Are you always on the lookout for new ways to streamline your busy life and make mundane tasks easier to tackle? Then you have come to the right place. Check out these useful appliance-related hacks that will help make life in the kitchen and laundry room a whole lot more bearable.
Does cleaning goopy food spills off your refrigerator shelves rate low on your list of fun things to do? Then line your shelves with plastic placemats. When a spill happens, all you need to do is remove the mats and rinse them in the sink.
Ever lose food (and then find it moldy months later) in the back depths of your fridge? No problem. By placing a small plastic turntable or lazy susan on your fridge shelf, all food is easily reachable and never in danger of getting lost again.
Unpleasant fridge odors? An open box of baking soda will keep these at bay. Replace at least every three months. Some have suggested activated carbon pellets, which apparently works better than baking soda in deodorizing all smells. That's great if you have lots of disposable income; However, baking soda is about one tenth of the cost and just as effective.
Do your condiment bottles in the refrigerator door like to tip over or fall out after opening or closing the door? Fortunately, the answer to tidying those wayward bottles is just a recycling bin away. To keep these under control use empty six-pack holders to hold and organize the condiments in the fridge door.
Often we are told not to overload things to help keep things running optimally. This applies to appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers, for example. However, your freezer is a whole different story.
It is actually recommended that you try to fit as much into your freezer as you possibly can (as long it's organized and the door shuts properly). Why? Apparently, the more you have in your freezer, the easier it is (and less energy it takes) to keep food cold, since the frozen food itself actually chills its fellow food. Even if you don't have enough stuff to fill your freezer, fill some plastic bottles or jugs with water (about 75 per cent full) and put them in the freezer to fill the space.
There are some food items that get overlooked in the freezer department. Did you know that the following foods can be frozen?
Grated cheese freezes extremely well, and it can be unbelievably convenient to have some on hand in the freezer when needed as it thaws quickly. Plus this way it lasts much longer.
Did it ever occur to you to freeze eggs? The trick is to crack the eggs into an ice cube tray before freezing, as keeping them in the shells is a bad idea since the shell will crack as the egg expands. If you find you have too many eggs and need to use them up, this is a great way to keep them for longer and use for baking and cooking when needed.
Why let sliced bread go stale when you can freeze it and keep it fresh for up to six months? Simply grab a frosty slice from the freezer, pop it in the toaster and breakfast is served.
If your household devours milk like mine does, often you are left without milk just when you really need it and have to make another trip out just to get more. To keep milk on hand in the freezer is a good idea. Growing up my family did this regularly. The only thing to note is that milk will expand when it's frozen, so be sure to leave room in the container so it won't burst. Also it may look yellow when frozen, but that is normal. After you have frozen your milk, it can be thawed in the refrigerator or in cold water and is safe to consume.
Oven Cleaning Hacks
Is oven cleaning a chore you would rather spend as little time as possible doing? If you steam clean your oven you can cut down time shifting stubborn grime. Here's how to do it:
Start by boiling one-third of a pot of water on the stove. Once it starts boiling, add an equal amount of white vinegar. Allow it to boil for another 30 seconds or so.
Next, remove the pot from the stove, place it inside the oven on the rack, and close the oven door. Don't turn the oven on but allow the pot to sit for 45 to 60 minutes.
Once you open the door, you can start cleaning. Wipe the surface down with a soapy cloth. The grime comes off much easier than it would if you simply tried to scrub it.
Dried fruits and meats taste incredible, and are a great source of energy for workplace or school snacks and taking on hikes, but commercial food dehydrators can be pretty costly. As a cheaper alternative, make your own dehydrator in the oven:
Stack several cooling racks on top of each other, separated by balls of aluminum foil in each corner.
Place the stacked racks in the bottom of your oven (you'll probably need to remove the oven racks) and set the temperature to 200 degrees.
In four to six hours, you'll be able to enjoy perfectly dried fruit, vegetables, and jerky. Yum!
Stove top Cleaning Hacks
Stove-tops can be a pain to clean. Their shape, size, and the frequently caked-on reminders of old meals can make all the elbow-grease in the world seem like it's going to waste. Here are some great natural methods that you will thank for making cleaning so much easier. Just remember to turn off the stove during the cleaning process.
Ammonia might not be ideal for all-over cleaning, but nothing tackles food-caked burners or grates better, and with less work for you! Spray them (in a well-ventilated area) with ¼ cup ammonia, put them outside in a sealed plastic bag (use a kitchen garbage bag for oversized ones). The next day, rinse these off and dry with a soft, clean cloth. Oh see how they shine!
For a glass cooktop: Apply Arm & Hammer toothpaste to burned food stains and gently rub the paste in with an old toothbrush or your finger. Allow the paste to sit for 15 minutes before wiping clean with a damp cloth. It's that simple!
Did you know that car wax is a glass cooktop must-have? Apply it to your stove top, then wipe off with paper towels. Any future spills - no matter how tough and crusty - will wipe off in an instant.
Clothes Dryer Hacks
Want fluffy, absorbent towels but don't have any dry sheets? Use a balled-up sheet of tin foil. The added bonus here is that this will reduce static electricity and it can be re-used for a month.
Place a dry fluffy towel into the dryer with your wet clothes. The towel supposedly absorbs the moisture, reducing the drying time and using less energy.
If you're lucky enough to have your very own washer and dryer in your home, make use of it beyond laundry day. If you have something that's wrinkled or has been worn once and could use a quick freshening up, toss it in the dryer with a dryer sheet and an ice cube for 10 minutes and voila! You will have smooth, freshly-scented clothes.
Washing Machine Hacks
If, like me, you have hundreds of socks without their pairs, look no further! Laundry mesh bags, usually used for washing lingerie or similar delicate items, are a great way to keep pairs of socks from going astray. Sort dirty socks into the bag, zip it up and throw it into the load. When you take the laundry out, you'll know exactly where those socks are!
This can especially apply to front loading washers as they are said to be more susceptible to mold (especially in the door seal). To help prevent said mould from building up in the first place, here is a simple solution. After each wash, remove the dispenser drawer, rinse off any undissolved detergent and leave it to dry. Keep the door of your washing machine open too to stop mould forming inside your appliance or in the door seal.
Prevent black jeans and other black clothes from fading by pouring a couple of cups of strong brewed (cheap) coffee into the washing machine during the wash. This method works best if you add the coffee during the rinse cycle and on cotton clothes rather than synthetic fabrics. Make sure there are no pale clothes in the wash.
As you can see, by adding these simple hacks to your toolkit you can make your life much easier, and most important of all, give you extra time to focus on the fun things that you prefer to do. What's not to like about that!
Do you have any appliance-related hacks that work for you?