Smells From Plastic Containers

General Info:

This happens more often than you might imagine, and the smell lingers and tends to be absorbed by other foods being stored.

Tools & Chemicals:

  • cotton cleaning rag or paper towels
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 lemon or lemon juice.


  • Mix  the water, baking soda & lemon juice together
  • Wipe the interior of the container with the above mixture removing all spatters
  • Rinse with fresh water
  • Take the balance of the solution and boil in a shallow microwave safe dish for two minutes
  • The microwave should be very steamy, use caution when opening the door
  • Wipe down the container with a dry rag or paper towel

Another solution is to wipe the container with a 50:50 mixture of distilled white vinegar and water. Vinegar is an effective cleaning agent. If the smells are very strong,  let the container sit overnight in the solution as this may help as well.

Silver polishing quick tip

When polishing silver forks, use pipe cleaners dipped in silver polish to polish between the tines.


General Information:
Pyrex is a very durable type of glass cook ware. It can be used in microwaves, on stove tops, and in the oven.

Tools & Technique:
Pyrex is dishwasher safe, however to remove baked on food, soak the pyrex in hot soapy water for half an hour. Scrub with a scrubbing pad. For badly burnt on food use a tablespoon of detergent for your dishwasher instead of dishwashing liquid.

Butcher Blocks: Refinishing

I love butcher blocks!

All of my counters are made of them and they are great, and they will last forever, if not longer!  If there is some serious disgusting build up, the knife is a good way to scrape it off, but perhaps try a stiff putty knife instead.  You only need to remove enough so that it doesn’t gum up your sand paper.  Start with a 60 grit sand paper and a small palm sander will speed things up ALOT, but it is not absolutley necessary. You can actually rent one for about $5 a day at some tool rental places.  Go in small circles, and don’t sit in one spot too long or you can make it uneven.  Always try to sand with the grain of the wood, not accross it as this can leave marks that are harder to sand out.  This may gum up with the oil residue you spoke of, but just change the paper frequently, and it should eventually come off.  Once you get it nice and smooth, move to a finer 100 grit and go over the entire surface again.  Then sand it again with a 150 grit and finally with a 220 grit paper.  This surface will be PERFECT!  You likely won’t want to cut anything on it, because it looks so nice! Be sure to protect the wood with a mineral oil.


General Information :
These units are among the most dependable and reliable of all household appliances. A few easy cleaning procedures will both improve performance and lengthen their useful lives.

Tools & Technique :

For the interior, mild detergent and a sponge work best. Avoid strong and/or abrasive cleaners.

Outside the actual unit is the condenser coil which dissipates heat. Yearly or twice yearly (especially before summer heat) cleaning the coil will keep the unit operating efficiently.On some models you’ll need to remove a cover to access the coil. On others it is located underneath and somewhat more difficult to service.

Many older refrigerators have a drip pan which should be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent odors.

Pay extra attention to the door gasket. Even a small accumulation of dirt can affect it’s ability to maintain a tight seal.

Exteriors, whether painted metal, vinyl or plastic, will keep better looking longer with regular cleaning – again mild detergent works best. (For other surfaces – i.e.. stainless steel – refer to our stain & surface guide).

Specialized Tools & Chemicals :
You can purchase a condenser coil dusting brush (available at appliance stores) specifically made for the purpose. However a vacuum with a dusting brush/crevice tool or a feather/lambswool duster will also work.

Refrigerator Drip Pan

This question was submitted from Carmine

“I have a side-by-side refrigerator with an in-door water dispenser. The drip pan, though, is always nasty. I’ve tried cleaning it in a solution of vinegar and water, and some of the water deposits go away, but it doesn’t stay clean for long and not all the water deposits are cleaned. Help!”

Vinegar and water is a good way to remove water stains. However, if the dripping is on-going, it maybe hard to remove the constant staining.

Try these techniques:

  • Try using a strong acidic based cleaner, available at a janitorial supply store. It will be more effective at removing the water stains.
  • To really effectively clean the nastiness out of your drip tray you should use a bleach and water solution which will kill bacteria, hopefully the nastiness.
  • Use a mixture of 1 part chlorine bleach and 3 part water; if possible remove the tray and soak for ten minutes and rinse well with water.
  • If the tray is a color other than white there may be concern that the bleach will affect the color. If that is the case you can go to a janitorial supply store and buy a food safe disinfectant that will do the job of bleach although it will be more expensive.
  • Try to slow the growth of bacteria by empting and rinsing the drip tray as much as possible.

Gum Stuck on Shoe

  • Take the shoe with the gum and place it in a plastic grocery bag or large food storage bag.
  • Press the area of the shoe with the gum onto the plastic of the bag. Clear an area in the freezer. Place the bag into the freezer with the shoe still inside.
  • Allow the gum to freeze. This will require at least an hour if not two hours.
  • Once the gum is frozen, remove the shoe and the bag from the freezer. Pull the bag and the shoe apart from each other. The gum should stick to the bag and removal should be straight forward.


This solution for removing gum from your shoe requires that you either have this product already or that you purchase it. Take a can of WD-40 and spray the area of the shoe with the gum. Allow at least one minute to pass. Use a paper towel or rag to wipe away the gum and the oily spray from the shoe. Use a clean rag or paper towel to wipe the shoe a second time to remove any additional residue.

Mustard Stains

As with any stain, mustard stain removal is more successful if done immediately, dried stains are harder to remove.

Rinse the fabric in cold water and remove as much of the stain as possible.

Create a solution of:

1 teaspoon ammonia
1 pint of warm water

  • Wash the fabric in the solution
  • Rinse in cold water to complete the mustard stain removal process.
  • Repeat as necessary until the mustard stain removal has eliminated the stain.

Homemade Clothes Stain Removal Solution

Homemade Clothes Stain Removal Solution

To make your own solution at home, you can simply use a combination of the ingredients below:

• ¼ Cup Liquid Dish Soap
• 1 Cup Cold Water

You can use the clothes stain removal solution to gently rub the stain.

Always check the label of your garment before using any cleaning chemical or technique. Spot clean in a small unseen area first before working on your stain.