Eco Clean Tips

Does your dishwasher have stinky breath?

I had a stinky dishwasher

It was an embarrassing problem for a Superhero. Every time I opened the door, a wave of foul stinky dishwasher grossness would pour out and make my eyes water. Even the Feline Avenger would look accusingly at it, sniff it suspiciously, and then recoil back in horror – tail all fluffed up and offended. Clearly it was a big stinky dishwasher problem!

I had tried a variety of “cures” over the past 12 months or so, and I’m afraid I had limited success. I put baking soda into the dispenser and put through a wash (with no dishes). That resulted in maybe a point 2 percentage improvement, So not discernable. I wiped down the inside of it from top to tail. I fastidiously checked the Rinse Aid levels. Then I tried it all over again. A couple of times.

Eventually I went into a state of stinky dishwasher crisis. I found myself at the supermarket looking assessingly at those “nice smelly dangly dishwasher” things that you hang in your stinky dishwasher. I luckily came to my senses. I knew that if I bought one of these, it would be akin to spraying around some air freshener at a fish mongers. And I always find the smell of those things quite offensive. Admittedly, not as offensive as my stinky dishwasher!

So I was galvanised into extreme actions. I was going to take that thing apart, bit by bit, until I found the cause of my stinky dishwasher, by golly! This is what I started off with… (I know it LOOKS innocent enough).Stinky Dishwasher

And so the dismantling began. Remember, this involved putting my head INSIDE my stinky dishwasher, while simultaneously pushing the Feline Avenger away with my foot or hip. Apparently the smell became unimportant when I showed some interest in that stinky dishwasher!

The first step is to fill your sink with steaming hot soapy water. And don’t forget to put on those attractive rubber gloves that you purchased for just such an occasion! Then remove the spinning water flicking thing. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. In my dishwasher, I gave it a gentle yet firm yank and it just popped out. Put it into the hot soapy water and give it a thorough scrub. Actually, in the interests of efficiency, do this with everything that you manage to successfully remove from your dishwasher. There is a silver tray at the bottom of my stinky dishwasher – and all I did to remove this was to turn the thing that looks a bit like a funnel. The whole thing just lifted out – almost as if it was designed for just this purpose! I also unscrewed the thing that you can see pictured on the left. I’m not a dishwasher technician, so I can’t give you one of those jargon names that you will immediately forget.Stinkier Dishwasher

This is where you might like to have some smelling salts handy. Good lord! If you thought you had an unbearably stinky dishwasher before, you might actually loose consciousness at this point.

Get that thing into the hot soapy water as soon as you come around, and scrub. Or let it soak in its own juices for a wee while and then scrub.

Unfortunately, this is not the end of the horror. When the silver tray thingy is removed, there is in fact a whole new world of pain revealed. Yep, you have to get back down there into stinky dishwasher hell, and soak out that foul reservoir of *I don’t know what!*, and wipe away the “film” that coats everything. You’ll want to do this quickly and efficiently. My dishwasher had no more pieces that I could obviously or easily remove, and so ended my dismantling adventure.

Right. That is the worst of things over! The next step is to put everything back the way you found it. In the reverse order. You probably don’t need to take photos of each step – it’s pretty easy. Then fill the (still slightly stinky) dishwasher dispenser with baking soda, and run it through a wash cycle – with no dishes.

After going through this process, I was very satisfied with the result. I had opened my previously stinky dishwasher with some trepidation when the wash cycle completed, and there was no immediately discernible smell. A few days later, and my dishwasher is still not offending me. However, a note to the wise: if you are like me, and only run your dishwasher every few days, the dishes and food gunk sitting inside waiting to be cleaned WILL start to smell. This is the natural decaying process. You can either run your dishwasher when it is not full, do your dishes by hand, or put up with a stinky dishwasher (less so after you have cleaned it hopefully).

Let me know how you felt about this blog by giving it the thumbs up or down below. If you have a better solution for fixing your stinky dishwasher, please share with the group and leave a comment!

GD Star Rating

Clean Grout the Eco Way

Need to clean grout?

Most of us do, at some stage, need to clean grout. Of course, the most sensible and easy method is to maintain your cleaning schedule so that grime and mould doesn’t build up. We all know that if we clean grout regularly, it’s a small, but regular job.

On the remote off-chance that you are not one of the 2% of the population that actually does this, you might have some interest in this blog. I clean grout regularly – both in my own lair, and at my Good Citizens (clients’) homes. Sometimes when a Superhero is first engaged, the grout is in a rather sad state – which makes a toxic solution tempting!

I was sent this recipe by a friend, and knowing that I had a large task coming up, I decided to clean grout using this environmental solution.

I had a mixed experience.

Interestingly, I found it to be time-consuming to make, quite a sticky solution, and one that left a baking soda film on the grout – which required another good Eco Spray and clean in order to leave a nice surface finish.

The initial instructions with the grout spray were:

  1. Spray on solution and let stand for 5 – 10 minutes.
  2. Use a scrubber/brush on the grout.
  3. Wipe away grout grime.

The easy way to clean grout!

As I mentioned above, I had to give it another Eco Spray and wipe a second time. To be honest, with the additional step, this did work quite well. A fair bit of work to make up the spray, some annoying “down time” while waiting for the spray to sit (which can always be used to clean something else!), but not a toxic fume or chemical in sight. Fortunately I only tested this out on a small 1 x 1 metre area. I now had another 3 x 3 metre area to clean, and by this stage, I was a little fed up with the above process.

So I sprayed Eco Spray onto another 1 x 1 metre area, again used my brush to gently scrub the grout, and by golly, that grout grime came away immediately! Plus no need to reapply another spray to remove residue – Eco Spray doesn’t leave any. So a job that was going to take an hour or two, ended up taking me 30 minutes (including the initial test with the new grout recipe). It ended up being very clean grout.

Original Clean Grout Recipe

  1. 7 cups water
  2. 1/2 cup baking soda
  3. 1/3 cup lemon juice
  4. 1/4 cup vinegar

Put into a spray bottle.

Things to note: Baking soda will chemically react to both vinegar and lemon juice – so make sure that there is plenty of room for “bubbling up” when you put this all together. I would also recommend adding the water first… Less spectacular! If you do try this recipe, and your experience is different from mine, I would LOVE to hear from you. Can I have possibly gotten it all wrong?! If you use this spray, I would also love it if you would compare it to my own tried and tested (and beloved) Eco Spray. What did you find??

I wish I had taken pics of the before and after of the clean grout job that I did… Never mind – the next clean grout task will be photographed before and after, and added to this blog. In the meantime, here is a picture of General Grunge.

Clean grout and fight General Grunge

If you like this blog, please give it the thumbs up (by clicking on the very small thumb icon directly under this. It doesn’t really do anything of any great import, except to make me feel good. Which is actually very important :).

Until next time *swishes cape*




GD Star Rating

Build your own Eco Clean Kit

Eco Clean Kit for less than $15?!

Are you concerned about budget constraints? Does the degradation of the environment make your hair turn grey? Perhaps your cleaning materials take your breath away, in a “my lungs are dying!” kinda way? Whatever has drawn you here, the following Eco Clean Kit is likely to resolve some or all of these concerns for you.

You are about to be amazed and full of wonder when you find out exactly how easily, and cost-effectively you can build your own Eco Clean Kit. Not only are you going to be strutting around like a swaggery eco warrior, but you are also going to be delighted by how most of these products work far better than cleaning products available in your local supermarket. Your Eco Clean Kit will see you right for years to come, and your cleaning product expenses will plummet.

Bonus for young players: the products in your Eco Clean Kit have a less intense, and less toxic smell than what you would generally buy from your local store.

If you have read any of my previous blogs, you will know that I have an almost unhealthy love of the cleaning properties of baking soda, white vinegar and a good microfibre cloth. With these humble accoutrements, you too can achieve superhuman feats of cleaning amazingness.

To build your Eco Clean Kit you will need:

  1. Standard bucket ($1 from Kmart).
  2. Shaker bottle ($5 from Kmart, or $3.95 from your local $2+ store).
  3. Microfibre cloth – I buy the 1kg pack from Bunnings ($9.99), because there is a huge variety, including the fabulous window cleaning one. You will need about 50 cents worth to accomplish a good household clean. Just wash and your 50 cent cloths can be used again and again.
  4. 2 x Spray Bottles – you can use empty spray bottles from your general household cleaners, as long as you thoroughly rinse them first. Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose!
  5. Window cleaner spray – I prefer this over methylated spirits because of the smell. Actually, my experience tells me that meths is more effective… Oh the eco warrior guilt! Anyhow, Aldi sell a good value window spray for $1.19. 1lt of methylated spirits costs $3.75 at Kmart, and you will make about a kazillion litres of glass cleaner with this. Up to you.
  6. White vinegar – You can buy 2lt from Coles for $1.09. This will last you for ages! Let’s say that you use about 25 cents worth to get stocked up.
  7. Baking Soda – Obviously I buy this in bulk. I buy 5kg for $30.25 from Melbourne Street Organics. Not only is this business a great one to support, but their baking soda is the cheapest in Melbourne that I have found. 5kg of baking soda would last the average household at least a couple of years – probably more like 3! Let us agree that for the purposes of creating a fully stocked and functional kit, that your Baking Soda would cost you $3. NOTE: If you know of a great and cost-effective baking soda supplier, please let me know in the comments section!

With just these basic ingredients in your Eco Clean Kit, you can clean your bathroom, kitchen (including oven and microwave), laundry and floors (including carpet AND lino/tiles/wood). You can also clean many of your kitchen equipment, such as your dishwasher and any burnt pots that you have. Blogs on this pending…

It turns out that you probably cannot deal with your Oven Tray of Shame with this kit, but it seems like a small sacrifice for the other miraculous benefits. I’m still working on that Oven Tray of Shame… Grrrr…

Now, let’s do some maths and add up all of those costs. One plus five plus *mumbles to self and gets out calculator*… Well, that comes to $10.94. What an absolute bargain! Let’s give it about a 30% room for error and round it up to $15 – you might not be the bargain hound that I am, and may prefer to buy your more flashy pants bucket etc.

Putting your Eco Clean Kit together

  1. In one of your spray bottles, make up your own Eco Spray. This can be used to clean almost any surface. It cleans the outside of a toilet like a boss. It’s also great at getting shower scum off tiles, and pretty much makes any surface clean and shiny.
  2. Fill up your shaker bottle with baking soda (and keep the sieve-like insert in there, as it breaks up any lumps that might form). Use this to clean your toilet bowl – just sprinkle it in and leave it for a few minutes before scrubbing. You can also sprinkle it around the carpet before you vacuum to freshen things up (leave for 15 minutes or more for best results). Put it into your stinky runners (thank goodness this works so well!), or sprinkle your pets’ bed and toys with it for a good old fashioned freshening. When mopping floors, simply shake less than a tablespoon into the water, instead of floor cleaner. You don’t need much, and it zips through floor scum.
  3. In your other spray bottle, make up your Oven Eco Spray (recipe and instructions pending!). When you HAVE the recipe, just spray your oven door and inside with this once every week or so – totally keeps on top of that yukky oven crap that builds up. Also works on modern ovens that you need to be careful with. If this spray is not cutting the mustard with your oven, sprinkle baking soda on the more stubborn bits, and spray gently with your eco spray. Leave for 30 minutes or more. It’s not as effective as commercial oven cleaners, but it’s a LOT less toxic.
  4. Assign one microfibre cloth as your “wet” cloth.
  5. Assign one microfibre cloth as your “dry” or polishing cloth.
  6. Use the window cleaning microfibre cloth ONLY for cleaning windows and mirrors.
  7. Put all of the above, plus your window cleaner spray, into your bucket.

Voila! Your Eco Clean Kit is finished! Now draw a smiley face on your bucket, and tie one more large microfibre cloth to each end of the bucket handles, akin to a cape. And now you have a Superhero Eco Clean Kit! By the way, I’m a Superhero – not a photographer… Please give this post a thumbs up (below if you like it). Any tips, comments or criticisms most gratefully received.

Eco Clean Kit

GD Star Rating