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Clean your kitchen the natural way

Marie Havenga • Jan 29, 2016 at 12:00 AM

The uses for vinegar never end, so we're rolling out yet another round of great uses for this cheap and versatile cleaner and deodorizer.

Your fridge, microwave, oven and guests will thank you.

(SUBHED)Microwave magic

Your microwave takes the bulk of gunk in the household, but don't despair. There's a quick and easy solution.

Mix ½ cup white vinegar with ½ cup water in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high until the mixture comes to a boil.

It's like magic — baked on food and gunk will disintegrate or loosen. All you need to do at the end is wipe down the inside surfaces with paper towel.

(SUBHED)Refresh the refrigerator

Refrigerator starting to smell? Mix a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water, and wipe down the shelves and walls.

While you're at it, wipe down the neglected top of the fridge and freezer doors.

(SUBHED)Clean cubes

If you keep reusing ice cube trays, your cubes will develop a stale and nasty smell, and can even become discolored.

For fresher drinks, empty your ice cube trays and soak them in straight vinegar for half a day. Rinse under cold water and let them dry.

(SUBHED)Don't dispose of this tip

Your garbage disposal is one of the yuckiest places in the house and often one of the most overlooked.

To deodorize the disposal, pour ½ cup of baking soda down the disposal, followed by ½ cup hot white vinegar (simply heat it in the microwave). Let the mixture soak for 10 minutes, then run hot water down the disposal.

Just remember: It's not wise to run the disposal with hot water because the heat is not good for the motor. Instead, after the hot rinse, run enough cold water to cool down the motor before turning it on.

(SUBHED)Oven option

When your oven door glass becomes cloudy and covered with grease, grab your vinegar jug and try this:

Open the oven door so it lays flat. Pour a healthy amount of undiluted vinegar onto the inside surface. Let it saturate for a half-hour. Wipe with a sponge.

If the stains are stubborn, try mixing ¼ cup baking soda with 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap and just enough vinegar to form a paste. Spread the concoction on the inside of the oven door. Let it set for 15 minutes, then scrub with a sponge, rinse with warm water and wipe down until all streaks are gone.

(HAVENGA HEADSHOT) Have some favorite apps, household hints or savings secrets of your own you'd like to share? Or searching for a solution? We'd love to hear from you. Email Marie Havenga at mhavenga@grandhaventribune.com. Include your name, address and phone number. You may also snail-mail ideas to: Trib Tips, 101 N. Thir St., Grand Haven, MI 49417; or call 616-847-2628.

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