There's no doubt about it; I've got spring fever. My daffodils are peeking their tiny heads through the ground, the grass is turning green, and the Colorado Sun? It's legendary.
Despite the challenges we face right now, this is temporary. Life goes on, and we need to adjust as nimbly as possible.
I've been working on adjusting my stubborn attitude to see this season as a gift of time. With health directives we need to follow — like staying home as much as possible — we've got time! To clean. To organize. To make plans.
Which brings me to what my husband and I are doing in the evenings — binge-watching all nine seasons of "The Office." Most recently was the episode involving the microwave in the break room. Remember that?
With disgusting microwave ovens on my mind, I couldn't wait to tell you about the easiest and most efficient way to clean a microwave oven.
So, break out the white vinegar, and grab your oven mitts. Let's do this!
There are few things more disgusting than opening a microwave oven to find cooked-on extraneous matter clinging to every surface. The way to avoid this, of course, is to clean the appliance thoroughly after every use. Or unfortunate explosion. Uh-huh. Right.
Let's get real. A microwave with frequent use, whether at home or at work, doesn't get a thorough cleaning after every use. It's going to get dirty, so it's good to know how to clean it effortlessly. With steam!
STEP 1: VINEGAR AND WATER
Pour one cup of plain white vinegar and one cup of water into a microwavable container like a glass bowl or measuring cup (as a safety precaution, stick a chopstick, skewer or wooden spoon in the cup to prevent the unlikely occurrence of exploding water). Place it in the microwave.
STEP 2: MICROWAVE ON HIGH FOR 5-10 MINUTES
The more challenging the situation, the longer you want the water and vinegar to steam away. Keep an eye on it, however, as you do not want the cup or bowl to boil dry.
STEP 3: REMOVE CONTAINER
Very carefully, using an oven mitt or potholder, remove the cup, and set it aside. Notice how all the interior surfaces, including the door, are dripping wet with hot steam.
STEP 4: WIPE IT CLEAN
Using a sponge, cloth or paper towel, wipe down the oven's interior. It'll be easy because the steam has softened and melted every bit of goo and grime.
Note: A reasonable substitute for plain vinegar is lemon juice — either bottled or freshly squeezed, in which case, throw the lemon rind into the cup as well. Just keep in mind that vinegar is probably a lot cheaper!
Would you like more information? Go to EverydayCheapskate.com for links and resources for recommended products and services in this column. Mary invites questions, comments and tips at EverydayCheapskate.com, "Ask Mary." This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a lifestyle blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."