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It sucks, but your mom was right about these cleaning tips

Christina Haller works full-time in marketing, is a mom, wife, freelance writer, and lover of cats, coffee, ethnic food, and traveling, and is currently living in Minneapolis.

You rolled your eyes as a teen, but now you'll be glad your mom taught you these tricks.

We hate to admit that our moms were right, but when it comes to these cleaning hacks, they knew what they were talking about.

1. Clean your microwave with vinegar

Clean your microwave with vinegar

Photo credit: Lewisville Love

Take about a cup of vinegar, put it in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat it for about four minutes. The acid in the vinegar erodes any caked-on messes along the microwave walls and makes it easier to wipe clean.

2. Scrub the garbage disposal with lemons

Scrub the garbage disposal with lemons

Photo credit: The Hungry Housewife

Slice a lemon into quarters, throw them down the garbage disposal while running water and voila — a fresh sink. The acid in the lemons and the rough peels help to corrode away all the gunk that collects over time.

3. Sanitize sponges in the dishwasher

Sanitize sponges in the dishwasher

Photo credit: Smarty Pants Mama

You don't even want to know what kind of bacteria grows on a sponge. Before you take it to your countertop one more time, toss it into your next dishwasher run. The heat will sanitize the germs, and you'll be good to go.

4. Keep trash bags in the bottom of the garbage can

Keep trash bags in the bottom of the garbage can

Photo credit: Home with Mandy

It's all too common for someone in our household to take out the garbage but not replace the bag. There's an easy fix for that: just keep the bags in the bottom of the trash can and they're ready to replace.

5. Dust electronics with coffee filters

Dust electronics with coffee filters

Photo credit: Samsill

Coffee filters are made of disposable paper bits, allowing them to trap coffee grounds but allow water to drip through. This material makes a perfect duster. Use coffee filters to collect dust and lint on your electronics or even your car's dashboard.

6. Melt candle wax in boiling water

Melt candle wax in boiling water

Photo credit: Dwell by Cheryl

To keep your home smelling fresh when you're out of candles — and to recycle the candle jar — simply place the jar in a pot of boiling water. All the wax will melt, wafting the scent into your house. And when it's done, simply pour out the wax and you have an empty jar to fill with whatever you please.

7. Dust lamp shades with a lint roller

Dust lamp shades with a lint roller

Photo credit: Home Made Modern

Lamp shades collect dust like nothing else. But the fragile material is hard to clean. Next time, take your lint roller and just roll the dust right off of it.

8. Store cookie sheets with a file organizer

Store cookie sheets with a file organizer

Photo credit: Imperfect Homemaking

Take that old, unused file organizer from your office and put it into your kitchen cabinet. It will hold your cookie sheets or pot lids to keep you better organized.

9. Hang your scarves with shower rings

Hang your scarves with shower rings

Photo credit: Be Different Act Normal

Whether you want to hang your winter scarves or fashion scarves, this is a great solution. Clip shower curtain rings onto a clothes hanger, then string a scarf through each one for no-fuss storage.

10. Wash windows with newspaper

Wash windows with newspaper

Photo credit: Laura's Stylist Service

Run out of paper towels? Grab a few newspapers out of your recycling bin and sop up the window cleaner with them. Talk about reusing!

11. Remove dirt in vents with a butter knife

Remove dirt in vents with a butter knife

Photo credit: Home Sweet Homebodies

We've tried cans of compressed air, vacuum cleaners, dusters... but this is the best way to clean your vents. Wrap a rag around a butter knife and stick it through each slot. It's a bit cumbersome, but it gets the job done well.

12. Fluff pillows with tennis balls

Fluff pillows with tennis balls

Photo credit: Susan Branch

After washing pillows or a comforter, kill germs even further by drying them in the dryer. You don't need to worry about them getting lumpy if you put a few tennis balls in the dryer. They'll tumble against the pillows and keep them from bunching.

13. Wipe fan blades with a pillowcase

Wipe fan blades with a pillow case

Photo credit: Homemaker Chic

Tired of getting dirt everywhere when you clean your ceiling fans? Catch it in an old pillowcase. Just thread the pillowcase onto each blade and pull along, wiping the dirt off as you go.

More cleaning hacks

Cleaning hacks to steal from men
11 Things you've forgotten you can use a vacuum for
10-Minute cleaning tips

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