without scratching the non stick surface that is on many irons today. Be sure not to accidentally fill the newly clean holes in the bottom of the iron with baking soda.
Do not use steam iron cleaners or other fluids like vinegar as such solutions may damage the iron interior.
Baking soda can clean tarnish from silver by using a chemical reaction. To clean your silver, add a tablespoon of soda to a pan of boiling water with aluminum foil in the bottom. Dip the silver into the water, (DO NOT LET IT SOAK) and move it back and forth until you see the tarnish leave. It even works on silver with a design on it like in the picture. DO NOT use this on silver with soldered handles. Wipe dry after removing it from the pan and enjoy your beautifully cleaned silver!