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The Clean-zine, Issue #17 - Firing Up Those Grills
May 01, 2014


1. Firing Up Those Grills

2. The Wacky Container Garden for Kids

3. May Housecleaning Checklist

Firing Up Those Grills

Memorial Day will be here before we know it. And that means one thing - backyard barbecues.

Yes, friends, it is almost time for the annual ceremonial lighting of the grills. The ritual that truly kicks off the summer season.

Before you light that match or turn on the gas, stop and think. That grill has been sitting out in the yard for six or seven months accumulating dirt, insects, and rust.

Just as you wouldn't fry an egg in a dirty frying pan, you wouldn't throw a juicy steak on a dirty grate. Would you?

Here's a safer plan for getting your backyard cooker ready to glow.

1. Charcoal Cookers. Clean the cooking grate with a brass brush and warm soapy water.

If you meet resistance, try rubbing it lightly with steel wool. Rinse and dry. (Lightly coat cast-iron grates with cooking oil.)

Never use oven cleaner. It can damage the finish, plus it's a bad idea to put a caustic substance on the grates where food's going to go.

Remove last year's ashes. Then clean the inside and outside of the with a grill brush. Wash with warm soapy water. Rinse and wipe dry.

Now, to keep it clean, treat it just like you would any other cooking surface. If you wipe up spills immediately -- before they get cooked on -- cleanup will be much easier.

Read the full grill cleaning tips article here.

The Wacky Container Garden for Kids

Children love everything about gardening - the dirt, the water, the worms. It's great stuff.

But if you love your garden, you may not want them trampling your prize David Austin roses to get to their wilted petunias.

Make gardening fun for them - and safe for your hybrids. Give the kids their own little plot. Better yet, let them create their own wacko container garden with all sorts of weird containers.

Anything can be a container. It just has to be able to hold soil and allow excess water to drain out the bottom. We've used everything from old athletic shoes to work boots to plastic soda bottles cut in half and painted with flowers or butterflies or hearts. The more unusual, the more fun.

Remember that the smaller the container, the more frequently you have to water. Also, the more porous the container (think canvas athletic shoes), the more frequently you have to water. Using plastic containers will reduce your watering time.

Container Suggestions

Here are just a few of the things you could use:

* old shoes (sneakers, boots)

* Decorate cinder blocks. Herbs especially like these containers. They like tight places for their roots and the lime embedded in the blocks. You can set a bunch of them out to make a pattern and create a shallow garden.

Read the full article on container gardening with kids here.

May Home Checklist

May Checklist: 10 things to include in your home cleaning and preventative maintenance program this month to keep your home well-maintained.

1. Alfresco. Clean patio furniture and umbrella.

2. Step On It. Clean door mats - or get new ones.

3. Duct Calls. Clean air conditioner and/or heating ducts; change filters.

4. Chill. If you have a window unit, make sure the air conditioner is debris free. Dust or vacuum around vents.

5. Sunshine Cleaning. Clean the laundry room. Clean the washing machine while you’re at it by running an empty load on “hot” with a cup of chlorine bleach.

Read the full May Home Checklist article here.

Have a great month!

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