Cooktop Cove: Make old pans like new again without harsh chemicals or hours of scrubbing
By Angela Brown
If you're like the rest of us, you have a pantry full of pans that have seen far better days. But even though these pans look old and crusty, there's still a little beauty hidden underneath all that buildup. If you've spent too much time scrubbing your pans to no avail, you may feel like junking them and starting over.
Before you toss the rusted pans, take a look at these tips to bring new life to your cookware and other trouble spots in the kitchen. You'll save a little cash -- and the environment -- while you're at it.
Pan Pains
Foil the stains
If you forgot to grab a new scouring pad, or yours just isn't doing the trick, grab a piece of tin foil, crunch it into a ball, and get to work.
Use caution on nonstick cookware, as this could scratch your pans.
Create your own cleanser
Make your dish soap more effective with a little baking soda. Add 2 tablespoons of it into your cleaning solution. The baking soda cuts through grease and acts as a scrubber.
Hit up the laundry room
Head to the laundry room, and grab your liquid fabric softener. Soak your pans in water and a bit of your favorite brand of softener. Soak for at least an hour. Your stains will wipe away with no scrubbing necessary.
Ketchup to the stains before it's too late
Use your favorite fry-dipping sauce to clean copper pots and pans. The tomatoes' acidity helps remove tarnish from your favorite copper cookware. Coat your piece in ketchup, and let it soak for at least 10 minutes before rinsing and drying.
Kitchen essentials
Disposal woes
Does your garbage disposal smell funky? Try this lemon recipe. Cut the peels from three lemons into small chunks, and place a piece into each section of an ice cube tray. Fill the rest of the compartments with distilled white vinegar and freeze. Toss one or two in your disposal, and grind them up when it starts to stink.
Shine your stove
Want your stove to look brand new? Try rubbing it down with a layer of car wax. Not only will your stove shine like a new car, spills and stains will come off with ease, saving you time in the kitchen.
Rubbing salt in the wound
Wood cutting boards are beautiful, but they have a bad reputation for soaking up odors and germs. Using dish detergent can wear down the wood or cause it to crack. To keep it clean and safe, scrub your board with salt and a half lemon, which acts as a sponge.
To keep your wood board from cracking, rub it down with food grade mineral oil once a month.
Cook those germs and smells
Sponges are one of the germiest things in your kitchen. They're wet, frequently exposed to heat, and porous -- a hotbed for bacteria for growth. Instead of tossing those sponges in the garbage, try tossing them in your microwave. Heat them, wet, for a minute or so every other day. Let them cool off before you snag them out of the microwave.
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