4 Clever Fixes For Common Kitchen Problems

Dated: 04/28/2014

Views: 5954

1) Problem: Stinky Drain

Solution: Get rid of any lingering food and bacteria by dumping half a cup of baking soda down the drain, says Amanda Thomas, founder of Moxie Girl Household Assistants. Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes, then add 1 cup of white vinegar. Let the bubbling action do its thing, then follow with a kettle full of boiling water. If you have a garbage disposal, toss a couple of ice cubes in, and turn it on. Follow with some citrus slices, too. "The ice cubes will sharpen the blades and knock loose any stuck food gunk, and the lemon will freshen it up," Thomas says. If you don't have a disposal, do your best to keep food out of the drain, and always rinse it well.

2) Problem: Too-Sensitive Smoke Detector

Solution: You know this, but it bears repeating: If you have one of those alarms that blares when you even think about boiling water, it's important you find a solution instead of removing the batteries. You have a few options. 1) Simply move it to a different spot, where it's less likely to trigger so easily. 2) Consider upgrading. Paying just a little more for better technology often solves the problem. 3) The shower-cap trick. Cover it while you're cooking, and always remember to remove it when you're not. (Some people prefer a plastic bag/rubber band combo. Since it's so unsightly, you won't forget to remove it.) Is your detector hard-wired? You (or your electrician) may be able to adjust the sensitivity.

3) Problem: Pot-Lid Pileup

Solution: A pot-lid organizer attached to the inner cabinet's walls or door does the trick, says Moxie Girl Household Assistants Founder and Domestic CEO podcast host Amanda Thomas. "That way, the lids are easy to find and out of the way, leaving lots of space for the pots," she says. If your cabinet can't accommodate such racks, look for something else that allows for verticalstorage. All kinds of specialty products are readily available, but an old dish-drying rack works, too, says Donna Smallin Kuper, author of Cleaning Plain and Simple. Don't forget about the importance of paring down all your pots, pans, and lids to those you actually use. The less you have, the less you have to dig through to find things.

4) Problem: Cabinet Doors Don't Close All the Way

Solution: Check the door's hinges. "Over time the screw holding the hinge to the cabinet can become loose, or even pulled out, especially when used by little kids, who tend to pull down on cabinet doors," says Vince Christofora, Jr., engineer and owner of Woodstock Hardware in Woodstock, New York. If you spot a loose screw or two, have someone hold the cabinet door in the correct location and tighten them. If the hinge has been pulled out, you'll need either a longer, fatter screw or some epoxy wood filler, to repair the damaged hole before tightening the screw.  If this doesn't work, try leveling the doors. If you have concealed hinges, they come with an adjustment screw, Christofora says. Adjust slowly, frequently closing the cabinet door as you go to check for uniform spacing. Once the door is level and uniformly spaced, it should close properly. For older cabinets with non-adjustable hinges, you may have to remove the hinge, repair the old holes with epoxy wood filler, and reuse. Or, you could slightly move the hinge up or down and create new screw holes. If none of this works, Christofora recommends installing a simple magnetic or mechanical catch to help keep the door closed.
Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.
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David Cooper

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