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10 Cleaning Tips You Won't Be Able to Live Without

Whether you're expecting company, your house needs a spring cleaning, or you're just trying to keep up with removing the cat hair from the couch, cleaning always seems to take longer than you'd wish. Luckily, we have some secrets for making cleaning much easier. 

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
April 25, 2016

cleaning tips

DIY Power Shower Spray

Vinegar has a lot of surprising uses (like keeping snakes out of your pool!), but it's a pretty great one: Mix one part vinegar with ten parts water in an empty spray bottle and you have a cheap, non-toxic daily shower spray that will fight mildew

The Easiest Way to Clean a Lampshade

Sometimes, cleaning jobs are all about having the right tools. And it turns out that the best tool for cleaning a lampshade is a fabric softener sheet! They pull away dust and prevent static cling, which means less dust in the future. The best part is, it doesn't even matter if the sheet has been through the dryer! We try to make a habit of quickly dusting shades before throwing away used sheets.

How to Get Rid of Window Streaks

Do you feel like you can never get a window completely clean? Here’s an easy tip that will help you to tell which side of the pane those godforsaken streaks are on. Simply wash your windows from top to bottom on the inside, then switch to washing side-to-side on the outside.

Salt Does the Trick on Carpet Stains

If you spill red wine or anything else with a bright pigment on your carpet, pour salt on the area as soon as possible and watch it absorb the wine almost instantly. Wait until it dries, then vacuum it up. Salt tends to provide a special capillary attraction that will work for most liquids. Salt also works great on mud stains!

Removing White Marks from Wood

If you have a watermark or other scuff on your wood furniture or floor that won’t come off with furniture polish, try leaving mayonnaise (yes, mayonnaise!) on the stain for an hour, then wiping off.

Turn Your Vacuum Into an Air Freshener

To rid your house of pet, cooking, or other smells, add a cotton ball soaked in vanilla to your vacuum cleaner bag, and vacuum away. It’s a great way to rid your home of an offensive odor by creating a nice scent instead.

Removing Fingerprints from Walls

If you have kids, you probably have greasy fingerprints on your walls. But believe or not, a good way to get grease off walls or wallpaper is to rub the area with a slice of soft white bread (yes, really). Then spray some starch on the area to keep fingerprints from showing up again!

Getting Rid of Counter Stains the Easy Way

Stubborn stains can be removed from your countertop by applying a baking soda paste and rubbing with a warm, damp cloth. If the stain still remains, consider using a drop or two of bleach, but be careful--bleach can fade your countertop along with the stain!

Easy Clean for a Clogged Dishwasher

To get rid of mineral deposits and iron stains in your dishwasher, run it through an empty wash cycle using powdered lemonade mix instead of detergent. The citric acid in the mix will eliminate your problem (and make it smell great!).

Oven Cleaning Made Easy 

This tip made our most-dreaded household chore bearable! To clean a messy oven, simply place an oven-safe pot or bowl filled with water inside. Heat on 450º for 20 minutes to loosen dirt and grease with the steam. Once your oven is cool, wipe off the condensation and the grease will come with it. After you’re done, make a paste of water and baking soda and smear it on any enamel. The paste will dry into a protective layer that will absorb grease as you cook.

Get even more great cleaning tips in our ebook Who Knew? Cleaning Made Easy, available for Kindle and Nook, and on PDF.

The suggestions offered here are for informational purposes only. The authors and publisher do not accept liability for damages arising from the use, attempted use, misuse, or application of any of the suggestions included on this website.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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