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Real Simple: Speed-cleaning strategies

Got stuff to clean around the house? Here are some quick tips for everything from crusty pans to iron residue.
/ Source: Weekend Today

From the experts at Real Simple magazine:

Problem: Tarnished silver.

Solution: Chalk. Tie a few moisture-absorbing pieces in cheesecloth and store them with your cutlery. This will get you shiny flatware in no time--no polishing involved.

Problem: Dirty dishwasher.

Solution: Kool-Aid. Lime deposits and iron stains stick to the inside of your dishwasher, but you don't always think of cleaning it. Simply pour a packet or lemonade Kool-Aid (the only flavor that works) into the detergent cup and run the washer while empty. The citric acid in the mix wipes out stains, so you don't have to.

Problem: Bacteria-infested zones.

solution: Quick wipe. If you only have a couple of minutes, attack bacteria-friendly spots first. Wipe down the refrigerator handle, and other knobs in your kitchen.

problem: Crusty pans.

Solution: Baking soda. Sprinkle soda on crusted casseroles and roasting pans and let sit for five minutes. Lightly scrub and rinse. But remember, wait until the pans cool before putting any water in there, if you plunge a hot pan into cold water, it may warp.

Problem: Dirty, or clogged sink.

Solution: First, rinse it with very hot water. Then use a nonabrasive all-purpose cleaner to avoid scratching, gently rub with a damp sponge. If the sink is clogged, pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, then slowly pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar after it. Let sit for five minutes (covered, if possible), follow with a gallon of boiling water. The combination will clear the pipes, and the baking soda will reduce any odors leftover from holiday cooking.

Problem: Stainless steel appliances.

Solution: WD-40 and olive oil. You can't use many of your cleaning standbys with stainless steel--ammonia, bleach, and vinegar can dull and even corrode it. Olive oil and WD-40, however, do double-duty as shining agents for stainless steel.

Problem: Sticky residue on iron.

Solution: Salt. Run the hot iron (no steam) over plain paper sprinkled with salt.

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