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The Totally Free Super Cleaner You’re Not Using

There is something in your kitchen that’s a super-cleaning agent, and you’re probably not using it often enough. And that’s silly — because it’s free (or almost free). That super cleaner is boiling water, and it costs about $0.0005 a gallon here in New York City, where everything is expensive!

I think we all know that hot water cleans better than cold water, but boiling-hot water does things that plain ol’ hot water can’t. Few stains or debris stand a chance against boiling water, and boiling water disinfects surfaces, too. And as long as you wear gloves and make sure you don’t pour the stuff on a material that will melt at high temperatures, you’re golden. Here are a few ways to use boiling water to clean.

6 Ways to Use Boiling Water to Clean in the Kitchen
Flush out berry stains: Run boiling-hot water through soiled fabrics to push out the stain.
Clean your floors: Wood, linoleum, and tile all get cleaner with boiling-hot water, with or without adding vinegar.
Scrub your drains: Run boiling water through your pipes to loosen debris that’s built up in there.
Clean your microwave: Heat a bowl of water to boiling and let it roll a few minutes with the door closed to create humidity that loosens caked-on grease (some people add lemon juice, too).
Disinfect baby bottles: And grown-up stuff too! Whether you’re trying not to spread germs because you’re sick, or you’re living with someone with a weaker immune system, this is a way to disinfect their stuff.
Clean up scorched pans: Boiling water — in combination with scrubbing and just a little bit of soap — can remove impressively burned-on food.
I’ve learned this myself over the years, because the hot water in our apartment gets so crazy-hot that it’s practically boiling when it comes out. (You might not believe me, but there have been times when I’ve used hot water to fill the pot for the sous-vide, and it’s actually too hot to cook food in properly.) And our stuff gets really super-clean with just a little bit of scrubbing.

Have you ever had miraculous results with boiling water? We want to hear about it!