Monday, 25 February 2013

Cleaning a Dishwasher with Vinegar and Baking Soda

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I've been meaning to clean my dishwasher for ages, but because my dishwasher was working fine I kept putting it off and just turned a blind eye to the unattractive gunk around the door, (because who can see that when the door is closed anyway?) But clearly some cosmic force thought that I should put my backside into gear and get the job done, because this morning when I opened the dishwasher everything was dirtier than when I'd put it in. Yep, the drain was clogged - not badly, but enough that there was too much dirty water swilling around during the wash cycle. Luckily I had white vinegar and some baking soda in the cupboard, which if you saw my cleaning limescale post you will know are my cleaning staples. 

Primarily, this post covers how to clean a dishwasher drain but since I mentioned a general clean was on my to do list here is a lovely "before" photo of the door hinges.

Before tackling the drain I thought I might as well give the dishwasher a good scrub first. Inside was fine - a small miracle given the hard water in our area - but around the door was a bit eewww. Fortunately the muck came off with a little elbow grease, a scourer and some soap. 

Then it was time to clean out the drain. Really you should do this on a monthly basis to maintain optimal cleaning, especially if your kitchen is cursed with rubbish pipes like mine. I don't remember the last time I did this, hence the dirty dishes problem. 

To clean a dishwasher drain you will first need half a cup of baking soda. Add a little bit of water so that it is liquid enough to pour (but not too much) and tip it into the drain. Chase this up with half a cup of white vinegar. It will bubble up and fizz.

I left it for about 15 minutes to do its job then poured a kettle full of boiling water down the drain to clear away the baking soda and vinegar. 

To complete the cleaning process I ran the empty dishwasher through a normal cycle with a tub of white vinegar on the top shelf. I picked up this little tip from Clean and Scentsible

And of course no cleaning post would be complete without some sparkly after pictures!

Hopefully I can make a habit of cleaning the dishwasher drain on a monthly basis, to help keep my kitchen pipes happy and working efficiently. You can use baking soda and white vinegar to clean your sink and shower drains too. 

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Blog Planner Printables: The Complete Set

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This post is the last in my Blog Organisation feature - I know I've said it before, but thank you for the wonderful response to this topic! When readers tell you how useful they've found your post it makes it all worth while.

Today I am sharing the last three printables from my Blog Planner set, which are mostly based on the ones I'm using in my personal blog planner...

First up: a cover sheet. I didn't feel the need for one in my pretty filofax, but I always include one in my organisation binders so I felt I should create one for my readers to use.

Next up: a blog contact sheet to help you keep in touch with bloggy friends, sponsors, hosting partners... whatever you need.

And the last one in the series: a password log. Like most people I have a dozen different passwords to memorize for online stuff, so I now keep a reminder of my passwords in my blog planner.

I've broken up the printables over 4 weeks to make the conversion/upload/linking process less laborious, but for the last week I've decided to go the extra mile and link to all of my previous blog planner printables in this post. So here they are:

Think that's everything?! 

***edit - turns out that it wasn't everything! As requested by some of my readers, are are some link party printables to include in your blog planners***

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

St Patrick's Day Fonts

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I've always had a bit of a soft spot for St Paddy's day,  (I'm not sure if it's the tiny drop of Irish blood in me, or the fact that pre-kids it was a great excuse to spend an entire afternoon at the pub). So here are 10 pretty (and free!) fonts to commemorate the patron saint of Ireland.

1) Bready
4) Preciosa 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Best Free Easter Fonts

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Since Christmas I've been attempting to organise my hundreds of fonts into handy collections by creating  images/posts that I can easily refer back to when I need a font to suit a certain occasion. I have to say, finding suitable Easter fonts was slightly challenging. I'd expected there to be some half decent Easter-intended fonts out there but all I found was handful of dingbats that were too cutesy or twee for my personal taste. But after many hours of trawling the 'net I'm pretty happy with the Easter font collection I've come up with, and I hope people will find it useful reference for making their own springtime crafts and printables!

As usual, the fonts listed here are all free (some ask for a donation for commercial use so don't forget to check out the terms and conditions if that applies to you!).

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Cleaning Taps with White Vinegar

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I'm a big fan of cleaning with white vinegar. Since I have two kids I'm wary about filling my home with chemicals anyway, but mostly I love white vinegar because it does a far better job than chemical cleaners. Plus it is really cheap!

Today I'm sharing some before (yuck) and after pictures of cleaning my taps with white vinegar, since I'm not sure how many people are familiar with vinegar's amazing cleaning properties. This is what I had to work with:

We live in a hard water area so limescale build up is inevitable. I've tried "proper" limescale remover in the past and haven't been too impressed, (not to mention the fact limescale remover is highly corrosive and you have to go through the faff of putting on gloves to use it). But a bit of white vinegar will take the limescale right off with no elbow grease...

I soak a ball of cotton wool with white vinegar, place it over the affected area and wrap the tap with a bit of clingfilm to keep it in place. If the limescale is quite bad it is best to leave it over night, but I got impatient and whipped the clingfilm and cotton wool off after a couple of hours. Which still left me with nice sparkly taps:

No scrubbing necessary! I also used it to clean the shower because it is the only thing that gets my shower head looking like new again.

Anyone else rate natural products like white vinegar and bicarb over chemical cleaning products?