Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sherri's Helpful Hints





Cleaning Household Surfaces

How to Clean Butcher Block

Use: A few drops of mild detergent, like dishwashing liquid, and warm water. (It coated with urethane or polyurethane, follow care instructions for Hardwood Cabinets).
Tools: A cloth or sponge.
Tips: After cleaning, rinse with plain water and pat dry. Water left on the surface will stain. Replace boards that have cracks, as bacteria can grow there. Sanitize with a slice of lemon, not bleach, which is unsafe around food.
Tough Stains: Unlike most surfaces, butcher blocks can be professionally sanded.

How to Clean Ceramic Tile

Use: For glazed tiles, one capful of isopropyl alcohol in one gallon of water. For unglazed tile, like terra-cotta, a few drops of dishwashing liquid.
Tools: A cloth or mop.
Tips: Rinse with water and a clean cloth. Avoid oil soaps or ammonia, which will yellow grout. Avoid vinegar, which will damage grout.
Tough Stains: Use a scraper or putty knife to remove stubborn debris. Use a nylon scrubbing pad dampened with dishwashing liquid to remove stains from grout. Apply grout sealer twice a year to prevent stains.

How to Clean Glass

Use: Plain water.
Tools: A microfiber cloth.
Tips: For extremely dirty windows, make a solution of one part vinegar to one part warm water and use a squeegee. To reduce streaking don't clean windows in the heat of the day.
Tough Stains: Rub tough streaks with crumpled newspaper and the vinegar solution.

How to Clean Granite

Use: A few drops of dishwashing liquid and warm water.
Tools: A cloth, sponge, or mop.
Tips: Sweep or vacuum stone floors regularly; stone surfaces are susceptible to damage from grit. Rinse with a clean, soft cloth. Apply a penetrating sealer, available at stone dealers and home centers, every two to three years to prevent deep stains. Avoid abrasive cleansers, which can scratch, and ammonia and nonchlorine bleach, which can dull the surface.
Tough Stains: Use a ready-made poultice, available at stone dealers.

How to Clean Hardwood Cabinets

Use: A few drops of dishwashing liquid or all-purpose cleanser and warm water.
Tools: A well-wrung-out cloth or sponge.
Tips: Scouring pads or powdered cleansers can damage the finish.
Tough Stains: To remove grease, rub gently with a solution of dishwashing liquid and warm water. Buff lightly with a cloth.

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