A splash of vinegar can perk up the dishwasher

Tuesday, November 30, 2010; 8:16 PM

Dear Heloise:

Is there some way to clean the inside of the dishwasher without using the pricey cleaners available at the grocery store? Thank you.

Kathy Logsdon, via e-mail

Kathy, yes, there is, and it includes my favorite must-have in every household: vinegar! Here are the steps:

Turn on the dishwasher when it is empty; don't use any dishwasher detergent.

Let the bottom of the washer fill with water, stop the cycle, then pour in 2 to 3 cups of plain white or apple-cider vinegar. Let the dishwasher finish the cycle. You might need to repeat if you have extremely stubborn hard-water stains inside. Do this periodically to keep the dishwasher clean and fresh.

Did you know that vinegar is a workhorse around your home? It can remove hard-water deposits from bathroom fixtures, drinking glasses and even the washing machine (same procedure as the dishwasher, but use more vinegar, 1/2 to 1 gallon, and the hottest water possible).

Keep a labeled spray bottle of vinegar under the kitchen sink, and you'll be ready to keep your home sparkling and clean!

Dear Heloise:

I have a few suggestions on how to make moving a little easier.

Several weeks before the move, start packing boxes with the items you will not need for at least a month. Pack by category - all the books one day, all the paintings, prints and pictures another day, etc. Some of the categories may take more than one day, but if you find yourself finished early one day, start collecting from each room the things in the next day's category so you have a head start.

Number each box as you go, and keep a list in a notebook dedicated to the move. You don't need to list every item, just the category inside and maybe some general notes.

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