Make a paste of baking soda and water (although they’re both “chemicals” — sodium bicarbonate and good ol’ H20) and let it sit for a good hour or so on the baked-on stuff. Give it a good scrubbing with a medium-stiff bristled scrub brush or a plastic scraper (make sure you’re not damaging the finish of your oven’s interior), and then wipe out all of the crud with a damp rag or sponge. You can also use vinegar (acetic acid) to wipe down any surfaces that interact with food.
To prevent future spills, try putting a baking sheet under whatever you’re cooking so that spills are easily contained. Don’t be tempted to line your oven floor with foil, since this can interfere with even heating and cause scorching and burns.
Make a paste of Bar Keepers Friend powder, and let them sit a while, then scrub with a medium stiff-bristled brush. Don’t bother with Pinterest’s “miracle cure” of baking soda and peroxide; it’s pretty ineffective for baked-on crud.
Hot water in a bucket, a rag or three, a glug of vinegar in the water, and elbow grease and patience. If anything’s really stuck, use a scrub brush, but very hot water on a rag should loosen up the sticky stuff enough to start being able to wipe away. Once it’s clean, give it a wipedown with vinegar to kill any smell, and then another with more water.
Most dishwashers have a filter or two. Google the manual for your make and see where it’s located. Chances are, it’ll be full of food crud. Also:
Run your tap water as hot as you can get it, or heat some water up, but not to the point of boiling. Fill a decent-sized bowl. Wear some gloves. Using a rag or sponge, and repeatedly dipping it into the bowl of hot water, wipe up the residue. If needed, let the rag or sponge sit on part of the stain until it cools (which doesn’t take very long, hence the repeated dipping), which should loosen it up a bit. Once you’ve loosened and wiped up the bulk of the mess, wipe it down with some diluted vinegar (food-safe!) to de-stickify it, then give one more wipe with a clean sponge or cloth.
Pick a kitchen counter. Clear off anything that doesn’t belong on it. Wash any dishes, throw away trash, and put things back in their correct homes. Wipe down the counter and any appliances or items that stay on it full-time.
I’m going to be honest here: I haven’t cleaned out my fridge in over a year. The reason why? I made a huge pot of soup that I forgot about and didn’t want to have to clean the pot out after it had turned moldy.
I realized that it a clean fridge is worth more than one pot so I decided to just throw the damn thing out and clean the fridge. It’s wasteful, yes, but it’ll make me think twice before doing that again.
But you’ll be proud of me, Team UfHY! I even took out all the shelves and sanitized them and used vinegar to get all the gross out. We had so many half-empty juice cartons and take-out boxes. *shudder* I had a full kitchen trash bag full of dead food when it was all said and done. Now I have room for food that I’ll actually eat within a reasonable time span!
I also vacuumed up all the cobwebs that I’d been ignoring all winter.
This weekend I unfucked my house!
Yesterday over the course of two 20/10s I did 2 loads of laundry, swept my kitchen floor, did dishes, tidied up my living room, and turned my kitchen and living room into neat and clean spaces! My boyfriend even hung up some art on our kitchen wall (which sucks because they are plaster and require drilling and screw anchors) and finally finishing his parking-meter-lamp project. :D
Living room before: worse than it looks, as there are dishes hiding out of sight and LOTS of dust. Notice the parking meter on the table to the right… unfinished lamp of sadness
Living room after: everything has been dusted and the meter now is a real lamp!
Kitchen before: again, there is grime that doesn’t show. The tablecloth was FILTHY omg.
Then today, I folded my laundry and ACTUALLY PUT IT AWAY, which prompted me to tackle my hidden corner— the couch in the bedroom I share with my boyfriend. Instead of being a couch, it is 99.9999% of the time a massive pile of clothes that I am too lazy to hang up in the closet. Oops, my bad.
It took me close to 30 minutes to do this one, but I feel so much better about walking into the bedroom now!
After: the bag and jacket belong to my boyfriend :)
I don’t have a before pic, but our dressers were both covered in a horrific amount of dust and clutter. My boyfriend did a 20/10 of his own and cleaned them off. Voila!
Use vertical storage if you can. Get some stackable shelves you can use in there to double or triple your usable surface area, and maybe designate the worst of the two cabinets for stuff you rarely use and reclaim another area for your pans and such.