When my husband and I were just dating, I was impressed by his mom’s kitchen. Gorgeous black granite and brand new stainless steel appliances. During one Christmas gathering, I went to use their kitchen sink to wash my hands. What I thought was a soap dispenser was actually an Instant Hot water dispenser. Imagine my surprise when instead of handsoap hitting the palm of my hand, it was 200°F water!
Thankfully I didn’t suffer a serious burn, but the incident could have totally been prevented if it had been labeled properly. I realize I also could have asked anyone what it was, but with 25+ people milling around it was a little difficult to find the hostess.
What if this was a child instead of me?
I realized that, with a little bit of planning, we can incorporate discreet yet helpful information to our loved ones during family gatherings. Maybe it’s a new home with lots of quirks and light switches don’t control what you think they do.
10 FAMILY FRIENDLY APPLIANCE HACKS
Disinfect your kitchen sponges in the microwave.
Some people dislike sponges because they harbor bacteria. However, in my experience, stiff brushes scratch plastics and cutlery, and plastic mesh rags don’t remove the oils from dishes, so I will always stick to sponges. They do get stinky and dirty from regular use, so I usually pop damp sponges into the microwave for 30 seconds at a time. The bad smells are gone instantly!
Steam clean microwave with a bowl of water
Squeeze and dunk two lemon halves in a bowl of water, or use a solution of three parts water and one part white distilled vinegar. Microwave on medium power for five minutes. Immediately wipe down interior of microwave with paper towels or sponge.
Use a Clean/Dirty magnet for the dishwasher.
How many times are you asked if the dishes in the dishwasher are clean or dirty? This darling DIY magnet is so easy to make and fun to have! Simply rotate the magnet on the dishwasher door to notify people if the dishes are clean or dirty. Now they have no excuses :)
Use a lazy Susan for condiments
Place it inside the refrigerator with all your favorite condiments. This way your family and visitors know exactly where to reach without knocking bottles over. My favorite part is that it leaves room for wine bottles and 2 liter soda bottles in the fridge doors :)
Use clear plastic bins to group like grocery items in the fridge.
I can’t tell you how often I have to hunt for mayo, swiss and deli meat inside our fridge. They just “magically” migrate within the fridge and it makes it frustrating to fix a quick lunch. Grouping sliced cheese and deli meats in one bin makes it easy and simple.
Use the external pantry door for healthy snacks
We’ve all been there–the unhealthy midnight snack binge. Keeping a healthy snack drawer makes it easier to make the right choice. And when you have guests over, it can be easily used to store platters or snacks for them as well!
Mark appliance buttons for kids
Mark the buttons that start each appliance with a small piece of washi tape or round stickers. We don’t have kids over too often, but my father in law likes to do the dishes and if he doesn’t have his glasses on it’s hard to find the right button to press. On our dishwasher normal wash and heated dry are the buttons we use most often.
Put a wooden spoon across a pot to keep it from boiling over.
I don’t know why exactly why this works, but it comes in handy when your nose is deep in a recipe book.
Keep appliance manuals in one place
I have confession to make. We’re those people with a junk drawer in the kitchen (or two, but who’s counting?). I store all of our appliance manuals there so I don’t have to go searching for them upstairs in case I need to look for something. This has saved me many a trip upstairs!
Have a spare vacuum upstairs
I love, love, love my Dyson and I keep it on the first floor to vacuum all the debris the dogs bring in. Sometimes I need to vacuum something quick upstairs and it’s inconvenient coming down just for another trip back upstairs. For that reason I purchased a smaller vacuum for the upstairs.
Try these family friendly kitchen appliance hacks and you’ll change the way the kids can help out around the house!
If you aren’t sure which appliances are right for you and your family, be sure to check out Sears.com. That’s the place my family went to shop for appliances when I was growing up and it’s exciting to return now that I’m an adult. Plus, Sears offers the most comprehensive warranty program out there.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sears Home Appliances and Services. All opinions are my own.