We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cove Cleaning Recap Day 3

The kitchen cabinets are covered with a brown sticky film. I have no idea how often cabinets are supposed to be scrubbed. People say once a year for the big scrub party is normal, but our cabinets just attract icky stuff.

Y'know it never dawned on me to scrub them? When I first read about it early last year, I was flabbergasted. Absolutely kuflummoxed. I tried it and was amazed at the difference it made in how clean the kitchen felt. But then I had to scrub them down almost every 3 months, not once a year. Could it have something to do with the cooking oil I used? I used a lot of sesame seed oil in this kitchen. Not tons at once but it was used almost every time we made a stir fry or fried rice, which was multiple times a week. Or maybe the fact that the cabinets are laminate covered with inexpensive white paint? Whatever the reason, they have to be cleaned pretty often and when I went back to work last year (before staying home again, but that's a whole other story), I didn't have the time. So you're looking at cabinets that haven't had the gunk scraped off in 8 months. Ew.

Starting on the left cabinets going clockwise around the kitchen. Nasty.

Much better, but I think needs a few more swipes as the weeks go by to get the last of the dripped stains on the bottom half. The dark parts on the very bottom of the door are spots where the paint is chipped.

Forgot to take a photo of it dirty. This cabinet is above the one I just showed you.

Moving to the right to the cabinets above the stove. Gross vent hood and (shocker!) more dirty cabinets.

Just in case you weren't sure it was dirty.

The left cabinet and left side of the hood have been cleaned. The door on the right and right part of the vent hood is still dirty. This was hard work! Almost as rough as the first time when everything was caked on.

Aahh.... no more sticky ickyness.

It took so much longer than I thought and I was worn out by the time I finished the hood. I decided to do a different section of cabinets every day until they're all clean. That should be manageable, right?

Something good came out of this overdose of elbow grease, though. Introducing an awesome new cleaning solution for greasy cabinets. Vinegar water or vinegar and baking soda (my usual go to cleaners) seemed to just smear the gunk but this worked like a charm! Here's the recipe:

Lika's Cabinet Degreaser
2 tsp liquid dish soap
2 parts water
4 parts vinegar

Combine in a spray bottle. Shake well before use.
Spritz on cabinets and let sit for a few minutes.
Dip a sponge in hot water and wipe solution off, rinsing sponge in running water when dirty.
Continue to dip, wipe and rinse until gunk is gone. That's it! 

So, taking a break from cabinets, I set to work on the stove.
The burners and vent hood filter went for a soak in hot water and a bit of clorox.

I was wiping the back well on the left when I remembered to take a before shot.

A rag and hot water removed any loose gunk.

The grease on the burners and filter refused to be scrubbed off even after the clorox dip so they got tossed in the dishwasher. A little soap and a hot water cycle and they came out perfectly clean.

The stove probably needs a few more scrub jobs before the last of the gunk comes off but it's all looking much better.

Any advice about getting the burners themselves ( the round metal things where the flame comes out) clean? I've read that you can toss them in the oven on self clean, but I don't know if that will ruin them. I'd like our renters to have a working stove, y'know.
And now the surface matches the clean underside of the stove :)

Also yesterday, the baseboards in the master bath were scrubbed and the guest bath tub is coming along. Well, later then. Naptime is over for Baby Boy and dinner needs to be cooked.

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