Home Cleaning

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!

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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*




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Clean your oven

Clean your oven using Ammonia

Since I became a less “disguised” Superhero, friends have been sending me links to various cleaning recipes and – most of them environmentally friendly. Many are recipes about how you might easily clean your oven.

If you are like most people, you love a clean oven, but you hate to actually CLEAN your oven.

I am unlike most people, and my oven is not quite the disaster zone that many of us hide – but as you can see, there is definitely room for improvement. Those stubborn dark spots are baked on, and do NOT respond to my gentle solutions to date.

2013-10-21 17.54.28

I was given a recipe for an apparently amazing solution, that will easily allow you to clean your oven. It involves, primarily, ammonia. I’ve never used ammonia – at least not knowingly. So when I was given this recipe, the first thing I did was a Google search on the environmental and health impacts of ammonia. If you are a fastidious type that likes to check your references and facts, you will notice that the information on this site is a little alarming. When you dig a little deeper you will also notice that the available information is about more commercial or industrial amounts of ammonia. The main concern thing that you should have is ventilation. Make sure that your kitchen is able to get a good air flow when you are attempting this recipe. Safety first peoples. If you do this, with the small amount of ammonia involved, you should be absolutely fine. According to the research… Don’t even think about giving that stuff a good old sniff.

So I decided to sacrifice myself in the pursuit of further knowledge about “keeping home like a boss”. I am going to try this solution, and I’m going to tell you what I find. Plus, I suspect that my Grandmother would have told me not to be so precious – and that she had used ammonia herself without noticeable effect. We won’t mention the third nipple.

Stage one – Clean your Oven

  1. The first part of this is very easy. Sometime in the evening, put a pot of water on your stove to boil.
  2. At the same time, heat your oven to 60 degrees. This is warm, but by no means hot. Turn it off.
  3. Put 1 cup of ammonia in an oven-proof dish, and put it in your oven on the top rack. I used Cloudy Ammonia, which I purchased from Coles.
  4. When it has boiled, put the pot of water on the bottom shelf of your oven.
  5. Close the oven door, resist the temptation to sniff that ammonia, and leave the whole caboodle overnight to do its thing.

Remember what I said. Make sure your kitchen is well-ventilated. I do not want to have any recalcitrant nipples on my conscience.

Stage two – Clean your Oven

Drink a big glass of water, and go to bed. Have a good nights sleep. Hydration and rest are very important.

Stage three – Clean your Oven

When I awoke, I eagerly checked my oven. Again, don’t sniff when you open your oven…

This is what I found…

2013-10-22 07.14.46Yes – it was a strange phenomenon. The previously smooth dark baked on crap had all changed consistency – it looked like brown elephant skin. I took this as a good sign. So, onto the next activity, if you want to clean your oven…

  1. Add 4 cups of water and a couple of teaspoons of dishwashing liquid to the ammonia.
  2. Get rid of the pot of water.
  3. Put on a pair of gloves, grab a scrubber, and use the above solution to gently wipe away your oven grime. You will notice that it is very easy to get rid of that previously baked on grime.
  4. I filled my sink with warm water to rinse a cloth, which I used to wipe away my oven grime. It worked.

This is the result – before and after…

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And the overall effect…

2013-10-22 08.21.42

I’m quite pleased with that. If you like it, perhaps you might like to clean YOUR oven.

If you have any comments or alternate solutions, I’d be very pleased to hear them. If you like this post, please give it the thumbs up (there’s a wee icon below). If you hate this post, give it the thumbs down.

I’m about to descend on a friend’s oven to try the eco-friendly solution that I have also been sent… My job here is done – but do you want to clean your oven? Perhaps you might want to engage your own Superhero in Disguise.

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