How to Clean the Windows in Your Car

    I don't know about you but I stay broke nearly all the time so I am not one of those people who can afford to run my car through the car wash every week, much less ever get it detailed.  On top of that my car is over ten years old so no matter how well I clean it, it will never look as good as when the first owner bought it new. 
    Still I try to keep it as clean and presentable as reasonably possible.  I just have to use a little more elbow grease to keep it that way.   The problem is though, no matter what I used to clean the inside of my windows, they always seemed to have some kind of oily residue on them.
    It was weird, I could clean it with glass cleaner and it would look good for about a day and then the residue would come back and if I wiped it with a dry cloth or paper towel, it would just streak.  But here's the craziest part, if I turned on the defrost settings of my AC, even if the air was cool, the residue would fade enough to see clearly out the windshield again.  Maybe it has something to do with the car's age because my first car (which was also over ten years old) did the same thing and a friend of mine was telling me that her car had the same problem.
       I don't think I'll ever understand it but at least I did finally find something that would clean my windows without streaking them more.  Technically it is not even a "glass cleaner" though we clean glass with it every day.  What is it you ask?

Liquid Dish Soap

    It occurred to me while washing the dishes the other evening that if you can wash glass drinking glasses without leaving streaks and spots, why couldn't you use dish soap to wash windows?
    What's great about it is that you do not even have to buy the most expensive brand.  I went to one of those stores that sales everything for a dollar and just picked up a brand that smelled nice.

    We as humans have gotten into the habit of buying things simply for the convenience of it, not because of how well it works.  This is what makes glass cleaner so appealing, all you have to do is spray it on, wipe it off and you're done.  But that does not mean that it is the only way to clean things.
    The one thing though that makes washing your car windows with dish soap and water difficult is that, unlike dishes, you can't really rinse the inside of your widows without making a royal mess.  But all that really means is that you can't overload your rag with soap.

    Here is what I suggest doing.  Take a small bucket or something that holds about a half gallon of water, fill it from one half to two thirds full with warm to nearly hot water.  Then squeeze just enough liquid dish soap into your water so that it gets a little frothy on top. (Be careful with dish liquid that has been concentrated since it will take quite a bit less of it to achieve this.)
    You will also need two rags, one to wash and one to dry.  I would suggest not using paper towels.  You can use a couple of old washcloths or like me, two pieces of cloth cut from an old knit t-shirt.  Wash the windows, wipe off any excess water and suds with your drying rag and let the rest dry naturally.  That's it.

    I wish I had thought to take a before and after picture of my windows to prove how well it did.
    Anyway it worked out great for me.  This is the cleanest my windows have been in a long time.  Give it a try and see if it will work for you too.

    Feel free to comment on this suggestion below and thanks for reading.

The Trouble With Ricotta Cheese

This is my first post in this section so I am making it brief.

    For those of you who enjoy cooking and/or experimenting with Italian food, I have a question.
    Have you ever tried to make Lasagna or some type stuffed pasta?  Then you know that many of these recipes call for Ricotta cheese.

    The trouble with Ricotta cheese is that rarely do we use it the same day it was purchased.  So after it sits in your fridge a day or two, it is more like a white blob of stiff cheese than a smooth creamy cheese.
    Some would say that the simplest solution would be to let it sit out on the counter for a bit until it is room temperature, or stick it in the microwave for a few seconds if you are in a hurry.
    While both of these suggestions would work to some degree, simply warming it up is not always enough.  And since microwaves vary depending on their age and the manufacture, it is hard to tell just how long to heat up anything without over doing it.  So here is a hint that solves the problem.

2 Tablespoons of warm water

    Simply mix the Ricotta cheese and two tablespoons of warm water in a bowl and VOILA! The problems solved.  Not only have you not over heated the Ricotta cheese, but the extra moister has given it that rich creamy texture you were looking for.  Who knew something so simple could do so much?

    Now that's done, what are you going to make, Lasagna, Stuffed Pasta Shells?  Maybe some Cannolis drizzled with chocolate, Yum.  Whatever the case, here are a few links to some great  Ricotta cheese recipes.

Food Network

Bon Appétit!


    Hi All,
        My name is Melissa.

        Thanks for visiting my Tips and Tricks page.  Here you will find a wide variety of hints and suggestions for a number of things, including but not limited to, cooking, cleaning, and DIY projects.

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    February 2011


    Cleaning Tips
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