Spring is in the air, and that means it’s time to give your whole house a good once-over to make sure it’s as April-fresh as the weather outside. But the way Mom taught you may not be the best way. Break out one of these cleaning hacks to make cleaning easier than ever.
1. Fight grease with… mineral oil?
A couple of drops of mineral oil (or vegetable oil in a pinch) on a paper towel will (seemingly counterintuitively) degrease your stove hood and range. When you’re done, you can just clean it with all-purpose cleaner or leave it there to make it shine like new and make future cleanups a breeze.
2. Refrigerator lazy Susan
While you’re cleaning your fridge out anyway, add a lazy Susan or two to those chock-full shelves and stop fighting (and spilling) to get to what you need.
3. Clean mattresses with vodka
Pour vodka into a spray bottle and spritz it on your mattress, allowing it to air-dry. This will kill odor-causing bacteria and disinfect the mattress.
4. Remove stains from microfiber with rubbing alcohol
Put the alcohol in a spray bottle and spray the stained area well. Use a white sponge (so the color doesn’t transfer) and rub the stain out, allowing it to air-dry. When it dries, use a white-bristled brush to “fluff” the fibers back into place.
5. Hair dryer water ring remover
Don’t you hate it when people don’t use coasters? If you have water rings on your wood tables, turn a hair dryer on high and give them a blast until they disappear. Then recondition the wood using a little olive oil.
6. Lemon-steam microwave gunk
Put lemon slices in a cup of water and microwave it on high for two or three minutes (until it starts to boil). Let it sit for a few minutes for the steam to go to work, and then you should be able to wipe up the mess.
7. Clean the tub without harsh chemicals
Mix a teaspoon of liquid soap, a few drops of anti-bacterial essential oils (i.e., tea tree, eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint), a cup of baking soda and enough water to make a thick paste. The baking soda will help it act like Comet to scrub away stains while the other ingredients clean and sanitize.
8. No-mess ceiling fan cleaner
Use an old pillowcase to clean your fan blades. Just put the blades inside the pillowcase (spritz the insides with cleaner first if desired) and slowly pull it toward you — all the dust will fall into the case.
9. Hands-free shower head cleaner
Fill a plastic bag big enough to fit over your shower head with vinegar and use a rubber band or duct tape (don’t let the tape get on the shower head!) to secure it so it complete submerges in the liquid. Leave it overnight and remove it in the morning.
10. Remove grease with chalk
Kids are notorious for leaving greasy fingerprints on the walls, but it’s not that hard to clean. Just rub over the grease print with white chalk and after it sits for a few minutes, wipe the chalk away — the grease will come with it.
11. Cream of tartar stainless steel cleaner
Mix 1/4 cup of cream of tartar with a cup of white vinegar in a glass or plastic container and scrub your stainless steel sink, appliances and more, then rinse with warm water.
12. Clean tight spaces with a condiment lid
You know those yellow and red plastic bottles with the pointy tips they put ketchup and mustard in? Affix one of those to your vacuum cleaner hose with duct tape to reach hard-to-clean places the hose normally won’t reach.