NEW YORK -- From cleaning an iron to removing gum from your clothes - your mom always seemed to know instinctively how to do what needed to be done, right? But now that you're an adult, you don't have a clue!
Well, on "The Early Show," Southern Living magazine Editor at Large Amy Goodman clued viewers in on cleaning a cast iron skillet, crystal glassware, polishing silver and an iron - and how to remove gum from fabric:
HOW TO CLEAN A CAST IRON SKILLET
The cast iron skillet is the secret to true and delicious down-home Southern cooking. It's indestructible, provides an even cooking temperature, and can maintain and produce heat as well as expensive cookware. It's also naturally nonstick. However, it can be tricky to clean, because you cannot let this one sit and soak! If any food items are stuck to the pan, use a wooden spoon to scrape them off. Then, simply use warm water, a green scour pad or stiff bristle brush, and a little elbow grease. This will clean out most anything you can throw into a cast-iron skillet. It's best to let the pan cool completely before cleaning. If it's really filthy, you can use a mild abrasive, like coarse salt, and a non-metal brush like a bristle brush. For regular non-stick pans, clean with warm soapy water and a firm bristle brush or sponge. Avoid putting any cookware (non-stick, cast iron, stainless steel, copper, etc.) in the dishwasher, even if the manufacturer says you can. Even washing a few times can take the finish off of the exterior of the pan, spoiling your cookware investment. Always remember to let pans cool before washing and be sure to rinse thoroughly with water and let air dry. After cleaning with warm water, wipe it with a damp towel and let air dry. Afterwards, wipe the inside of the pan with about a teaspoon of vegetable oil and cover with a paper towel to prevent rusting.
CLEANING FINE CRYSTAL
Always hand wash your crystal glassware. Never use a dishwasher - the chemicals and temperature changes can permanently damage the crystal. And remember to use warm water instead of hot to avoid breakage and fading. Prepare the sink with a soft towel or rubber mat in case any of the glasses drop. Use warm water and a mild dish washing liquid on a soft cloth. Wash glasses one at a time holding the bulb of the glass, not the stem. Rinse glasses in a separate big bowl filled with clean warm water, then set out to start air drying. After you wash and rinse all the glasses, wipe with a soft cloth to avoid water stains. For tough stains, like red wine, fill the glass halfway with white vinegar and some grains of uncooked rice. Swirl and pour out, then wash as you would the rest of your crystal.
POLISHING SILVER HEIRLOOMS
We encourage using the good stuff. If you are lucky enough to have beautiful heirlooms, use them often. They can mix and match with your modern pieces or be used as "wow" items on a table, like this punch bowl. The thing that keeps silver from tarnishing is use, and washing in warm sudsy water right after use by hand. Skip the dishwasher which destroys the patina (or the beautifully "tarnished" crevices). If you use your silver daily, use a foam silver cleaner with no tarnish preventative. If you only use your silver occasionally, we like Hagerty's cream, aerosol or pump sprays to clean and help prevent tarnish build up. If there's wood inlay, use a pump spray to hit just the silver. Use a soft, dry cloth (NOT a paper towel) and soft toothbrush or horsehair brush to get into all the crevices. Pour a small amount of your silver polish to the cloth and rub onto the silver's surface in circular motions. You want to create a light film, not a thick coating. Be sure to get in the grooves around the base and under any handles. Let dry for one minute, then gently rub off with another soft, dry cloth. Buff it to a shine. Store in cloth bags that have a tarnish preventative in them. Resist the urge to try a "miracle dip" like the ones you see advertised on television. Dips will remove the tarnish, but they often take off the finish and give the piece a greenish-yellow appearance.
CLEANING AN IRON
To keep your iron from leaving spots on your clothing, it's important to clean it regularly. Start with cool, unplugged iron. Mix laundry detergent or dishwashing liquid with water and use sponge to wipe down the iron's face. Follow-up with a clean damp cloth. No abrasives on the iron's surface. To clean the reservoir: fill 1/4 full with vinegar. Turn iron on to a high heat, steam setting, then iron a towel until all vinegar has steamed out. Next, fill reservoir with water and pour out, or use the steam setting until all water has completely evaporated. If garment is dry-clean only or extremely delicate, take it straight to a professional cleaner for help.
NOW, ABOUT THAT GUM!
I'm sure we've all experienced this at one point: gum gets stuck on our clothing or a cushion. Wearing rubber gloves, remove as much of the gum as you can using your gloved fingers. Place cloth in a Ziploc freezer bag and place in freezer for one hour with the gum facing up. use dull knife to scrape remaining gum from cloth. Follow up with toothbrush to remove remaining residue. You can also pre-treat with a stain-removing solution.