10 Things in Your Kitchen You Are Probably Not Cleaning Correctly

cleaning supplies and blue bucket on a white surface


10 Tips and tricks as well as great instructions for cleaning things in your kitchen – which will not only help limit the potential for nasty bacteria but will leave everything looking and smelling wonderfully fresh. These cleaning solutions will help you deep clean your kitchen one step at a time!

10 Things in Your Kitchen You Are Probably Not Cleaning Correctly

You may be surprised to know that up to 80% of all foodborne illnesses come from your home kitchen. Terrifying! Even when your kitchen looks as though it is sparkling clean, it may not be the safe space you think it is.

My list of 10 things in your kitchen you are probably not cleaning correctly – and how to clean them properly!

sponges on white surface


1. Your kitchen sponge. Dr. Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, found that kitchen sponges (and dishcloths) can be as much as 200,000 dirtier than a toilet seat.

Can you even believe it?

Because sponges are porous and wet, they are ground zero for some of the most dangerous bacteria that make humans sick.

E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enteritidis, and Campylobacter jejuni are very happy living in your kitchen sponges. You can click the links to see what each of those bacteria will cause in humans, or you can take my word for it when I tell you that, simply put, it’s not pretty.

Because of the awful illnesses, dirty sponges can cause, the USDA did a study to find effective methods to clean kitchen sponges. Here are the two they recommend.

After using your sponge place it in a microwave for 1 minute at full power.
When you are doing your dishes, pop your sponge on the top rack for the full wash and drying cycles.

Either will work and help keep your kitchen safe.

2. Kitchen sink. If you are a family of meat eaters, your sink is likely coated in invisible E. coli, salmonella, viruses and sadly, even parasites.

To properly clean and sanitize your kitchen sink, start by using a damp towel with baking soda or a product that will not scratch such as Bar Keepers Friend to clean away any stains.

Next, plug the sink, add warm water to fill it and approximately 1 TBSP of bleach per gallon of water. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Use vinegar to rub away any water spots.

two wooden cutting boards on white surface


3. Wooden cutting boards. A good quality wooden cutting board will last for many years if you take care of it.

First, wash the wooden cutting board with hot water and a little soap on a sponge. The important thing here is to use soap and water, especially in the spots of the cutting board that have indentations from knives.

Next, combine a solution of half cleaning vinegar and half water, soak a cloth in it and thoroughly wipe your board down.

Make certain you dry it off afterward or the wood will swell and warp.

Repeat this process every time you use a cutting board.

can opener and paper towel


can opener and wire brush


4. Can openers. Whether you have an electric can opener or a manual one, you should be cleaning it after every use. Hubby said that health inspectors inspect them first in restaurant kitchens as they are most likely to be gunked up and gross.

Again, cleaning vinegar to the rescue!

Wipe the can opener thoroughly with cleaning vinegar and then take a clean toothbrush or small wire brush to scrub it a bit – do not forget the wheel as that is where the gunk collects. If the can opener is electric pop off the arm that holds the can and soak it until it is clean.

If you have a manual can opener you can slowly run a paper towel next to the wheel as you turn the wheel. If your can opener has gunk on the wheel, it will come off on the paper towel. After that proceed to clean with cleaning vinegar and then take a clean toothbrush or small wire brush.

two stainless steel Jenn-Air stoves


5 The glass of an oven door. Warm up the oven just a bit. While you do not want the oven to be 450 degrees it will be easier to clean if the door is a bit warm (try 200 degrees). Turn off the oven before cleaning the glass door.

Using a damp cloth, wipe the glass and sprinkle it with Bar Keepers Friend. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Get your cloth damp again and begin working in circular motions to clean it. You will repeat wetting your cloth as needed until you have finished removing all the Bar Keepers Friend and dirt and grime.

Using a dampened clean cloth you can wipe away all the residue.

If you have a glass stovetop (we did in Florida, electric only, no gas) and there is a stubborn stain on your glass stove top, start by rubbing the spot in a circular motion with a silicone spatula. That will help loosen the grime and lighten the stain.

Cover the stovetop with a paste of 1 TBSP distilled vinegar and 4 TBSP of baking soda. Let it sit for a few minutes. Rub it with a soft cloth, and then use a clean, wet cloth to remove the residue.

2 slot stainless steel toaster


6. The inside of a toaster. Unplug the toaster (always unplug all electrical appliances before cleaning!), pull out and empty the bottom crumb tray. Use a clean “scrubbie” with a little Dawn, and start scrubbing. Rinse away the soap and let it completely dry.

Use a clean toothbrush to gently get rid of the crumbs and little pieces of burnt bread on the heating elements inside the toaster. Turn the whole thing upside down over your trash can and shake it if your toaster does not have a removable crumb tray or pop-open bottom.

7. Granite countertops. If you are wiping them down with soap and water, that is great. However, they also need to be disinfected.

Keep a spray bottle that is filled with equal parts isopropyl alcohol and water at the ready. Spray the countertops, let the solution sit for 5 minutes, and then wipe them down with a microfiber cloth.

stainless steel fridge and stainless steel freezer


stainless steel fridge and stainless steel freezer


8. Stainless steel appliances. They are so, so pretty when they are shining, but between fingerprints and streaking, they can be a bit of a problem to keep clean.

Depending on the age of your stainless steel appliances, a Dawn dish soap and water solution may be all you need. My newest stainless steel appliances are only to be cleaned with a mixture of Dawn and water as per manufacturer instructions. I wipe the solution off with a cloth diaper (cloth diapers make the BEST cleaning rags!), rinse with clear water, and buff. Done!

Now on old stainless steel appliances… that is a bit trickier. In my household we use Stainless Steel Magic. It is the only thing I have found that does not leave streaks provided a “wax-on, wax-off” motion is used. My fridge and my freezer are older units (15 years old) so build up does occur every 12-18 months. At that point I strip it with full strength cleaning vinegar and start the Stainless Steel Magic again.

9. Dishwasher. Dishwashers are the best thing to happen to kitchens since the electric stove! They work hard for us and deserve their own cleaning a couple times a month to keep them in optimal working order.

Remove the food trap, empty it, soak it, and scrub it if necessary. If you are not sure where your dishwasher trap is or how to remove it, a quick YouTube search will help (that was how I found mine on my old dishwasher after the instruction booklet went missing!)

Fill the dishwasher dispenser with a packet of sugar-free lemon Kool-Aid or some citric acid. Run a full cycle.

10. Refrigerator. Take everything out including all the removable parts of your fridge. Wash them in hot, soapy water and leave them to dry while you are cleaning the rest of the fridge.

Using a spray bottle filled with half cleaning vinegar and half water, generously spray the inside and wipe down with paper towels. If there are sticky or stubborn places, dip a half lemon in some baking soda, scrub and wipe away the residue. It will be sparkling clean and smell super fresh.

Those are my 10 tips for cleaning your kitchen. Did I miss some great kitchen cleaning tips you wouldn’t mind sharing? I would love it if you’d comment and tell me what they are.

Note: None of this is meant as medical advice. I am not a doctor and do not play one on the internet. Please consult a physician if you have any questions about using cleaning products and disinfectants so your doctor can better explain to you the benefits, possible side effects, and any warnings about cleaning products and disinfectants.

If you are looking for more cleaning tips (tricks, hacks, whatever word you would like to use), check out these posts:

Twice a Year Cleaning Secret For Sparkling Shower Doors

15 DIY Cleaning Formulas to Make and Use at Home

Spring Cleaning Tips

10 Tips For Hiring a House Cleaning Service


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25 Essential Crafting Supplies

25 Essential Crafting Supplies. A list of indispensable, useful tools and products every crafter needs to have in their craft box. Whether you are just beginning to make your own crafts, are a special occasion crafter, or a crafting veteran, this list of must-haves crafting products are important to getting the crafting-job done!


A list of indispensable, useful tools and products every crafter needs to have in their craft box. Whether you are just beginning to make your own crafts, are a special occasion crafter, or a crafting veteran, this list of must-haves crafting products are important to getting the crafting-job done!

25 Essential Crafting Supplies

I love DIY projects. But before you get started, you need to be certain you have all of the right tools on hand to get your projects done right. Note: lot on this list will make a great gift for the crafter in your life!

Below is a list of my must-have crafter’s tools. Let’s get crafting with the help of these essential craft supplies.

General Crafting Supplies

  • Exacto Knife: This easy to hold exacto knife is a must-have for every crafter.
  • Self Healing Cutting Mat: This mat is the perfect place to cut a variety of materials. The healing feature helps keep the mat smooth, which gives it a longer life.
  • Hot Glue Gun: Glue a variety of materials with a solution that is permanent. This glue gun comes complete with the hot glue.
  • Wire Cutters: Stop struggling with scissors and other methods to cut wire by adding this pair of wire cutters to your crafting tools.
  • Straight Edge: Another essential crafting supply every crafter should keep on hand.
  • Paper Cutter: Get the perfect cut while working with paper. This one has a ruler that runs along both sides to help align everything just right.
  • Scissors: I keep a variety of scissors on hand for different uses. Here are some of my must haves:
  • Tape Measure: Make sure to always measure twice and cut once!
  • Pliers Set: This set comes with 6 different types of pliers including needle nose, long nose, flat nose, and more.
  • Floral Wire 22 Guage: Bunch together flowers and other mediums with the help of floral wire. This works really well because it can be tucked away and kept out of sight. Floral tape also helps!
  • Goop: My all-around favorite adhesive outside of a glue gun. This stuff is waterproof and temperature resistant.
  • Mod Podge: Seal projects with the help of Mod Podge.
  • Paint Brush Set: Having a decent set of paint brushes on hand can make or break a project. This set comes with a variety of sizes.
  • Craft Paint Kit: The colors in this set are amazing! Plus, these paints can be used on a variety of surfaces.
  • Construction Paper Set: Keeping a set of construction paper on hand guarantees that you won’t find yourself running out at the last minute to pick up a certain color.
  • Crafting Tweezers: Easy to grip tweezers allow crafters to place small items exactly where they need to go.
  • Wood and Leather Pyrography Pen: Wood and leather burning create an amazing effect on crafts. This set has everything you need, including a case to keep it all in place.
  • Washi Tape Set: Decorative tape in different patterns and colors.
  • Rotary Cutter: Get a precise cut on fabric, vinyl, and other mediums with this rotary cutter.
  • Gold Leaf Sheet Pack: Add a little bling to your crafting projects with the help of some gold leaf!
  • Glitter Set: Another way to add some sparkle and shine to your craft projects.
  • Crafting Storage: Depending on the volume of crafting supplies you have on hand, there are a few different bins, trays, and even toolboxes available to keep all of your supplies in place. Here are some of my favorites:

Now to get to the good part… crafting! For some inspiration, take a look at a few of these craft projects I know you would love.

For even more crafting inspiration and project ideas, visit the Craft Section of my website.

If you are on the hunt for crafting gifts, any of these items are a great place to start. Instead of packaging them inside of a gift box, use a Tool Box instead.

What essential craft tools do you keep on hand?


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How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service

How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service

This is how we moved our household long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service! I’ve also included some tips on packing, packing the moving container, the details of how we tracked our moving containers, and our experience with the entire process.

Hubby and I closed up our Florida condo and put it up for sale recently (it has sold). We decided to pack up some of the “good stuff” and take it home instead of donating it all. We had a few decisions to make before going forward; mainly what did we want to take, and how much were we willing to pay to have it transported.

I knew I wanted my dishes (fiesta!), we wanted some of the artwork (oil paintings – St. Augustine is an artsy community!), and there were a few pieces of furniture I wanted to take home (including a sofa bench Max used to sleep in that I knew from the day I bought it I wanted to take it home and have it reupholstered). Hubby had a ton of stuff tucked away in the closets, some nice kitchen goods, and some tools he wanted to bring back home.

Our Realtor wanted us to leave the condo staged. We compromised on semi-staged (leaving some living room furniture, the dining room table, and two bedrooms furnished) and taking the real estate photos before we packed up anything. That worked out well.

Once we knew what we wanted to bring home, Hubby had to guestimate how many packed boxes we would end up with, and measure the furniture we would be taking home, to come up with the cubic yards we would need to get it all in a container for transport.

He called several moving container places for two different quotes: one quote for one moving unit, the second quote for two units. Every place has a different size unit, some units were too small and too expensive, some were too large and too expensive, this one ended up being just right.

Hubby called quite a few places, but for price, size and ease of working with them, he went with ABF U-Pack ReloCube. The first unit was $1200, for two units it was $1500. They measure the units by cargo space. Since ABF trucking network is so large, and they go everywhere in the country, moving a u-pack unit appears to happen when space is on a truck (so the units are shipped in stages from one city to the next until they make it to their final destination).

How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


So, with the small incremental cost of a second unit, Hubby and I decided to take home: the sofa-bench I wanted, my small desk, a wicker chest (really cool!), the TV (do not ask me why, we do not watch much television, and Mr. Max already has a TV), large paintings, a recliner (it does not fit in with our decor up here, but I paid $900 for it last year, and damnit I was not leaving it behind if we had room to bring it home!) and the sleeper sofa (which had been used once!!) Hubby also managed to nab the office chairs at the last minute when he discovered that the moving containers were not quite full.

How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


We had a few paintings (as well as the TV) to be packed.


How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


The painting and TV required special boxes.


How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


These are TV edge protectors.


How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


We also adapted them for use on the paintings.


How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


It was well worth buying these specialty boxes!


Hubby bought a ton of banker moving boxes from amazon in small, medium and large sizes. This turned out to be a brilliant move for carrying, loading, and different size needs. Since we hope to buy a new home in our current area of New York State, these boxes will just be reused. We used 6″ stretch wrap to close the boxes instead of tape. This ensured that the boxes did not tear or rip when we opened them (and it really worked – we only lost one box, and that was due to a leak).

We marked the boxes fairly well while packing them too, including an H for home (more on that later).

Hubby also bought 15 moving blankets, and we used every single one. After spending a lot of time watching youtube videos, he decided to tape those moving blankets closed around the furniture instead of using the 6″ stretch wrap I convinced him to do both which was good as the 6″ stretch wrap held up better. Hubby bought a number of art boxes, as well as a TV box too. Sometimes, the right box is needed to do the job correctly.

To recap, what we used to pack our belongings:

Banker (brand) Moving Boxes
Painting and TV Boxes
Edge Protectors
6″ Stretch Wrap
• Marker
Bubble Wrap
• Tape
Packing Peanuts
• Towels, Blankets, Pillows, etc was used as wrap and padding where appropriate.

Watching Hubby pack is interesting. He prides himself on being a great organizer (wish he’d do some of his organizing in our basement) and packer. I packed a few boxes with Hubby in the same room and every single one of them were unpacked and then re-packed by Hubby as “not being right”. The only time I got a decent amount of packing done was when Hubby took Mr. Max to the groomers. I packed most of my stuff up in those few hours, and left the rest to him (I truly left the rest to him).

How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


When it came time to wrap the furniture with blankets, I wasn’t even allowed to man the 6″ stretch wrap. LOL I was the dummy end (holding the handle and not moving), and I needed to remember that!! Anyhoooo… for the most part Hubby’s packing was very, very good. He didn’t listen to me about the sleeper sofa and that had to be rewrapped outside before loaded onto the moving container, but that was it (and to be fair my idea may not have worked either).

How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


The units were delivered to our condo’s parking lot within the timeframe Hubby had scheduled them to be dropped off. The unit deliveryman called when they were 15 minutes out, and then again after they got through the guardhouse (the association has a maned guardhouse). They loaded the units on a forklift, and deposited both of the units side by side with the doors facing out so they could be easily loaded. Hubby also asked if we needed to be there for pick-up of the units, and we did not. This helped as we decided to leave a day early for home. We had five days from unit drop-off to calling for pick-up to load those units. That worked great for us!

We had talked over whether or not to run the boxes and furniture from our condo to the units ourselves. If it had just been boxes, it would have been feasible, but once that sleeper sofa came into play there was just no way I could lift and maneuver it with Hubby, and he certainly could not do it by himself (where was Sonny-boy when we needed him!?) Hubby went to craigslist where he found two young men willing to come out on a Sunday morning to transport the boxes and furniture from the third floor condo unit to the moving units for a few hundred dollars. Sold!

The box movers were excellent! They got everything from a third story end unit, down to the elevator, through the garage, to the parking lot where the units were waiting for Hubby to pack, all within 3 hours, and with no breakage. MUCH better than I could have done!

How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


Hubby packed the units, and then strapped down anything loose. We had tossed pillows and bedding that was not packed in boxes (for padding) into large construction bags, and then put them in the units for extra padding in case of shifting.

How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


We did need to supply our own locks for the ABF U-Pack ReloCubes. You can get by with one lock per unit, but Hubby decided to take advantage of both locking mechanisms and purchased one set of ok locks and once set of excellent, heavy duty locks for transport.

We left for home Monday after tossing the last of the bedding into the ABF U-Pack ReloCubes. Hubby called ABF U-Pack to pick up the units when we were on the road Monday. He was able to track those units, and by Tuesday they were already in Atlanta. The next stop was Ohio, and then they made their way to Western New York. They sent text message updates every step of the way (you could also login online to track a container(s)).

How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


When the moving units arrived in our area, ABF U-Pack texted Hubby and he scheduled a drop-off date for those units (we had a five day window to choose from). Since we knew we did not want all the contents of those units at our house, we had the ABF U-Pack driver drop them off at one of Hubby’s properties. The ABF drop-off person drove the forklift right into the garage, and dropped the units down gently (you can drop off to your driveway, this was just move convenient for us). When we were hit with unexpected precipitation, Hubby was still able to unload in a dry space. We did have the option of having one unit delivered to the house, and one ReloCube to the storage property, but the upcharge along with how it would change the way we packed made us decide against that option. It took Hubby three trips to get everything we had marked for home to our house, and he has an 8′ bed on his pick-up truck!

Once unloaded, Hubby called to schedule an empty unit pick-up. The dispatcher was super nice and gave Hubby a narrow window to pick them up from inside the building (so Hubby would not have to wait around all day). If the units had been were outside, ABF could pick up with no one “home”. They arrived for that pick-up on-time and we were done.

Now I have to be honest- I had very little to do with this whole process. It was all Hubby – from research to packing to unloading. He RAVED about how good ABF U-Pack was to deal with every step of the way. If you knew my husband… well let us just say I can probably count on one hand how many times he has been this pleased with a product and/or service in the last 14 years. Hubby is a tough one to satisfy. He felt that ABF U-Pack really, really has it down pat for a very reasonable price.

Now my two-cents… these units are small. We packed up very little furniture (7 pieces + 2 office chairs) and that filled ¾ of one unit. If you have a large house to pack and move, this may not be the most economical way to do it. However, if you are looking for a small, long distance move, I too would agree that ABF U-Pack is a good choice to make.

Do you have any moving container tips to share?

10 Moving Tips

50 Tips That Will Make Moving Easier


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• For more Library Reading on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

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