My microwave oven reeks of stale food after use. Give me an easy solution please!
Hari Sudhakaran, Executive Housekeeper at Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujairah, offers a solution:
Here’s an easy recipe. Place a cup of water mixed with the juice and peels of one lemon in the microwave. Run it on high for ten minutes, then let it sit for another ten minutes.
I’ve returned from a long vacation to find bugs in the beds and drapes. I’ve got small children, so can you suggest some natural, non-toxic ways to get rid of the bugs?
Use a disposable vacuum bag and get rid of the bag immediately after vacuuming affected areas. If any room is abandoned and fully infested with bugs, remove and discard all furniture fabric.
I try to clean my refrigerator every two weeks but it’s such a tedious chore. Could you suggest a few simple tips to make it easier?
Harsh Gaur, Executive Housekeeper at Taj Dubai, answers:
First empty and switch off your fridge. Use hot water, a sponge and detergent to clean the refrigerator inside out. Wipe it dry with an old hand towel and leave it open for 15-20 minutes. To remove unpleasant odours, cut a lemon in half and rub the juice into corners, the rubber lining and edges. Leave for ten minutes before wiping down with warm water.
What are the most overlooked parts of a kitchen and how do I clean them?
The hobs and filters inside are often laden with grease and oil. But they can be easily cleaned with a soap solution. I also recommend changing filters at least once or twice a year. Another area we overlook is sink drains, which can be easily unblocked with drain cleaners. Use these once in two weeks to keep your drains free from blockages and bad odours.
My cooktop is just a year old but it has already lost its shine. How do I restore that factory finish?
H.S.: Wipe the surface down with a solution of dishwashing soap in warm water. Then apply a paste of baking soda and salt on the cooktop and wait three to five minutes. Wipe with a cleaning cloth dipped in warm water.
What are the best ways to shampoo couches like a pro without creating a mess?
P.K.: First, remove the cushion covers and vacuum each of them along with the sofa with a bristle brush. This will get rid of 60 per cent of the dirt. Then make a solution of equal parts vinegar and lukewarm water. With a microfibre cleaning cloth, rub down the couch using this mixture.
Leather couches need special care, but there are specific chemicals available for different stains that can be mixed with water and vinegar before cleaning.
How do I clean dishwashers and keep them germ free?
P.K.: Simply add 100ml vinegar to a dishwasher and run it on empty. Remove the filters and clean them in a mixture of vinegar and water.
Please suggest a few easy tips to prevent colour bleeding in laundry?
H.S.: When it comes to washing your clothes, ensure you sort them properly. This means running different loads for different types of clothing. Separate your lights from the darks. Run separate cycles for gentle/delicate clothing and more durable and dense clothing. Doing so will go a long way to prevent colour bleeding. Note that hot water wears out fabrics quickly. Natural fabrics (such as cotton, wool, and linen) also tend to shrink when washed in warm or hot water, so read the instruction labels carefully!