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The Best Cleaning Hacks Summed Up

cleaning hacks

“Cleaning your house is so much fun,” said no one ever. If you are like us, you dread cleaning your house. It takes so much time and effort. We all want to know the easiest, quickest and cheapest ways to get it done.

There’s a lot of cleaning hacks that have been around for years. They’ll turn your cleaning routine on its head. You won’t need to spend a million dollars on different types of cleaning products. You also won’t have to book a whole weekend to do it. We’ve complied a list of the best methods and tricks.

Unclogging Your Drain

You could be the cleanest person on earth and your drains will eventually become clogged. Hair can clog your bathroom drains and food residue could clog your kitchen ones. Plumbers cost an arm and a leg. Your best isn’t always to throw harsh Drain O down your sinks.

Start by trying these natural methods first:

  • Dishwashing Detergent: Just as dishwashing detergent is great at getting your dishes clean, it also works on your kitchen sink. Pour a bit down the drain and follow with hot water.
  • Salt: Salt is great for removing drain buildup. Pour a half cup of salt down your clogged bathroom drains. Let it sit for a few minutes and pour 2 cups of boiling water through your drain.
  • Vinegar and Baking Soda: Vinegar and baking soda are miracle workers when it comes to cleaning. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, follow with a half cup of vinegar. Lastly, pour 2 cups of boiling water down the drain.
  • Plunger: If all else fails, try your plunger. Plunge your sink drain just like you would plunge your toilet.

There are actually even more than these at Wise Bread.

Stubborn Odors

If your home has a lingering odor between cleanings, we have some solutions for you. With these simple steps, any pet, bathroom or kitchen odor will be under control.

  • Baking Soda: We are sure you have heard about all of the cleaning benefits of baking soda. It’s also great at removing odors. You can leave an open box in your fridge to keep it smelling fresh. You can also sprinkle it on carpet and vacuum up any lingering odors.
  • Tea Bags: These are another great way to remove odors. Hang a few tea bags in your closets, drawers or laundry room to neutralize any odors.
  • Essential Oils: Buying air fresheners can be really expensive. Instead, try mixing a few drops of your favorite essential oil in a spray bottle with some water. Mist over any areas that smell less than fresh.
  • Plants: Plants around your house will actually help purify the air. Ferns will leave the air smelling fresh. Place them around your areas in areas that don’t smell clean.

For even more ways to get rid of those stubborn odors in your home, read this blog from Homemaking.com.

Pests

During the warmer months of the year, pests try to make their way into your home. Some of the common types are ants, fleas and cockroaches. Once they start nesting in your home, it’s really hard to get rid of them. Calling an exterminator can be really expensive.

An old remedy is Borax. Boric acid works by destroying the stomach of insects. They are naturally attracted to it. Once they eat it, it kills them pretty quickly. There are different mixtures to kill different types of pests.

  • Cockroaches: Cockroaches love Borax. Mix some hard boiled egg yolks with white sugar and Borax. Mix everything together so it has the consistency of a paste. Put little drops of this mixture on your baseboards and under your sink. Before you know it, all of the cockroaches will be dead.
  • Ants: To kill ant infestations in your home, mix Borax with a little bit of honey. Put this in the areas that you are seeing the stream of ants. If you want to kill the queen on her babies, make a paste using powdered sugar and Borax.
  • Fleas: Start by vacuuming your house really well. Sprinkle Borax all over your carpet. Let the Borax sit on your carpet for 36 hours. Vacuum up the Borax and dead fleas.

For more information on getting rid of pests, Martha Stewart has more tips.

Hardwood Floors

Harwood floors look beautiful in your home. Unfortunately they are hard to maintain. They show dents and scratches. Because they wood is softer than laminate, they show lots of wear and tear. Before calling in an expensive professional to restore them, try these tricks.

  • Permanent Marker: Most parents understand the frustration of their kids drawing with permanent marker on the floors. To remove the marker, put toothpaste on it. Let it sit for 10 minutes and wipe away with a clean cloth.
  • Gum: Removing gum from anything can be difficult, especially from your hardwood floors. Hold and ice cube on the gum to freeze it. Once it is frozen, you can easily scrape it away with an ice scraper or credit card.
  • Magic Erasers: If your floors are scuffed and scratched, use a magic eraser to buff the area. Your floors will look like new.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda is great for eliminating odors. If your pet or kids have an accident on your hardwood floors, it can leave behind an odor. Put some baking soda on the area where the accident happened and let it sit for a few hours. Vacuum up the baking soda and finish with a floor cleaner.
  • Dents: There is an easy way to remove dents in your hardwood floors instead of refinishing them. Put a few drops of water on the dent and put a damp clean cloth on top of it. Use your clothes iron to gently iron over the cloth for a few minutes. Your floor will swell up and the dent will be gone.
  • Scratches: Another great way of removing scratches from your floors is walnuts. Gently run a walnut shell over the scratch and it will buff away.

For 7 homemade wood floor cleaners, check out American Home Shield.

Household Stains

It’s very common for there to be stains on the carpet and furniture in your home. Instead of buying expensive cleaning solutions, try using these items that you already have around your house.

  • Juice: Dark juices like cranberry juice can leave bad stains. Mix a solution of 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 1 cup warm water. Blot this solution on the stain to remove it.
  • Gravy: Dark gravies can leave dark stains on your carpet. Take some of Fels-Naptha Laundry soap and mix it with water so it becomes a paste. Put this on the gravy stain and blot with a cloth. You can repeat this process as many times as needed to completely remove the stain.
  • Wine: Red wine of white carpet or furniture is a nightmare. When the stain is fresh, blot with cold water and a clean cloth. If the stain remains, add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to dishwashing detergent. This should completely remove the stain.

For even more stain removing tips, Real Simple has 12 more solutions for you.

Baseboards

Baseboards can become really dirty over time. If its been awhile since you have cleaned them, you want to start by removing the dirt before actually start cleaning them.

  • Broom: Start by using a broom to remove the dust
  • Vacuum: Vacuum up the dust that fell when you were using the boom
  • Wet sock: Use a wet sock to pick up any dust that remained on the baseboards. The wet sock will easily attract this dust that the vacuum missed
  • Water and dish detergent: Add a few drops of dish detergent to a bucket of warm water. Using a sponge, wash the baseboards.
  • Damp rag: After you are done washing your baseboards with dish detergent and water, use a damp cloth to remove any soap residue that you missed.

For even more cleaning hacks, check out Clark Howard’s blog.

Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans can collect so much dust over time. They can actually spread this dust all over your house when you turn then on. Cleaning them is so much work involving ladders.

We have a great cleaning hack that makes this chore so much easier:

  • Pillow cases: Grab a bunch of pillow cases out of your closet. If possible, use one per fan blade.
  • Blade: Slide the pillow case along the fan blade. Use your hands to press the fabric against the top of the fan blades. The extra fabric in the pillow case will catch all of the dirt that falls down.
  • Laundry: Take the dirty pillow cases outside and tun inside out. Shake them to remove all of the dirt from your fan blades. Run them through your next laundry cycle.

A more detailed breakdown of this with photos can be found on One Good Thing.

Garbage Disposal

Over time, your garbage disposal can start to stink from leftover food residue. It can actually stink up your whole kitchen. Forget using expensive cleaners, we have a cheap and easy method for you.

Here are the only products you will need:

  • Lemons
  • White Vinegar
  • Ice cube tray

Start by slicing your lemons into pieces and putting a piece in each section of the ice cube tray. Fill the rest of the ice cube tray with vinegar. Put the tray in the freezer overnight so everything freezes solid. Remove from the trays and place in a freezer bag. Store them in your freezer until you need to freshen your garbage disposal again. Put one cube of frozen lemon and vinegar down the drain and run your disposal until it is completely broken. This will keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh.

If this method doesn’t get the smell completely from your garbage disposal, the Spruce has some methods for treating these deeper odors.

Cookie Sheets

If you use your cookie sheets a lot, they start to get a brown residue on them that is next to impossible to remove. We’ve tried so many store bought cleaners and nothing seems to get them looking clean again. We have a homemade cleaner that will get them looking like new.

  • ¼ cup of baking soda
  • Enough Hydrogen Peroxide to dampen the baking soda and tun it into a paste

Mix these 2 ingredients in a small bowl. Apply this paste to the entire discolored area. Let this paste sit for about an hour. Then, using a kitchen soft scrubby, gently scrub away all of the discoloration. It’s just that simple. You can clean many other dirty, filmy items in your home with this miracle cleaner. This article from One Good Thing goes over all of the other uses.

Garbage Smell

We are all too familiar of the horrid smell of our garbage cans. It happens because garbage bags rip and leak. Even if you double bag your garbage, this can still happen. Using sprays like Febreze are only a temporary solution. They eventually wear off and leave the garbage smell behind.

Here’s an easier method that actually gets rid of the garbage smell:

  • Fabric Softener Sheets: Leave 2 scented fabric softener sheets at the bottom of your empty garbage can. This will start as a base to keep your garbage smelling fresh.
  • Newspaper: Next, crumple up a few pages of newspaper. Put these on top of the fabric softener sheets. These will soak up the garbage spills.

Throw away the crumbled newspaper when you take your garbage out. Also, change the fabric softener sheets every few weeks to keep your trashcan smelling fresh. You can also make a Sachet to keep your garbage can fresh. You can read how from Real Simple.

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