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The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Cleaning Mysteries Solved!

Cleaning Mysteries Solved!

Wondering how to clean your computer keyboard, mini blinds, or shower curtain? We have the answer to these and other household cleaning mysteries. Read on!

Crud on Phones, Keyboards, Remote Controls, etc.
This is one of the most frustrating cleaning jobs because you can’t spray liquid cleaners on these electronics without risking damage. There’s an easy solution. Just lightly dip cotton swabs in isopropyl rubbing alcohol and wipe around the buttons, using as much pressure as needed. Used in moderation, the alcohol will evaporate before it drips into any circuitry.

Mildew on Shower Curtain Liners
Forget trying to spray liquid cleaners on a shower curtain liner to get rid of mildew and other gunk. Just take down the liner and put it in a washing machine with ordinary detergent. Add some chlorine bleach when launder- ing plastic liners and you’ll annihilate the mildew. Some liners have even been known to survive being dried in a dryer, but the best suggestion is to hang them on a line outside to dry.

Congealed Food on Interior Refrigerator and Freezer Surfaces
Because it’s cold in those places, it’s hard to use regular cleaners to remove stuck-on mess. The secret is to care- fully scrape it off with a sharp single edge razor blade in a blade holder. Remember that handling unsheathed razor blades, even those with a blunted side, is a recipe for “filet o’ fingers.” Visit the hardware store instead and buy a holder.

Burnt Food in the Center of a Pot
Food often sticks and burns in the center of inexpensive pots and pans or at other “hot spots.” Inexpensive heat diffusers–which fit between a burner and a pot–can solve the problem by evenly diffusing the heat. Don’t have one? You can improvise by using a “pan-in-a-pan” technique. If you hap- pen to own a high-quality frying pan, fill that with water and place the cooking pot in the water. A cast iron grill placed beneath the pot will also work well.

Streaks on Glass
Again, isopropyl rubbing alcohol works, this time on glass. Remember, this is a flammable chemical, so be careful. Use a protective mask and definitely protective gloves.

Removable Window Blinds That Won’t Come Clean
You may have been told to clean blinds outdoors or in a bathtub, but that doesn’t work unless the blinds are hanging like they do when they’re in your windows. To achieve this, you’ll need a sturdy clothesline on which to hang them; perhaps an installed retractable clothesline or a bungee cord clothesline with steel clips that you can hook on a shower head, wall handle, sturdy wall hook, tree limbs, etc. First test to make sure the line, and what it is attached to, can hold the weight of the blinds before you attempt the actual cleaning. To clean the blinds, spray them with an appropriate household cleaner and rinse with a spray of plain water.

5 comments

1 ali { 01.16.13 at 12:07 pm }

I have washed my shower liner in the washing machine and then just hung it back up in the shower again to dry…easy peasy!

2 Mary Thorpe { 01.16.13 at 11:53 am }

Were you talking about vertical blinds? I wash my horizontal miniblinds in a wallpaper trough with a strong cleaning solution. I start with most of the blinds on a counter, or in the tub, outside the trough. Start wiping clean the bottom blinds and then bring more into the trough and stack them as they are done. Then rinse under running water, take out to dry. It doesn’t take long and works well for me.

3 JoAnne G { 01.16.13 at 11:38 am }

I have washed my shower curtain liner for years. Put in the washing machine and then in the dryer for five minutes. Dries the excess water that comes when pulling out of the washing machine and softens and de-wrinkles it.

4 mike { 01.16.13 at 10:00 am }

on a gas stove, after you pick up the grill, and the face plate, what products (and how to apply) ..can be used safely around all the wires and pipes??

5 David K { 01.16.13 at 9:38 am }

I’ve taken my window blinds to the car wash and hang them where you hang your mats
and use a light spray of soap anda light pressure rinse…… works GREAT !!

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