Clever Cleaning Tricks for Your Home
We all want a clean home, but sometimes it seems like there’s just not enough time to clean everything regularly. Here are some amazing clever hacks that will cut your cleaning time in half, and let you get your house ready for guests.
1. Clean your dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda.
You probably have everything you need to clean your dishwasher in your kitchen. Set a cup of white vinegar on your dishwasher’s upper rack, then sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher. Next run dishwasher through the hot water cycle. The combination of these cleaning agents will combine to make a powerful grease-busting solution and it’ll also blast away any stale smells too.
2. Clean naturally and quickly with lemons.
Lemons are a powerful cleaning agent. Tackle caked-on food in the microwave with lemon halves and a ½ cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice into the bowl, then drop the halves into the water, putting the bowl in the microwave. Set the microwave for 3 minutes, and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, while the steam inside goes to work. Now you can wipe the gunk away easily. Finally, take another lemon, sprinkle your cutting board with salt, and scrub it with the lemon to disinfect it naturally.
3. Scrub blinds with a discarded sock, vinegar and water.
Cleaning blinds is tedious work. However, you can use vinegar and water to clean blinds thoroughly in just a few minutes. Take equal parts of both vinegar and water, combining the two in a bowl. Next, get a sock to wear on your hand — this will make it easy to go over the blinds. Dip your sock in the mixture, and then run the sock over the slats to quickly remove dust. Periodically re-dip the sock and squeeze to remove the dust and dirt.
4. Remove bathtub rings with ease.
Bathtub rings can make any bathroom look unsightly, but you can make that tub sparkling white again. For an enamel bathtub, make a paste of 2 parts baking soda and 1 part hydrogen peroxide, letting the paste sit on the tub for 30 minutes. Scrub and rinse, and the rings should disappear. If you have a porcelain bathtub, let 3 cups of white vinegar sit in a tub full of hot water for several hours, then drain. The stains should come off easily.
5. Remove stubborn pet hair with a rubber glove.
We love our pets, but their hair is another story, especially when it’s all over the house. Clean up pet hair from upholstery by wearing a damp rubber glove then running over the surface. Rinse the hair off from the glove and repeat when necessary. For the baseboards, take a dryer sheet, and go along the length of the baseboard, letting the dryer sheet attract all kinds of hair. For carpets, take a window squeegee and go over carpet to pull out pet hair.
6. Scrub away stains with toothpaste.
Toothpaste has multiple uses for cleaning. Use toothpaste to clean piano keys, rubbing the keys a bit with toothpaste and a toothbrush, then gently wipe them clean with a damp cloth. Toothpaste is also great for chrome fixtures and is less abrasive than most cleaners on the market. Take non-gel toothpaste and rub it on fixtures, then polish with a dry cloth. You can do the same to remove scuffs on linoleum floors and scrub away build-up in in the bathroom sink too.
7. Clean hard-to-reach spots with canned air.
Dust and dirt can build up in a hard-to-reach spots, such as exhaust fans. If you want to remove that dust quickly, grab a canister of canned air to blow away the dust. Be sure you regularly remove the cover of the exhaust fan to make sure that you get rid of the non-visible dust on the other side; your fan will be much more efficient when clean.
8. Remove smells from upholstered furniture with baking soda.
Pets, food and people can leave gross smells on upholstered furniture. Fix the problem quickly with baking soda. Spread baking soda on the furniture, let it sit overnight, then vacuum. The baking soda will absorb the odors and leave your furniture smelling clean and fresh.
9. Scrub up patio furniture with dish soap.
Dish soap attacks grease and grime on your dishes, but it’s also great for patio furniture. Squirt a bit in a bowl of warm water, then go over your chairs and tables, wiping them down with the solution to remove dust and bugs. Rinse well with water, and let them dry in the sun. Most manufacturers actually recommend regularly washing your furniture, but check the tags for any special instructions, just in case.
10. Wipe away dusty fans with an old pillowcase.
Keep dust contained while cleaning a ceiling fan by using an old pillowcase. Use the pillowcase to wipe the blades one at a time, and watch the dust fly into the pillowcase. You can follow up the process by using a gentle clean on the blades, if you like, to make sure all of the dust has been removed.
11. Remove build-up from a showerhead with vinegar and water.
If your shower head is looking grungy, or is spraying in multiple directions, then you probably need to give it a good scrub. Don’t grab the scrub brush though; instead get a plastic bag, a rubber band, and some vinegar. Make a mixture of vinegar and water then pour it into the bag. Wrap the bag around the shower head and let it soak in the solution for at least 30 minutes while the vinegar removes the debris. Once it’s set long enough, remove the bag and rinse the shower head, and it should spray as good as new.
12. Scrub up oven racks with dryer sheets and dish soap.
Banish stubborn stains and odors from your oven racks by using dryer sheets. Take a bit of dish soap and squirt it on a wet dryer sheet. Let the dryer sheets soak on the oven racks overnight to really break up the residue. The next day, wipe them clean and rinse — everything should come off with ease.
13. Remove grease from cabinets with vegetable oil and baking soda.
As we cook, grease builds up on our cabinet doors, making them look streaky and gross. You can grab a bottle of vegetable oil, a clean old toothbrush and baking soda. Use a mixture of 1 part vegetable oil and 2 parts of baking soda, then dip the toothbrush into the solution to gently scrub away the grease off wooden cabinet doors.
14. Clean dirty window tracks with baking soda, vinegar and dish soap.
Do you have dingy and dirty window tracks? Refresh them by combining 1 part baking soda, 1 part vinegar, and 1 part dish soap into a mixture. Dip a rag or toothbrush in the mixture then wipe clean for bright and clean window sills. You can use q-tips for the tight spaces, depending on the make and model of your window.
15. Clean your toilet quickly with a can of Coca Cola.
Guests coming? Clean a toilet with a can of Coca Cola and remove those unsightly rings and stains. Simply pour the can into the toilet and let it sit for an hour. While it sits, get to scrubbing the rest of the bathroom using the clever cleaning hacks we’ve already shared. After the hour is up, flush, and the rings should be gone. This is a great way to clean a toilet in a pinch. In other times, vinegar will work just as well.
16. Brighten and scrub grout with baking soda.
Dirty grout can make an otherwise clean bathroom look messy and unwelcoming to guests. A mixture of baking soda and bleach or vinegar with make them look brand new. For the first solution: Take ¾ cups of baking soda and mix with ¼ cup of bleach into a paste. Apply it with a brush to the grout, and leave it to sit for 10-15 minutes. Work the paste into a nice scrub with your brush, let it sit again for a while, then rinse. The second way is to combine 50-50 vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture evenly over the grout, then let it sit with 5-10 minutes, and follow with a stiff brush scrubbing. Rinse and marvel at your clean grout.
17. Clean washing machines with vinegar and baking soda.
Washing machine gets your clothes clean and smelling-fresh again, but sometimes the machines themselves need a bit of a scrub to remove dirt, grime and smells. For top-loading washers: Start a hot-cycle and as the washer fills, add a quart of vinegar, followed by 1 cup of baking soda. Close the lid and let the mixture slosh around a bit, then open to let the washer to soak in the solution for an hour.
After the hour is up, let the cycle continue, then run another hot cycle with just vinegar to wash away any leftover residue. For front-loading washers, mix ¼ cup of baking soda with 1 cup of water. Put the mixture into the detergent container of the washing machine, then add 2 cups of vinegar. Set the washer on a hot cycle and let it wash itself with the detergent you just created. While it cleans, wipe down the outside of the washer well with a gentle cleaner, then after the cycle is up, scrub any remaining smells or gunk with a damp cloth.
18. Remove grease on stove filters with baking soda.
You may not notice them everyday, but your stove hood filters can get pretty greasy. There’s an easy way to clean them, however, and it starts with the stove. Get a large pot of water and bring it to boil. Next, take a ½ cup of baking soda, and add a little bit at a time to the water. Once you’ve added the entire ½ cup, submerge half of your filter in the mixture. The baking soda and water will break down all of the grime and leave you with a clean filter. You may need to repeat again with a clean pot of water, depending on the condition of the filter.
19. Get streak-free clean windows and mirrors with black tea.
It can be quite tedious to clean a mirror or window, especially if you find yourself going over and over the same stubborn spots. It can be even harder to get a clean mirror or window without streaks, especially if you use store-bought window cleaners. An easier way is to clean with natural things around the house. Take 3 black tea bags and let them steep for an hour. Next put the tea in a spray bottle and mist your mirror, then wipe clean with a newspaper or towel.
20. Banish ceiling cobwebs with a broom and an old towel.
Cobwebs lurking in corners and on popcorn ceilings can be hard to reach, especially if you don’t have a ladder handy. Try placing a towel over the head of a broom, and attaching it with an elastic band. As you brush along, the towel will remove the cobwebs without pulling them to the floor or to your hair.
21. Wash glass lighting fixtures in the dishwasher.
Your dishwasher is great for cleaning dishes, but did you know it can clean other things as well? If you hate having to climb on a ladder to reach glass ceiling fixtures, there’s a better way to get them cleaner, faster. Here’s where the dishwasher comes in handy: just remove the glass carefully, and let it wash alongside your other glassware for sparkling clean lights. Just be sure you don’t do this with frosted glass.
22. Make Yellowed Pillows Look New Again
It’s a simple fix if you have yellowed and stained pillows that you need to remedy. First, check the tags on your pillows to make sure they can be machine washed. Then, simply throw them in the washing machine along with your normal laundry detergent, some powdered dish detergent, some bleach, and borax. Wash the pillows in hot water and marvel at the amazing result!