Three cleaning categories to add to the list
Bummer of a blog post, am I right? Who wants more to clean? I'm over here trying to figure out how to make my cat enjoy getting Swiffer pads attached to his feet so he can start pulling some of the weight around here (that's a half joke, btw). Traditional spring cleaning only happens around my house a few times per year, which basically means furniture gets moved for the vacuum, mattress pads are washed, and other "big" items are checked off the list. Otherwise, I try to keep the cleaning as succinct as possible. Like most, I LOVE a clean house, but don't relish the process of getting to that point.
Interior Pathways of the Coffee Pot
I hate to admit that it took me a while into my 20s to realize that more than just the removable parts of a coffee maker need to be cleaned, or in technical terminology, decalcified every so often. But, using some white vinegar to clean the inner workings of the machine have proven to be both necessary and satisfying. What is particularly interesting is that we've needed to clean our coffee maker more frequently since moving to Birmingham, since the water here is particularly hard. After about 6 months, the drip slowed and the machine actually started making popping sounds. Once we cleaned it with some white vinegar again, that did the trick!
To deep clean your coffee maker
- When cleaning a traditional, 12-cup coffee maker, add 6 cups water and 6 cups white vinegar to the reservoir. If your machine is a different size, just add equal parts water and vinegar to the reservoir.
- Add a paper filter to the basket (sans coffee, of course), ensure the pot is in place, and start to "brew."
- Once the vinegar-water mixture has brewed halfway, stop the pot and allow to sit for aboout 30 minutes before re-starting and completing the brew.
- Discard the liquid in the pot, add a new filter to the basket, and use clean water to fill the reservoir and brew once more to rid the machine of hints of vinegar.
- If your machine still feels slow or clicks due to residue buildup in the machine, repeat one more time.
Good Housekeeping has a helpful article on the care and keeping of your coffee pot, if you need any extra tips!
You can use a similar formula to clean your Keurig machine as well!
Reusable Shopping Bag
I'm convinced that I was the last person to *officially* wash reusable shopping bags. Maybe I had been buying cheap bags that cracked and needed to be discarded faster than usual, but once the pandemic started - and I came into possession of some nicer bags, I realized this was a necessary step. (Don't look at me like that.) I should note that I would spot clean and line the bags when packing any type of meat, but I'm all about getting a little more thorough.
General rule of thumb for washing bags: follow the instructions on the tag. If the bag is made from nylon or polyester, hand wash in the sink with mild dish soap. Otherwise, wash in the washing machine on a gentle cycle and use cool water for the first few washings to preserve any screen prints. Of course you need to use your own judgement with frequency for cleaning the bags (not just spring cleaning); though, a good rule of thumb is after every few shopping trips.
Microgreens - yes, countertop herbs!
Random, right? This is a step that I've skipped one too many times, but it turns out (through research, not personal experience) that you do need to rinse microgreens or sprouts that you are growing in your kitchen. The youth of the greens makes them particularly susceptible to germs and other damaging microbes, so you just need to rinse thoroughly as they age and before use.
If you are keeping a jar of countertop herbs on your counter for more than a few days (though, that really should be the max amount of time), change the water in the jar and rinse the stems of the herbs under water before returning to the counter or fridge.
How frequently do you deep clean and do you have an official "spring cleaning" routine that you use once or more per year? Send me your tips! Until next time, cheers to your #hearthhealthhappiness!