Believe it or not, more people get into the down and dirty job of cleaning their homes in fall (when they're trapped inside with the windows shut!) rather than spring. Here are our tips to make it easier, from surprising ways to clean your fireplace to how to get your windows streak-free on the very first try.
Fall Clothing Stains
Have stains on your clothes like Who Knew? editor Jennifer? Just use our old standby, hydrogen peroxide and dishwashing liquid. (And if you’re interested in knowing how she made the soup she slopped on her clothes, check out our post on How to Make Chicken Stock).
Make Cleaning Faster
Reuse an old kitchen apron to help speed up your housecleaning. Fill the pockets of the apron with your cleaning supplies, and you’ll be able to walk from room to room with everything you need right in the pockets in front of you. Make sure to bring a plastic bag with you for garbage you find around the house!
How to Clean Your Windows
Paper towels are for amateurs! Use newspaper, coffee filters, or even pages from a telephone book to clean your windows and they won’t leave as many streaks. Bonus: No pieces of lint behind!
Sanity-Saving Window Cleaning Tip
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.
Use kitchen tongs or bread crusts to clean your blinds! No, really, here’s our post on how to easily clean blinds to find out how.
The Easy Way to Clean Fireplace Ashes
Before cleaning the ashes from your fireplace, sprinkle some damp coffee grounds over them. They’ll weigh the ashes down and keep dust to a minimum.
Clean Up Sooty Bricks with Cola
Try an old masonry trick to brighten up soot-stained brick—use cola! Sponge cola (flat is OK) onto sooty brick and leave for 15 minutes. Loosen the soot by scrubbing with a stiff-bristled brush. Sponge with clean water.
Orange Peels for Kindling
The best thing to use as kindling in your fireplace isn’t newspaper (or printed out emails from your ex). It’s orange peels! Orange (and lemon) peels smell delicious when they burn, and they contain oils that not only make them burn longer, but help ignite the wood around them. Finally, they produce less creosote than paper, which will help keep your chimney clean.
If you have a crystal chandelier, don’t dread cleaning it any longer! First, make sure the light switch is off. Next, lay a blanket or upside-down umbrella underneath the chandelier to catch any drips or falling pieces. Now mix 1/2 cup lemon juice with 1½ cups water in a jar. The crystals clean themselves—all you have to do is bring the jar up to each one and dip it in, then let it air-dry. Or, use the solution on a clean cotton rag and wipe the crystal. (This is also a great way to remove film from glasses, instead of using vinegar!)
These tips are even better when you listen to them on our podcast—which also includes a Lifehack Lightning Round and more! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook!
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