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20 Tried-and-true cleaning methods

Sometimes it’s best to stick with the classics. With a dizzying amount of cleaning products on the market, it’s tough to choose what product is right for the job. These old home remedies and simple solutions give you a bang for your buck without the gimmicks.

Cleaning with lemon

Deep microwave clean

Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a microwave-safe bowl filled with water. Stir, and then add a slice of lemon. Microwave about a minute and a half, and then leave the microwave door closed for a few more minutes. The steam will loosen up food gunk and the lemon and baking soda will keep things fresh. Rub the gunk away with a moist cloth.


No-scrub burner method

Forget the scratchy pad and soap — use ammonia for oven burners. Stick your burners in their own separate bag with a tablespoon of ammonia, and seal the bag. You don’t need to soak the burners — the fumes do the work. Place the burner bags outside for the night. In the morning, open the bags and rub free of grime with a cloth under water.


Garbage disposal refresher

lemon slice

When life hands you lemons, stick them right down the garbage disposal. Stinky garbage disposals are no match for the natural neutralizer that is lemon.


Natural carpet cleaner

Lift stains with a combination of baking soda and vinegar. First, sprinkle the stain with baking soda and let it absorb for about 10 minutes. Vacuum the powder up, and then spritz the stain with a combination of half water, half vinegar. Sponge the stain until it’s out of your sight.


Dust the ceiling fan

Don’t drop dust all over! Rather than a cloth, use a pillowcase. Yes, it sounds silly, but by opening the pillow case and sweeping the dust into the bottom layer, you’ve saved yourself a vacuuming.


Oily surfaces get more oil

Have oil on your stovetop or stove hood? Fight it with more oil! It sounds crazy, but nothing gets oil up better than using more oil. So grab the vegetable oil and get to scrubbing! Dirty oil spots will be gone in no time.


Salt your flowers

Have dusty silk flowers and plants? Stick them in a bag with a teaspoon of salt, and shake the bag. The salt dislodges the dust from the flowers, leaving pretty, dust-free flowers behind.


No crayon on the walls!

baking soda

So Junior got a little carried away. That’s OK! All it takes is a paste made of baking soda and water. Find your favorite sponge, dip and scrub. Soon the colorful waxy mess will be just a memory.


The news on windows

Using newspaper to clean windows and mirrors in place of cloth might be an old trick, but it’s a useful one. The shine you get from old news copy is completely unmatched.


Disinfect with peroxide

No need for fancy wipes. A simple solution of half peroxide, half water works just as great at killing germs and harmful bacteria.

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