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Does Cooking Wreck Your House?

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sandylc May 14, 2013 01:54 PM

I cook a lot. I bake a lot. I have also lived in the same house for 25+ years. It is an ongoing struggle to try to keep kitchen cabinets, floor, countertop, etc. clean from floating grease from frying/sauteeing, etc. It becomes glue-like and it drives me nuts. Don't get me started on the plumbing, curtains and blinds, carpet, and even the air ducts. S/he who cooks causes damage to the house, some of which is costly to have/get cleaned. Anyone else frustrated by this?

  1. p
    Pookipichu Nov 2, 2013 08:01 PM

    In NYC it's hard to find a kitchen that has proper ventilation. Microwave range hoods and range hoods with carbon filters that don't vent outside just don't cut it.
    When I cook, especially curries or if I fry, the smell just lingers and lingers.

    1. free sample addict aka Tracy L Nov 1, 2013 09:19 PM

      Yes, it is very small and was never intended for a long term resident (apartment converted to condo). I am a klutz and my cat is a messy eater and will remove his bowl from any mat or rug I put down. I spend at least one afternoon/evening a week scrubbing it down. Then it gets dirty all over again because every surface is used and misused. It wrecks my house because I seem to spend a lot of energy cleaning it and the rest of the place is neglected. Thanks for posting this question (I realize it is an older topic) this has been very cathartic.

      1 Reply
      1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
        s
        sandylc Nov 2, 2013 07:34 PM

        Ha. Pets will do what they will do. We have two doorways between our kitchen and living room, and out dog used to take a bite of his food and then walk out one door, stroll through the living room chewing, then go back into the kitchen through the other door to get the next bite. He did this the entire time he was eating. Sort of like a human having supper while on the treadmill...

      2. l
        Leng73 Nov 1, 2013 07:14 PM

        I personally don't think people should cool inside the house, I grew up in a house with a lot of people and my grandma cooked (most of the time fried) 3 times a day, I would always walk out of my house smelling like grease, my parents house is full of grease all over the walls and cabinets. Naturally when I bought my own house I wanted to make sure it does not smell like grease, luckily my house has a back porch connected to the kitchen so I cook everything on the porch with a propane stove and my house is grease free and I don't have to worry about lingering odors. People don't realize how much cooking effects the cleanliness of your home, no matter how much you clean as soon as you cook all the cooking particles float in the air and land everywhere all over the house.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Leng73
          John E. Nov 1, 2013 08:04 PM

          Is that porch one of those 'outdoor' type porches or is it a 4 season porch that is heated?

          1. re: John E.
            l
            Leng73 Nov 1, 2013 08:39 PM

            I live in California so I can pretty much cook on my porch all year.

            1. re: Leng73
              John E. Nov 1, 2013 10:55 PM

              Yeah, it would not work so well at -10 with a winchill of about -35 degrees.

              I remember when I grew up out on the prairie when we had temps of -35 and windchills of -100 degrees farenheit. That's probably why the interior of the U.S. was the last to be settled. that and the 100 degree temps in the summer.

              1. re: John E.
                Fowler Nov 1, 2013 11:46 PM

                Most people in California do not even know what a windchill reading means. :-)

                1. re: John E.
                  t
                  Tom34 Nov 2, 2013 04:31 AM

                  Thats cold!

                  1. re: John E.
                    s
                    sandylc Nov 2, 2013 07:31 PM

                    I once visited Grand Rapids, MN in January (stupid) and overheard two people comparing what their thermometers said that morning - in the fifty-plus below zone.

                    I always say that it's really cold when you take a deep breath and <gross reference coming> the contents of your nose freezes.

              2. re: Leng73
                PinchOfSalt Nov 1, 2013 08:21 PM

                Cooking outside the house is a bit of a challenge in many areas, especially in the winter.

                1. re: PinchOfSalt
                  LMAshton Nov 2, 2013 05:02 PM

                  Like where it regularly gets to -30 or -40 and with the windchill, it means that your flesh is frozen in a matter of seconds. Most of my life I lived in places like those. Cooking outdoors? No.

              3. s
                Sal Vanilla May 24, 2013 12:29 AM

                I often refuse to use our hoodfan because the noise it makes drives me bonkers. So the smells sometimes get cooped up in our bedroom or the livingroom if I cook something rank smelling like cabbage - which is not at all rank until later when I go into said rooms and get all outraged and blamey with the dog and husband over their... odoriferousness.

                Me plus the kitchenaid plus fliur or powdered sugar = cloudy comedy and thena fine film over anything in the kitchen which will build up until I clean for company -when I spend the day exclaiming and sputtering about the filth that the husnad and dog make.

                I see a sad pattern. Poor things.

                1. EWSflash May 22, 2013 09:00 PM

                  It's definitely an issue, which is why non-cooks prefer electric ranges, I think. "Oh they're messy, I don't like them" is what I hear fro my friends who wouldn't know a chive from a pineapple.

                  22 Replies
                  1. re: EWSflash
                    hotoynoodle May 23, 2013 11:16 AM

                    i know someone who uses his oven to store his shoes!

                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                      SWISSAIRE May 23, 2013 11:44 AM

                      Interesting.

                      So do his cookies smell like feet, or do his shoes smell like cookies ?

                      1. re: SWISSAIRE
                        t
                        Tom34 May 23, 2013 12:25 PM

                        Nice!

                    2. re: EWSflash
                      juliejulez May 23, 2013 03:34 PM

                      While I do not prefer my smoothtop electric for cooking, I will say it's much easier to clean than any gas range I've ever had.

                      1. re: juliejulez
                        John E. May 23, 2013 03:47 PM

                        We have the same experience. What I would like is the best part of gas and electric ceramic top which seems to be inducction. I still intend to buy a portable induction burner to try it out.

                        1. re: John E.
                          juliejulez May 23, 2013 04:26 PM

                          SO and I will eventually build a home, and I might go with induction there, because we will be on propane and I would imagine it would get expensive. So induction is probably our best route. The main thing I dislike about the electric is the inability to control the heat instantaneously like you can with gas.

                          1. re: juliejulez
                            t
                            Tom34 May 23, 2013 04:34 PM

                            "Inability to instantaneously control heat".......I think this is "one" of the factors that led to duel fuel ranges, flame on top, electric in oven.

                            1. re: Tom34
                              hotoynoodle May 23, 2013 06:45 PM

                              gas is indeed instantaneous, and thus also easier to moderate in very small increments.

                              my b/f has a smooth ceramic top stove and I HATE it. also hate that it requires a special cleaning product and now that it's a few years old, never completely clean. feh.

                              1. re: hotoynoodle
                                s
                                sandylc May 23, 2013 07:05 PM

                                I would wreck that sort of thing instantly,,

                                1. re: hotoynoodle
                                  t
                                  Tom34 May 23, 2013 07:13 PM

                                  My Dacor is all gas with infra-red broiler. Stainless top with continues grates makes for easy cleaning. Once a year cleaning with commercial stainless cleaning pads makes it like new. I have issues with Dacor but not the concept. We use the Dacor with the commercial ventilation hood for heavy cooking & the electric wall oven (no exhaust hood) for light baking and warming. Very convenient to heat up food guests bring.

                                  My brother had a smooth top & then Married an Italian girl who loved to cook. Smooth top met the landfill shortly after their honeymoon and they have sported a gas top ever since.

                              2. re: juliejulez
                                s
                                sandylc May 23, 2013 05:15 PM

                                The way I see it, with gas you can have instant heat control, and with electric you can use residual heat to your advantage.

                                Also, gas smells terrible. And I have the idea that gas doesn't get as hot as electric - ? For example, TV chefs using gas stovetops often instruct me to use high heat in situations where my electric stove on high would incinerate the food or even start a fire, such as for popcorn.

                                Gas is certainly nice for toasting tortillas and roasting peppers, though.

                                1. re: sandylc
                                  juliejulez May 23, 2013 08:54 PM

                                  I'm getting used to the electric. My previous stove was a Viking range so you can see why it's been a rough transition :) My biggest issue is when you need to boil something, and then take it down to a simmer quickly... that's pretty much impossible to do on an electric unless you move burners. Also hard when you're cooking a piece of meat and it's browning too fast... can't just turn the heat down to slow the cooking down.

                                  And yes, I miss the gas for toasting tortillas. A flour tortilla with a bit of butter and cinnamon and sugar is my favorite nighttime snack. I have to do it in the microwave now.

                                  1. re: juliejulez
                                    t
                                    Tom34 May 24, 2013 04:33 AM

                                    Going from a Viking gas to electric is enough to make one cry :-(

                                    1. re: Tom34
                                      coll May 24, 2013 05:15 AM

                                      I am scared to move, although we will eventually have to. My husband and his friend actually moved our Viking to the new house last time, but those days are over now. I don't think you could pay someone to do that hard of a job. But I will probably stick with gas or propane at least.

                                      1. re: coll
                                        hotoynoodle May 24, 2013 08:42 AM

                                        call a piano-moving company. :) seriously.

                                        1. re: hotoynoodle
                                          t
                                          Tom34 May 24, 2013 11:21 AM

                                          Entry level Vikings start around 5k so a couple hundred is probably worth it to move it depending on condition. In a rental, many would have sold it for a couple grand and slid a $50.00 craigslist junker in its place :-)

                                          1. re: Tom34
                                            coll May 24, 2013 03:42 PM

                                            We got it in the early 90s, my husband called around and found someone willing to deliver and install for a bit over $2,000. Probably out of business now! Then there was some kind of truckers strike and we had to wait a few months, luckily in the meantime we had the quirky electric the previous owners left . When we moved, we got a dented Sears electric at their "junky dept "(can't remember the real name of the area) for $100, and didn't get any complaints. As a matter of fact, now that I think of it, the guy who bought the house was very scared that we had a propane tank out back and it was in the binder that we had to have it removed before closing.

                                            I have a feeling though, if we move it will be out of the area, so the lucky new owners will get to enjoy our treasure, if they wish. Piano movers are good to keep in mind though. I don't think the new Vikings are as good? But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

                                            1. re: coll
                                              t
                                              Tom34 May 24, 2013 04:29 PM

                                              A friend has a Viking that I think is 6 foot long with I think 8 or more burners and 2 side by side ovens. Very, very nice. I think the outside vented hood costs 1/2 as much as the range :-)

                                              There are quite a few co's making high end ranges these days. Some have sealed burners, some not. Some have a round flame pattern & some have a star pattern. I have seen some good threads on this site evaluating them.

                                              Most people who own Viking / Wolf / Dacor / or other high end ranges either do so for show or they are cooking fanatics. Being on this site my guess is, like me, your the latter and your going to miss that bugger.

                                              1. re: Tom34
                                                coll May 24, 2013 06:28 PM

                                                I have to admit, every time I think of moving, I think of my stove. I could leave it behind if I really had to, but it will be a sad day.

                                                1. re: coll
                                                  t
                                                  Tom34 May 24, 2013 07:34 PM

                                                  Probably easier to leave the spouse behind, LOL :-)

                                        2. re: coll
                                          juliejulez May 24, 2013 10:00 AM

                                          Yeah the Viking I had was in a rental! I was so sad to leave it, and the entire kitchen really, it had just been redone beautifully before I moved in.

                                          To bring it back on topic of cleaning... the only thing I didn't like about that kitchen was the solid glass backsplash. Had to clean it every night since it was shiny so even the tiniest splashes of stuff made it look bad. Looked great when it was clean though.

                                      2. re: juliejulez
                                        s
                                        sandylc May 24, 2013 07:58 PM

                                        Ah, you make excellent points, too. I have done the two-burner thing.

                            2. corneygirl May 22, 2013 07:42 PM

                              Yes. I rent half an old home that has been split into a duplex. I love it for a variety of reasons (including a magic chef apartment sized oven that is my age, yet keeps perfect temp). But the lack of a hood or exhaust fan makes keeping things as clean as we'd like impossible. I don't even consider frying, but sauté, roasting and anything with a curry spice need to be carefully considered vis a vis ability to open windows and place fans. As long as we can keep it sanitary I'm okay.

                              1. t
                                Tom34 May 22, 2013 08:51 AM

                                I designed our kitchen to be a working kitchen that allowed for semiprofessional cooking, durability & ease of cleaning.

                                I put in a light commercial 2 motor hood with an 8 inch vent pipe straight up through the roof. Best investment I ever made. After 12 or so years of heavy cooking, the ceiling in the kitchen is as white as the day it was painted. Food also tastes better when the house does not smell like it when you sit down to eat. .

                                Put in granite counter tops and travertine back splashes which I soaked with sealer every day for a week. Sponge with just warm water and a little cinch removes everything with just a wipe.

                                Floors are heavy duty porcelain ceramic tiles from a tile supplier, not big box store builder grade. Grout is sealed. No cracks or stains. Steam clean with a Bissell steam vac every few months.

                                Cabinets were selected with specific storage needs keeping the counters free of clutter, especially around the stove where there is only 1 round stainless container on the counter with cooking utensils in it. With clear counters, grease spatter is a 30 sec wipe up job.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Tom34
                                  hotoynoodle May 22, 2013 09:18 AM

                                  my counters are clutter-free as well. 2 containers for utensils, a salt cellar and a pepper mill. everything else is stored. unlike my b/f's kitchen which has a toaster, a toaster-oven AND a micro, plus all sorts of condiments, all on the counters. i am always having to wipe them down. meh.

                                  1. re: hotoynoodle
                                    t
                                    Tom34 May 22, 2013 03:27 PM

                                    Agree, cluttered areas tend to go many cooking cycles before cleaning and stuff gets hardened on and nasty. After a while its almost impossible to get things completely clean when that happens.

                                2. viperlush May 22, 2013 08:15 AM

                                  Yes. We have no hood on our stove, the counters are stained, the walls are stained, our pots and pans aren't in cabinets so they get dusty, and the wood floors have ground in dirt. We clean and disinfect, but results aren't easily apparent. We rent so my motivation to get everything spotless is low. Now it it was my apartment I would add a ventilating hood, tile the wall behind the stove, move the dishwasher away from the wall, add a splash board to the wall behind the counters, add new wider countertops, build some cabinets for our pots and pan and refinish the floors.

                                  1. c
                                    ChiliDude May 22, 2013 07:02 AM

                                    There is such a devise as a grease screen. It's round with a handle and it lays across a skillet or frying pan preventing the grease splatter from making a mess on the stove or cooktop. We have had one for years, and it works well.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: ChiliDude
                                      iluvcookies May 22, 2013 07:44 AM

                                      I would not trade mine for anything--best $10 I ever spent.

                                      1. re: ChiliDude
                                        m
                                        MelMM May 22, 2013 09:40 AM

                                        Yes, everyone should have one. I call it a splatter screen, but it's the same thing. Even with good ventilation to the outside, having one of these will help a lot to filter the oil out of the water vapor, before it even gets to the vent hood.

                                        1. re: ChiliDude
                                          m
                                          madeliner May 31, 2013 08:56 AM

                                          I tried a splatter screen, the food ended up steamed instead of fried

                                          1. re: ChiliDude
                                            Fowler Nov 1, 2013 08:58 PM

                                            CD, is there a particular brand and model that you recommend? It sounds like something I could use.

                                          2. MGZ May 21, 2013 11:20 AM

                                            I've got no problem cookin' anything in my little galley kitchen. I open doors and windows.

                                            Now, cleaning five dozen scallops, on the other hand, that'll wreck a kitchen. I took a bucket a bleach and water to mine the morning after I was done.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: MGZ
                                              hotoynoodle May 22, 2013 07:01 AM

                                              ah! i remember your scallop project!

                                              i live in a loft, with all the appliances and sink in one long row. wooden cabinets, 150+ years old wooden floors. butcher block counter top.

                                              the cabinets and floors "show" dirt, grease or grime so get wiped down all the time and the counter gets a mineral oil treatment every so often to stay in good shape.

                                              i windex the stove top every time i cook and it still looks almost new.

                                              i also clean as i go. with one sink and not tons of counter space, i can't pile up a million pots and bowls without making myself crazy.

                                              if i am doing lots of cooking, i open windows for a cross-breeze and don't have odor issues.

                                              i don't have drapes because they collect too much dust and street dirt when i open the windows. they also would hold odors.

                                              my last loft i had open shelving built in my kitchen. my china and glassware looked beautiful, but it got so greasy and grimy. ugh. never again.

                                            2. ItalGreyHound May 21, 2013 11:06 AM

                                              On a light note, when I saw the title of this thread, I thought to myself, "Yeah, it sure as hell does when my husband is the one cooking" - haha

                                              I am a "clean as I go" cook, and my lovely husband couldn't be further from it...

                                              1. fldhkybnva May 20, 2013 02:53 PM

                                                I made a Zuni roast chicken last night at 475 F and the next meal in the oven, which I forgot to clean, was a 2.5 inch rib eye at 500 F. I kept chuckling thinking of this thread. The grease splatter not once but twice all over the oven and the countertop and places I still am discovering is nearly as impressive as the smokehouse that the steak created.

                                                1. iluvcookies May 19, 2013 04:07 PM

                                                  Spatter screens---they work wonders in keeping the floating grease off of the counters.

                                                  1. p
                                                    pedalfaster May 19, 2013 01:01 PM

                                                    We remodeled a few years ago and our very first kitchen purchase was a 1200 CFM externally-vented range hood. Weird but we probably actually designed the kitchen around that freakin' hood.

                                                    We also chose hard, scrub-able surfaces including white-painted cabinets that actually ~show~ dirt (gasp!) so we can see the drips and spills and deal with them ASAP. No curtains or rugs in my kitchen, which is also very old-fashioned in that it can be closed off from the rest of the house (no food odors in the living areas).

                                                    SO and I both worked food-jobs in HS, so we are both familiar with the closing-time steel-wool scrub-down.

                                                    Sometimes I wonder how long the super-open concept popularity will last as folks deal with fish odors and stale grease smells wafting into the living room. Just not that appealing to me.

                                                    1. g
                                                      Georgia Strait May 18, 2013 03:48 PM

                                                      i know what you mean - i like the idea of cooking lots of things - but really dislike the smell of bacon and esp toast and onions and grease and curry and fish --- that doesn't mean i don't make all of that - it's just in these modern "open plan" homes with those huge high ceilings (great room?) - the smell is everywhere. and the dirt too. You're right - it is like old yellow glue. Talk about "restaurant impossible"

                                                      my fav kitchen is outdoors - have at it! (depends on climate and season of course). We have fun with that outside kitchen.

                                                      1. m
                                                        MelMM May 18, 2013 12:29 PM

                                                        I have experienced the problem you describe, when I've lived in a house with inadequate kitchen ventilation. I've lived in something like 17 homes over the past 25 years (I've moved a lot), and I've had every sort of stove, cooktop, and ventilation imaginable. My parents refused to live in a house without ventilation to the outside, and from experience, I know they were right.

                                                        I'm a Southern girl, so I fry. I deep fry, I shallow fry, I stir fry. And none of this is a problem at all if you have good ventilation to the outside. Even if you do not fry, you almost certainly do things like sauté onion, and that, as much as deep frying, will send up water vapor with tiny oil droplets mixed in, which is what gums up everything in the kitchen. The standard American kitchen comes with an over-the-range microwave, and the "ventilation" provided just sends the air/water vapor/oil droplet mix through a coarse filter and back into your face. The filter is not adequate to remove the oil, which makes the grimy film on everything.

                                                        As far as outside ventilation goes, I've had overhead hoods (several), and downdrafts (several), and while the overhead is generally more efficient, the downdrafts can work quite well if they are properly installed (I have one now). The key is to USE IT!!! Many cooks may have ventilation but do not use it because of the noise. So once you have good ventilation, you have to remember that it doesn't do you any good if you don't turn that vent fan on.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: MelMM
                                                          Candy May 19, 2013 12:33 PM

                                                          I really don't like over head venting. I am 5'2.5". The noise over my head is really annoying. I have a down draft, and my only problem is that cleaning the thing is a real chore.

                                                        2. Atomic76 May 18, 2013 12:53 AM

                                                          I recently noticed what a mess of my ceiling my electric pressure cooker had been making from when I released the steam, lol. Can't believe I just caught that.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Atomic76
                                                            SWISSAIRE May 18, 2013 01:32 AM

                                                            One helpful Engineering rule to remember regarding Ventilation, is that for every 90 degree angle in a ventilation duct shaft, the airflow is reduced by 50 %.

                                                            One might think that the addition of a new vent hood will change everything in a kitchen 100 %. In most cases the difference is good, but still dependent on how easily and quickly is gets outside. But just by cleaning and perhaps changing the ducting, an existing vent hood may perform equally well.

                                                            If a kitchen vent hood is large enough to cover the cooking area, and equipped with a good, clean filter and powerful enough motor, then it should do the job just fine. But if there are a number of contortions going on in the ducting removing the exhaust air to the outside, then the cooking moisture and vapour in the exhaust air may begin to slow down and stagnate.

                                                            Looking at our kitchen during the first remodel, the ducting was found loaded with grease due to a few right angles and curves. I changed the ducting completely to one long angle, along with upgrading the hood, light, and motor. Instant improvement, and amazingly, more quiet.

                                                            We steam cook about every 3 days, but the key is getting a little supply air first from the outside, with the vent hood going second. No buildup, oil, or even much odor. The window does not have to be open much ( and when it is minus 10 c and blowing rain, sleet, or snow outside, believe me the window will be just barely open ) but you do have to supply something inside, and to pull the steam up with the exhaust outside.

                                                            Another consideration is that the pots and pans we use also have very heavy lids that keep the cooking moisture inside. What ever works.

                                                          2. Candy May 17, 2013 09:20 AM

                                                            I clean as I cook. I love E-Cloth. It just needs water to clean everything. I have the E-Cloth mop too.

                                                            We used to say my mom got every pan in the kitchen boiling water. My sister and i were on clean up duty. I guess that is why I clean as I cook.

                                                            My DH and I were cooking at my niece's home last week. We were cooking for 19 people. She could not believe how clean and neat the kitchen was even as I was frying chicken.

                                                            1. c
                                                              cheesemonger May 16, 2013 08:57 PM

                                                              perhaps, but the alternative is unthinkable.

                                                              1. SWISSAIRE May 16, 2013 08:10 PM

                                                                On the contrary, we enjoy it.

                                                                In fact, we remodeled and tore down the wall between the kitchen and the living room. We now enjoy cooking and sharing with the family and friends, with a fireplace in the center of the main living room, dining, and kitchen area.

                                                                We have done this at two other properties we own. I believe that good to excellent ventilation is one key to success, as less settles to be cleaned later.

                                                                Cleaning ? Well that is something in our nature that we do out of habit. While we cook one of the sinks is filled with hot soapy water. Utensils and knives are rinsed, soaked, and hung to dry or toweled, as we go.

                                                                If it is not the counters and cabinets, it;s the floors or the windows. If not the windows, it is time to polish the pots and pans. This is a facet of home life we enjoy.

                                                                1. John E. May 16, 2013 07:35 PM

                                                                  I was amazed a few years ago when I stood on a ladder in our kitchen to get an owner's manuel for our dishwasher. Our cupboards do not go to the ceiling. I thought it would be a good idea to put all of the appliance manuals into a zip bag and put it on top of the kitchen cupboard. The outside of that bag was so grimy with grease I could not believe it.

                                                                  I just touched the cupboards above the stove and they seemed grimy. The others, not so much. Somebody must be cleaning around here.

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                    s
                                                                    sandylc May 16, 2013 07:49 PM

                                                                    I put sheets of waxes paper on the tops of my cabinets and change it a few times a year.

                                                                    1. re: sandylc
                                                                      John E. May 16, 2013 07:55 PM

                                                                      Do you have to tape the paper down?

                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                        s
                                                                        sandylc May 18, 2013 05:41 PM

                                                                        Nope! We just throw it up there and hope for the best!

                                                                      2. re: sandylc
                                                                        chowser May 22, 2013 11:37 PM

                                                                        Great idea!

                                                                        1. re: chowser
                                                                          s
                                                                          sandylc May 23, 2013 04:59 PM

                                                                          Thanks. I would have been better if I'd proofread it!

                                                                    2. r
                                                                      RosePearl May 16, 2013 12:46 PM

                                                                      Yes, I am. I just cleaned out a cupboard of seldom-used glasses, and was surprised to find the front row of them filmy with what seemed to be grease. I finally figured out that the cupboard is just above the mini deep fryer. Apparently, the cupboard door has enough of a gap to let in the invisible grease vapors. Perhaps we should fry outdoors.

                                                                      1. t
                                                                        tastesgoodwhatisit May 15, 2013 09:41 PM

                                                                        I rent, so I don't have to worry too much about long term issues. We don't have any carpets or air ducts, the kitchen is tiled on the walls, and the kitchen has no windows (and therefore no curtains), so the kitchen itself isn't too bad. I do thoroughly scour the ventilation hood occasionally.

                                                                        Mildew is probably the biggest issue, due to the climate. Even using a toothbrush, it's hard to get the dish drainer clean.

                                                                        If I do every buy a house, though, one thing I would want is countertops that don't stain easily (or can be easily scrubbed/bleached).

                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
                                                                          fldhkybnva May 16, 2013 06:21 AM

                                                                          Oh wow, where do you live? I have the same issue with mold and mildew. It grows on everything and grows very quickly.

                                                                          1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
                                                                            fldhkybnva May 16, 2013 06:22 AM

                                                                            This is a great idea. I usually bake or broil fish but recently got into pan-searing and finally learned about the salmon stench that many complain about. For a salmon lover, it's not too bad to me but it is quite strong and lingers for a looooooonnng time.

                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                              hotoynoodle May 22, 2013 06:50 AM

                                                                              you need to buy fresher fish.

                                                                              i pan-fried mackerel the other day and all i could smell after was the browned butter.

                                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                fldhkybnva May 22, 2013 06:59 AM

                                                                                The fish is quite fresh and seems to only be with salmon. No other fish do I smell. Also when I bake salmon there is no smell, it's just the pan frying.

                                                                          2. c
                                                                            catface1 May 15, 2013 06:09 PM

                                                                            Got fed up and now if I deep fry I do it outside, saves my celing from yellow stains. Otherwise I just try to keep things clean, it"s better than starving.

                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                            1. re: catface1
                                                                              paulj May 15, 2013 06:30 PM

                                                                              I also pan fry steaks and fish outside if possible.

                                                                              1. re: paulj
                                                                                s
                                                                                sandylc May 15, 2013 06:38 PM

                                                                                I refuse to cook fish unless we do not have any guests coming soon! After, I open windows, even if it's ten degrees outside.

                                                                                1. re: sandylc
                                                                                  k
                                                                                  kitchengardengal May 15, 2013 07:24 PM

                                                                                  I used to have a home based business, and it seemed like every time I made fish or curry for dinner, a client would call and want to come over.

                                                                                  1. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                                    s
                                                                                    sandylc May 15, 2013 07:31 PM

                                                                                    Naturally. Ugh.

                                                                                    1. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                                      splatgirl May 16, 2013 07:01 AM

                                                                                      Better food than cat pee or some of the other alternatives though, right? Not that your house would smell of that, of course.

                                                                                      The flip side: with a good hood, the whole neighborhood knows what you're cooking! In my case they also know WHEN I'm cooking because mine has an external blower that is not exactly quiet. This would all actually be a little weird in neighborhoods where the houses are on 5 ft. setbacks like some.

                                                                                    2. re: sandylc
                                                                                      juliejulez May 15, 2013 09:10 PM

                                                                                      My mom likes to do fish on her foreman grill... and she takes it outside and does it on the patio!

                                                                                    3. re: paulj
                                                                                      i
                                                                                      Isolda May 18, 2013 02:01 PM

                                                                                      My mother used to fry fish in an electric skillet on rare occasion. She'd put the skillet out on the deck so the house wouldn't reek for days. We could hear every dog in the neighborhood barking once that fish went in the hot oil.

                                                                                      1. re: Isolda
                                                                                        John E. May 18, 2013 03:31 PM

                                                                                        That's what I do when I occasionally fry smelt.

                                                                                    4. re: catface1
                                                                                      Candy May 17, 2013 09:23 AM

                                                                                      I have a deep fryer that fries with the lid closed. It has a triple filter that catches the grease. I put the filters in the dishwasher. It is a DeLonghi and the clean up is pretty simple.

                                                                                      1. re: catface1
                                                                                        coll May 21, 2013 11:24 AM

                                                                                        I have a Delonghi Rotofryer, I guess it works since I don't have any issues deep frying. It has a regular filter plus a charcoal filter; I don't deep fry constantly so I change them every year around Christmas and I'm good.

                                                                                        1. re: coll
                                                                                          Candy May 21, 2013 01:21 PM

                                                                                          Sounds like we have the same fryer.

                                                                                          1. re: Candy
                                                                                            coll May 22, 2013 08:19 AM

                                                                                            Sorry Candy, don't know how I missed your post.

                                                                                      2. paulj May 15, 2013 09:34 AM

                                                                                        Solution - cook outdoors or in a separate building. That also protects your mansion if the kitchen catches fire.

                                                                                        14 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: paulj
                                                                                          m
                                                                                          mwhitmore Jun 2, 2013 08:37 PM

                                                                                          Yes, this is what George Washington did. Mount Vernon is still standing, while several kitchens burned down. Still, building a new kitchen is a good way to get a clean one.

                                                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                                                            John E. Jun 2, 2013 10:00 PM

                                                                                            My father's relatives (I suppose they are my cousins too) in the 'old country' who live in the village as opposed to the city, have summer kitchens. I suppose that if we did not have AC, this might be a tradition in more areas of the U.S. well. Are summer kitchens common in areas of the southern U.S. states?

                                                                                            1. re: John E.
                                                                                              juliejulez Jun 6, 2013 10:38 AM

                                                                                              In Chicago I saw a few houses, usually older bungalows more on the outskirts, with summer kitchens in the basement.

                                                                                              1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                John E. Jun 6, 2013 02:58 PM

                                                                                                I grew up in a house (until age 8) with a kitchen in the basement, but it really was not a summer kitchen. The previous owner rented out the basement. There was access to the utility room by the owner, but not the rest of the basement. My parents did all of their canning using that kitchen (think white enamel over steel cabinets). When we moved, they really missed that extra kitchen.

                                                                                                1. re: John E.
                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                  cleobeach Nov 4, 2013 07:15 AM

                                                                                                  Where I grew up in Pennsylvania, many old farms have/had summer kitchens. I don't know anyone that actually still utilizes them for daily cooking but I know some people keep an extra stove for canning in them.

                                                                                                  Second kitchens in the basement aren't uncommon where I live. These aren't fancy houses, just people that entertain a lot and/or are avid gardeners and canners.

                                                                                                2. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                  pamf Jun 6, 2013 06:51 PM

                                                                                                  I grew up in Chicago, far northwest side, and we had an old stove in the basement (extra fridge and freezer too). That was used during the summer when you didn't want the oven to heat up the house. It was also used for extra capacity for large family holiday parties.

                                                                                                  It was also common for some families, who had nicely remodeled upstairs kitchens, to keep that for show and do all the real cooking downstairs.

                                                                                                  1. re: pamf
                                                                                                    John E. Jun 7, 2013 06:27 PM

                                                                                                    I read somewhere on these threads about 'show' kitchens in New Jersey.

                                                                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                      Tom34 Jun 8, 2013 05:24 AM

                                                                                                      I live in NJ. Its possible but I have not heard of it. Just across the river in Philadelphia there is a company called Fretz which is a huge distributor of high end kitchen appliances like Wolf & Sub Zero to smaller retail appliance dealers. They have a massive showroom comprised of individual kitchens sporting the very best of the best. I believe they even have a TV studio there where cooking shows are filmed. If ever contemplating a high end kitchen, Fretz is definitely worth a visit.

                                                                                                      1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                        MGZ Jun 8, 2013 05:49 AM

                                                                                                        I live in the lovely Garden State myself and in Monmouth County I know of many places with "show" kitchens. I think that it's thrown in as a loss leader for excessive plastic surgery.

                                                                                                        Personally, I wouldn't want to have a kitchen if I couldn't wreck it. Way I see it, I just can't trust food from a perfect home kitchen.

                                                                                                        1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                          Tom34 Jun 8, 2013 06:39 AM

                                                                                                          Before a cup of coffee my brain doesn't always fire on all cylinders. I think I screwed up the meaning of "show kitchens" and was thinking of showrooms set up to display products which is what brought Fretz to mind.

                                                                                                          1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                            MGZ Jun 8, 2013 06:45 AM

                                                                                                            Fretz is awesome. A bit outta my price range, but I used to love the cooking show they sponsored on the local Philly channel. What was that woman's name who hosted it? She always had that German chef on and showcased Dietz & Watson products.

                                                                                                            1. re: MGZ
                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                              Tom34 Jun 8, 2013 02:22 PM

                                                                                                              I have only seen the shows a few times and can't remember. Visiting Fretz will make a serious cook drool. A good range and hood can be had for about 7k - 8k. If you love to cook & plan on staying put it could be $ well spent. Then you can fill in the rest of the appliances with Maytag or GE

                                                                                                          2. re: MGZ
                                                                                                            hotoynoodle Jun 8, 2013 01:19 PM

                                                                                                            show kitchens are simply for people who never cook.

                                                                                                            the wives don't eat and the husbands eat out on expense accounts.

                                                                                                            1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                              John E. Jun 8, 2013 03:36 PM

                                                                                                              When I mentioned show kitchens, I was referring to older homes that had more than once kitchen, not a kitchen that did not get used.

                                                                                              2. t
                                                                                                treb May 15, 2013 09:29 AM

                                                                                                I generally do a full blown top to bottom kitchen cleaning every other month to keep the build up from becoming permanent.

                                                                                                1. b
                                                                                                  Bkeats May 15, 2013 07:18 AM

                                                                                                  We gutted our primary residence kitchen several years ago and put in a custom commercial hood that vents outside. The difference that makes is amazing. We turn it on anytime a burner goes on and it sucks out all the smoke, steam and greasy air out of the kitchen. Still get splatters on the range top, but we no longer have the film that covers the surface of everything in the apartment. Recently did the same thing at the weekend place. But I know that's not an option for everyone.

                                                                                                  I think the basic under cabinet hood just recirculates the grease and spreads it evenly through your kitchen to allow a fine mist of stickiness to settle on every surface. Probably was designed by the makers of 409/Fantastic.

                                                                                                  Venting outside and having a larger enough blower is the key.

                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                    sandylc May 15, 2013 09:25 AM

                                                                                                    That sounds about right. Our kitchen needs redoing. Unfortunately, the money gods are not smiling down upon us right now!

                                                                                                    1. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                      biondanonima May 15, 2013 10:31 AM

                                                                                                      This is the very first thing I do when/if we ever buy a free-standing house. I renovated the kitchen in my co-op apartment several years ago and put in a recirculating hood (no possibility of venting outside), but it is 100% useless. A commercial hood and a direct vent to the outdoors is at the very top of my list of things that my next home MUST have (or at least have the potential to have)!

                                                                                                      1. re: biondanonima
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                                                                                                        Sal Vanilla May 24, 2013 12:35 AM

                                                                                                        Make sure the motor is well up the hood.

                                                                                                        1. re: biondanonima
                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                          Tom34 May 24, 2013 04:26 AM

                                                                                                          I have a Vent-A-Hood that vents outside through an 8 inch pipe. I think it was well over $600.00 12 plus years ago when I installed it. Without a doubt the best thing I ever bought for the house. Like A/C, I don't think I could live without it after having it.

                                                                                                          With a 2 story house, if the stove is located on an exterior wall and the ceiling joists run perpendicular to the exterior wall (usually do) and there is no plumbing above it, installation out the side above the cabinet line is not difficult and the short pipe run with 1 elbow is very efficient. A ranch is the easiest, straight up and out the roof.

                                                                                                      2. b
                                                                                                        beevod May 15, 2013 07:07 AM

                                                                                                        Take-out

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: beevod
                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                          mwhitmore Jun 2, 2013 08:33 PM

                                                                                                          LOL! Cooking wrecks your house in the same way that living wrecks your house. Kids wreck your house. Dogs wreck your house. Breathing wrecks your house. If you want to keep your house un-wrecked, move into a cheap motel!

                                                                                                          1. re: mwhitmore
                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                            sandylc Jun 2, 2013 08:48 PM

                                                                                                            I vote yours the best answer (of many good ones). Thank you. You are reminding me of my my parents' perfect and perfectly clean home where nothing is allowed and no creativity exists.

                                                                                                            I'll take mine a little messy.

                                                                                                            1. re: mwhitmore
                                                                                                              fldhkybnva Jun 2, 2013 08:55 PM

                                                                                                              I love this reply, so true. I can't figure out why the kitchen always needs to be cleaned, but it's the same in every other room. It's a home.

                                                                                                              1. re: mwhitmore
                                                                                                                MGZ Jun 3, 2013 11:51 AM

                                                                                                                Well put, mw, well put!

                                                                                                            2. westsidegal May 14, 2013 11:38 PM

                                                                                                              can't say that it has wrecked my house in any way (probably because i NEVER do any deep fat frying), but i can say that it has wrecked much of my wardrobe over the years.

                                                                                                              1. Caroline1 May 14, 2013 10:04 PM

                                                                                                                hmmm... I don't seem to have a humongous problem with that sort of thing, and I have a crystal chandelier hanging in my kitchen over the "breakfast " (lunch and dinner) table, and it's almost a year since it was last cleaned well and it's not in serious need of it yet.

                                                                                                                A lot of things play into how grimy your kitchen gets, and how fast it happens. The most critical factor is air flow in your kitchen (blame the architect and builder if it's bad), and how efficient a vent and hood you have. The second most critical factor is what kind of cooking you do. Obviously, if you mostly roast things in a full oven, you're not going to have a lot of airborne grease and grime, but even if you fry a lot, things like spatter shields and controlled heat can help keep the spatters from travelling too far. I even use a spatter shield over pots of soup and sauces when they simmer without a lid. Spatter shields are very effective at keeping airborne grease from escaping. However, the bottom line is that a GREAT exhaust system is worth its weight in gold! Plus a big roll of paper towels and a big bottle of Windex! My granite sparkles. '-)

                                                                                                                1. pikawicca May 14, 2013 06:53 PM

                                                                                                                  Sounds like you need a good range hood.

                                                                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                    sandylc May 14, 2013 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                    I sure do. Can you offer me a loan? :-)

                                                                                                                    1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                                      splatgirl May 14, 2013 08:13 PM

                                                                                                                      Exactly what I was thinking for you and 1sweetpea.
                                                                                                                      Do you have any hood, sandy? If it's ducted, a good replacement seems like it would be well worth your while and they are not that much money or work to swap in. Cooking should not wreck your house! This statement makes me sad.

                                                                                                                      Microhoods: a builders dream and useless junk for real cooks. Bonus points for non-ducted.

                                                                                                                      1. re: splatgirl
                                                                                                                        juliejulez May 15, 2013 11:01 AM

                                                                                                                        "Microhoods: a builders dream and useless junk for real cooks. Bonus points for non-ducted."

                                                                                                                        So true. We live in a house my SO purchased in 2008 brand new. It has a non-ducted microhood. On an exterior wall. Why they didn't just spend the extra bit of money to vent it out, I have no idea.

                                                                                                                        Thankfully, if I open the front door and the backdoor simultaneously, a great cross wind comes in and whooshes everything out pretty fast. Just have to wrangle the dog so he doesn't go gallivanting around the neighborhood.

                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                          coll May 21, 2013 11:15 AM

                                                                                                                          When we had our house built 10 years ago, the builder called out of nowhere and said the inspector was coming the next day and we had to get a hood and bring it there immediately. I said I want one that goes outside and he says, it's too late, we'd have to rip the bathroom ceiling out. I still rue the day, although I do conscientiously use the hood just in case it does something. But I am not a cleanliness freak so I just paint over it all every few years. It's not as bad as my husband's former cigarette smoke, by a long shot!

                                                                                                                          1. re: coll
                                                                                                                            splatgirl May 21, 2013 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                            I call the non-ducted wonders Barbie hoods. I put up a 30" one over my 66" of cooking surface because I needed a hood to get my CO. Code here does not specify size, cfm or anything beyond a "hood", which IMO, is the sole reason those stupid, useless things exist. My 1500cfm, 10” duct behemoth would have required a make up air source which is the really expensive version of cracking a window. Because I prefer the free option, I played their game with the $59 Barbie hood that IIRC we didn't even wire and installed the real one after inspection.

                                                                                                                            1. re: splatgirl
                                                                                                                              coll May 21, 2013 03:47 PM

                                                                                                                              If only I knew. Ours was maybe $700? It seems to filter somewhat, but not what I had in mind, for sure.

                                                                                                                              1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                splatgirl May 22, 2013 06:26 AM

                                                                                                                                yikes. I hope it at least looks nice, because that is the price of hoods in the truly functional category.
                                                                                                                                Many hoods are convertible between ducted and non, so it's possible or likely that yours could be ducted if you were willing to put some effort in.

                                                                                                                                1. re: splatgirl
                                                                                                                                  coll May 22, 2013 06:57 AM

                                                                                                                                  I only got it because I brought along my professional gas stove, so just considered it the price I had to pay. I didn't have any kind of vent at my old house, unless you count the skylite. Here, there is a window right next to the unit and I usually have it open when I'm cooking, even in the dead of winter. When I grew up in a cheap Levitt house, there was a fan installed in the wall high up by the kitchen door, with a little pull rope to turn on and off, and that would have been fine with me too!

                                                                                                                                  It's a very nice looking hood, stainless to match my stove. Allure by Broan I think? It does seems to do something, has a charcoal filter and all that jazz. Unfortunately, in their haste to install they left it hanging by a thread or two, which I only found out last year (nine years after the fact). I saw it sagging and realized it was on the verge of falling down. I propped it up with 2 x 4s until I found a handyman to secure it. Unfortunately he didn't understand (I'm putting it kindly) and just grabbed the beam out from under it and it crashed to the floor. Now it has some major dents on the front, and both halogen lightbulbs had to be replaced at my expense. But he got it up good and secure so guess I'll live with it for awhile more.

                                                                                                                            2. re: coll
                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                              Sal Vanilla May 24, 2013 12:33 AM

                                                                                                                              Cigarette smoke makes for walls dripping blood after showering.

                                                                                                                              We bought a house from a smoking couple. No cleaning ended it.

                                                                                                                              Give me a dusting of flour and bacon grease any day.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Sal Vanilla
                                                                                                                                coll May 24, 2013 05:12 AM

                                                                                                                                It took me three years, but I repainted every room and ceiling after washing them down with vinegar, as recommended by the paint store. Halfway through is when my husband had to quit smoking. How lucky is that? I shudder to think of the three previous houses and what was left behind. My house is so pretty now.

                                                                                                                          2. re: splatgirl
                                                                                                                            ItalGreyHound May 21, 2013 11:17 AM

                                                                                                                            Ugh. So true. We recently sold our first home, which had this useless feature as well. Every time we would make bacon or fish on the cooktop, among other things, I would end up thinking to myself, "Well isn't this awesome. Nothing I'd like better than to keep *pushing* this smell into the rest of the house behind a wall of forced air." And then it would linger for the next 2 days.

                                                                                                                            Never been happier than to have moved to my 5 burner gas cooktop with downdraft that vents outside!

                                                                                                                            1. re: splatgirl
                                                                                                                              LMAshton Jun 5, 2013 07:29 PM

                                                                                                                              Non-ducted is the only kind I've seen in Sri Lanka and Singapore. And people look at me like I'm crazy when I ask why it's not ducted.

                                                                                                                              1. re: LMAshton
                                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                                Tom34 Jun 6, 2013 03:10 AM

                                                                                                                                To me an overhead commercial hood ducted to the outside is one of those things that once you have it you never want to be without it.

                                                                                                                                One word of caution though is now many jurisdictions require a fresh air source into the house to replace the air being drawn out by an exhaust fan over a certain CFM.

                                                                                                                          3. fldhkybnva May 14, 2013 06:23 PM

                                                                                                                            Amen to this!! I feel like I cook, then clean then cook then clean and it's a never ending battle. Actually, while cooking now if something doesn't need my attention I seem to always find something new that's dirty or has to be re-cleaned and so spend that time cleaning instead of sitting down waiting for the food but it's nonstop and quite frustrating but I guess it's worth the rewards. For me the most annoying is the stove top and any counter which I'm working on. The darn floor could really be mopped more than once well every I won't mention because it's so few and far between but I just know it will get nasty again and so I just look upwards :)

                                                                                                                            21 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                              sandylc May 14, 2013 06:50 PM

                                                                                                                              We have tile flooring, which we use a steam cleaner on, but the grout in stained and cannot be cleaned and it drives me nuts.

                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                fldhkybnva May 15, 2013 07:02 AM

                                                                                                                                Yea, I actually bought a scrub mop which still rests in the corner. Now that this thread popped up I really should clean the floor though I must admit that my father is quite OCD and never let me clean so I probably will do an awful job.

                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                  hambone May 23, 2013 11:49 AM

                                                                                                                                  Off topic but: you could knock the grout out with a grinder, regrout and seal.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: hambone
                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                    sandylc May 23, 2013 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                                    Come on over and take care of that, will ya?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                      hambone May 24, 2013 05:15 AM

                                                                                                                                      Is it a time issue or confidence?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: hambone
                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                        sandylc May 24, 2013 07:51 PM

                                                                                                                                        Yes, both.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                          hambone May 25, 2013 11:14 AM

                                                                                                                                          I can't help with time but I did my bathroom recently and was surprised at how easy it was.

                                                                                                                                          In reseearching, it seems like there are some new grout sealers which are much better than the old ones. So doing the job might really make a difference (and one which lasts.)

                                                                                                                                  2. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                                                    justalex May 23, 2013 08:43 PM

                                                                                                                                    We have tile in our mudroom entry and the grout there was getting pretty bad looking. I tested cleaning an area with a Magic Eraser sponge. I had a bucket of water on the floor next to me to keep the sponge wet. It surprised me how well it worked.

                                                                                                                                    It was certainly a tedious and time consuming job though when I decided to clean the whole area. I can't imagine doing a whole kitchen floor. Any neighbor kids looking to make some money?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: justalex
                                                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                                                      Tom34 May 24, 2013 04:02 AM

                                                                                                                                      Its not the least bit fun but knee pads and a scrub brush seems to work as well as anything and better than most.

                                                                                                                                      I use one with very stiff bristles. Its about 1 &1/2 inches wide at most by 4 inches long which concentrates the pressure on the grout line.

                                                                                                                                      At over $30.00 a can, Sure Seal spray sealer is expensive but worth every penny for the ease / speed of application and stain blocking qualities. I always give high traffic areas a few extra sprays.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                                                        justalex May 24, 2013 04:20 AM

                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the tips, Tom34! I'll have to get some of the sealer as it wasn't cheap going through the Magic Erasers either.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: justalex
                                                                                                                                          coll May 24, 2013 05:08 AM

                                                                                                                                          I just went through a whole box of Magic Erasers doing my kitchen tiles and cabinets. They really are magic! Too bad the sponge itself now falls apart so easily, they used to last forever.

                                                                                                                                          Only warning, if you use them on paint, they will remove it to some extent. Although that actually worked for me, I had painted my stair risers bright yellow gloss, a bit too much really; then when I went over it to remove some scuffs, it toned it down quite a bit.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                                                            justalex May 24, 2013 06:20 PM

                                                                                                                                            Yeah, I love those things, coll. I agree on their 'magicness'. :) They do tend to dull some varnishes and paint. I have a white pantry door and due to scrubbing around the grimy handprints around the door handle, the paint is really dull. But hey, it's clean. I've got the proof. LOL

                                                                                                                                            I agree, the sponges are more crumbly than they used to be. I actually bought a generic/store brand last time that held up better than the Magic Eraser brand.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: justalex
                                                                                                                                              coll May 24, 2013 06:26 PM

                                                                                                                                              I'll keep my eye open for the generic, where did you get it? I don't use them all the time, just when I'm having major company, but it saves so much time when I'm under pressure.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                j
                                                                                                                                                justalex May 24, 2013 06:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                I bought them at a local midwest grocery store chain called Coborn's. I believe they were called Top Care which is probably labeled just for them. I imagine most groceries would have an equivalent store brand by a similar manufacturer. They were tougher than the Magic Erasers.

                                                                                                                                                I agree. They do tough work quickly. Gotta love that!

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                                          sandylc May 24, 2013 07:55 PM

                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the Sure Seal tip.

                                                                                                                                        3. re: justalex
                                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                                          sandylc May 24, 2013 07:54 PM

                                                                                                                                          I made some headway with these once, and yes, it was just too much to do the entire kitchen floor, especially with stupid knees.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                                                            Tom34 May 24, 2013 08:23 PM

                                                                                                                                            "Stupid Knees" ......Good knee pads were made for more that what first comes to mind :-)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                              sandylc May 24, 2013 08:31 PM

                                                                                                                                              Tom, does padding make up for not being able to put weight on them? I have wondered about this....If so, I should get some for many chores.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                                                Tom34 May 24, 2013 08:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                Padding definitely helps in my case. They have a variety of them in the ceramic tile area at places like Home Depot & Lowes. Not very expensive, might be worth a try. I am sure they have even better quality out there but I never looked.

                                                                                                                                                I do know that ceramic tile is one of the most unforgiving surfaces on the face of the earth. I have a cheap pair of 1 inch thick dense foam knee pads that I could not live without.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Tom34
                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                  sandylc May 24, 2013 09:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Very good. Thanks. Except that now I might be expected to do more work around here ;-(

                                                                                                                                                2. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                  JerryMe Nov 4, 2013 08:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Sandy - Good knee pads will make a WORLD of difference! I cannot support my weight on bare tile, concrete, etc. i invested in really good knee pads several years ago - They're about $30 from Home Depot found in the tile / mortar section. They're hard rubber with foam inserts and adjustable straps. They've saved me MUCH pain over the years.

                                                                                                                                      2. r
                                                                                                                                        ricepad May 14, 2013 04:43 PM

                                                                                                                                        Nope. My cooking makes my house a HOME.

                                                                                                                                        14 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: ricepad
                                                                                                                                          1sweetpea May 14, 2013 05:06 PM

                                                                                                                                          I don't fry, but I stir-fry and do high-heat cooking in cast-iron or other pots and pans. It's not so much the spatter that's a problem. I can stay on top of that while cooking and immediately after. It's the steam (occasionally greasy steam) that's gumming up the cupboards. I never found that the hood fan did much beyond make noise, but perhaps I should use it more often.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: 1sweetpea
                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                            sandylc May 14, 2013 06:49 PM

                                                                                                                                            Exactly! It's the greasy steam (and not necessarily always from frying) that floats around and lands on everything!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc
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                                                                                                                                              Isolda May 18, 2013 01:58 PM

                                                                                                                                              I don't deep fry much but I certainly pan fry and stir fry. I had no idea what a mess it made until I noticed a bit of dirt on my ceiling and proceeded to wash the entire thing. It was quite shocking!

                                                                                                                                          2. re: ricepad
                                                                                                                                            fldhkybnva May 14, 2013 06:24 PM

                                                                                                                                            Yes, I like this thought. Mine is quite lived in.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: ricepad
                                                                                                                                              Njchicaa Nov 1, 2013 08:34 PM

                                                                                                                                              I know this is an old post but I have to comment on it! My husband always asks why my gas stovetop can't look like his mother's pristine and gorgeous one. My response: because I actually USE it!

                                                                                                                                              He hasn't questioned the state of the buildup since then. haha!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Njchicaa
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                                                                                                                                                sandylc Nov 2, 2013 07:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                Yeah, my mom's house has always been spotless - not because she's that great of a housekeeper, but because she is careful to be sure that nothing gets used or dirtied!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                  John E. Nov 2, 2013 08:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                  My in-laws have a living room like that. I've known them for almost 30 years and I've never actually sat on their living room sofa. It's the same sofa, covered in plastic. The interesting part is that the house is a huge old farmhouse with the rest of the house well-used. My MIL apparently wants one room to be spotless. She has her quirks and this is one of them. I still remember the first time I was in the house and I almost sat on the the plastic covered sofa. I heard gasps behind me and quickly exited the room.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.
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                                                                                                                                                    cleobeach Nov 4, 2013 07:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I think it is often a control issue. Elements of their past or current life are out of control and the one thing they can control is the state of their house/sofa/car, etc.

                                                                                                                                                    There were rooms in my ILs house one was not allowed to enter. MIL would vacuum the carpet "just so" and no one was allowed to walk in those rooms. The second or third time I visited after Mr. CB and I started dating, I joked that I was going to into the living room and he panicked and said "please don't." She also used to scrub the grout lines with a toothbrush dipped in bleach and then complain about how exhausted she was all the time and that no one appreciated how clean she kept the house.

                                                                                                                                                    Growing up, I knew MANY a family that kept the plastic on the lamp shades and had vinyl runners though the rooms with carpet.

                                                                                                                                                    I remember the grandmother of one friend had custom clear vinyl slip covers for the living room furniture. I can't imagine what those cost! Of course we were only allow to look at that furniture, never to sit on it.

                                                                                                                                                    No doubt economics pays into some of the plastic behavior. My grandmother explained that if one grew up poor, they were desperate to "keep nice" anything new. No plastic coverings in my family, they channeled their issues via food.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cleobeach
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                                                                                                                                                      Tom34 Nov 4, 2013 09:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I had friends who had the plastic slip covers on furniture. I even remember the ads on TV for them.

                                                                                                                                                      There were also a couple other factors at work years ago. Many, many people smokes cigarettes, cigars & pipes in the house which left horrible stains on everything. Another factor was stores were not filled with cheap imported furniture that lasted 5 -7 years and then got chucked. Much of what was made back then was pretty expensive & made to last a lifetime.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cleobeach
                                                                                                                                                        Fowler Nov 4, 2013 10:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Wow. I love my furniture but never knew people were putting vinyl covers over theirs. I suppose it serves the dual purpose of repelling stains and discouraging people from even sitting on the furniture in the first place.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Fowler
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                                                                                                                                                          cleobeach Nov 4, 2013 10:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Afghans (preferably layers of afghans) on the furniture were more common than vinyl. Elderly aunts could be counted on to churn out afghans, custom vinyl was far too spendy for the country folk. Towels, often stitched together to cover large areas, were also used.

                                                                                                                                                          I could breakdown the various furniture covering choices of my childhood by ethnic background but no doubt I would offend someone.

                                                                                                                                                          Someone said furniture was made to last and I agree. I know there is a 50+ yo couch somewhere in my family.

                                                                                                                                                          My mom became the third owner (a hand me down) back in the 70s. We used until my parents moved in the mid 90s and no longer had room for it. (and don't you think it didn't bother them to give it up....)

                                                                                                                                                          It looked brand new; the quality of the upholstery quality was that good. Also, we didn’t eat in the living room and were generally tidy so it wasn’t exposed to food, dirt, animal hair, etc. Had my father allowed it, my mother would have covered it in afghans. He, however, didn't tolerate many Central PA quirks and excessive worry about dirt or wear and tear annoyed he greatly.

                                                                                                                                                          Now I need to find out where that couch is at.....

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cleobeach
                                                                                                                                                            Fowler Nov 4, 2013 11:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I love your reply, cleobeach. :-) I have afghans and quilts that my ancestors made. Priceless items to my siblings and I, but never used to cover furniture, but used to keep warm in the north! :-)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cleobeach
                                                                                                                                                              John E. Nov 4, 2013 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                              We have a steel framed jack-knife couch at our cabin. It was my maternal great-grandparents and was purchased in the early 1920s. It was recovered in vinyl in 1953. There is one seam that is coming loose. One of my mother's cousins had it in her basement for 40 years before she gave it to us. It replaced a 20 year old couch that we threw away.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cleobeach
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                                                                                                                                                                cleobeach Nov 4, 2013 11:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                I was curious if one could still buy clear vinyl covers (yes) and found this, check out the pictures!

                                                                                                                                                                http://www.vintageallies.com/Vintage/...

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                                                                                                                                                    jlhinwa May 14, 2013 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Thankfully, no. My stove is in an island and I also don't do much frying. Truth be told, I would love to fry more but the mess is what deters me. I have tile floors which clean pretty easily and I have someone that comes and does a deep house cleaning every two weeks so I know that my kitchen gets too dirty.

                                                                                                                                                    1. k
                                                                                                                                                      kitchengardengal May 14, 2013 03:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Making frequent use of my range hood that vents out helps a lot. I have a spatter screen that I use over the skillets when the grease is popping all over.
                                                                                                                                                      The top of the fridge and the top edge of the microhood get kind of dusty and greasy, but that takes a while.
                                                                                                                                                      We have a ceiling fan in the kitchen, and 13 ft ceilings, so maybe the air movement helps keep the grease from settling on the cabinets.

                                                                                                                                                      1. bagelman01 May 14, 2013 03:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Yes, my wife.
                                                                                                                                                        She complains that she can't get/keep the main kitchen clean. Especially that the counters won't shine.

                                                                                                                                                        That said, the kitchen is being torn out this year, the space having another 200 square feet added, and the new kitchen has been sitting in the garage for 8 months.

                                                                                                                                                        But she is already stressing about painted cabinet surfaces in the new kitchen (currently have a gloss mica) and that they will get greasy/filthy.

                                                                                                                                                        We have hardwood floors, and Hollowa House Quick Shine takes care of this.

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                                                                                          westsidegal May 14, 2013 11:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                          can't recommend quartz countertops enough.
                                                                                                                                                          changed my life.
                                                                                                                                                          should have installed them years ago

                                                                                                                                                        2. juliejulez May 14, 2013 02:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Somewhat. But I also give the kitchen a good wipe down with 409 every night after I'm done cooking and the dishes are in the dishwasher. I also do very little frying, so maybe that helps too. I also run the vacuum/swiffer pretty often because I have a dog that sheds. Thankfully most of my downstairs is hardwood or vinyl. The only room that isn't is the dining room (stupid). No windows in the kitchen, so that's good too. The only thing that drives me nuts is knowing that the cracks between my range and the cabinets are nasty nasty. I need to pull the stove out at some point and clean it... ick.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez
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                                                                                                                                                            Kontxesi Jun 6, 2013 11:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                            That gives me nightmares. I'm (hopefully) moving next month, and I'm seriously dreading pulling out that oven to clean.

                                                                                                                                                          2. 1sweetpea May 14, 2013 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                            When I moved into my house a little over a decade ago, I was dazzled by how immaculate the house seemed, aside from a few scuff marks in the maple floors. I was aware that the previous owners never used the kitchen except to put out prepared foods they'd purchased. That may be an exaggeration, but not by much. I thought nothing of it and settled right in. I don't bake much, but I do cook up a storm on my gas stove. The hood fan, microwave door above it and all the upper cupboard doors (and even the shelves inside those directly above the stove) get very sticky from steam that often rises from pots and pans. It's so tough to get these surfaces clean. I have very high ceilings and there is a second set of cupboards above the first that I can barely reach, even if standing on the counters (I know, yuck!). I have a cleaning person that comes every other week and often spends quite a bit of time working on those cupboards.

                                                                                                                                                            If and when we ever move to a different home, I would renovate to ensure that the range or cooktop is in a center island, rather than below cupboards and a microwave. This was ill-conceived, but then again, the home builders were those same non-cooks. What did they know?

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: 1sweetpea
                                                                                                                                                              pilotgirl210 May 23, 2013 04:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I have found a *miracle* product that is beyond compare when it comes to removing grease and *gunk* from just about any type of surface. It is Lysol's antibacterial kitchen cleaner. I can't live without it and buy three at a time so I'm never out.

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