Who doesn't want to save time and effort in the kitchen? Amy Allen Clark, founder of MomAdvice.com and representative for a national cleaning products company, has developed of number of money-saving cleaning tips.
Here are the tips she shared with me:
• Use vinegar as a rinse. There's no need to buy fancy products for the rinse cycle of your dishwasher, because vinegar works just as well, Clark says. For newer models, pour a quarter cup of vinegar into the rinse dispenser. For models without a rinse dispenser, add a quarter cup of vinegar to the door dispenser during the first rinse cycle, which should be indicated by a dial or panel on the outside of your machine. For really old dishwashers, listen for the sound changes. During the rinse cycle, the vinegar will circulate and remove residue. ''Vinegar is great for removing spots on dishes,'' Clark says.
• Vinegar can clean your dishwasher. Place a bowl with two cups of vinegar upright on the lower rack. Then run the empty dishwasher without detergent to thoroughly clean the interior.
• Step-savers during cooking. ''Make sure your dishwasher is empty when you prepare a meal,'' Clark says. An empty dishwasher encourages a clean-as-you-go mentality, saving time in the long run. As you cook, lightly rinse off utensils before loading them. You'll have less to clean after dinner and less heavy-duty scrubbing.
• Soak dishes during meals. Fill a sink or plastic tub with cold water and dishwashing detergent. During cooking and dining, soak sticky or especially dirty pans or dishes. This process reduces cleanup.
• Use cooking sprays. A spritz of nonstick cooking spray in pans before cooking makes dishwashing easier. Cooking sprays also help prevent food stains in plastic containers.
This is from my latest Frugal Duchess column in the Miami Herald.
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