Tag Archives: Very easy

Coffee Pot Cleaner Alternative – Week 6

I’ve had my Mr. Coffee 4-cup coffeemaker for probably over two years. I’m ashamed to say but I’ve never done the suggested manufacturer maintenance to keep the coffee tasting delicious. I’ve blamed the coffee for the nasty burnt flavor. What a shame to have wasted delicious coffee since I brewed it with my dirty coffeemaker! Seeing how vinegar is the all-purpose solution to all cleaning problems, I tested this eco-friendly coffee pot cleaner alternative.

Why Vinegar as a Coffee Pot Cleaner Alternative?

–          Cheap

–          Leaves zero toxic residues inside your coffeemaker

–          Environmentally friendly

When Are You Due for Coffeemaker Maintenance?

Manufacturers recommend decalcifying, every 80 cycles when using soft water and every 40 cycles when using hard water (most of us, use filtered tap water, which has tons of stuff that result in mineral deposits). This means that depending on how often you brew, you would do maintenance every three months when using soft water (who uses soft water treatment? I heard it’s good for your hair) and every month and a half when using hard water (AKA tap water).

Some signs that your coffeemaker is due for maintenance:

–          Increase in time it takes to brew

–          Excessive steaming

–          Build up of white deposits on the surface

–          Nasty tasting coffee, regardless of what type of coffee you buy

What You’ll Need

Coffee Pot Cleaner

For this “DIY” project (let’s consider this a DIY…) all you need is:

–           White vinegar

–          Water

–          Time

Steps to Remove Mineral Deposit Build-up in the Water Reservoir

  1. Pour a mix of ½ white vinegar and ½ water to the top of the water reservoir.
  2. Let the unit sit for 2 hours. The vinegar will break down the lime and mineral deposits.
  3. Place a coffee filter like usual.
  4. After 2 hours, brew the vinegar and water mix.
  5. For those of us that have neglected our coffeemakers for years, repeat steps 1 – 3 above two more times, and just let it sit for 20 minutes instead of 2 hours. **Make sure you let the decanter cool before pouring cold water to avoid cracking of the glass.
  6. Trash the used coffee filters and make sure to use a new one each time you brew.
  7. After the vinegar mix brews, pour fresh water and fill the water reservoir to the top.
  8. Brew fresh water 2-3 times to rinse out the vinegar from the coffeemaker (or as many as you think you need).
  9. Clean the decanter following the steps below while you let the unit sit for 2 hours.

Steps to Remove Mineral Deposit Build-up in the Decanter

  1. Pour equal parts of white vinegar and hot water inside your decanter to the top.
  2. Find a bowl that will let the decanter’s bottom fit nicely in a vinegar solution. Just pour enough vinegar to cover the bottom part of the decanter (where the hard minerals are built-up).
  3. Let the decanter sit for 2 hours. The vinegar will break down the lime and mineral deposits.
  4. After 2 hours, empty the decanter and rinse with clean water.
  5. Clean the removable filter basket at the same time you clean the decanter (see below).

Steps to Remove Build-up in the Removable Filter Basket

  1. Place the filter basket in a bowl where you can immerse it in vinegar mix to the top.
  2. Pour equal parts of white vinegar and hot water inside the bowl to the cover the filter basket.
  3. Let the decanter sit for 2 hours. The vinegar will break down the lime and mineral deposits.
  4. After 2 hours, rinse with clean water.
  5. You can wash inside the basket with a new toothbrush or q-tips to keep the coffee oil and coffee grime from building up between the crevices.
  6. Follow the steps below to clean the exterior of your coffeemaker.

Steps to Clean the Exterior of Your Coffeemaker and Under the Top Lid

  1. Wipe down all the areas with 100% vinegar using a cloth or paper towel. You can use q-tips for tight spots.
  2. Wipe down the area under the top lid. Mine has accumulated lots of coffee stains but I read that placing a second filter on top of the coffee ground will keep the spattering to a minimum.
  3. For the warming plate, you might have to place a cotton cloth / paper towel soaked in vinegar and let it sit for 2 hours (depending on the hardness of the build-up). Then, once softened, it will a little easier to wipe.

Results

–          Better-tasting coffee

–          Coffeemaker will last you longer

–          Faster brews

–          No embarrassing dirty coffeemaker

Coffee Pot Cleaner How much cleaner the water is in the before/after picture??

 

Coffee Pot Cleaner Did you see that nasty bug that came out from my coffeemaker???

 

I did the test, and coffee definitely tastes much better! And I feel much cleaner.

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DIY Bathroom Window Privacy Film – Week 5

Our downstairs dungeon bathroom has been privacy-less for years and years, as you can see from the before picture. Inspired by the window privacy film DIY from our kitchen, I found this perfect post on 7th House on the Left that shared a Moroccan pattern stencil perfect for contact paper. So using the left over contact paper from the Kitchen Window Privacy Film DIY from week 2, I added much needed privacy to that bathroom (disregard the poopoo color wall, it will leave the bathroom soon, forever).

DIY window privacy film

So this project will really cost only $8! I used the Con-Tact Frosty 288 in. x 18 in. Clear Liner that I got at Home Depot: Con-Tact Frost Clear Liner.

supplies diy window privacy film

Then I used this handy Moroccan Pattern Stencil (click on the pdf link) that 7th House on the Left sweetly provided for all of us to use.

There aren’t any real instructions needed. Just measure your window to the contact paper, trace away using the stencil, then cut them up, and stick them to the window following your pattern.

The window privacy film DIY has been there three months and it looks the same as the first day – meaning, the contact paper has stuck very nicely (along with the kitchen one). Yay!

Best of all, I still have tons of contact paper… : P

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PS: I’m 11 weeks behind… But I will eventually catch up!

Replace Your Window’s Insect Screen in 15 Minutes– Week 4

I never knew how easy it is to replace an insect screen. Replacing a raggedy, old, dirty, used up insect screen also makes a HUGE difference. We have that ugly galvanized window frame but combined with the ripped up insect screen, it is just a hideous sight.

Here is the before and after picture of my window:

Before and after replacing the insect screen.

Before and after replacing the insect screen.

I have an easy DIY project coming up to make the galvanized window frame look a little more pleasant without having to change the entire frame. Changing window frames would cost way too much money and time AND expert contractor to install. I can’t wait to do this project!

Anyway, proceeding to how to replace your window’s insect screen in 15 minutes!

You will need:

Supplies needed to replace insect screen.

Supplies needed to replace insect screen.

  1. Insect Screen Material
  2. Roller
  3. Spline (you could reuse the old one!)
  4. Scissors
  5. Screwdriver
  6. Small pliers (may not need if old spline is easy to remove)

You can get a little kit at Home Depot for less than $25 and it includes 36 inches by 25 feet of screen material, 60 feet of spline, and one roller. Here is the link for your reference:

Phifer Screen Kit

Steps:

  1. Remove the insect screen by pulling up the lift tab and then pulling the screen panel towards you.

    replace insect screen

    Remove the window screen panel.

  2. Stick in the screwdriver in the corner where the spline is free and use it as leverage to yank out the old spline. You might need a pair of pliers to pull it out if it’s stubborn. Mine had over 20 years of grime and nasty build up so it was encrusted in the groove.

    replace insect screen

    Remove old spline from window screen panel.

  3. If you can’t reuse your old spline, cut a new piece that fits your screen by using the old spline as your measuring guide. Consider cutting an extra inch because sometimes as you insert the spline, you will notice the spline will be used up more than you expected.

    replace insect screen

    Remove old insect screen. Beware! Lots of dirt may come out as you pull it out.

  4. Cut a piece of the insect screen material that fits your window screen and add an inch on all sides as a precaution. You can trim it easily after you install it.
  5. Place the spline over the border of the window screen and use the roller to insert the spline into the window screen groove. Make sure the insect screen is aligned properly and has a tight feel but not too tight because you might end ripping it as you insert the spline into the groove.

    replace insect screen

    Insert spline over the new insect screen.

  6. Once you have the spline installed, use your scissors to trim the extra insect screen to make it seamless.

    replace insect screen

    Trim the extra insect screen.

  7. Insert the lift tab back on the lower right corner of the window screen.

    replace insect screen

    Don’t forget to put back the lift tab.

  8. Now you are ready to put the window insect screen back! First, insert the top then once it feels properly aligned push the screen down. You might have to use the lift tab to align it properly until you are happy with the fit.

    replace insect screen

    Put the window screen panel back.

Super easy to replace, right? Now you can open your windows again without worrying about insects coming in through the window!

PS: I will continue with the remaining 10 days of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China but I want to move on to catch up with the past couple of months of DIY projects : )

Easy DIY Window Privacy Film – Week 2

I was eyeing cute window privacy films made by Brume. I love the window film called “Cutlery,” which looks like this:

Window Privacy Film

Brume Window Film Cutlery

 

But that “Cutlery” window film costs $75 for one 21.5 inches by 31.5 inches (or around 55 cm by 80 cm). Times that by two, it would cost me over $150, plus shipping costs (if they even ship to the US).

A better alternative is to DIY a custom window privacy film for less than $20!

Here is the kitchen window before:

Kitchen Windows BEFORE

Kitchen Windows BEFORE

A very ugly sight of the neighbor’s fence along with overgrown weeds, which I no longer have to look at!

Kitchen window looks like this after this easy DIY:

DIY Window Privacy Film

DIY Window Privacy Film

 

For this easy DIY, you will need:

  1. Frosty contact paper (I bought the Contact Paper Frosty 18″ x 24′ for $7.47)
  2. Black contact paper for the cutouts (I bought the Black Faux Leather Contact Paper 18″ x 15′ for $7.47 – it’s a beautiful textured black contact paper)
  3. Pen or marker
  4. Pair of scissors or utility knife or razor
  5. Measuring tape or ruler
  6. Stencils. You can download the heart cup stencil and “ENJOY” letters right here:
    DIY Kitchen Stencils

Steps:

  1. Start by cleaning your window thoroughly. I use an ammonia based window cleaner to avoid any streaks.
  2. Measure your window with your measuring tape or ruler. My kitchen window is split into two 21.5 inches by 31.5 inches windows.
  3. Based on your windows’ size, decide what layout you will use with your contact paper.The contact paper I bought at Home Depot is 18 inches wide. My kitchen windows were bigger by a couple of inches! Therefore, I ended using this layout to create seamless unity between my contact paper pieces.

    Kitchen Windows Layout

    Kitchen Windows Layout

  4. Decide the size of your stencils. Try out two to three sizes and place them on different angles on your window to see what looks best on your window.
  5. Cut out your stencils from your paper printout using either a pair of scissors or utility knife. If using a pair of scissors to cut the heart shape, just fold the cup in half and cut following the line like this:
    Heart Cup Stencil

    Heart Cup Stencil

    For the handle and letter “O,” you can use this same technique if you are using scissors. For the handle hole, just cut at an angle so your handle doesn’t come out round. Save your little heart cutout if you are going to use it as part of your stencils.

  6. Using your paper cutouts, trace onto the paper side of the contact paper. Make sure you use the inverse side of the letter “N” and “J.” Also, depending on which side you want your cup’s handle to face, trace it the opposite direction.

    Heart Cup Stencil

    Heart Cup Stencil

  7. Cut out your stencils that will go on top of your frosty contact paper using the same technique as #5.

    Heart Cup Stencil

    Heart Cup Stencil

  8. Cut out the frosty contact paper based on your windows’ size and layout and start sticking it to the window beginning with one of the bottom corners. Stick the contact paper to the window slowly. For any bubbles, just gently rub it with your fingertips. For any lining up problems, gently pull it away from the window to redo.
  9. Once you have your windows covered with your frosty contact paper, you are ready to place your stencils wherever you wish and you can stand back and admire your windows 🙂

 

Wasn’t that easy? And we still have a lot of contact paper left for other uses. So really, it’s even less than $20 for this DIY window privacy film! Share your windows in the comments section; I would love to see how it turned out!

Thanks for visiting Cleaning Junkie!
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PS: In case you missed the downloadable heart cup stencil link above, here you go:
DIY Kitchen Stencils

Simple DIY Trick to Clean Gas Stove Burners – Week 1

I read a great tip on how to clean gas stove burners with ammonia without any elbow grease at The V Spot and I’m amazed with the results! I’m embarrassed to show how dirty our stove top burners are but I’m sure I’m not the only one who has neglected cleaning them over the years (I hope). But now I finally get to see the black shiny part underneath all the grime that accumulated over many many years of cooking… It’s so easy, even I could do it! LOL

You will need:

  1. Ammonia (can get 64 oz at Target for less than $2)
  2. Ziploc or zipper plastic bags (can get the generic Target brand for less than $3)
  3. Measuring cup (or you can wing it without it, no problem)
Ammonia from Target

Use 1/4 – 1/2 cup of ammonia

Ziploc Bags from Target

Make sure your stove burner fits inside the bag.

 

Steps:

  1. Place your gas stove burner inside the zipper bag. I would recommend doing two at a time so that you can still cook while you let the other two sit in ammonia.
  2. Measure ¼ to ½ cup of ammonia and pour inside the zipper bag. It may look like it’s too little but you can use my photo as a reference of how much it covered. I would say it’s like a tiny puddle that barely covers the bottom.
  3. Seal the zipper thoroughly and place outside under the sun (preferably) for 12 hours or until you are satisfied with how much grime has come off. It took me over 24 hours but mine were really disgustingly grimy…

    Clean stove burner with ammonia

    Place stove burner inside plastic bags with ammonia.

  4. After you are satisfied and can’t wait any longer to see the results, open slowly AWAY from your face. The fumes will burn your eyes and nose if you open it facing you, trust me, it burns. Also, don’t take a whiff of the ammonia. The pretty color is deceiving, it smells terrible…
  5. You can pour the dirty ammonia down your drain without any issues (our urine is essentially ammonia and ammonia is water soluble). Just let the water run while you slowly pour the dirty ammonia down the drain.
  6. Take the gas stove burners out from the plastic bag and run water through them. Then scrub the remaining grime with dish soap detergent.
  7. Let the stove burners dry and voila! You have now sparkling clean gas stove burners. And all for a few dollars! And a bit of patience 🙂
Ammonia Clean Stove Burners

Before After Clean Stove Burners

My stoves aren’t perfectly clean but I’m still very happy with the results. I will continue doing this when I see the burners getting some build up and I’m sure it will just get cleaner and cleaner each time.

Ammonia Clean Stove Burners

Before After Clean Stove Burners

Thanks for reading! Let me know if it worked out for you 🙂

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PS: I researched about the damage ammonia could cause to the burners and found nothing that I would be alarmed by… But follow this cleaning tip at your own discretion.

PPS: Never mix ammonia with bleach. Poisonous it is.

PPPS: Don’t place the zipper bags with ammonia on top of aluminum trays or grass. It will damage your trays and your grass.