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Cleaning up Dried up Grease and Burn Stains
Published on Thursday, 11 October 2012

The bane of any kitchen - burnt and dried up grease, charred food remains, milk, burnt around the stovetop - this happens sometimes to even the best cooks and when it does, it looks terrible. It looks (and is) extremely difficult to clean and it's easy to get discouraged and to not want to do it. However, the first thing to know about grease stains is that the faster you get to them, the easier they will be to loosen up and remove. The less time something has had to dry up and form a crust, the easier it is to clean it up - makes perfect sense, right? So, here are some things you are going to need:
-    An all-purpose cleaner
-    White vinegar
-    Bicarbonate soda
-    A scrubbing brush
-    A sponge or cleaning cloth you don't intend to use later.
And here is how to go about doing this.

1.    Generally, the less chemicals and commercial brand products you use around your food preparation area, the better. So this is where the vinegar comes in. Mix one part vinegar with three parts water and put the mixture into a spray bottle. Next, spray the dirty area with the mixture. Be generous. Leave to sit for about half an hour, to give the vinegar time to loosen up the dry stains.

2.    After half an hour, come back and try to scrub off the stain with the cleaning brush. Smaller spots will come off fairly easily at this point, but larger impurities will call for some more work. If the entire stain didn't come off, it is time to use an abrasive. Pour the bicarbonate soda onto the spot and use the sponge or cloth to scrub vigorously. Make sure you have gloves on for this part, as soda is highly abrasive and can easily damage your bare skin. Scrub until you see most of  the stain coming off, but do not go overboard as you may damage the surface. After you are done with the baking soda, you will have two options for finishing the job. You can either:

A.    Get back to your water-vinegar mixture, simply spraying a bit more and  gently wiping it off with a sponge or damp cloth. Keep in mind that while vinegar does have its own distinctive smell, it is also excellent at getting rid of unpleasant aromas and the kitchen can be easily aired out after you use it.

B.    If you are a fan of more traditional perfume-like or flowery scents, them opt for an all-purpose cleaner for this last part. Use in the same fashion as the water and vinegar mixture. If you opt for this, do try to find a not-toxic, chemical-free, bio all purpose cleaner, both for your own health and safety and to minimize the environmental impact.

3. Make sure to protect your hands and skin during the entire process. Besides bicarbonate soda, white vinegar can also be quite damaging to the skin, so find a good pair of rubber gloves and wear them throughout. You may also want to moisturize your hands after cleaning. The water and white vinegar mixture is just as long lasting as a commercial brand cleaner, so you can simply store it in the bottle and use it whenever the occasion arises.

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