Clean your dishwasher with ease
Do you know how I can get the black out of my dishwasher? There is a persistent, mold-like substance in the bottom of my dishwasher, and though I’ve tried many different methods to remove it, the stuff is still there. Is it time for a new dishwasher? I hope not! — A.H., Florida
I remove the racks and use a green 3M Scotch-Brite pad and an old toothbrush to scrub around the seal/gasket and drain, and to clean the interior walls. I use regular liquid dishwashing soap in hot water, then rinse. Then I clean the interior with bleach and follow up with another rinse. I pour vinegar in the dishwasher and let it run on a hot cycle. Many of my readers swear by citric acid to clean their dishwashers. They fill the soap dispenser with either powdered Tang or lemonade-flavored Kool-Aid and run a full cycle. Lemi Shine dishwasher detergent additive works well, too. Don’t leave the dishwasher door closed with moisture inside. Check for any food particles that might be trapped inside, too.
What do you use to wash the car? I always go through an automatic wash or to the full-service place during the winter. In summer, I usually go to a place that offers unlimited washing time for $5. Still, I’m sure I can wash it myself for even less, since I’m rural and I don’t have a water bill. So what do you wash a car with? — Michelle, Wisconsin
I don’t recommend using dishwashing soap, as it can damage your car’s finish. I would buy soap specifically made for washing cars. You can find it for under $10 per gallon, or you can even opt for waterless wash products. Castile liquid soap or any vegetable-based soap and water would work, too. Most carwashes have basic washes that start at around $5. I’m sure the most frugal people let rain wash their cars, but I don’t suggest doing that. If washing your car at home, use a quality natural sponge or lambswool. It will last a long time, and you won’t have to worry about scratching your paint. You’ll have runoff and use a lot more water at home, though, so I’d use the automatic carwash.
Some time ago you offered a tip on how to get rid of fruit flies in the kitchen. I thought I wouldn’t forget what it said, but I have. These little things are so hard to get rid of! They just seem to keep coming back every time we purchase fruit, especially bananas. Any advice? — Bill, email
Combine the following ingredients in an open jar or other container:
2 cups water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar (white or balsamic)
a couple drops of liquid dish soap
Leave the mixture sitting out as long as needed.
photo by David Locke