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How to keep your kitchen free of greaseCleaning the kitchen and working platform is vital to ensure that your family is protected from contaminated food. A dirty kitchen and platform could lead to contamination of food that is to be consumed, further leading to an illness or ailment of the digestive system.

Indian cooking involves usage of oil in almost every dish be it a curry, a chutney or a fry item. The chances of oil spread is very high. The oil and smoke circulates along with the air and settles down on all open surfaces.

Cleaning the oil spots from your kitchen cabinets is a quick and easy task if you know how to clean it. How does the oil settle on the kitchen surfaces which includes tiles, exhaust, cabinets etc. You will observe that oil splashes and spread all over the counter when we do seasoning for curries, deep fry eatables.

The oil vapors settles on the cupboards and cabinets. Dust in the air is attracted to this oil droplets and this becomes a layer. The vulnerable areas in the kitchen is the area behind the stove, the stove top exhaust , exhaust fan fixed on the wall. All tile surfaces get affected if not cleaned for some time.

The product you use should be capable of removing the stubborn grease on surfaces. You can clean kitchen cabinets made of wood with warm water diluted with liquid soap cleaner in a 1:2 ratio. Use a good scrubbing pad to dip in the solution and clean the surfaces.

Oil spread or spilled on clothes is another mis. Read this article HOW TO REMOVE STAINS FROM CLOTHES to understand the solutions

The inner surfaces of cabinet door handles will be very sticky and you need to use a small tool to dig the grimy oil collection. If the cabinet surfaces are colored wood, do a spot test and confirm prior to proceeding further.How to keep your kitchen free of grease

However, if the oil stains, grease build-up high then opt for the natural way of cleaning, use vinegar. It is a natural cleaner and removes oil stains pretty easily.

  • If you use vinegar then use a solution of half part vinegar and half part water if the stains are light.
  • If the oil stains are stubborn, then you can use vinegar without using water. Pour undiluted vinegar into spray bottle and spray onto surface. Let it remain for 10 to 15 minutes. Wipe clean with dishcloth or non-abrasive scrubber.
  • Lime and club soda can also be used to clean the oil spots and grease build-up from the kitchen cabinets.
  • You can clean stove top exhaust hoods with baking soda. On a damp sponge add some baking soda and wipe the surface down. Immediately follow wiping of the surface with a clean cloth to remove any powder residue.
  • Clean the kitchen platform by wiping with a cloth dipped in vinegar. The acidic content of the vinegar cleans and removes all grime that accumulates on the platform.
  • Similarly, cleaning your stove with a cloth dipped in vinegar removes all spill stains and leaves your stove shining.
  • Do not allow water to stagnate on the platform. Clean dry the stove and platform.
  • Clean your stove and kitchen platform after cooking. This will remove all dirt, oil and will keep insects in the kitchen. If the platform is left uncleaned, lizards, ants and cockroaches will crawl all over the area.
  • Watch out for the cupboards that are fixed on the wall. Check if the plaster on the wall facing the kitchen platform is intact. I’ve observed cracks in our neighbors home where thin layer of plaster keeps breaking and falling on the platform. This mainly occurs when the cabinets are opened to take out kitchen groceries.

To keep your kitchen neat and orderly spend 15 to 20 mins daily to organize and segregate. This will keep insects and chaos at bay.


how to clean hard water stains of plastic buckets in the bathroomPlastic containers are ideal for storage in kitchen and in the refrigerator. The only issue is they leave an unpleasant smell and color too. The latest edition of storage plastic containers are a must have accessory in your kitchen.

If you have supply of hard water for cleaning purposes and in your bathrooms you will observe white patches or stains on plastic buckets and mugs . With water evaporation being high in summer the scales are formed in circular rings as per water level in the storage containers. You can determine the amount of water evaporation in a day.

It is annoying to see your new buckets having white rings inside. The soap and dish washing liquid is not removing the patches completely. You may observe stains on plastic containers in which you had stored chicken dishes, oily curries.  You want to use the plastic container for storing another juice or chutney. All your efforts are in vain.

Here are a few tips to ease your tension away.

  • Mix ¼ cup of baking soda in little hot water to form a paste. Apply baking soda paste with an old toothbrush brush to the hard water stains and patches on the bucket and mug. Leave it for 10 minutes. Rinse the bucket and mug with water until all bubbles are washed away and you will be surprised to see your bucket looking new and clean.
  • You can clean tough stains in plastic storage containers by filling warm water and add 1 spoon of baking soda to it. Leave it for an hour and later drain off water. Rinse the container with water and the plastic container is free of stains and odor too.
    • White and opaque plastic containers used for storing drinking water looks dull and smells different after a few months of usage. You can refresh the look of containers by mixing lemon juice with baking soda and applying liberally to the stained surface. The two ingredients when combined acts as a natural bleaching agent, whitening the plastic and removing unpleasant odors.

  • how to clean hard water stains of plastic buckets in the bathroomPlastic containers used for storage of pickles, oils leaves a strong smell even after washing and drying in the sun. Here is a wonderful remedy to get rid of the stain and aged smells. Mix vinegar and baking soda and you will observe foaming action. Nothing to worry, after the foaming stops scrub the solution all over the inner surface of the container and then rinse the container. You will observe the plastic container is looking fresh and smelling good too.
  • Tea stains on plastic containers are tough to get away. Immerse the container in water with ¼ tsp of baking soda. Leave the container for 1 hour and after an hour you will be amazed to see a bright new storage container in your home.
  • You can remove foul smell, oil smell from plastic ware by mixing equal quantities of baking soda and salt. Use a damp nylon scrub to clean the surface. Apply the paste thoroughly over the plastic container. Leave for an hour or two and then wash the plastic container thoroughly. The tough stains are cleaned and you will also get rid of the pungent odors.

You will observe the hard water deposits settling on the surfaces due to water evaporation.  You can clean wash basins, toilet sinks also with baking soda.

Note: Recycle your old toothbrushes for cleaning hard to reach areas. The crevices of utensils, tiles ends mesh type surfaces. The bristles of the brush will be able to pick out the waste and clean thoroughly.

There are numerous benefits of Baking soda. Grab it when you are out purchasing items for your home.


April 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Home Management Tips and Information

You love to wear white clothes but are afraid that it will lose the brightness after a few washes. Therefore you minimize your white clothes collection. But you cannot avoid your child’s school uniform. It has to be maintained throughout the year.

how to make white clothes look brighterWhite clothes turn gray gradually as it is washed in hard water. Most of the homes are supplied with hard water and this is the main reason for the soap not to lather and be ineffective. The hardness in water settles as a residue on the clothe leaving it stiff too. You need to add powdered water softeners in the water while soaking white clothes, available in the market.

Whites are worn to churches regularly and is mandatory for individuals in medical profession. Come summer, all family members will prefer wearing white clothes to minimize the heat effect. It becomes all the more painful for the home maker who needs to monitor and upkeep the hubby and kids cupboard .

Here are a few tips to make your white clothes look bright and fresh.

    • Wash white clothes separately. Do not mix with color clothes.
    • Do not include stained socks along with whites while soaking
    • Use lukewarm water or hot water to soak the whites that are soiled as the detergent will dissolve and be effective to completely remove the dirt.

  • Whites can be washed regularly in normal water. Use hot water every third wash based on the look of the clothes. You can save on hot water.
  • If you feel a particular set of white clothes are looking gray, then soak them in lukewarm water into which detergent is added. Leave it for 24 hrs and then rinse the clothes with Vinegar and water. Dilution to be followed: 2 tspn of vinegar to 1 litre of water.
  • You can make white cotton socks look sparkling white by boiling them in a flat vessel containing water and a few slices of lemon for 5 minutes. Lemon is a natural bleach and removes soil and dirt from the clothes and restore color to make white clothes look brighter
  • An alternative for washing soiled white socks will be Dishwashing liquid. Add a spoon of dishwasher to the lukewarm water and soak the soiled socks.
  • Follow the same practices for your white bed sheets.
  • Follow the washing directions mentioned on the label of your white clothes for best results. This will prevent damage to the fiber of the fabric.

You will be surprised to see your white socks and white clothes looking bright and new. You will receive appreciation for your effort and special attention from loved ones.

Make your jeans look new

Teenagers love to wear whites with jeans and you need to be in sink with the sparkling whites. To prevent your new jeans from fading, soak them in 4 tbsp of Vinegar mixed in 5 litres of water for about 30 minutes. Brush the soiled areas with a brush. Rinse and dry the jeans inside out to prevent fading. This will increase the durability of the clothes.

To make your towels fluffy and white

Minimize usage of detergent while washing towels. Add vinegar in the first rinse cycle. Have extra rinse while washing towels basically to remove all detergent in the clothes. Drying towels in the dryer will make them fluffy and soft than the ones dried on lines.


How to keep SS sink free of hard water stainsYou have cleaned the entire kitchen and are worried to see the Stainless Steel sink full of stains and white patches. You are having a small get together at your home this weekend and you are desperate to find a solution.

These white patches are hard water stains meaning the water droplets have dried leaving those ugly marks on the surfaces. If left uncleaned they will form a thick layer and it will leave permanent scars on the surface.

Hard water stains are a result of mineral content in water like lime, silica and calcium. When the water evaporates the mineral deposits leave a scaly appearance on the areas. Few individuals have replaced the SS sink as they were unable to clean the stains.

Here is a solution for removing the hard water stains from the SS sinks and surfaces.

  • Make a paste of baking soda / cooking soda.
  • Add ½ cup baking soda and ¼ cup of Vinegar into a container. You will observe a foaming action when the two ingredients are combined. This is normal, wait for the foaming to stop. Mix the solution with a plastic spoon.
  • Dip a cleaning cloth ( use soft texture ) into this paste and apply on the sink. Apply the paste on the stained areas in circular motions such the stains are cleaned.
  • In another utensil keep warm water. Dip the cleaning cloth into the warm water and clean the sink thoroughly. Remove all cleaning paste and wipe off all water spots with a dry cloth.
  • You can recycle old , unused banians and old T- shirts for cleaning. This material will absorb all moisture and leaves your Stainless Steel sink free of stains.
  • Recycled cotton material also absorbs oils from gas stoves and kitchen counters.

You can save on money as you are using recycled material and also ensuring the Stainless Steel sink is free of hard water stains.

how to clean SS sink free of hard water stainsYou can also use the lemon peel after using the juice for cleaning the sink. It also kills all bacteria and leaves your sink smelling fresh.

Precaution is better than cure therefore after all the utensils are washed, drain off all water and clean the SS sink with a dry cloth. This will remove all moisture and you will not see those ugly spots again.


how to control ants naturallyAnts are seen in large numbers during summer season. The small red and black ants are a common sight in homes. Ants come in long trails. Remember the famous proverb “ An ant may well destroy a whole dam” . They work as a team going in long lines in search of food.

Ants attack food items. Ants eat up the inner contents and leave the exterior shell intact. Many cases of biscuits becoming hollow, we can see a chain of ants carrying fine bits of the food particles back to their dwelling.

An inspiration to gain from ants is their will power to combat situations, they never give up and keep coming back again. Therefore preventive maintenance plays a major role in controlling ants. You need to keep your floor and table surfaces free from left over food. Close all containers to avoid sweet aroma in the air. Ants are on the search for food and water and they sniff and find their way. They will pick food and take it back to the anthill to feed the queen ant.

Watch out for the long trail of ants. If they sting, the skin will bulge and pain for some time. There are chemical products in the market to stop ants in and around the house and establishments . You can make a difference by controlling ants by natural methods.

Here are few proven and successful methods.

Turmeric powder

Mix quarter spoon of turmeric powder to 2 spoons of wheat flour . Sprinkle it on the ants. Place a little powder at the entry point. This will deter ants from coming home.

Cucumber peels / Orange peels

Place cucumber peels or citrus peels at the point of entry where you see ants or place them on poly bags in the kitchen platform. This will keep away ants. Orange peel is ideal for this purpose.


Boric acid or Borax is non toxic to humans, but they are poisonous to ants. Mix borax with equal parts of powdered sugar and sprinkle around the entry points at home. In case of large anthills you can sprinkle this powder. The ants will feed the queen ant too and you can destroy the complete ant family.

Baby Talcum powder / Black board chalk piece

If you see ants on bedroom table counters or beds use baby talcum powder. They will put off ants. A line drawn by chalk piece is literally a ‘ Laksman rekha’ and ants will keep away. They will not intrude further.


Use vinegar that is available in your kitchen. It is a natural ant repellent. Wipe down your countertops, cupboards and any other places where you’ve spotted ants with a mixture of white vinegar and water in equal quantities. Repeat this process 4 to 5 times to maintain the efficacy.

Fresh Ground coffee beans

Smell of Fresh ground coffee beans keeps ants away.

Soap solution

Take equal quantities of glass cleaner and liquid soap and mix it together and put it in a spray bottle, spray source areas and the ant hill too. You can spray soap solution too.

Hot water

Pour 3 to 4 liters of hot water if there is a large anthill in your garden area . This is a cost effective method to address the complete ant family.

Spices and Herbs

Sprinkle cinnamon, mint, pepper, garlic cloves in the area where you’ve seen ants . Replace garlic cloves . Bay leaves can be placed in cabinets, drawers and containers to deter ants.

You have got a whole list of natural repellents to address ants. Fill gaps in walls and floors. You need to be focused , always keep in mind the will power of ants. Keep your home clean , table tops free of spilled food and dripping containers. Close all food boxes and I’m sure you can keep the crawling creatures at bay.


February 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Home Management Tips and Information

You may be having a splitting headache due to the pungent odors coming in a particular room, a closed cupboard,  your refrigerator or your car. At times the smell is very annoying that you may feel like vomiting.

You can follow simple techniques like keeping the windows open or switching ON the exhaust available provided in the room , burning a candle, using room freshener. The strong smells are not easy to go and needs more attention.

There are few items in your home that can remove the bad odors completely and make you feel like using that particular room, your refrigerator, going for a long ride in your car. Here are a few interesting tips that you will apply after reading this article.

1. Charcoal

remove foul smellsCharcoal is on top of my list as it is one of the best absorbent agents that can absorb and soak up the bad odor. Charcoal is also widely used as water filters and in most odor removing commercial products. You can put a medium-sized chunk of charcoal inside your smelly refrigerator for instance, and leave it there for a couple of days. You will notice that it can effectively remove the bad smell.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda is also a good absorbent. Put a generous amount of baking soda in an open container and leave it for several days. Remember the size of the container depends upon the size of the confined room. You may also place small bowls in 2 to 3 areas of the room for better action. Remove the baking soda and replace it with new one and leave it for a couple of days. Continue replacing the baking soda until it has cleared the bad smell. The only caution is that green leaves will wilt quickly

3. Lemon or Lime rinds

Just put some lemon or lime rinds into an open container and leave them inside the confined area for a couple of days. The citrus smell will naturally replace the bad smell. You can also place lime rinds in a small bowl containing water.

4. Fresh Ground Coffee

Ground coffee has a nice, crisp natural aroma. Just put about a cup of fresh ground coffee in a flat, uncovered container. Place the container inside the confined space for several days. If the bad smell is extremely horrible, put more ground coffee. The area will smell of fresh coffee for many days.

5. Tea Bags

If you don’t like coffee, you can use tea bags instead. Just place 2-3 tea bags inside the confined space. The tealeaves in the bags will not only absorb the bad smell but also will release the natural aroma of tea.

6. Pandan Leaf (also known as Screwpine or Kewra in Hindi)REMOVE FOUL SMELLS

It is easy to get pandan leaf in tropical countries as it is widely used in Southeast Asian cooking to add aroma to dishes. It s known as the “Vanilla of the East”. Its pleasant aroma also acts as natural air freshener. Just take a few strips of the pandan leaves and tie them into knots. Place the leaves inside the confined space and leave them until the leaves withered or dried up. Replace the leaves regularly until the smell goes away. The dried leaves are of no use, only fresh leaves work well.

7. Vanilla Essence

Pour several drops of vanilla essence on a couple of cotton wools. Toss the cotton wools inside the confined space such as your wardrobe. Leave them for several days and you will notice that the area smells nice.

8. Mint Extract

If you favor neither the smell of citrus nor vanilla, you can perhaps use mint extract instead. Pour several drops of mint extract on a couple of cotton wools. Toss the cotton wools inside the confined space and leave them for a couple of days.

9. Orange and Cloves

Get an orange and poke it with sharp objects like needle or fork to form small holes. Place each of the cloves inside these small holes until most of the orange surfaces are covered. It may look like a hedgehog with the cloves jutting out of the orange fruit. Leave it in the confined area for a couple of days. The area will smell nice with the said combinations.

10. Old Newspaper and Slices of Bread

Old newspaper and two slices of bread also work wonders in absorbing the bad odors particularly inside the refrigerator. Just place some crumpled old newspaper and two slices of bread , uncovered inside your refrigerator and leave them for two days. Replace the newspaper and bread slices regularly until the bad smell is removed.

You can also remove foul smell from plastic containers in which you previously stored minced cabbage, pickles that remain past expiration dates. Simple stuff crumpled newspaper and leave the container closed for three to four days. The smell vanishes away.

11. Vinegar

Vinegar works wonderful to remove smells of fried cooking especially fish. To remove the smell boil vinegar on the stove in a small bowl. The distinct odor of vinegar will be replaced .

White vinegar can be used to neutralize many of the same smells as baking soda. An open cup of vinegar in the fridge is an alternative to the box of baking soda, or an open cup or bowl of vinegar can be left in a room where you want to eliminate an odor.

12. Oats

Just put a cup of oats in an open container where you are having the foul smell. And lo…the smell has vanished after a few hours. Oats is a good odor absorbent. Do not dispose off the oats that has reached shelf life , retain it for this purpose.

You can also use the combination of any of the above tips together, to effectively remove bad smell. Try those tips and you can keep all the foul smell at bay.


Here are a few natural cleaning solutions readily available at your home. Listed below is their solutions.


natural home made cleaning solutionsThe acidic property in lemon removes dirt and rust stains. Very effective when mixed with salt and applied as a paste.

Lemon is good to clean kitchen counter tops, cutting boards, stains on plastic storage containers , to remove grease from utensils,  remove bad smell in a container.

Cut lemon into half, squeeze a little juice in water and place the container in the refrigerator. You will be relieved of the foul smell . This can be applied for trash bins too.

To relieve smell off your hands after you touch or cut fish , rub hands with lemon juice and you will be relieved off the odor.

Lemon is widely used to brighten white clothes  . Add half a cup of lemon juice to the final rinse  and you will observe the difference.

To remove hard water scales on tiles and wash basins apply lime juice on the areas , leave it overnight. Next day you can gently scrub and remove the stains.

Lemons are used to clean the microwave oven too.

Note: Lemons are not recommended on marble surfaces.


The granular texture of table salt makes it suitable for scouring. There is a range of salts to select from. Table salt is the preferred and cheapest choice.

To remove tough stains on glassware, add some salt to the scouring pad and gently remove scrub.

Table salt can be applied on crockery too. Apply salt on a piece of lemon and apply on the crockery which has a tough stain.

To remove dust and dirt from artificial flowers and leaves , put them into a paper bag and add half a handful of salt to it. Shake it well and you will see great results. The flowers and leaves are clean now!

Coarse salt helps remove fins of fishes during cleaning activity. Put a handful of salt into a wide pan and shift the fish upside down in the  pan. The fins will totally be removed.

Salt is good to absorb any spills in the oven. It can be cleaned after use with a damp cloth.


The combination of surfactant, stain fighter and anti bacterial agent makes toothpaste an efficient stain fighter.

Toothpaste is good for cleaning tarnished silver articles. Use a toothbrush to enable better application. stains on glassware, add some salt to the scouring pad and gently remove scrub.

To remove hard water scales on taps and wash basins , squeeze toothpaste on the area and rub for some time with a soft cloth until it shines.

Tooth paste removes scuff marks on acrylic finishing and linoleum surfaces. Squeeze toothpaste on the desired area . Scrub it with a soft dry cloth until the toothpaste residue is removed.

Tooth paste is good for small burns . Apply on the affected area, It acts as a first aid remedy.


Vegetable and plant based oils removes dirt and minimizes scratches on the wooden surfaces. It hydrates wood that has aged or dried out from exposure to the sun

To prevent burning of hands during handling of spices like chillies, apply vegetable oil on the hands. You will not feel the intense burning.

To get paint off your skin, rub with vegetable oil and wash thoroughly with soap.

To brighten leather shoes , clean the leather shoes thoroughly off dust and grime. Add a few drops of oil on a cloth and apply on the shoe and rinse properly. This will make the shoe shine.

To prevent rattan and wicker articles or furniture from drying or cracking, lightly brush them with vegetable oil and gently rub in with a cloth. Warm the oil to enable east application

It is advised to use vegetable oil for getting the shine and cleaning Stainless steel . Lemon is not recommended for cleaning Stainless steel .

To clean wood furniture, mix 1 cup of vegetable oil or plant based oil with half a lemon. Add this on a soft cloth.  This will help smooth scratches too.


Due to its alkaline property,  Borax kills mold, fungus and softens water. When added to a laundry wash you will observe excellent results due to its effectiveness.

You can remove foul smell from a dishwasher. Sprinkle borax in the bottom, let it sit overnight, then wipe down with a damp sponge. No need to rinse; continue washing operations.

Rub borax into cookware with a damp cloth and rinse well . This will remove stains.

Borax  gets rid of toilet rust stains also . Sprinkle borax in the toilet bowl, leave it overnight. Rinse it with a toilet brush and flush water.


Due to its acidic property, Vinegar can wipe out tarnish, soap deposits, mineral deposits, and more. It is widely used for its varied benefits. It also prevents the growth of mold, mildew, and some bacteria.

You can clean glass ware and ensure no spots. Add 6 table spoons of vinegar to the rinse water.

Vinegar is used to disinfect the dishwasher. Rinse with 1 cycle of vinegar, add half cup. Follow rinse with plain water.

Remove hard water stains from Stainless Steel surfaces, shower heads. Dip the unit in vinegar mixed with water and leave overnight. Rinse with water in the morning.

Note: Vinegars are not recommended on marble surfaces.


Baking soda ( sodium bicarbonate) absorb odors. Baking soda is useful to remove odors from upholstery.

Baking soda removes stains from a can opener. It removes tough stains from mugs and cups.

Erase crayon marks by applying a baking soda paste (equal parts baking soda and water) to white painted walls (baking soda may dull colored walls). Let dry before brushing it off with a clean cloth.


Washing soda (sodium carbonate) absorbs odors. Recommended to use rubber gloves while handling washing soda as it is slightly stronger .

Washing soda is good to clean oily stains seen in workshops and garage floors. Lavishly sprinkle washing soda and leave it overnight. Thoroughly wash and rinse the floor with water.

Washing soda helps  remove grease from stove burner grates, garden tools.

Your accessories will be bright and sparkling.