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Monday, September 1, 2008

Yes You Can...Clean That

Ah, a 3-day weekend. Nothing like getting caught up on sleep, crafts and cleaning. These are the weekends that I set aside for tackling the truly horrible cleaning projects: the dishwasher and the washing machine.

Everyone knows that a fridge should be purged and scrubbed at least once a year (more often if you tend to use the fridge for science projects). But what about the more humble appliances, focused on cleaning and sanitizing our dishes and clothes? Yes, you can - and should - clean these appliances.

Here's how.

Dishwasher
Pour one package of lemonade Kool-Aid into the detergent cup and run the dishwasher while empty. Seriously. The citric acid wipes out stains and kills odors.

Washing Machine
Run hot water in an empty washing machine adjusted to the highest water level and for heavily soiled clothes. When the water is full and the washer begins agitating, add 3 cups of distilled white vinegar (or 2 cups of lemon juice) and 1/2 cup of baking soda to the water. Allow the washine to run through a normal short cycle. When the last of the water drains, wipe down the inner tub to remove any residue loosened by the cleansing process. To completely remove all remaining residue, run the empty machine with a complete cold water cycle. This should remove any lingering soap scum or mineral deposits in the washing machine drum and hoses. Once the inside of the washing machine is clean, go over the external parts. If you use the dispensers for fabric softener and bleach, remove and clean. You may have to soak the fabric softener dispenser to rid of the residue build-up. Don't forget to wipe the top rim of the inner tub - it's not easy to see, but it gets pretty gross.

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