Pin Happy Girl

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Oven Window Cleaner – Works When Nothing Else Will!

Well, now that my oven racks are clean and the inside of my oven is clean, it’s time to do something about that oven window. I mean the thing is practically worthless now because it is so dirty from years of cooking. My door might as well be solid.

I’ve tried detergents and scrubbing with gentle scratchy pads, but that hasn’t worked.

Pinterest offers a number of solutions, but this pin seems to be the most popular.

ovenwindowpin

It comes from the One Butt Kitchen blog. (Don’t ask me about the name; I have no idea!)

Here’s what I was up against.

ovenwindowmess

I took this picture immediately after I cleaned my oven, which was also supposed to clean my oven window. Obviously that did not work, and it needs some major help. Yuck!!

The instructions are to mix a quarter cup of baking soda with enough water to make a paste and then smear it on the window.

ovenwindowpaste

Simple enough. I waited the 20 minutes, as instructed and rinsed off a small section with warm water and a sponge, as instructed. But it looked exactly like it did before I started, so I scrubbed it with a gentle plastic scrubber sponge and tried again. No good.

I rinsed it all off, and I thought I was doomed, until my husband gave me a fantastic idea. He found a tool that we’ve used for scraping paint from windows and suggested I use it.

It was a miracle. All of the grime came off easily and in a matter of minutes.

Here is the final result.

ovenwindowclean

The tool in the picture is what we used. As you can see, it’s seen better days at our house. The tool is called a safety scraper, and you can buy the one below for $3 at Home Depot.

razorscraper

My oven is finally looking good from top to bottom! What to tackle next? Any ideas?

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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Clean Your Oven – Easy and with No Harsh Chemicals

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I have some newly clean oven racks. But, my oven itself is a mess. I needed a way to clean it while staying true to my credo of not using harsh chemicals in my home. This pin held hope.

cleanovenpin

This pin comes from instructables.com.

Could this really work for my oven? My son’s favorite food is pizza. (He makes a mean homemade pizza.) But pizzas drip and cause a mess in the oven.

ovencleanbef1

That’s a nasty before shot of my oven bottom with all the pizza droppings. Here’s the door.

ovencleanbef2

First I gently scraped the bottom of the oven with a metal spatula. I used a paper towel to gather the scraped off pieces of charred food.

Next, I put about a cup of baking soda on the bottom and door of my oven per the instructions, and then sprayed vinegar from a squirt bottle onto the baking soda. I attempted to mix the baking soda and vinegar on the bottom of the oven as best I could and take some of that mixture and smear it onto the sides.

Hindsight is 20/20, but I think it would have been easier to use the second option given and mix the ingredients together outside the oven and then apply it as a paste.

I let it sit for 20 minutes.

ovencleandur

After sitting, I scrubbed with a Brillo steel wool pad in a circular motion (except, of course, for the window!). My oven looks pretty good.

ovencleanbefaft

Some baked on grime still existed, but the majority was gone.

The one thing that didn’t come clean was the oven window. Yuck! Now I know what I’m working on next week!

ovenwindowmess

Do you have cleaning jobs planned this week?

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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Time to Clean My Nasty Oven Racks

My entire oven is in serious need of cleaning. But I don’t like to use harsh cleaners, and last time we used our oven’s self-cleaning setting, we had to replace the heating element. So, I turned to Pinterest for help.

I found this pin to get me started:

ovenrackpin

It’s from the One Good Thing by Jillee Blog (an excellent blog!).

Here are the instructions:

Buy a box of dryer sheets at the dollar store, put the oven racks in the bathtub, throw in about 6 or 8 dryer sheets, and cover them with hot water. For good measure, pour in about half a cup of Dawn dishwashing liquid as well. Let it all soak for about 18 hours. Then with the racks still in the tub scrub them with the dryer sheets. For the extra tough stuff, use a scrub brush.

My oven racks were bad. I mean really bad. My son makes lots of pizzas, and they tend to drip over the side. Here’s a before picture:

ovenrackbef1

Here’s another:

ovenrackbef2

Nasty, huh? To make it a little more palatable, here is a picture of my adorable assistant oven rack inspectors – my Scottish fold kittens Masie and Finn.

ovenrackmas

ovenrackfinn

I placed the oven racks in my bathtub with six Bounce dryer sheets and a half cup of Dawn dishwashing liquid and let them sit overnight. I had to get a shower, so I had to take them out after twelve hours of soaking.

I scrubbed them with the dryer sheets, and a fair amount of the grime came off. To finish the job, I used SOS steel wool pads. This photo of the water after the cleaning shows how much dirt came off. Yuck!

ovenrackyuck

The cleaning didn’t get off all of the dirt, but my racks are eleven years old. I can’t imagine that it’s possible to completely clean racks that old. The cleaning was effective though. Check out the after:

ovenrackafter1

Not perfect, but remember how black in was in the before picture? Take a look at the entire length still glistening wet:

ovenrackafter2

I had almost forgotten it was silver! Not half bad for eleven years old.

Now for the oven! Any ideas for cleaning it without using harsh chemicals?

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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Product Review: Auto-Off Surge Protector

surgepropin

Living in a home with a husband, teen son, and preteen daughter, you know I have a house full of electronics – TVs, computers, laptops, video game systems, cell phones… I could go on. All of these really suck up the electricity.

I hate to waste electricity. But that’s exactly what happens when TV, DVD players and video game systems are left plugged in all the time. The technical term is standby power, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimates that in the U.S. standby power wastes at least $4 billion every year. Due to the increase in electronic devices, the amount of wasted power is still growing.

Manufacturers are starting to use technology to solve this problem, but until then, there’s a way to reduce the energy we use and save money on our electric bills: Auto-Off Surge Protectors.

One we use and love is the Belkin Conserve Smart AV.  We plug our TV in the master plug and then the DVD player and video gaming systems go in the master controlled plugs. When the TV is turned off, all of the electronics turn off and stop eating up electricity. It also has plugs that aren’t controlled by the TV in case you have a cable box, lamp or other appliance that you don’t want to turn off with the TV.

So, family, bring on your electronics! I’ll save the earth and money, too, with my Auto-Off Surge Protector.

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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Makeup Brush Cleaner – Easy and Works Great!

It’s that time of year when everyone is thinking of cleaning and organizing. So I caught the bug and started looking around my house for where dirt and germs were lurking.

It didn’t take long to find some on my makeup brushes. Embarrassingly, I can’t remember the last time I cleaned them. This pin came to my rescue:

makeupbrushespin

This comes from the Daily Quirk blog.

Here are the instructions:

  • Mix 1 cup of warm water, 1 tablespoon of liquid dish detergent and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in a cup.
  • Dip the brushes in one by one and give them a good swirl around the cup.
  • Rinse them under lukewarm tap water, reshape and lay flat to dry on a rag overnight.

Here are the wonderfully inexpensive ingredients and my nasty brushes:

makeupsolutioningred

Here’s what the ingredients looked like mixed in a glass jar. I used warm water instead of lukewarm because I didn’t read the instructions carefully. (Don’t worry, it worked marvelously!)

makeupsolutionbefore

That’s the before. Here’s the after:

makeupsolutionafter

Yuck! You can see all the makeup that the cleaner removed. It was simple, too. I just swished each brush around for a minute or so and rinsed. Here are the brushes after cleaning and drying overnight.

makeupbrushes

Don’t they look great? No vinegar smell was left, either.

So, ladies, pull out those dirty brushes and get cleaning! Or, you gentlemen, clean your wife’s brushes as a wonderful surprise.

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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Product Review: Vinegar

vinegarpin

I was having a terrible time finding a mop that didn’t break within six months of buying it. Though I had my theory that it was mostly caused by everything being made in China where they now care as much about making quality, lasting products as my kids care about getting their clothes in the hamper, putting their dishes in the dishwasher, cleaning their room, saying thank you for my years of unselfishly caring for them (I could go on but we’d be here all night), but I thought maybe I was just not buying the right brand.

So I asked my friend who cleans houses for a living. She told me that she doesn’t use a mop. She takes vinegar, water, and a rag and uses them to clean the floors by hand. It leaves the floors sparkling clean without harsh chemicals, she said. I tried it at home, and it made my floors glisten with cleanliness.

That incident started my love affair with vinegar.

Another one of my favorite uses is as an inexpensive, harsh-herbicide-free weed killer. Do a search on Pinterest for vinegar and you will find vinegar used in insect repellent, science experiments, soil testing, home remedies, all sorts of homemade cleaners, a trillion recipes, to remove stickers (again, I could go on but we’d be here all night).

Best of all, it’s in ketchup, and as my children will tell you, there isn’t much that doesn’t taste better with ketchup.

What’s your favorite use for vinegar?

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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Can My Faucets Sparkle Again?

I was worried that the best days of my faucets were long past. I had used products to remove hard water deposits around them before, but with only had limited success. Plus, when you read the warnings on the side of the bottles, you feel you should get out your respirator and hazmat suit.

When I saw this pin, I was hopeful that my faucets could be redeemed, and maybe without dying of chemical exposure.

Hard water deposit remover pin. From the DIY Confessions blog.

Here’s what I was up against. My kitchen faucet:

My bathroom faucet:

I mixed the solution. The link in the pin doesn’t give you the exact amount of vinegar to use, but I found an old spray bottle (reduce, reuse, recycle!) and filled it about to where it was shown in the picture. That took about two cups of vinegar. I added the lemon juice.

The instructions say to fill it the rest of the way up with dish soap, but that seemed excessive, so I added about a half a cup. Boy was I glad because the next step was to shake it, and when I did, I got only about ten good shakes before I could tell that the inside was filled with bubbles.

The good news was everything went through a funnel well, and I didn’t even make a mess.

Then I sprayed it on. I let it sit the thirty minutes with mixed results. The faucets with less deposit did pretty well.

The faucet in the kitchen with the most mess was nowhere near done. So, to it, I added the baking soda it advised. It made a nice little shower of foam.

But still it wasn’t near done.

But it was getting better and I was going to make this work. I sprayed, let it sit and then used a soft scrub brush to rub at the deposits while I rinsed. After five rounds, it looked better but there was still some remaining crud. So—and I’m not proud of this—I scraped the last bits off with my fingernail. (Won’t be doing any fancy nail pins anytime soon!) It’s the only thing I could think of that might work without damaging the surface. And, it did!

So, not a miracle first shot cure-all for hard water deposit stains, but it did work with patience and persistence (and a little fingernail grease).

I will try to maintain it this way by using the mixture more frequently. I imagine that will make it easier (and save my nails!). I’ll keep you updated on how it goes.

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

 Would you like to stay up-to-date on all my latest posts? Follow me on Facebook or click “follow my blog via email.”

 

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