Ultimate list of Kitchen Tips and Kitchen Hacks

The kitchen is the heart of every home. This is where those hearty breakfasts and dinners are made for the family. You want to keep your kitchen clean, organized and safe.

This isn’t always easy to do what with all the appliances, tools, utensils and food you have to deal with in the kitchen. I have compiled an ultimate list of tips and hacks to help you make all your kitchen tasks easier and faster.

Cleaning Tips and Hacks

Keeping your kitchen clean all the time can seem like an impossible uphill task. With the kitchen being the most used room in most households, it seems impossible to keep all the dishes, cabinets, countertops and floors clean.

While the countertops and dishes require everyday cleaning, every once in a while, you will need to thoroughly clean your greasy large and small appliances, dusty doors, and stained floors.

I have compiled a few helpful tricks that you can apply to help make these chores easier and faster so that you won’t spend an entire day doing them. You’ll be surprised how simple some of those jobs can be when equipped with the tricks and tips.

Granite countertops

When properly maintained, these beautiful countertops can last eons. You can use a homemade cleaner for this. Simply mix 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol, 3 drops dish soap and a few drops of water in a 16 oz bottle.

Spray the mixture onto the counter and buff with a dry microfiber cloth to give your granite countertops a clean shiny look!

 Wooden Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets tend to form greasy and oily buildup which can take up a lot of time cleaning. Using a combination of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda is a sure way to cut through the grease and oil and give your gunk-covered cabinets a fresh clean look.

Or use oil to combat oily buildup

Just mix 1 part coconut oil with 2 parts baking soda in a small bowl and apply the mixture to your cabinets with a cloth or sponge, or using your hands. An old toothbrush is great for the grooves that are harder to reach with your fingers. All the gunk comes off easily, leaving your cabinets looking good as new.

Floors

Similar to your cabinets, your kitchen floors are susceptible to oil and grease. Mopping them using your good old mop may not adequately remove the stains. Try mixing vinegar, dish soap and washing soda with warm water in a bucket and then mop as usual. Your floors will be left squeaky clean and grease free.

Oven

Cleaning your oven can be quite involving and time-consuming. Using ammonia helps to loosen and dissolve those tough baked-on messes inside your oven to enable you to wipe your oven clean in just a matter of minutes, instead of scrubbing it for an hour or so. An ammonia-based cleaner will certainly not do all the work for you but will without a doubt simplify it, greatly.

Start by preheating your oven to 150 degrees F while boiling a pot of water on your stovetop. Turn off the oven once it gets to a 150 F. Pour 1 cup of ammonia into a baking dish and place it on the top rack of your oven.

Finally, place the pot of boiling water on the bottom rack of your oven, and close the oven door. Wait a few hours (preferably overnight) for the ammonia and hot water to do their thing.

Empty your oven of the water and ammonia after the wait is over. Remove the oven racks too, and leave the oven door open for 10-15 minutes so it airs.

Mix 1-2 teaspoons of dish soap with the ammonia, and some warm water and wipe away the now soft grease from the sides and bottom of the oven. At this point, this is now a hassle-free task for you.

Extra tip: If you own a gas oven, make sure you turn the gas off and the pilot light is out before you start cleaning.

Never ever mix ammonia with other strong cleaning agents, such as bleach or commercial oven cleaners.

Or

Mix together 1 lemon zest, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1/4 cup liquid dish soap, 1/2 cup baking soda, and 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide. Then use a sponge to scrub

Then remove the racks and smear the cleaner all over the inside of the oven, including the oven door, using a paper towel or sponge. It should start working right away, just don’t scrub. Once you’ve coated the entire oven, shut the door and wait 4 hours at least for the mixture to do its thing.

Open the oven and use a damp scrub sponge and some warm soapy water to remove the cleaner and scrub out any leftover grime.

Set your oven to self-clean, and close the door.

Let the oven cool for at least an hour. Then open the door and use a damp paper towel or sponge to wipe away any remaining cleaner and residue left over from the self-cleaning and voila! Your oven looks as clean as the day you first bought it!

NB: the baking soda is for scrubbing without scratching, the hydrogen peroxide and dish soap is for tackling the gunk and the lemon zest and vinegar give a fresh scent.

Grimy oven racks

First, remove the racks and place them in the tub, spray the racks with a spray bottle that’s full of vinegar, and then sprinkle a good amount of baking soda all over the racks.

Wait for about 10 minutes and then add some hot water. Then using a scrub pad, remove any stubborn grime, rinse the racks off, and pat them dry. 

Oven glass

Add some water to a ¾ cup of baking soda and mix until it becomes a paste. Then spread the mixture across the oven glass pane and let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Then use a damp cloth to wipe off the mixture.

Cleaning sheet pans

Begin by squirting dish liquid all over the pan, then place dryer sheets on top of the dish liquid, covering the pan. Pour warm water over the dryer sheets and let the pan sit for not less than 3 hours. Then remove the dryer sheets from the pan and pour the liquid into the sink. Use a cloth to scrub off any stubborn spots that are left behind.

Glass cooktop

First of all, squirt some dish soap over the countertop, sprinkle some baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and then using a scrubbing brush, scrub and mix the solution together. Once you are done scrubbing, let the solution sit for a few minutes then wipe it off. 

Baked gunk on the stove top

First, create a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Pour the mixture onto the gunky spots and use a paper towel to scrub the spots away. 

Stovetop hood vent filters

You need to first fill the sink with hot water, then add ¼ cup of borax. Let the vent filters sit in the water for about 15 minutes, then take them out and dry them. Repeat the process in case any grease is left on the vent filters.

Enameled cast iron stove grates

First, take the grates off the stove and place them in the sink. Pour boiling water over the grates to help remove the grease. Then soak the grates in a sink filled with hot water and add dish soap for about 15 minutes. Take them out, rinse them off and dry.

Burnt pots

Place a few slices of lemon into the burnt pot. Fill the pot with water and then boil the water. You should start to see the burnt spots float around in the water. Let the water cool and pour it out, and scrub away any spots that remain. Rinse the pot and dry it!

Or

Pour water into the pan and add vinegar. Boil the water with vinegar on the stove before removing the pan and adding baking soda. Pour out the contents of the pan and scrub it to get rid of stubborn spots.

Microwave

Put 4 cups of hot water into a glass microwave-safe bowl, and place lemon chunks inside the bowl. Start the microwave and let it run until the water starts to boil and then turn it off. Leave the microwave door closed as the steam inside the microwave dissolves the grime and grease. Clean the microwave tray and use a cloth to wipe the inside of the microwave.

Sink

Stainless steel sink

Start by sprinkling baking soda into the sink, and then spray some white vinegar into the sink using a spray bottle. Wait for 10-15 minutes then use a scrubbing pad to scrub the mixture before rinsing it away, for a sparkling clean sink.

Unclog sink

Pour some vinegar down the drain of the sink, and then sprinkle some baking soda down the drain and plug the drain hole. Wait until the fizzing stops before taking out the plug. Leave the sink as is for about 30 minutes and then pour hot boiling water into the drain. This will flush out any remaining clogs.

Garbage disposal

Use an old toothbrush to effectively scrub away any food residues and grime from the splash guard flap of the garbage disposal.

Dishwasher

Didn’t think your dishwasher needs cleaning as well? Well you and me both. It does, if you want to get rid of any food residues in the dishwasher to enable it to work more effectively and efficiently. Try these 3 simple steps to get a squeaky clean, fresh smelling dishwasher in no time at all.

Empty the dishwasher and pull the bottom rack out to check the drain area for any hard chunks that can plug the drain, damage the pump or scratch dishes. Then place a dishwasher-safe cup filled with plain white vinegar on the top rack of your dishwasher. The vinegar helps to wash away the loose, sticky grease, sanitize the washer and help eliminate the musty odor. Then run the dishwasher through a cycle using the hottest water setting.

Once the vinegar cycle is done, sprinkle some baking soda around the bottom of the dishwasher and run it through a short cycle, again using the hottest water setting. The baking soda will remove any leftover stains while deodorizing your dishwasher.

You can add ½-1 cup bleach in the bottom of the dishwasher and run a full cycle if you are having trouble with mold and mildew.

Use a laundry bag for washing small items in the dishwasher

Prevent small items from falling through the cracks of your dishwasher by placing them in a laundry bag inside your dishwasher.

Glassware

Mix some vinegar and water in the sink and place your glassware in this mixture. Let the glassware soak for a while, and then scrub off any water spots that remain using a cloth.

Toaster

Use a pastry brush to brush crumbs out of your toaster. 

Coffeemaker

Fill your coffee maker up halfway with vinegar and run the brewing cycle. After the cycle is done, replace the vinegar with water. Start the brewing cycle once again. Repeat this process a few more times with water to make sure that you get rid of all the vinegar.

Blender

Put a cup of water into the blender, add a few drops of dish soap and let the blender run for a few minutes. Pour out the water, rinse the blender, and dry it.

Range Hood

The hood over your range/stove is important for trapping cooking grease. It works more effectively if it has a clean filter. Here is how to clean the filter fast and easy.

First, get a large stock pot and fill it with water. Ensure that at least half of your range hood filter can fit into it.

Bring the water to a boil, and gradually add the 1/2 cup of baking soda. After all the baking soda has been poured into the water, place your greasy range hood filter into the boiling water. You can do one half of the filter at a go depending on the size of your pot.

Let the filter boil in the baking soda water for a few minutes. After you’ve done this with both halves, rinse the filter under hot water from your tap. Repeat the process in case of any leftover grease stains. Air-dry your hood filter for a few hours and then dry. Put your squeaky clean filter back in your hood vent.

Storage Tips and Hacks

Don’t you just hate it when you think you have food leftover from last night that you will just heat up for dinner tonight only to find that it’s all gone bad? I know I do. I have had to throw out so much food that I decided to do a thorough research on how to best store food so that it doesn’t go bad.

I have compiled a list of some tips and hacks which can help you preserve your food longer as well as tackle some of the daily food preparation tasks.

Food storage

Cut veggies

Once you’re done washing your veggies, store them in a plastic bag or glass container with a folded-over paper towel inside.

The towel will keep the veggies fresh by soaking up any extra water as well as any condensation that may occur after washing.

Tomatoes

Try storing the tomatoes with the stem end down; this both blocks air from entering and moisture from escaping through the scar that once attached the tomato to the vine.

Also, try storing them at room temperature instead of the fridge.

Avocado

Get an air-tight container and line it with slices of roughly chopped onions then place your halves of avocado on the onions and shut the container tight.

Celery

Chop off the leaves and roots of the celery, wrap first in a paper towel and then in aluminum foil. Then keep in refrigerator crisper drawer to keep fresh for up to 3 weeks.

Berries

Got mold spores all over your berries? Get rid of them by properly rinsing them in water mixed with vinegar before storing them in the fridge. This also works with moldy greens.

 

Potatoes

Keep your diced potatoes in cold water before cooking. This prevents oxidation which turns them brownish or grayish instead of white.

Apples

Don’t much fancy eating the rest of your cut apple brown? Squeeze some lemon juice over the cut part to slow down oxidation.

Also, try using a mixture of honey and water to achieve the same result.

Ripen fruits faster

Toss your green banana or your hard avocado into a paper bag. Ethylene gases are released from the stem faster causing even faster ripening of your bananas.

Preserve bananas

You can keep your ripe bananas fresher for longer by wrapping the end of the bunch or each separate banana with plastic wrap. This prevents the release of ethylene gases from the stem, which would cause the bananas to ripen faster.

Potatoes

Use a laundry mesh bag for storing your potatoes. The mesh allows free circulation of air.

Onions/Garlic

Wrap onions individually in a new pair of pantyhose, then store them in a cool, dry place.

Simply nip open the knot at the bottom of the hose, and slip an onion out when you need one.

You can also store the onions in a mesh laundry bag.

Green onions

Got too many green onions? Chop them up and freeze them in an empty water bottle, either plastic or glass.

Asparagus

To keep your asparagus fresh, just cut half an inch off the bottom of your asparagus, and store it in water in the fridge. Cover the tops with regular produce plastic bags.

Smoothies

Put your smoothies in mason jars and store them in the freezer. Mason jars do not shatter. Just fill it up to the freezer fill line. Your smoothie should stay fresh for about 3 weeks.

 

Tomato paste

Store scoops of tablespoons of tomato paste in the freezer so you only grab just what you need next time you are cooking.

 

Fresh herbs

Freeze all your extra fresh herbs in olive oil. This way, they are easy to add to your favorite stews.

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Boiled eggs

To keep boiled eggs fresher for longer, leave them unpeeled then store in the fridge. They should stay fresh for 5-7 days. If you’ve already peeled them, store them in an airtight container, in the fridge for no more than 4 days.

 

Soup

Made too much soup? Pour the extra soup into red Solo cups and store in the freezer. Grab just the amount you need for dinner next time without having to defrost it all.

Chicken broth

Just like with soup, store extra broth in the freezer in solo cups.

Milk

Always store your milk in the coldest part of the fridge.

Bread

Store your bread in a paper bag with the cut side facing downwards. This prevents the crust from getting softer.

Flour/ cookies/ uncooked pasta

The best way to store all the above is in air-tight glass jars. These jars do not let moisture in so your food stays dry and fresh.

Dough

If you made too much dough for your cookies or cake, just put it in a zipper bag and store in the freezer. It will be fresh to use next time. In the case of cookie dough, use wax paper to divide the layers before freezing them in the zipper bag.

Slices of cake

Just like with cookie dough, divide the slices with wax paper and freeze.

Birthday cake

To preserve that leftover birthday cake, just secure bread slices to the exposed sections of the cake using toothpicks. The bread ensures the cake’s moisture does not escape, preventing it from drying out.

Butter

Store your butter in the back of your fridge, not in the butter spot in the front on the door of your fridge. This keeps it cool at all times.

Dry cereals

Use empty 2-liter soda bottles to store your dry foods such as dry beans.

Dry nuts

You can use old coffee creamer containers to store your peanuts and pistachios. Makes it super easy to access.

Shelled nuts

Store the nuts in the freezer to help preserve their essential natural oils.

Lemons

Keep your lemons fresh by putting them in a container full of water and covering the container with a lid.

Mushrooms

Remove your mushrooms from their containers and store in a paper bag instead to keep them dry and fresh.

Lettuce

Do not store your lettuce in a plastic bag. Use a perforated bag instead or wash and store in a bowl in the refrigerator or in a paper bag, once completely dry.

Meat

Fresh meat from the store should be stored in its store wrapping. Re-wrapping and storing meat could increase the risk of exposing it to bacteria. Do put a plate beneath it to capture any excess moisture if your meat didn’t come with a tray under it.

Sugar

While sugar rarely goes bad, brown sugar tends to form lumps that you end up just throwing out. Prevent this from happening by tossing in a couple of mash marrows in the container.

You could also toss in some orange peelings or an apple slice to prevent hardening of the sugar.

 

Cheeses

Store your hard cheeses in the store wrapping in the cheese drawer of your fridge, until you are ready to use them. (do not repackage). They should stay fresh for about six months.

Ice cream

Think all you got to do to preserve ice cream is to toss it into the freezer? Well, you might want to place a piece of wax paper over it just before placing it back into the freezer, to prevent freezer burn.

Wine in glass

To preserve a glass of wine without diluting it, just plop a few grapes into it. works with cocktails as well.

Plastic wraps

These are great for covering bowls of food for storage. But they do tend to get tangly. Store your roll of plastic wrap in the fridge. A chilled wrap is so much easier to use.

Use alternative wraps

That shower cap you use to cover your head when showering can be used to cover your dishes of leftovers to keep germs away-a fresh cap of course. They are easy to use and re-usable.

Food Preparation Tips and Hacks

Here are some useful tips and a few hacks to help you in the removing, separating, pitting, cutting and peeling parts while you are doing food preparation.

Remove skin off potatoes

Potato peelers are great but there’s even an easier way to peel potatoes. Just boil the potatoes then place them in ice. The skin will separate from the rest of the potato-like magic!

Skimming fat

Skim some ice cubes wrapped in paper towel along the surface of the stock, stew or sauce. The ice solidifies the salt making it easy to scoop out with a spoon.

You can also use a piece of toast to scoop out the fat.         

Remove corn kernels

Place the sharp end of the cob on the center hole of the Bundt pan and slice down gently. The pan also collects the kernels.

Separate yolks and whites

Gently squeeze a plastic water bottle over a cracked egg. The bottle scoops the yolk up as it re-inflates with air.

Eggshell pieces in the batter

Don’t you just hate it when those pieces of cracked egg shells fall into your batter or scrambled eggs mixture? Now you can easily scoop them out using an already cracked egg. The eggshell attracts the small shell pieces, allowing you to remove them faster.

Peel multiple hard boiled eggs at once

Shake the eggs in a covered container to peel them all at a go and much quicker.

Peeling a banana

Gently press the bottom of the banana together and peel it from bottom to top.

Peeling citrus fruit

To peel citrus fruits easily, just roll the fruits on a flat surface before trying to remove the skin

Or

Put them in the microwave for about a minute.

Squeeze more juice out of a lemon

Just refrigerate your lemon then microwave it for say 20 seconds. Roll it, cut it vertically and then squeeze. Instead of your hands, use a pair of tongs to squeeze.

Want to enjoy seedless citrus juice?

Use a clean stocking or cheesecloth to wrap the fruit before squeezing the juice out.

Hulling strawberries

Guess what you use for this? You got it, a straw. Simply press one into a strawberry from the bottom. It will remove the hull as it breaks through the top.

Remove pomegranate seeds

Just cut a cone into the flower-end of the pomegranate, slice off the lower half and score each section of the fruit on its natural ridges till you can see the seeds.

Pitting and peeling an avocado

Cut it 4 ways lengthwise and pop the pit off once it’s on the last section. Pass a knife under the tip of the skin of each section and peel, just like you would with a banana.

Peeling garlic

Just remove all cloves from the bulb and use the side of a knife to hit the cloves and watch as the skin peels right off.

Dry herbs

Buy a bunch of different herbs in the market, blend them together and dry them out in the microwave. Turn them over every 20 seconds until they are completely dry, at which point you can crush them up

Squash or pumpkin seeds

You can remove squash and/or pumpkin seeds faster by scooping them out with an ice cream scoop. The sharp edge of the scoop cuts right through the fiber-ish substance inside the produce.

Open oysters with ease

Microwave oysters for about 20 seconds before opening them to loosen them up and allow you to open them with ease.

Stale bread

Got a loaf of stale bread that you don’t want to throw out? Just run it through some water and heat it in the oven for about 10 minutes or wrap it in a damp towel and then pop it in the oven. Your bread will be fresh and crunchy like freshly baked bread.

Make edible dessert bowls

Melt chocolate into a bowl and dip an inflated balloon into it so the chocolate covers half of the circular balloon. Once it cools, pop the balloon and remove it. and you got yourself some yummy edible dessert cups.

 

 

Here are some other tips to ease other food preparation tasks

Wash veggies and fruit easier

Just use essential oils to remove the waxy pesticide coating on your fruit and veggies.

Slice cherry tomatoes faster

Need to chop a whole bunch of cherry tomatoes in half for salad? Just trap them between 2 plates and slice through a lot of cherry tomatoes at once, with a knife.

Open a stuck jar

 Wrap the lid using a rubber band before trying it again. The extra traction caused by the band will help you open it faster. Cover the rubber band with a dishcloth to open the jar even faster.

Cool soda or beer faster

To cool your sodas and beer faster, wet some paper towels and wrap them around the bottles before tossing them in the freezer. Your drinks will cool down way faster.

 

Measuring honey, mess-free

Just coat the measuring cup/spoon with some hot water before measuring your honey. The heat will help you transfer the honey from the spoon cleanly.

This works for all your sticky ingredients and you can use cooking oil or spray instead of hot water to measure without leaving a mess.

De-crystallize honey

Got a jar of crystallized honey that you don’t know what to do with? Just place the jar into a bowl of hot water for about 10 minutes to restore the honey back to its proper form.

Make cheese/cake/batter cutting easier

Just use unflavored dental floss to cut cheese, cake or batter without turning it all to smoosh.

Grating cheese

This task can be messy because cheese is so soft. Freeze it beforehand for about 30 minutes to make it harder hence making it easier to grate

Fancy making home-made buttermilk?

Do it with ease by adding a tablespoon full of vinegar to a jug of regular milk. You can use lemons in place of the vinegar.

Soften butter

Cut the butter into pieces. This will provide more surface area for the butter to soften faster.

Or

You can do this by grating it with a cheese grater or put it in a plastic bag and flatten it using a rolling pin.

Solidify melted butter

If you melted too much butter for your recipe, don’t fret. Just pour it into a small bowl and place the bowl in a bigger one filled with cold water and some ice cubes.

Onions making you teary?

Fix this by freezing onions before chopping. Remember not to freeze them for too long to avoid making onions soggy.

Or

Bite on a slice of bread. The part that is sticking out absorbs the gas that causes you to tear up before it reaches your eyes.

Eggs still edible?

Get a bowl of cold water and gently place the eggs inside. If the eggs sink to the bottom they are good. If they float, well you gotta toss them. The liquid inside eggs evaporates with time leaving a gas bubble inside which causes them to float. You can tell how old the eggs are by how floaty they are.

Cut perfect meat slices for stir-fries

To do this, partially freeze your meat before cutting it. it gets hard, making slicing it a breeze.

Cooking Tips and Hacks

Pots boiling over

Take care of this by placing a wooden spoon across the pot. The water avoids the wooden spoon which is a poor conductor of heat.

Flipping food

Pre-heating your cookie sheet when roasting foods like French fries and vegetables, to eliminate the need to flip halfway through cooking.

 

Make great pancakes easily

Just pour the batter into a condiment bottle for easy dispensing when cooking.

The perfect hash browns

It can be a hard task to make perfect hash browns. Try throwing them in a waffle iron and shutting it. The hash browns will come out a perfect golden brown without you having to do much.

 

Poaching eggs perfectly

Use a metal mesh strainer to eliminate excess egg white and gently lower the egg into the water for poaching.

Cook a whole chicken evenly

The thigh meat of a chicken requires more cook time than the breast. So, ice the breast before cooking to ensure it cooks evenly.

This works on other birds too.

Cook square shaped bacon strips in the oven

 

You get better and more evenly cooked bacon when you use the oven than if you use the frying pan. Weave them into a square shape before cooking them in the oven. They’ll cook faster and this is a great shape for sandwiches.

Grill your fish on top of lemon slices

 

Many times when cooking fish, I have had it stick and/or break up when placed on the grill. I discovered that this doesn’t happen when I place the fish on top of lemon slices and grill it like that. It becomes easier to cook and more flavorful too.

 

Make colorful and flavorful rice

If you are tired of eating the same old plain white, just pop a tea bag into the water during cooking. Use any kind of tea you like; ginger, mint, turmeric, etc

 

Make healthy meatballs

Delicious as they are, meatballs are far from what you would call healthy food.  Make them healthier by placing them inside an egg carton during cooking. This absorbs the extra fats from your meatballs.

Brewing coffee

Don’t own a coffee machine but want to enjoy brewed coffee? No problem. Just boil the same amount of water and coffee as you would use in a brewer in a pot. Remove from heat and wait about 5 minutes for the grounds to settle to the bottom then carefully use a ladle to serve the coffee at the top of the pot.

 

frothing without a frother

You don’t need to spend big on expensive coffee machines with frothers to enjoy foamy coffee. Simply put some milk in a jar, cover it and shake it thoroughly till the milk size doubles. Remove the lid and microwave the milk for 20-30 seconds.

Repurpose leftovers

Leftovers such as pizza toppings and grilled chicken should never be tossed out. Instead, use them in other meals such as casseroles.

Reheating Tips and Hacks

Pizza

Pizza like most baked foods tends to dry when reheating it in the microwave. To prevent this, place a microwave safe glass filled with water in the microwave alongside the pizza. The moisture from the water keeps it from drying out.

Bread

Just like pizza, bread also dries out when reheating in the microwave. Wrap the bread in a moist paper towel before putting it in the microwave. Remember to use a lower power setting.

 Leftover pasta

To evenly heat up your pasta, just shape it like a doughnut with a hole in the middle of a plate and heat in a microwave. The hole ensures heat reaches all parts of the pasta evenly.

Unpeeled boiled eggs

Pour boiling water into a bowl and submerge the egg, then cover the bowl with a saucer. Let the egg heat up for about 10 minutes before removing it from the water.

Peeled boiled eggs

Make sure the egg is at room temperature and then heat it in an oven for no more than 15 seconds.

Coffee

To cool down your too hot coffee without diluting it, just fill an ice cube tray with leftover coffee that’s at room temperature and let the cubes set in the freezer. These coffee cubes will keep your cup of coffee from getting watery.

Decoration Tips and Hacks

The kitchen is the heart of the home, being the most used room in the house. it should be kept organized and appealing to the eye. Here are some decorative and organization tips and hacks you can use.

Use your walls

Make nice little shelves on your wall space. Paint them in nice colors to match the kitchen. Display your nice stuff on these shelves and your practical stuff away in cupboards. This could be your goblets, ceramic plates, e.t.c. arrange them creatively to give your kitchen a stylish look.

Place antiques and artwork creatively among the nice bowls and goblets displayed on your kitchen shelves to give your kitchen more character.

Use fresh herbs and small plants to improve the look of your kitchen. Place them on shelves or on your kitchen counter.

Fix a magnetic knife strip on the wall to display all your exquisite knives and kitchen scissors.

Place a colorful book on each end of the shelves with your nice plates and goblets to further add color to your kitchen.

Leave your cute measuring cups out; they are simple but decorate the kitchen.

Hang a nice framed picture of a plant or a catchy quote about food or beverage on your kitchen wall. Ensure the frame matches the colors in the kitchen.

Use the awkward little space between your fridge and the wall. Put an old bookshelf there and place cute baskets on the shelves. Spruce up the shelf with some paint and store things like kitchen towels or sachets of vitamins in the baskets.

Use baskets to decorate. Place them under your cabinets and store your barbeque sauce or ingredients stored in small mason jars.

If you have any free space above a counter or shelf, put a hanging plant there. This gives your kitchen a great look.

Line your pantry shelf with decorative shelf liner. White liner is great as it makes your pantry look clean and neatly organized.

Use clear easy to open click clack containers to store stuff in your pantry. This adds color to your kitchen as you can see all the different colored food through the clear plastic.

Make a wooden rack on your wall and use it to display your wine and spirits. The different shapes and sizes of the bottles plus the color of the contents add color to your kitchen.

Display different fruits in a cute little fruit basket on your counter or on your small kitchen dining table to add more color to your kitchen.

 

 

Use cute, well-designed labels to label containers of hard to differentiate foodstuffs, in a minimalist way.

Arrange your most-used utensils, oils, and spices in a cute little tray to add to your kitchen décor.

Organization Tips and Hacks

Baskets

Use baskets to store root veggies and fruits that require room to breathe.

Make a small appliance cabinet

A clutter-free countertop is to die for. But it is nearly impossible to achieve when you need to use your small appliances almost every day. Make your countertop more organized by making a small appliance cabinet using the lift-up mechanism on cabinet doors to keep your appliances plugged in and on the counter, but hidden when not in use.

Make small kick toe drawers

Install drawers at the very bottom of your cabinets and use them to store cookie sheets, baking mats etc

Set up drawers diagonally

Divide your drawers diagonally to store your cutlery in a more organized and accessible way.

Use the space next to the fridge

Make a custom-made wine rack in the small vertical space next to the fridge for all your wine storage needs.

 

Add a tension rod under the sink

The area under the kitchen sink has other uses other than holding all the plumbing pipes. Use a curtain tension rod, going through the handle, to hold spray bottles and/or a large mug for holding sponges.

Add drawers under the cabinets

The toe-kick or plinth is the last few inches under your base cabinets that are mostly left unused. Turn that small space into drawers, and use the space to store flat, items that are used rarely like cookie trays.

Make a wooden rack for your wall

Use this to organize your open wine bottles, corkscrews and that little towel you use to wipe the wine bottle before you open it.

Store frequently used spices and oils in a tray

Use a small sized tray to hold your most-used utensils, oils, and spices. This eliminates the temptation of keeping things you don’t really need on the counter.

Create a hanging utensil rack

 Don’t have much drawer or counter space to spare? Mount plumbing pipe clips on a piece of wood, and then hang on your wall to create a rustic and handy utensil hanging rack.

There are so many ways to use the underused space on your cabinet doors, from keeping your plastic wrap under control to storing measuring tools.

Here are six ways to make the most of your newfound space.

Measuring spoons and cups

Tired of wrestling all the silverware in the drawer to get to your measuring spoons? And wrestling the kids for the measuring cups which they think are play items? Don’t fret. Just line the other side of your cabinet door with cork board and use it to hang your measuring tools out of the children’s reach and to keep them organized.

Recipe notes

You can use pushpins to add notes and recipes to the cork board.

Maintain clean cookbooks

Recipes can be hard to keep clean, but not with this little trick. Use a pants hanger to display your cookbook from your kitchen cabinet. This way the pages stay in sight and away from oil splatters or other counter spills.

Use a laptop stand to elevate heavier cookbooks off your workspace.

 

Pot Lids

 Stick removable hooks to the inside of your cabinet doors, to store your pot lids in an organized way.

Paper towel

Hang paper towel on the side of the cabinet door to make it more accessible and get it off the countertop.

Spice racks

Use a couple of metal strips to turn your doors into spice racks that are easy-to-use and easy-to-organize spice racks.

Cooking utensils

Glue a piece of wood to the wall and put hooks on it. Then hang your frequently used utensils on the hooks.  

Packing bags

Use tissue boxes to store packing bags so they stay organized and easy to access.

Garbage bags

Simply hang a couple of dowels on the inside of the cabinet below your sink, and you won’t have to deal with a jumble of boxes anymore. This is legit. Martha Stewart said it.

Safety Tips and Hacks

Just about anything in the kitchen, from equipment to appliances to cutlery can all be safety hazards if you don’t take extra care. Here are some tips and hacks to help you stay safe in the kitchen.

Dry sponges faster

Wet sponges can be quite stinky and icky to touch not to mention a breeding ground for germs and mold. Use a binder clip in an upside down position to hold the sponge so it dries faster.

Slippery cutting boards

A cutting board can cause serious injury if it slips or slides off the counter when you are using it. just place a damp towel underneath it to keep it in place.

Maintain sharp knives

They say that a sharp knife is safer than a dull one. This is true. Just store your knives in a countertop knife block with the blades facing upward, to prevent dulling. Drawing the blade across the chopping board to transfer food to a pot or bowl after chopping can cause it to dull faster. Use the back of a knife to do this instead.

Sharp edges

Avoid accidents with knives by popping a wine cork over the tips before storing your knives in a drawer.

Prevent cross-contamination

Raw meat juices can spread germs to your fruits and veggies through your chopping board. Get two chopping boards; one for raw meat and another for all your other chopping needs.

Kitchen Fires

Combat those small grease or electrical fires with ease. Just sprinkle some baking soda onto the fire to extinguish it. Heated baking soda produces carbon monoxide which helps put out the fire.

Appliance Tips and Hacks

Each and every kitchen appliance is meant to perform a particular task. We have appliances for toasting bread, heating up food, making coffee, mixing ingredients, washing laundry, etc, however, some very creative and imaginative minds have discovered ways to use various appliances for more than just what they are meant to.

Some of them seem really crazy like freezing your clothes and washing throw pillows in your dishwasher, but what’s important is that they really work. Here are some great appliance hacks you can use.

Use the microwave to sanitize sponges

Pop your slightly dampened sponges into the microwave on high setting for about 60 seconds to kill bacteria.

Use freezer to preserve your fresh herbs

Freeze your fresh herbs in olive oil and store the cubes in a freezer bag. Be sure to label it. Just throw what you need in your dish as you’re cooking, without having to defrost.

Use a Keurig to make food

Bet you didn’t know you could use a Keurig to cook almost any processed food that requires boiling water. You can whip up instant oatmeal or some noodle soup. Simply remove the K-Cup and run a cycle allowing the water to flow directly into the food. Ithis is way faster than boiling water, and ideal for you if you don’t have a microwave.

 

Use a microwave to soften citrus fruits

To get more juice from your lemons and oranges, just microwave them for about 20 seconds

Speed up the dyeing process

Reduce the time you use to dye your clothes by putting your container of dye in the microwave. The microwave rapidly accelerates the RIT dye drying reaction.

Remember to cover the container and to line the bottom of your microwave with paper towels to protect against possible spills.

Make new crayons using the microwave and freezer

If you have some old or broken crayons in your drawers, melt them in the microwave, pour them into greased cupcake tins, freeze and there! You have new crayons!

 Use this idea with candle remnants to make candle tarts.

Use your freezer to recharge your batteries

I used to think that a freezer is only good for making ice cubes and preserving food. Imagine my surprise when I found out that it can recharge NiMh and NiCd batteries and even temporarily revive crashed computer hard drives long enough for me to retrieve important data.

After freezing batteries or hard drives, keep them stored in a sealed plastic bag for a few hours, just to make sure they’ve thawed out before attempting use.

Use a blender to make liquid compost

Use a powerful blender to break down food waste such as egg shells, coffee grounds, and food scraps quickly. Then puree food scraps with water and spread them throughout your garden. Add water and use a small shovel to work the garden to ensure all nutrients are absorbed.

Use a dishwasher to disinfect

Use your dishwasher to wash and disinfect any item that is dishwasher safe. This includes; dish sponges, your kids’ toys, rubber footwear, brushes and combs, stove burners, vent covers, grills, cup covers, small tools, scissors, small shelves and drawers, outlet shields, pulls, and knobs.

 Remember to put the smallest items in mesh laundry bags before you throw in the wash.

Use freezer to extend a wax candles life

 Putting a wax candle in your freezer for about 24 hours before lighting it will cause it to burn slower and last longer.

Use freezer to remove gum stuck on your shoe

Don’t you hate it when you step on gum and it refuses to come out? Me too. Just stick the shoe in the freezer for about 2 hours. The gum will come right off the sole when you retrieve the shoe from the freezer.

Wash your keyboard using your dishwasher

Place your keyboard face-down on the top rack, and skip the drying cycle and detergent, to avoid damaging it and let it air dry for a couple of days before plugging it back in.

 Make a salad

Did you know that your washing machine can help you prepare large-scale salad?

Simply put the greens in a pillowcase and spin them in cold water on the gentle cycle. Just don’t use detergent.

 

Remove stamps using the microwave

Place a few drops of water on the stamp and microwave it for 20 seconds, to remove it easily without causing damage.

 

Use a muffin tin to make ice

Make ice in a muffin tin. This ice is ideal if you intend to serve drinks in a large beverage container for parties.

 

Use freezer to kill bacteria and odor

Freeze your denim to kill odor-causing bacteria and this method ensures your denim doesn’t fade.

 

Use your electric knife to craft

Use your electric knife to craft floral foam for flower arrangements, or use it to shape polyurethane foam for dining chairs.

 

Use a mixer to shred

Use your stand mixer with the paddle attachment to shred chicken, pork, or beef. The mixer performs this task so much faster.

Use an air popper to roast coffee beans

Use a regular air popper to roast your own beans. An older model is more preferable because it will reach a higher temperature. Set up a container to catch the chaff as the beans crack, and a strainer or colander for cooling the roasted coffee beans.

Use a coffee grinder to make breadcrumbs

Need breadcrumbs in a jiffy? Why not whip some up in quickly with a coffee grinder and a fresh loaf of bread.

Use oven toaster to warm plates

Putting hot food on a cold plate tampers with the temperature of your food. To prevent the risk of having a tepid dinner, just warm your plates on the lowest setting of your toaster oven for 5 minutes before you start serving.

Use a crockpot to clean hardware

Use your Crock-pot to eliminate the mess that comes with years of using hardware. Just place the pieces of hardware in the Crock-pot, cover them with water, and set your slow cooker to “low” overnight.

When morning comes, the paint will slide right off your hardware!

Use oven to dehydrate food

Don’t you just love the taste of dried fruits and meats? Me too! Buying a commercial food dehydrator can be expensive. Why not make your own dehydrator? Simply stack several cooling racks on top of each other, separated by balls of aluminum foil in each corner, and then place the stacked racks in the bottom of your oven. Set the temperature to 200 degrees, for four to six hours. Then enjoy your perfectly dried fruit and vegetables.

Power Saving Tips and Hacks

Power bills can be back-breaking. We have come to rely on our trusty appliances to help us perform various chores and tasks faster and with ease. Unfortunately, most if not all of these appliances use power.

Here are a few tips to help you save power and bring down those power bills. Maybe you can now take that vacation you’ve been putting off for years now.

-Turn off unnecessary lights and use natural light to light your house instead of turning lights on during the day.

 

-Taking long showers can be tempting but expensive. Save power and money by taking shorter showers.

 

– Keep your fridge 2°C and 3°C and your freezer at -18°C to minimize the power they use.

 

-If you own more than one fridge, it’s time to unplug the second one and maybe donate it.

-If you have a leaking faucet, fix it before it costs you way too much.

 

-Turn water off when shaving, washing hands and brushing teeth.

 

– Keep any electronics which are not in use unplugged

 

-Turn off the air-conditioner and heating if you aren’t home

 

– One TV is enough. Why not donate your old one?

-Get a laptop and ditch your old desktop computer

 

-Reduce heat in the kitchen by not using the oven in hot months. Maybe barbeque or make salads

 

-Try running full loads once a week to save more power.

 

-You could also try washing laundry in cold to reduce the power you use.

 

-Avoid drying your laundry in the washing machine. Hang it outside instead.

 

-Add a dry towel in the dryer load to reduce drying times.

-Skip the heat-dry setting for the dishwasher especially when you just washed a few dishes.

 

-Use the microwave, crockpot or toaster oven to do in about 15 minutes what you would do in an hour in an oven.

Conclusion

I know this seems like a lot of information but these are tested and proven tips and hacks that are sure to improve your everyday life. There’s a hack and/or tip for everything and everyone.