Tag Archives: household chores

My Way or the Highway

Is there any household disagreement more common than, “Is it better to wash dishes by hand, or use the dishwasher?” (Well, maybe, “Does the toilet paper roll go paper side over or under?” As it happens, the patented tp holder was designed to be paper side over. Now you know!)

Being curious, as saving water is a topic around our house, I did some research.

In this fun, independent test, the participants compared using the dishwasher (a popular Bosch model) vs. soaking everything in hot, soapy water vs. handwashing each item one at a time.

The results confirmed what I suspected.

Regardless of method, when you hand wash, you use 3.5-5 times more water than a dishwasher. Not to mention the energy used to heat that water, or how much time you waste standing at the sink.

The more dishes you wash, the more water you waste.

person washing his hand

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

You might think that dishwashers fill up to the top with water, or spray a constant stream of fresh water. They don’t.

Modern dishwashers reuse water throughout the cleaning process, utilizing a system of pumps, sprays and jets. Clean water is only used at the very beginning and for the final rinse. During the rest of the cycle, the water is filtered and heated for maximum cleaning.

If you’re a dishwasher fan, now you have some science to back you up when the subject gets, er, heated.


Hump Day Hacks

These two ideas are simply genius.

  • Prevent silver tarnish:  Don’t toss those little silica packets that come in bottles of  vitamins, supplements etc.  Instead, put one or two in a closed bag with your silver. The desiccants help prevent corrosion by absorbing the moisture which reacts with sulfur in the atmosphere to create tarnish. This hack also helps keep gold jewelry shiny and bright.
women s silver necklace

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

  • Easy jar cleaning: When you’re stuck with jars of sticky stuff like peanut butter and honey, try this process:
    • Scoop out as much as possible
    • Add a teaspoon of baking soda and fill jar with hot water
    • Put the lid back on and shake vigorously
    • Let it sit for 10 minutes, then dump out the dirty water.
    • Reuse or recycle!
teapot and teacups with tea and honey on tray

Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com


7 DIY Cleaning Hacks

We’re in the middle of closing up our summer house, and I stumbled on some great cleaning tips you can do with stuff you probably already have on hand: lemon, baking soda and white vinegar.


To get rid of hard water stains on faucets, wipe them with vinegar to dissolve calcium deposits. Stains will wipe away much more easily.


Here’s an easy 3-step drain cleaner: Start by pouring boiling water down the drain. Immediately follow with 1/2 cup of baking soda. Finally, pour a mixture of 1 cup vinegar + 1 cup hot water on top.


Combine one part vegetable oil with two parts baking soda. Then work it into the wood with a sponge or cloth to get rid of the gunk that accumulates over time.


Is your sink looking a little dull? Sprinkle some baking soda in the sink and use a lemon wedge as a scrubber to refresh the shine. (Note: I only had limes in the house so I used those, which made the kitchen smell nicely tropical.)


Mix up a paste of baking soda and water and spread it on kitchen or bathroom grout. Leave it on for a few minutes; then spray with vinegar. After it fizzes, scrub lightly with an old toothbrush.


This is a great solution to a pesky problem. Put two lemon halves in your oven and leave the door slightly open overnight. The next morning, close the oven and turn on the broiler for a few minutes. Turn it off and let the oven cool. Toss the lemons and wipe off the bottom of the oven. (I have no idea why this works!)


Simmer some vinegar on your cooktop to clear the air and neutralize odors.

OK, back to packing!