Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up

My landlord is planning on selling our apartment after our lease is up. Well, I suppose she’s hoping to “sell” it—have a contract—before our lease is up so that closing can happen right after she sells it. In any case, she is going to put it on the market some time this summer. She can start showing it (or have her agent show it) starting in July.

I looked around the apartment after learning this and decided that I needed to do some serious cleaning in preparation for this. First on the list was the burner grates and drip pans on the stove. I cook a lot, and they get pretty gross. Every month or so, I scrub them with SOS steel wool pads, but there’s always little bits of cooked-on grime that just doesn’t come off, no matter how much I scrub.

And then I learned about the power of ammonia. Apparently ammonia fumes—just the fumes!—are enough to clean baked-on, caked-on grime! You just dump your item in a sealable bag with a splash of household ammonia, seal everything up for a few hours or overnight, and then wipe clean.

(And aside: did you know you can’t get ammonia at Home Depot? Yeah, I didn’t know that either. But you can, apparently get it at the grocery store or at Walgreens. That’s just weird, people.)

So I gave the ammonia thing a whirl yesterday. I put two drip pans at a time in a Ziploc bag (a big, gallon-sized freezer bag), threw in a quarter cup or so of ammonia, sealed up the bag and let it sit for a couple of hours. And our drip pans look AMAZING. I did use an SOS pad to wipe off some of the grime—the green scrubby sponge I was using didn’t have much scrub left—but there was very little elbow grease involved.

I’m pretty stoked about all of this. It’s going to make getting this place ready for our landlord to put on the market so much easier than I expected.

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