A Clean Manor provides fresh and simple ideas for a clean and organized home.

One of our readers, Kathleen, shared a great tip about how she cleans her microwave and I wanted to make sure you saw this great tip! I LOVE this!! 

Put a good squirt of lemon juice in a mug, and fill it about half way with water. Microwave this for about a minute or so, and then let it sit, with the door still shut, for a couple more minutes. Then open it up and wipe down the walls and top (the moisture from the liquid in the mug coats the whole inside, so all you have to do is wipe it all down). No chemicals, and it's lemony clean!

Posted by Tami on May 1 11 | Comments (0)
Categories: Kitchen,

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mom and dad spring cleaningI've mentioned before that my mother has taught me a lot about the ins and outs of cleaning.  That being said, when I realized I was staying home the entire week of spring break I asked her if she would help me spring clean 1 or 2 of the rooms in my house. Honestly, I had never done a very good job because I didn't know where to start and what to do in each room.  I looked at the whole house and it all seemed so completely overwhelming.  Mom agreed to help me (yay!), which also meant we got to spend a wonderful four days with her and dad. 

So where did we start?  We felt like it was easiest to begin with the room in the house that takes the most time.  For both of us that room was the kitchen.  There are more things to move, wipe down, clean above, clean under, etc than other rooms.  It may be a different room for you, but no matter what room it might be if you leave it until last it just might never get cleaned!  I, for one, am very glad that my kitchen is done (and that my mama was there to help with it)! 

Ok, so you've picked the room.  Now what? I'm going to give you a few tips on what we did.  I'm going to stick with the kitchen for now with more posts to come later on other rooms of the house.  Mom and I took 2 afternoon to do the kitchen.  We worked on the cuboard side first and then did the kitchen table side the next day.  It didn't seem like such huge task when we broke it down like this.  Here it goes...

  • Pour a small amount of Murphy's Oil Soap into a bucket.  Next fill the bucket about 1/4 to 1/2 way with hot water.  Get some nice rubber gloves for cleaning and a cloth or rag.
  • Decide which cupboard you'd like to begin with and take everything out.  Wipe down the insides of the cupboards using the mixture in the bucket and dry with clean cloth.  If you are like me, my cupboards despearately needed purged of items I didn't need and reorganized.  We also did this at the same time we cleaned them out.  I LOVE the way it is organized now! Once the cupboard is complete put the items back in and continue on to each cupboard/drawer. 
  • Wipe down small appliances such as the coffee pot, toaster, toaster oven, and microwave with a rag and household cleaner.  Move all items on the kitchen counters and clean the counters.  Put the items back in their place. I love keeping the kitchen counters as uncluttered as possible. 
  • Wipe down the larger appliances such as the oven and dishwasher.  This is a great time to clean the inside of your oven.  If you have a self clean oven you can simply turn on the self clean function.  If you are like me and do not have this function (and I don't know who STILL has a non self clean oven anymore) then you have to clean the inside the old fashioned way.  I used baking soda and let it sit for at least an hour and it got most of the grime with paper towels.  I then used a little Easy Off and was able to get it fairly clean.  We also cleaned out the bottom drawer of the oven and placed a few paper bags in the bottom so that it would catch some of the crumbs that collect.  They can then be easily replaced.
  • Clean out the refrigerator if you haven't done this in awhile.  Wipe down the shelves and throw out anything that is expired. Don't forget to wipe off the TOP of the refrigerator!  You won't believe how much dust collects up there. 
  • Take all of the pictures/shelves, etc. off of the walls and wipe them down.  Then wipe down all of the walls with the hot water from the bucket (your water and Murphy's oil soap may be replaced by now).  Begin at the top corner and work your way down.  Wipe all trim as well as electric outlets and light switches.  Put all pictures back on the wall.
  • Use some Comet and wipe down the kitchen sink.
  • Windows in your kitchen?  Take down the curtains and wash them. Give the window a nice scrubbing with your window cleaner. 
  • Wipe down all light fixtures and get those nasty spider webs!
  • If you have a kitchen table wipe down the table and all of the chairs.
  • Are you ready for this?  You know what I'm to say right?  Yep, sweep the floors and then get on your hands and knees and scrub the floors good!  Before we did this we took out the oven drawer and cleaned underneath the oven. YUCK!!!  It was disgusting (see the picture below).  You can also move the refrigerator and clean underneath that as well.  When you scrub the floors take a little extra time to clean up underneath the cabinets.
  • Put everything back in its place (curtains back up!) and enjoy the sparkle!

mom with bucket












dirt under the oven












sweep under oven












Much Better...

clean under the oven












clean kitchen












clean dining room

Posted by Tami on Apr 16 11 | Comments (2)
Categories: Kitchen,

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I have to say that snow days in this house are WONDERFUL.  I work outside of the home so when I have a chance to stay home for a day I seriously get all giddy inside.  My 2 year old daughter and I enjoy breakfast together, play with her toys, and of course I get some extra time to clean around the house.  It just so happens that last week I had three, yes three, snow days in a row.  On one of these snow days I decided that I could perhaps turn on the television for a few minutes.  The Rachel Ray show was on with guest Liz Vaccariello.  She had a great bit about "odd" items that could be washed right in your dishwasher.  I was instantly hooked and knew that I just had to share these great items with you.  Just click on the link to watch the great video with instructions on how to wash each item.  Here are a few of the items that you just might want to stick right in your dishwasher.  For a complete lists check out the website and video.

• Baseball caps - just stick it on the top rack, it won't move, and will come out nice and clean. 

• Makeup and hair brushes -  stick them in the silverware rack.  How genius is that?

Posted by Tami on Feb 13 11 | Comments (2)
Categories: Kitchen,

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I love love having a clean kitchen. I do not love love cleaning the kitchen. It just seems like there are so many nooks and crannies and appliances PLUS there is the floor that is usually pretty dirty. As I was thinking the other day about how I clean my kitchen I surmised that we could gain a lot of knowledge by sharing with each other how we clean certain rooms in our house. I know it's not rocket science and that there is no WRONG way to clean a room, however I thought it might be helpful to share what and how we clean the room. This brings me back to the kitchen. I thought it might be a great place to start. Over the next few months we'll be sharing a little about how and when to clean items in each room of the house. So here it goes!


Step One: I begin with my counters. I use a damp rag with comet or an all purpose cleaner and scrub all counters and light switches.

Step Two: I then move to appliances.

  •  Microwave - I use an all purpose cleaner and thoroughly wipe off the front and inside of the microwave. If the tray inside is too dirty I wash it in the sink. I then dry it off with a cloth or paper towel.
  •  Oven - I have a glass top oven. Therefore, I use my homemade glass cleaner and wipe off the top, the knobs, and the front of the stove. I occasionally use a special "glass top" cleaner, but for the most part as long as I wipe it off daily and scrape any burns off, it stays clean.  If you have the coil stove, you take each part off and wash in the sink with water and soap if necessary.  Then reassemble.  Ok, here comes the shocker. I DO NOT have a self cleaning oven and I hate it!!! I wipe out the oven with my all purpose cleaner and promise myself that I'm going to REALLY clean it soon, but then don't. So, I promise a post soon about how I cleaned it and it's shiny new!
  •  Dishwasher - I wipe off the inside and outside with my damp cloth.
  •  Refrigerator - for my weekly cleaning I simply wipe off the refrigerator with a damp cloth. Go here for more details on giving your refrigerator a good and thorough cleaning!
  •  Other appliances - I am a minimalist when it comes to keeping appliances on the counter. However, I wipe down any appliances (hello coffee pot!) that are on top of the counters and clean underneath them.

 Step Three: Sink - I pour some comet in the sink and scrub real good! Then I wipe it out with a damp rag.

Step Four: Floors - I move out all of the chairs, sweep and scrub with soap and water! I switch every other week between on my hands and knees or the Swiffer. My mom just purchased the Shark Vac and Steam and I must say I am very jealous! She got a super good deal at Kohl's with her 30% off!!  Hopefully she'll be telling us more about it soon!

Extras - There are still other extras that you can do such as wipe down any pictures or other items you have hanging in your kitchen and clean the lighting if you'd like. I need to be honest and say there is no way I have time to do these every time I clean the kitchen! I'm lucky if I get on my hands and knees and scrub the floors.


So do tell us. How do you go about cleaning your kitchen?

Posted by Tami on Jul 26 10 | Comments (5)
Categories: Kitchen,

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I feel fortunate to have a pantry in my kitchen to store food, especially since my last house did not have one. It is not large, but big enough to store food and baking items. However, I can't ever decide how exactly to organize it and what to put where. Therefore, I'm constantly moving things around in there! Here are a few tips on how I organize my food "space!"

Here's a picture of the pantry before organizing

I haven't gone through the food in awhile and don't really know where anything is!

Pantry    before










Umm, chips everywhere and potatoes on top of containers...

bottom shelf






and no real organization here either...

pantry top







So I started with the top shelf and began taking everything out.

pantry clean on top






I put boxes of food items and the coffee on the third shelf.  I don't need these items as often and they fit nicely together.  I then placed extra cereal boxes (more on that in a second), peanut butter, unopened sauces, and cans on the second shelf.  I also purchases a small wire shelf to put on the second shelf.  This way I could put cans underneath and on top of this wire shelf!  The first shelf contains snacks, cereal, and flour/sugar.  I LOVE these Martha Stewart Tupperware containers I purchased to store cereal, chips, and baking items.  The entire bag of food pours right into the container and I cannot believe how much longer the food lasts!  No stale cereal and no flour bags making messes!  They also stack very conveniently. 

pantry containers






pantry  containers 2










I have room in my pantry to place a smaller shelf underneath the larger shelves.  I placed all other baking items on this shelf as well as lunchboxes and other miscellaneous items.  Here is the finished product!  Do you have any fun pantry/food organizing tips? Let us know!

finished pantry


Posted by Tami on Jun 24 10 | Comments (1)
Categories: Kitchen, Organization,

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