DEAR MARY: I was wondering if you had a quick and easy way to keep the dish scrubbers (like the ones that have a sponge on one side attached to a pad for scrubbing pans on the other side) from smelling like mildew.
Ours do fine for a few days and then start smelling. I try to run them in the dishwasher, but don’t always remember. I sometimes spray them with bleach and let them sit for a minute or two before rinsing, and that seems to work, but I was wondering if there was a better way. I tried microwaving a wet sponge, and that just created a hot smelly sponge. Bronson
DEAR BRONSON: Putting kitchen sponges in the dishwasher daily, or as often as you run a load of dishes, is the best solution to this problem. The heat and detergent kill bacteria and mildew. I’m going to assume that you use one sponge at a time, and that may be the problem. Let me suggest you have at least two sponges going. This way, one will always be available to wipe the counter and so forth, while the other is getting sanitized in the dishwasher. Do this without fail for a couple of weeks and soon it’ll become a habit. Hope that helps!
DEAR MARY: Can I use your wood/laminate floor cleaner recipe to clean my wood cabinets? Millie
DEAR MILLIE: Cleaning wood cabinets with our EC Wood and Laminate Floor Cleaner (one part rubbing alcohol to four parts distilled water plus a few drops blue Dawn dishwashing liquid) will not harm your cabinets, but that would not be my first choice if you want to deep clean and at the same time condition the wood to bring it back to its original beauty. Howards Feed-N-Wax Orange Oil Polish and Conditioner (about $8 for 16 oz.) is what I recommend for this job. It melts away grease and grime and conditions the wood with beeswax and orange oil. You won’t believe the results. Now by the same token, please do not use Howards on your floors. It would make them too slick for safety.
DEAR MARY: I love your blog and have learned a lot from you. Now I have a question. My husband and I are considering a membership to either Sam’s Club or Costco. What is your opinion on these types of stores, good idea or not? Any good tips I should know? I am really wanting to stock up on things for future use. Thanks! Terri
DEAR TERRI: I’ve been a member of both Costco and Sam’s Club in the past but have let my Sam’s Club membership expire. It really is a matter of personal preference, so I recommend you check out both stores as a visitor before making your decision. At Sam’s Club simply request a one-day visitor pass. At Costco, say that you would like to visit the pharmacy, the optical or hearing services (access to all three services are protected by Federal law, which means a Costco membership is not required to use those warehouse club services).
Personally, I find Costco to be more consumer-friendly, while Sam’s Club caters more to small businesses. You should also consider location. I like the close proximity of my Costco. If my closest Costco were 25 miles away and Sam’s Club was much closer, I might reconsider. As for how to make a warehouse club work for you, I recently wrote about this in “How to Win the Warehouse Club Game.” Thanks for being an EC fan!