August 8, 2015

Kitchen Must Have: Non-Stick Oven Liner

This week my husband requested monkey bread for his birthday breakfast. I couldn’t find my bundt cake pan so I improvised with a casserole dish. Everything was fine until I opened the oven and smoke poured out. Turns out the casserole dish wasn’t large enough. When the dough cooked, it pushed the brown sugar and butter mixture out of the dish and into the oven. It appeared to be quite a mess.

dirty oven liner


Thank goodness I had a non-stick oven liner in the bottom of my oven. I had purchased it a few years ago at the grocery store on a whim. It was on clearance for only a few dollars. I have sensitive skin and don’t like to use harsh chemicals in my house so I figured I would give the oven liner a try. As you can see in the picture above, the oven liner was covered in a hardened sticky mess.

I waited for the oven to cool and then I pulled the oven liner out. I expected that I would need to scrub the liner so I set it in the sink. I was so surprised when I turned on the water and the crusty food popped right off the liner. I washed the liner and then set it in my dish drainer to dry.

clean oven liner


Ta-da! After just a few minutes of easy cleaning, my oven looks good again. I’ve had my oven liner for a few years and it has saved me time with cleaning and money on cleaning products.

You can find these oven liners at Wal-Mart, Amazon, Bed, Bath, & Beyond and other places that sell home goods.

This is not an affiliate post.


July 25, 2013

How to Save Money on Laundry

We all have laundry to do. Some of us have more laundry than others. Regardless of how many loads you wash each week, there are some simple ways to save money while doing laundry.


save money on laundry


1.  Wash in cold water. Most all of your clothes can be washed in cold water.  I do wash my sheets in hot water since this helps to kill dust mites and germs. Unless your clothes are really dirty or greasy, usually cold water will do just fine.  Save money by not heating up the water. 

2.  Don’t buy “dry clean only”. I used to have some dry clean only clothes. I found that I wasn’t wearing them because I didn’t want to pay the money to have them dry cleaned. I tried hand washing some of them but they shrank. It is becoming easier to find nice clothing that is user friendly. Just pay attention to the tags.

3.  Treat stains properly and quickly.  I have a few go-to stain removers at my house. They work for just about any kind of stain.  Every now and then we encounter something unexpected. I just use google to see what others are saying works on the stain. This was especially helpful when one of my children, who was a toddler at the time, drew on our couch.  Be sure to treat stains quickly and don’t put stained clothing in the dryer. It is easier to treat and release the stain if it is not set in with heat. 

4.  Use white vinegar for your laundry softener. I wrote about using white vinegar a few years ago in my post 30 Ways to Clean with Vinegar.  I rarely use laundry softener but I like to use vinegar because it doesn’t leave a waxy finish on clothes.  Plus, it is inexpensive.  You can pick up two gallons at Sam’s Club for less than $4. 

5.  Line dry your clothing. When I was growing up we didn’t have a clothes dryer. My mom hung everything on the clothes line. I’m not willing to give up my dryer but I do try to air dry some of my clothing. Avoid line drying when the pollen count is high. 

6.  Adjust the water level.  Many newer washers adjust the amount of water to the size of the load.  If your washing machine doesn’t do this automatically, be sure to use the water level knob to adjust the water.

7.  Make your own detergent or shop wisely.  I confess that I have never made my own laundry detergent.  A quick internet search is sure to find you at least 10 different recipes.  I usually buy my detergent on sale and with coupons. Sometimes I am lucky enough to get the detergent for less than $1 per bottle.  I keep saying I’m going to make my own detergent. Perhaps some day I will. Until then, I’ll keep finding deals.

8.  Clean the dryer’s lint filter. Keep the lint filter clean so that it doesn’t take longer to dry your clothes.  Also, every few months it’s a good idea to clean the lint from inside the dryer. Some people run a vacuum hose down inside the dryer. I have seen special kits at home improvement stores. Also, check the outside vent. One day my dryer wasn’t drying my clothes. The outside vent was completely clogged. 

9.  Don’t iron. I’m not a fan of ironing so this one is good for me.  As soon as my clothes are done drying I take them out, shake/snap them out to be straight and lay them out flat on my bed and then put them away. I don’t want any wrinkles to set in. You can also pick out your clothes and hang them in the bathroom while you are showering. This will help to remove some wrinkles. 

10.  Use less detergent. Many folks use too much detergent. I have seen people fill the cap all the way to the top.  Look at the back of the bottle to see how much you need. Generally, you can use less than is recommended on the bottle. I usually use 25% less than recommended and have never had a problem. I have even washed some clothes without detergent. They say that the clothes agitating in the washer is what cleans the clothes. You might want to give it a try.

These are just a few ways to save. How do you save money on laundry?



July 12, 2013

Laundry Tip: How to Keep Up with Kids’ Socks

There seems to be a common frustration with those that do children’s laundry — some how the socks get lost during the washing process. It has been suspected that maybe the socks are so small that they get sucked into the hose and washed down the drain. Maybe they get stuck on a towel or inside of a pants pocket. Regardless of how it happens, it is aggravating and costly to replace socks.

kid socks 1

This really is a simple tip but it will help you to keep up with the socks while saving some sanity. All you need to do is put the socks inside of a zip up laundry bag.

kid socks 2

Zip up the bag, throw it in the washing machine, then into the dryer.

kid socks 3

Open up the bag. Ta-da. All of the socks are still there!

Some other tips to try –

1.  Have a bag for each child to make for easier sorting.

2.  If the kids are old enough, have them put their own socks into their bag before collecting the laundry.

3.  You may be concerned about the socks not getting clean inside the bag. I never had a problem, but if you’d like, you can get the sweater bags which have larger holes.

What tips do you have for keeping up with socks?


November 29, 2010

Wisk Experiment 3: Oil Stain

A few months ago, Wisk asked me to try out their new Wisk Stain Spectrum Detergent on a few different kinds of stains.  So far, I have tested Wisk on a grass stain and carbohydrate stain.  I have been so impressed with the stain fighting technology that I have been using the Wisk on other stains such as ketchup, ravioli (oh my!) and set-in stains.  (I hope to post more on that later this week.)

Today my assignment was to try Wisk out on an oil stain.  Oil stains include things such as lip gloss, peanut butter, and salad dressing. 

To test the oil stain, Wisk sent me a tube of lipgloss, a towel for blotting, a make-up bag, and another bottle of Wisk Stain Spectrum Detergent.  Hooray! I was glad to get another bottle.  🙂

I applied the lipgloss and blotted my lips onto the towel.  Yes, I know, I put on waayyy too much lipgloss.  It was fruit flavored and it made me feel like I was in high school again.  lol

I applied the Wisk detergent to the stain, rubbed it in for about 30 seconds, and then rinsed the stain. 

On this experiment Wisk took out the majority of the stain.  To me, it appears that it took out all of the oil and not all of the color.  Now I feel a little bad for putting on soooo much of the lipgloss.  I think maybe the color got down into the ridges on the towel which made it more difficult to remove.

I have been extremely pleased with the Wisk.  It is now the first thing I grab for stains.  I am sad that this is the end of my Wisk experiments. 

Click here for a $1.00 Wisk coupon.

Other Wisk Articles:
Wisk Experiment 2:  Carbohydrate Stain (Ketchup)
Wisk Experiment 1:  Protein Stain (Grass Stain)
Wisk: The Then and Now of Fighting Stains

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but the thoughts and opinions are my own.


October 30, 2010

Wisk Experiment 2: Carbohydrate Stain

There is one stain that I commonly deal with in our home and it is the carbohydrate stain. This includes things such as chocolate milk, ketchup, BBQ sauce, and syrup. Whenever I serve something with ketchup, I always preface the meal with something like, “Please lean over your plate when you eat and don’t get any ketchup on your clothes.” :sigh:

I cannot stand cleaning stains off of clothes and I certainly don’t like ruining good clothes with stains so I am glad that Wisk has given me something new to try.  This time Wisk asked me to try their new Wisk Stain Spectrum Detergent on a carbohydrate stain.

Today was a beautiful fall day so for lunch we grilled hotdogs. I also served potato smiles to the kids. Of course, they like lots of ketchup for their hotdog and potatoes.

Alligator Girl is the messy one in the house. She reminds me of myself at her age. It seemed each time that I ate, I wore something on my clothes. Too bad my mom didn’t have the new Wisk technology.  Because Alligator Girl is the messy one in the house, we painted a big ketchup “M” on her shirt for “Miss Messy”.  She was proud of her title.

 Cuddlebug wanted to help out, so I let him apply the Wisk to half of the stain and rub it in.  We let the Wisk eat away at the stain for about 5 minutes and then rinsed it under warm water.

Taaadaaa!  Seeing is believing.  I admit, I was a little skeptical of what the Wisk could do.  Afterall, I have dealt with plenty of red stains, but I cannot deny these results.  I am pleased with how well the Wisk worked.

Other Wisk Articles:

Wisk Experiment 1:  Protein Stain (Grass Stain)

Wisk: The Then and Now of Fighting Stains

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but the thoughts and opinions are my own.


August 29, 2010

Wisk: The Then and Now of Fighting Stains

Do you ever sit around and watch old commercials onYouTube? I do.  I think they’re quite hilarious and honestly, they take me back to my childhood.  Sometimes I show the old commercials to my kids and they get a good giggle from watching.  Of course then, I have to hear the questions like, “Did they have electricity when you were a kid?”.  haha

Here’s an old commercial from Wisk. Wow, does that take me back! The thing back then was ring around the collar. It would have been a terrible thing for a woman’s husband to show up to work with stains on his collar. It would have been a reflection of her ability to keep house.

I know that my mom always kept a bottle of Wisk in our home. We referred to it as “the good stuff”. Many times we would use the other detergents to wash with and then we’d get out the Wisk for the tough stains. We’d apply the detergent directly to the stains and rub it in.

Detergents have come a long way over the years. Check out this new detergent from Wisk. I’m excited to try it.

I think moms today have just as many stain worries as they did back then. Kids will be kids. Children will still get grass and chocolate milk stains on their clothes. Many times I feel badly for getting on to my kids so much. I’m just so worried about ruining another outfit with their stains. Hopefully, the new Wisk with Stain Spectrum Technology can help me to put my worries aside and let my kids have a good time.

What do you think . . . do you think the stains you tackle today are the same as the stains your mom faced?

Disclaimer: This post is being sponsored by Wisk and I am being compensated for this post, but all ideas and opinions are my own.


July 12, 2010

Cleaning Challenge: Clean Your Coffee Maker

You may be wondering why people say you should clean your coffee maker.  Clean water is the only thing that goes into the machine, right?  The problem is, the water causes deposits inside the coffee maker.  The deposits can slow the flow of water inside the machine and they can alter the taste of your coffee.

Cleaning your coffeemaker is easy.  

To clean your coffeemaker, simply brew a pot of vinegar water.  Use equal amounts of each.  I filled up my pot to the 5 cup line with vinegar and then to the 10 cup line with water.  Next, let the vinegar water run halfway through the coffeemaker and then turn off the machine.  Let it sit for a while (may an hour or so, depending on how hard your water is) and then turn the machine back on to finish the cycle.  If you have never cleaned your machine before, then you might want to run the solution through your machine twice.  After the cycle is complete, run a few pots of fresh water through it to get rid of the vinegar smell and taste.

Have you cleaned your coffeemaker lately?

image sxc


June 22, 2010

30+ Ways to Clean with Vinegar

A few years ago I decided to make a big change in my life.  I had used all sorts of cleaners. Many of them had caused me to break out, inflamed my eczema, and given me headaches.  I knew the stuff wasn’t good for me and with two small children in the home I wanted to do something different.  I began using white vinegar and water to mop my floors.  It wasn’t long before I was hooked on the natural and safe cleaner and began to clean the majority of my home with it.

Now I keep a spray bottle under my kitchen sink that has equal parts of vinegar and water.  I use it to clean just about everything.

Before I get started on this list, you should know that some folks don’t like the smell of vinegar.  If that’s you, feel free to add a tiny bit of lemon oil or some other fragrance to your vinegar.

Here are some uses for cleaning with vinegar:

Kitchen and Dining Room

  • Use vinegar to mop your floors.  I keep a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water.  Just spray on your floors and mop.  Or you add 1 cup of vinegar to your mop bucket. I think the spray method uses less vinegar though.
  • Refill your Swiffer mop cleaner bottle with vinegar and water.  My hubby used some plyers to pull the lid off the bottle so that we could refill it.
  • Spray vinegar in your sink and on your counters to kill germs.
  • Wash your windows.
  • Boil some vinegar and water to take away unpleasant smells.
  • Clean your kitchen table, chairs, and highchair. The vinegar will kill germs without being harmful to foods or your children.
  • Soak or simmer stuck-on food in 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of vinegar.  The food will soften and lift off in a few minutes.
  • Deodorize your sink drains: Pour a cup down your drain, let stand about thirty minutes, then run cold water.
  • Appliances sparkle if cleaned with a vinegar and borax cleaner.  Mix 1 teaspoon borax, 1/4 cup vinegar, and 2 cups hot water and put it into a spray bottle.  Spray it on greasy smears and wipe off with a cloth or sponge.
  • To loosen food grime and clean the microwave, place a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups water, 1/2 cup vinegar inside the microwave and microwave on full power for 3-4 minutes (it needs to boil). Keep your microwave closed for a few minutes to allow the steam to loosen the grime, then open your microwave, carefully remove the bowl, and wipe clean.
  • To remove grease from kitchen walls, put straight vinegar on a dishcloth to wipe grease off kitchen walls, or the stovetop.
  • Fill your water reservoir halfway with vinegar to clean your coffee pot.  Follow up by running 1-2 pots of clean water through to remove the vinegar.
  • If you have fruit flies, put some vinegar in a jar on your counter.
  • Adding a cup of vinegar to a dishwashing cycle will help clean your dishwasher and will also help prevent spots from forming on your glasses.
  • Use vinegar to clean your garbage disposal.  Run a tray of ice cubes with 1/2 cup vinegar poured over them.


  • Use vinegar to clean the outside of your toilet.  Simply use your diluted vinegar spray bottle and use as you would a regular cleaner.
  • Add full strength vinegar to the inside of the toilet bowl.  Allow to sit for a few minutes and then clean.
  • Spray the shower curtain to help get rid of mildew.
  • Spray to kill germs in the shower inbetween regular cleanings.  (I prefer to use Soft Scrub, Scrubbing Bubbles, or something like that to clean the shower. Vinegar helps for those inbetween cleanings.)
  • Clean your mirror.
  • Mop the floor.

Laundry room

  • Add vinegar to your whites to help whiten the load.
  • Add vinegar to your rinse cycle or softener dispenser instead of fabric softener.  Vinegar prevents your clothes from getting that waxy build up on them.  Vinegar is suggested for using to rinse cloth diapers to keep them absorbent.
  • Add vinegar to your wash to kill athlete’s feet bacteria.
  • Soak smelly clothes in vinegar and water. The vinegar will help to get rid of smells.
  • Soak stained clothes in vinegar and water. The vinegar helps to lift the stain.
  • Remove ink stains from clothes by soaking them in milk for 1 hour.  Then cover the stain with a paste of vinegar and cornstarch.  When the paste dries, wash the garment as usual.  Do not heat dry the fabric until you know the stain is removed.
  • After washing your whites with bleach, run another rinse cycle with vinegar.  The vinegar will help to remove the bleach smell.


  • Clean vaporizers and humifiers by soaking unit in vinegar.  Soak base of unit in a shallow bowl of vinegar and then run water through it.  I got this tip from the actual directions that came with my vaporizer, but it really does help to remove the deposits and also to sanitize.
  • If your puppy (or child) has an accident on the carpet, apply full-strength plain white vinegar for about 10 minutes and then blot dry. I have never had any problems with the vinegar fading carpet, but you may want to test an inconspicuous spot first.
  • Use vinegar and water to clean your baby and children’s toys.  You don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals this way.
  • For laminate floors, mix 1/3 part white vinegar, 1/3 part rubbing alcohol, 1/3 part water, and 3 drops diswashing liquid.  Mix this into a (recycled) spray bottle and you have the equivalent of the Pergo floor cleaner. Just spray and mop.  Laminate floors are better off when water doesn’t sit on it too long; the alcohol is added to make it dry faster.
  • When rinsing your reusable filters, spray them with vinegar first to kill mold and bacteria.

I know that this only covers a portion of ways to clean with vinegar. What are some ways that you clean with vinegar?