Cleaning · refreshment at home

Simple Techniques to Keep Your Oven Clean

oven 3

Cleaning the oven is probably at the bottom of most of our most-loved chores!  But I have a greater disgust for a dirty oven than I do the chore itself, so I have tried to learn simple techniques to get my oven clean and keep it that way.  My food is going in there, so I want it to be clean and as sparkling as possible.

Here are the tools I use:

Oven 1

That’s right – I don’t use chemicals or sprays.  I simply use a Brillo pad, a razor and rubber gloves.  I might add paper towels to that list, just to be technical.

Here’s the process:

  • I remove the racks to make it easier to clean the inside of the oven.
  • I wet the Brillo pad a little to get it soapy.  I use it to scrub the inside of the door, the sides, the floor and top of the oven wall.s
  • I use a damp paper towel to wipe out the soap.  I can then to assess and see if there’s any dirty residue that needs more scrubbing.
    • If there’s anything baked on the floor of the oven or the door, I use the razor blade to scrap it, then I use the Brillo pad and paper towel to wipe and check.
  • Once the inside is clean, I put the racks back into the oven to clean them.  I don’t have a sink big enough for them to fit into, so this is much easier!
    • I pull one rack at a time out as far as it will go and still stay secure in the oven.  Then I use the Brillo pad to scrub each rung of the rack.  I wipe it with a paper towel.
    • Repeat with other rack(s).
  • Give the whole oven another wipe down with a damp paper towel.
  • Use window cleaner on the front glass, the top of the oven door and the drawer beneath.
  • Hang a clean towel over the door.
  • Stand back and admire!

The real key to a clean oven is taking care of a mess as quickly as possible.  Don’t let several days of splatters and spills accumulate, or you’ll never want to attack it. However, if you’ve neglected it, just do it.  Turn on a good podcast and listen while you scrub away.

Then vow to keep it shining!

oven 3

There are other methods you can try, too, if the oven is a huge mess.

What is your most dreaded household chore?

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Cleaning · home · Home making

Turn Your Household Jobs into Joy!

swiffer cover a.jpg

We often view household chores like a fire breathing dragon waiting to be slain. They’re breathing down our necks and we would like to run, but we know that killing that beast is necessary and needed. I’d like to give you a different perspective of those tasks, because God created our work at home (and outside our home) to be done for His glory. You see, with just one little change, we turn the word




So, too, we could make just one little change in our household work and turn it into a joy, rather than a drudgery.

What picture would give us a right view of dusting, laundry, washing dishes and mopping the floor?  How about an artist standing before his canvas!  Let me tell you why.

  • An artist has to have an end in mind.  He has to know what he’s going to have when he’s finished!  Is it a painting of a sea, the mountains or a vast valley?  Is it to be a portrait?
    • As workers, we need to know what our goals are.  What do we want to have accomplished in the end?
  • An artist has to have the right tools.  The right paint brush can put leaves on a tree with a simple stroke, or cover the canvas with the background color needed for a sunset.
    • As workers, we need the right tools to accomplish each job.  It will make it easier and more effective!
  • An artist has to have a time table to complete the work.  He may have a time limit because of the person for whom the work is to be done.  He may have time limits because of the mediums with which he is working.  Clay hardens!  Acrylic paints dry quickly!
    • As workers, we should use our minutes wisely, not wasting time by making the work more difficult, or by distractions.

So, artist, let’s think about our housework and how we can apply these principles!

  1. Tasks 
    1. Each day have a plan as to what needs to be done.  Don’t try to do it all in one day.
    2. Divide the weekly chores into the days of the week.
    3. Write down what you need to do.
      For daily chores, like beds being made and dishes washed and put away, you may want to write that into your goals as well, but not necessarily each day unless it’s not a habit yet.  If you need to get into that habit, write it each day!
      Know what your desire is – should the beds be made right after rising?  Should the dinner dishes be put away before you head to bed?  Seeing chores written down will help you to accomplish them, and then have the satisfaction of checking them off!
  2. Tools
    1. Dusting – Don’t use the nastiest rag you have in the house. Use a cloth you’ll want to see, like a swiffer duster, or a microfiber cloth to dust your home.  Get an extension duster to use on the ceiling fans and behind the headboard of the beds.
      Invest in a dusting spray.  I love the Pledge multi-surface anti-bacterial cleaner. multi surface everyday cleaner antibacterial
      It helps pick up the dust and it leaves everything smelling fresh and clean!
    2. Mopping –  Swiffer mops are my favorite.  I made my own covers for dry mopping and I can wash them and reuse them!  But I do buy the Swiffer brand for wet mopping.  They, too, make the house smell nice and clean!
    3. Cleaning Windows and mirrors and bathrooms – Put your mirror/window cleaner as well as your bathroom cleaners in pretty little spray bottles from the Dollar Tree.  I have several – one in each bathroom, and one in the kitchen ready for use!
      I use my own recipe for windows and mirrors – 50% water 50% white vinegar and a few drops of Dawn Dish Soap.  Shake it up and spray it on!  It works great and doesn’t leave streaks!
    4. A cleaning caddy can carry all your supplies without you having to run from room to room gathering the needed cleaning sprays and cloths. You can buy something similar at the Dollar Tree.
      Clear Tote Caddy - 18
  3. Time
    You don’t have to spend hours cleaning!  As a matter of a fact, you could spend less than 30 minutes a day and get more accomplished than you can imagine, but you have to be diligent.  Here’s how:

    1. Set a timer.  Play a game with yourself (sounds silly, but this works wonders!).  Set a goal to try to accomplish a,b,and c before the timer goes off in, let’s say, 15 or 30 minutes.  It’s amazing what you can accomplish in a short amount of time!
    2. Set aside distractions.  Put your phone in another room, or on vibrate and vow not to touch it until you’re finished!  Turn the television off.  Focus on the work at hand.
    3. Do the least liked job first!  You hate cleaning the oven, but it got splattered from the roasting chicken?  Do it first.  Then you can move on to the easier jobs!

With these three simple ideas, you can complete that work like an artist and you’ll end up with the beauty of a home that no painting could capture!  The audience will be your family and friends.  There’s no embarrassment of people seeing an unfinished project on the easel!  Oh, and the

A JOB can be turned into a JOY
with just one little change.

What change do you need to make in your housework to change it into a joy?

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Cleaning · How-to Video

My Daily Kitchen Cleaning Routine

Not many care to have to scrub and scour by the hour!  The remedy to that is to keep on top of chores so it doesn’t take long.  If you let the counters in the kitchen pile high before you get to un-cluttering for Thanksgiving, you’re going to be working much longer than if you clear it off at the end of each day.

Here are a few tasks that I do every day after I finish cooking:

  • Wipe down all the counters with warm, soapy water
  • Wipe out the microwave
  • Use window cleaner on the microwave, stove top, oven door, refrigerator, trash can and dishwasher
  • Wipe out the sinks
  • Empty the dishwasher and dish drainer
  • Sweep the rugs

These tasks are complete in about 15 minutes, and the kitchen is clean when we get up in the morning and start the process of cooking and cleaning all over again!

What about your kitchen is most bothersome and hard to keep clean?

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Cleaning · home · How-to Video

My Morning Cleaning Routine

A sweet reader recently asked me if I had a daily cleaning routine.  My immediate thought was, “No, I don’t.  I just clean when I see a need.”  THEN I began to go through what I do each morning, and I realized that I certainly DO have a routine!  It’s so ingrained in my morning, that it’s just natural and doesn’t even feel like I’m working on a list of household chores!

I’ve made a short video to take you through what I do in the first hours I’m awake – just as I go through the regular parts of each day.  I work as I go along, and by mid-morning, many tasks have been completed! Come along and see…

Just as I ended my video by saying, let me repeat – the comment from a reader inspired this video.  If you have a question or comment, let me know and perhaps it can be answered in a future post!  I ‘d love your input!

Happy cleaning!
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Cleaning · evangelism · Fall · home · Home decor · Husband · Life

Things I’m Loving This Fall

Fall brings some favorite things we don’t have the rest of the year.  I thought I’d share some of the things I’m especially loving this fall (though they’re not all seasonally related).  Look for the ARROW in the picture to see my favorite thing!

favorites 1
This Kroger Washing Machine Cleaner is really reasonably priced and does a GREAT job getting any residue out of the washing machine.  The rubber gaskets don’t get completely clean, but it’s much better.  Look at that shine inside! My mom recommended it to me, and I’m recommending it to you!
favorites 6a
It’s the time of year for the great flavored creams!  This one reminds me of Christmas because in years past, it was the only time you could get it.  Now it comes out in the fall.  Mmmm, it’s so good in my morning cup of coffee!!
favorites 2a
Yankee Candles have me all  smiles.  I love all their products!  I especially love their fall scents.  This one is Sugar and Spice and it goes great with any pumpkin scent I may have in another part of the house.  I love the apple burner.  You set a container into the burner, turn it on, and it melts in the plastic container.  So easy and no open flame.


favorites 4a
I’m still chalkboard crazy!  I had a mirror over my mantle all summer, but  I decided to put the chalkboard up and do a picture.  What is it about chalkboard art that makes a space so cozy?  I don’t know, maybe just the opportunity it gives me to be a little creative.  It might be tacky to some, but I love it on the mantle!


favorites 3a
My last love isn’t a thing, it’s a person.  It’s the man you see talking to our sweet neighbors that we love.  That man, my husband…loves people.  He has a burden for people.  Everywhere he goes, he’s looking to pour into people the love of Jesus, and I love that about him!  I snapped this picture from my laundry room window.  I loved looking out and seeing him chatting with the children.  They love him, too!

What are you enjoying this fall?  A new product?  A place you’ve visited?  A person who’s been a blessing?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Have a refreshing weekend as you attend a church that preaches the Word of God in Truth!  Our church will be celebrating its 61st anniversary this Sunday, so it will be a special day, and I’m looking forward to it!


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