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10 ways to keep your kitchen spic and span

Tanya Munshi
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September 07, 2006

Lovely living rooms, dingy kitchens -- that's pretty much the story at most homes these days. Here's how you can turn those greasy kitchens into culinary havens, with 10 easy tips.

Tip 1: Say no to grease

Clean up spills to avoid build up of grout on exhaust fans, chimneys, lampshades and kitchen walls. "Sprinkle baking soda on oily or greasy surfaces, allow it to soak up the mess and, after an hour, clean up thoroughly with a cloth," says 26-year old Anuj Gemawat, a hotelier from Bangalore.

Tip 2: Say goodbye to utensil burns

Burnt your kadai or pan? Pour half a cup of warm water mixed with a dishwashing solution. Allow it to cool and your stubborn stain will vanish. While cooking, keep the chimney / kitchen window open and let the exhaust fan let out the fumes.

Tip 3: Want a spic 'n' span dustbin?

Wash it once a week with a disinfectant and washing powder. Use disposable garbage bags if possible, which must be tied up at night to prevent roaches, lizards or mice from exploring them. Garbage must be cleared once or twice a day if possible, depending upon the waste accumulated.

Tip 4: Clean kitchen napkins

Soak napkins in hot water daily and then wash. Soiled napkins kept for long attract bacteria. As far as possible, avoid using a sponge in a kitchen; use tissue rolls or cloth wipes instead.

Tip 5: Slabs and sinks

Once a day, pour hot water through the sink drain to remove odours and kill germs, or drop three to four tablespoons of baking soda down the sink, followed by hot water. Pouring a cup of vinegar or lemon juice does wonders in cleaning your sink's drainage. Clean kitchen slabs with baking soda or squeeze a slice of lemon to remove stains. But wash it off quickly as these liquids are acidic in nature. For marble tops, clean up any spills or juices immediately, as marble is highly prone to stains. Rub borax powder with a moist cloth to clean. For granite tops, use a mixture of dishwashing solution and warm water. For ceramic or tiled tops, use an old toothbrush and diluted laundry bleach with water. Borax powder can be purchased from any departmental or hardware store.

Tips 6: Cleaning utensils

Add a little vinegar in warm water and use this to rinse them post washing. Or make a concoction of one-fourth cup of vinegar in warm soap water. Dab half a lemon in baking soda and rub it on utensils to get rid of stains.

Tip 7: Floors and windows

Mix half a cup of white vinegar and half a litre of water to clean the floors of your kitchen. Don't forget kitchen windowpanes, which also tend to get greasy. Use 50:50 white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and scrub with old newspapers for sparkling clean windows. Good products include Kiwi Kleen Glass � Anti Dust, Glass and Household Cleaner, priced at Rs 40 for 500 ml and Easy-Off Bang � Multipurpose Surface Cleaner, priced at Rs 65 for 400 ml.

Tip 8: Cleaning electrical equipment

First unplug your electrical equipment -- mixer, food processor, micro-oven, etc. Take away loose particles using a dry cloth. Then take a mild detergent or sanitizer in a sponge to clean the insides of the equipment. Avoid using lots of water, as this is electrical equipment.

Tip 9: Spring-cleaning and food storage

Once a month, clean your entire kitchen. If you're living in humid cities like Mumbai or Kochi, chances of insects infesting foodstuff such as pulses are higher. After you open a pack of chana dal, rawa or poha and the like, make sure you close the packet with a rubber band and put it in the fridge. This will ensure longer shelf life and prevent insects from creating havoc in your food cabinets.

Tip 10: Pest control

These include roaches, lizards, silver fish, ants, termites, bed bugs, and even pigeons (the list varies according to climate, season, geography, etc). Giridhar Pai, Vice President (Services) of Pest Control (India) Private Limited says, "Due to presence of soil around a bungalow, additional pests such as rats, geckos and other garden pests are more likely to make an appearance. However, it has to be remembered that most pests can fly, crawl or climb, and can access an apartment at any height. Get an Annual Maintenance Contract for your house that guarantees a minimum of three services during the contract period."

Pest Control (India) for instance, offers the Household Pest Management package, which can be completed in less than an hour, in an average sized flat (800 - 1,200 square feet in Mumbai city) and costs approximately Rs 2,000-2,500. It includes three scheduled services for a year and additional services if pests are detected between the later two services.

Other home remedies

Use an insect repellent once a week in the kitchen, especially at night before going to bed. Ensure all food products are kept away from the spray though. Leaking taps should be repaired to deny pests' access to water, as damp areas lead to mould, which attracts pests. Finally, cracks and crevices should be sealed off.

Do you use any home remedies to keep your home spic 'n' span? Share your tips




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Number of User Comments: 12




Sub: Kitchen Walls

I stay in a rented flat. My stove faces the wall. the window is on my right. Whenever any tadka is Given the walls turn ...


Posted by yogini





Sub: good tips

hi there! tips mentioned in this article are very good and useful for kitchen cleaniness. i would use them in the future. please let me ...


Posted by Deepali





Sub: good suggestions

I think these suggestions are very valuable & must be put in practice as soon as possible. Thanks


Posted by Monika Mahajan





Sub: How to keep white marble floors clean

Hi, my house has white marble flooring and is a new one. But i want to know how to preserve the color ofthe marble which ...


Posted by Aparna





Sub: Cleaning of Kitchen and Walls

I am very much happy in reading the message and I will try to do as possible as I can. I have a small house ...


Posted by SUMIT DAS




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