Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cleaning Cars and Canteloupe

Does your car's interior look like it just came out of the show room? Or is it filled with candy wrappers, bits of paper, empty soda cans, soccer balls and an ice scraper? Or is your car's interior Like mine-somewhere in between those two scenarios?

If you have 15 minutes, you can clean your car so that it looks like new-or almost new! All you need is glass cleaner, cleaning wipes, air conditioning treatment, a hand vacuum, a small plastic bin, a garbage bag, flat-head screwdriver and paper towels. Ready-set-start the clock:

Minute 1: toss items that shouldn’t be in the car into a small bin. Throw away trash. Sprits the cup holders with glass cleaner and let sit
Minute 2 &3: Use “Armor All Cleaning Wipes to clean dashboard, center console, inside door pockets, steering wheel & gearshift. Spray an air conditioning treatment (try “Clean Air Duct/Treatment-$10 at into the air vents below the windshield and let sit.
Minutes 4 & 5: Clean leather seats with a few wipes. (Seats that are upholstered will get vacuumed later)
Minutes 6-7: Wrap a wipe around the end of a flathead screwdriver and run it along the buttons and switches on the dashboard. Wipe out the cup holders with paper towels.
Minutes 8-9: Spray glass cleaner on paper towels and wipe all windows, including the windshield, sunroof and rear windows.
Minute 11: Remove the floor mats and whack them against each other to dislodge any dirt.
Minutes 12-14: On the driveway, vacuum the floor mats with the bare hose of a hand vac for maximum power (do not attach a tool). Vacuum the seat upholstery and foot wells, shifting the front seats fully forward, then back to hit every spot.
Minute 15: Replace the mats and return the seats to their original positions. Open all the doors and let fresh air blow through.
(from the August 2010 Real Simple magazine)

My car isn't a terrible mess, but it could use a cleaning....I might have to put this to the test this weekend. Try it and let me know what you think...

Did you ever get to the grocery store or the farmer's market looking to purchase a canteloupe and then wonder which was is the best? And will it be sweet and ripe? Use these guidelines and you'll get the best one each and every time...

Cantaloupe tips:
How to buy: Don't be afraid to use your nose-if it has a sweet, slightly musky scent it is ripe. Also it should feel heavy for its size, have a rind that resembles raised netting and has a stem end that yields slightly when pressed with your thumb.
How to store: A not-quite-ready cantaloupe should be left to ripen at room temperature for up to 2 days (keeping it in a closed paper bag will speed up the process). Refrigerate a whole ripe melon for up to 5 days. For cut wedges, cover the surfaces and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (If possible, leave the seeds intact. Cubes without the seeds will last 1-2 days in a resealable container in fridge
How to slice and cube: Wash rind, and then slice off the bottom and top ends of the melon so that it sits squarely on the cutting board. With a knife, from top to bottom, cut away strips of rind, following the shape of the fruit. Halve the fruit, scoop out the seeds, and slice or cube as desired. ENJOY!

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