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Archive for 'Cleaning Tips'

How to Season (or Re-Season) Your Cast Iron Pan or Skillet

Seasoning or re-seasoning your cast iron pan, or grill, is easy business.  Follow these instructions and you’ll be good as new. Please click the following link if you need advice on how to properly clean or repair a cast iron pan.

How to season (or reason) your cast iron pan

Things You’ll Need

  • steel wool
  • soap
  • oil
  • aluminum foil
  • paper towels
  • your pan
  • an oven

Procedure

  1.  Clean off the old rust or sticky oil using steel wool.  A stiff brush will do as well.  Scrub the entire surface with soap and some hot water.  Never use soap to remove old food from your pan, unless you mean to re-season the entire pan!
  2. Dry well with paper towels
  3. Apply a small amount of oil.  1 teaspoon is enough for a 10″ pot.   Do not over oil – otherwise the pan will sticky!  Use your hand or a damp paper towel to spread it even over the entire pan.  Coat everything (nooks, crannies, handles, etc) evenly.  Be sure to coat the outside of the pan as well.
  4. Preheat your oven to 400 degree, and lay down aluminium foil on the rack (to catch any drippings).
  5. Put the cast iron pan in the oven, for one hour.
  6. Time’s up! Turn off the oven, prop the door and let your cast iron pan dry completely.

That’s it! Good as (or better than) new!

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How to Clean Cast Iron the Easy Way

Cast iron has been used to form pans and other cooking devices, such as grills and dutch ovens, for hundreds of years.  It is so durable that you can find perfectly functional cast iron pans from the early twentieth century in antique stores, yard sales, or estate sales.  For those that have survived the test of time, well seasoned cast iron will import a unique, crispy flavor that does wonders for steak, casseroles, and even pizza.  Why is it so great?

The secret is in its composition:  cast iron is a hard alloy of iron and carbon that contains an unusually high amount of carbon. The weight lends itself well to even heating and beautiful grill marks.  And while it’s highly durable, the high iron content can cause cast iron to rust and degrade if not properly called for.

There is much controversy over the most efficient way to clean cast iron appliances due to its want for rust.  In this article, you’ll find some helpful tips and tricks on how to clean your beloved cast iron devices without harming them!  Please click the following link if you’re looking for instructions on how to season a cast iron pan or skillet

1. Clean Cast Iron Grills with Salt

cleaning cast iron with salt

Grills (the type you may have on you bbq) are the easiest to clean.  To eliminate rust and clean the grill at the same time, use this recipe.

Things You Need

  • Kosher Salt: 3 Tablespoons
  • Water: 1/2 cup
  • Water for Rinsing
  • Steel Wool
  • Paper Towels

Procedure

Mix the salt and water together until a thick paste has formed. If the paste is too thin, add more salt until it has reached a scrub-like consistency. Remove the grill and put it on a baking pan.  Rub the salt paste on the steel wool and scrub the grill until the rust and old food bits have been removed. Then, rinse the whole grill and wipe it down with a paper towel.

This approach will do wonders for the grill – but is a last resort. Don’t over do it!  Rather, use a metal brush after each use (and while the grill is still hot) to prepare it for its next use.

2. Clean Cast Iron Sinks with Water

Because cast iron sinks are not used to cook, they do not need to be seasoned after use like cast iron pans or grills. And typically, they are sealed.  Therefore, they can be easily cleaned to a shine with some water and a little bit of elbow grease.

Things You Need

  • Soft Sponge
  • Water for Rinsing

Procedure

Wet the soft sponge and rub the inside of the cast iron sink until all old food particles and stains have disappeared. Then just rinse out the interior of the sink and it’ll be good as new.  If you want to really make that sink sparkle, use Hope’s Perfect Sink!

3. Clean Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Ovens Without Water

If treated, cast iron pans and dutch ovens do not require the use of salt, water, or other cleaning solutions.  In fact, these substances can even do serious harm to the pan over time.  If the cast iron is untreated, follow this approach to properly season it for the first use!

To clean a seasoned pan, just use a damp cloth to remove the food particles, voila!  If you accidentally damaged your pot or burnt something in there, then use the following steps to correct the problem.

Things You Need

  • Water- 4 cups
  • Steel Wool
  • Cooking Oil- 3 Tablespoons
  • Paper Towels

Procedure

Pour the water into the dutch oven and boil it to burn off any old foot bits. After the water has come to a boil, pour it out and scrub the oven clean with the steel wool. Dry the oven (you can use a low heat on the stove top) and rub the cooking oil over the inside and outside of it using the paper towels to season it for future use.  Pat dry.  Let the oil seep into the pan, do not wash off. Do not use soap!

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And, as we do in all our other “how to” articl es, here is a video of these steps in action:

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How To Clean Silverware and Silver Jewelry with Common Household Items

Silver, a versatile metal, is used for making silverware as well as jewelry. Unfortunately, it is a fragile metal compared to many other metals that are commonly used for the same purpose. Silverware and jewelry get stained or tarnished quickly due to oxidation. Therefore, they need to be cleaned in order to maintain their appearance and sheen. Here are a few simple and useful tips for cleaning silver:

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1. Aluminum Foil and Baking Soda

This recipe makes tarnish disappear quickly right in front of your eyes.

Things You Need

Aluminum foil
Glass dish/aluminum baking dish
Water – 1 liter
Baking soda – 1 tablespoon
Sea salt – 1 tablespoon
White vinegar – 1/2 cup
Rag for polishing
Tongs

Procedure

First of all bring the one liter of water to a boil. Add baking soda and sea salt. Pour vinegar slowly into the mixture as it sets off a slight reaction. You can clean your silverware and jewelry without adding vinegar, but it dramatically speeds up the cleaning process. Transfer the mixture to the glass or aluminum baking dish. Place your silverware or jewelry in the dish. Ensure that each piece of silver item touches the foil. Also, make sure that pieces do not overlap.

The tarnish gets transferred to the foil in about 30 seconds. However, more soaking time (up to 5 minutes) may be required if the pieces are heavily tarnished. Remove the items using tongs and clean them by buffing using the rag.

If the built-up tarnish persists, then make a paste using 2 tablespoons of water and a quarter cup of baking soda. Apply the paste using a damp sponge. Rinse and then dry all the items.

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2. Tomato Ketchup

Ketchup can also be used to clean silver. This is because the acid in tomatoes removes the tarnish, coating of oxidized silver.

Things You Need

Tomato Ketchup
Glass Dish
Rag for polishing
Warm water for rinsing
Toothbrush

Procedure

Pour ketchup into the dish and place the silver item to be cleaned into the ketchup. Make sure that it is totally submerged. Leave the item in the dish for about 5 to 10 minutes so that ketchup can reach with the tarnish and remove it. Remove the item from the bowl and rinse it with warm water. Dry and polish the piece with the help of the rag.

In the case of silver items such as candlesticks or other fancy silverware that have textured details, use a toothbrush for cleaning the area in between the crevices.

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3. Toothpaste

Toothpaste has also been found to be useful in cleaning silver.

Things You Need

Toothpaste
Old toothbrush
Water for rinsing
Rag for polishing

Procedure

Apply one dollop of toothpaste on to the silver item that you want to clean. You need only as much as you would use for brushing your teeth if the item to be cleaned is a small one. If you want clean a larger piece, then you will have to use more paste.

Add a drop or two of water to the brush and get working the paste on to the silver piece. Spread the paste all over the engravings and difficult to reach spots. If the piece you are cleaning is heavily tarnished, then you may have to allow the paste to sit on the item for a 1 or 2 minutes.

Rinse thoroughly to remove the toothpaste completely, even from the crevices and pat the item dry. Polish it with the rag.

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4. Banana Peel

This simple method for cleaning your silver jewelry makes use of banana peels.

Things You Need

Bananas
Water
Rag for polishing
Blender

Procedure

This is one of the preferred methods of cleaning silver jewelry that are small and delicate. This method may not work very well on large pieces such as silver dishware that are heavily tarnished.

Put in some banana peels into the blender and add a little amount of water so as to make it into a paste. Using a toothbrush or soft cloth apply the paste on to the silver jewelry item that you want to clean. Leave the piece for a while and then wash off the paste by dipping it into a water bath. Pat dry and polish it using the rag.

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5. Corn Starch

A paste made out of water and corn starch can make your silverware or jewelry look new once again.

Things You Need

Water
Corn Starch
Damp cloth
Cheesecloth/ rough towel
Rag for polishing

If corn starch is not available, you can use cream of tartar.

Procedure

Apply corn starch paste on to the silverware using the damp cloth. Leave it aside for a while so that the paste becomes dry. Now, rub off the paste with the mildly abrasive cheesecloth/rough towel. Thoroughly wash the silverware and allow it to dry. Polish it with the rag.

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6. Laundry Detergent

The laundry detergent recipe helps to make your silver jewelry and silverware sparkle.

Things You Need

Medium-sized bowl
Aluminum foil
Water
Powder laundry detergent – 1 tablespoon
Rag for polishing
Tongs

Procedure

Bring water to a boil. Line the medium-sized bowl with the aluminum foil. Now fill the bowl with the hot water. Add powdered laundry detergent and mix. Soak your silver items for about one minute. Take out the item with the help of the tongs and rinse using clean water. Dry the silverware or jewelry and polish using the rag.

***

7. Dish Soap

Instead of a detergent, you can use the dish soap to clean your jewelry and silverware.

Things You Need

Dish soap
Large Bowl
Warm water
Clean, absorbent towel
Sponge
Two polishing clothes
Silver polish

Procedure

Transfer the warm water into the bowl. Add a small quantity of the liquid dish soap. Put the silver item to be cleaned inside the bowl of sudsy water and wash it thoroughly using the sponge. Rinse the silver piece clean with warm water and dry it thoroughly by wiping it with the absorbent towel.

Take a small amount of the polish on one of the polishing cloth pieces and rub it on to the silver item. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the silver polish because different types of silver polish are available in the market. The directions for using each of them would be different.

Remove the polish by wiping the item using the clean polishing cloth. Repeat the procedure if it is not completely free from tarnish.

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How to clean silver with aluminum foil and baking soda:

How to clean silver with ketchup or tomato paste:

How to clean silver with toothpaste:

How to clean silver with banana peels:

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Essential Spring Cleaning Tips

ESSENTIAL SPRING CLEANING TIPS

Springtime is here! Time to till the soil, plant the garden and throw open the windows. It’s also time for that dreaded spring cleaning, but before you become too overwhelmed with sanitizing every surface and decluttering every dark corner, here are a few tips to make the job more manageable.

Make A List

This may be the simplest tip of all, but making a list really helps you execute an organized and efficient spring cleaning plan. With all of your tasks outlined you don’t have to worry about forgetting anything because you’ve got a ready-made system to track your progress and plan your attack. Speaking of efficiency.

Don’t Make Extra Work For Yourself

For example, when wiping surfaces, clean from top to bottom so you don’t end up having to clean lower surfaces twice because dirt or cleaner dripped down from above. Clean your kitchen counters before sweeping the floor so that you don’t accidentally litter your freshly swept floor with crumbs and dust. Speaking of sweeping: always sweep before you mop. You don’t want wet clumps of dirt and debris streaking the floor as you mop. Finally, sweeping and vacuuming kick up and disturb all kinds of dust, so perform those tasks first—wait a few minutes for the dust to settle—and then bring out the furniture polish and rag to dust.

Replace Your Shower Curtain Liner

Spring cleaning is about doing the tasks that don’t necessarily need weekly maintenance. Shower
curtain liners are a prime site for mold and mildew to accumulate. Even with regular cleaning, the best kept shower curtain liners will begin to show the effects of long-term moisture exposure. Swapping in a new shower curtain liner every spring gives your shower and bathroom a fresh start and a new look with very little effort.

Clean Drawers And Closets When You Switch Clothes For The Season

p>You’re eager to put those bulky sweaters, gloves and hats into storage and bust out the t-shirts
and bathing suits. However after you pack up your winter clothing, make sure to give your drawers and closet a thorough cleaning. You’ll be surprised at the amount of dirt and dust you pick up and it’s far more efficient than trying to clean them out with piles of clothes and tangles of hangers getting in your way. In fact, the first step to efficiently cleaning any room in the house is to de-clutter and organize first and then begin cleaning.

Clean Green

The aim of spring cleaning is to give your entire house a fresh and healthy feeling, eliminate the stuffiness of winter and let in the fresh spring air. However, many commercial cleaning products (particularly sprays and aerosols) contain a variety of hazardous chemicals, toxins and irritants that can cause issues such as headaches, rashes, coughing, sneezing and more. Green cleaning products use natural, non-toxic ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda (just to name a few) that produce the same results as commercial cleaning products but are far safer for family and pets, better for the environment AND more cost-effective because you can easily prepare and mix green cleaning products at home for a fraction of the cost of commercial products. Just a quick Internet search reveals a wealth of green cleaning mixtures you can make
at home to save both your wallet and the environment; so find a recipe you like and get cleaning!

Most Importantly, Relax

Remember, spring cleaning is about rejuvenation and renewal, not stress. Keep it simple, make a plan, and then execute it. And if you’re still feeling overwhelmed, Liberty Housekeeping is ready to assist you—we’re just a phone call away!

About Us

Liberty Housekeeping is Hudson County’s premier residential and commercial cleaning service. We can be called to assist with any job, large or small, throughout Jersey City, Hoboken, Princeton and beyond! Find us online at : http://www.libertyhousekeeping.com or call us at 201-984-3512.

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Save money with homemade laundry detergent

Most apartments in Hoboken and Jersey City don’t have washing machines. Even without one, we all still need to wash our clothes! Here’s a simple recipe to create a large batch of inexpensive laundry detergent.

While borax is a naturally occurring mineral it is can cause skin irritation (and other ailments) in large doses. To make an eco-friendly cleaner replace the borax with 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup salt (and citric acid if you have hard water). This mix will last a very, very long time and it is substantially cheaper than a big-box brand.

1-2 tablespoons should do the trick.

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