House cleaning tips
1. Microwave your cloths and sponges
An important factor in how to clean your house is to ensure the tools you are using are also clean. Trying to clean a house using dirty cloths and sponges is counter-productive, so making sure they are sterile is a great place to start.
Simply pop the wet sponge or cloth in the microwave for 30 seconds to remove any bacteria. Wait a minute or two before pulling it out as it will be hot. If you don’t have a microwave, you can also put your cleaning cloths in the washing machine and your sponges into your dishwasher, although this will take longer. Try to clean your sponges and cloths after each use to prevent the build-up of unwanted bacteria on the surface. Depending on how often you use them, you should replace your cleaning sponges on a weekly basis just to ensure there is no build-up of unwanted bacteria.
2. Clean your glass and mirrors using vinegar and newspaper
Using cloths to clean your glass and mirrors can leave streaks, smudges, and lint. Because newspaper is a very dense material, it has soft fibers that make it non-abrasive and, therefore, perfect for cleaning glass. It’s also readily available in most households. If you’re looking to save some money or you want to switch to less toxic cleaning solutions, vinegar is a great cleaning agent and alternative to expensive window cleaners. It is also better for the environment as the dirty newspaper can be recycled after use. Here’s how to do it:
- Step 1: Take an empty spray bottle and fill it with 50% white vinegar and 50% water
- Step 2: Shake well and spray on the mirror or glass
- Step 3: Use your newspaper to wipe down the surface
3. Use denture tablets to clean your coffee or teapot
Denture cleaning tabs are a surprisingly effective cleaning product, especially for hard to reach areas like those in a coffee or teapot. Due to the effervescent and antibacterial properties, denture tabs soaked in water mimic the scrubbing and cleaning motion of a toothbrush, removing stains in crevices your hands can’t quite reach.
- Step 1: Fill your coffee or teapot with water
- Step 2: Drop in one or two denture tabs, depending on the size of your pots
- Step 3: Wait for the denture tabs to fully dissolve, and they stop fizzing
- Step 4: Empty the pot and give it a quick rinse with water
This cleaning tip can also be used on stained coffee mugs, or any other ceramic or metal items, to remove unwanted residue.
4. Clean your shower head and faucets with vinegar and a plastic bag
Simple cleaning tips that require little work from you are the best. This hack will remove unwanted buildup, grime, and limescale from your shower and faucet heads with minimal energy from you, other than removing the showerheads and faucet handles themselves if necessary.
- Step 1: Get a sandwich bag and fill it full of vinegar and baking soda.
- Step 2: Put the showerhead or faucet handle into the sandwich bag, making sure they are fully submerged in the liquid.
- Step 3: Secure the bag in place using a rubber band or hair tie.
- Step 4: Wait between one to two hours and then remove the sandwich bag.
- Step 5: Turn on the shower or faucet and allow the water to run through
- Step 6: Enjoy your shiny, grime-free shower head
5. Use tennis balls to launder your comforters and remove scuffs from your floor
A tennis ball can be used to help the stuffing of comforters from collecting in one corner when it’s being machine-dried. Simply throw a few tennis balls into the machine with your comforter and start the cycle.
The power of the tennis ball doesn’t stop there. If you have any unwanted scuffs on your wooden floor, you can use a tennis ball to rub the area gently. If the scuff is particularly large, try adding a little baking soda to the area, rub it with the tennis ball, and then wipe any leftover residue with a damp cloth.
6. Remove faucet and steel stains using lemon and salt
If left too long, hard water can leave tough stains on stainless steel surfaces and faucets. Even after cleaning these surfaces, if the water is left to air dry, you will get leftover stains. Cleaning your stainless steel with lemons is a great way to remove this residue as citric acid will cut through almost any grime, and will also leave your home smelling fresh and lemony. Combining citric acid from the lemon with salt creates a perfect scrubbing formula that leaves your faucet and stainless steel areas looking like new without being too abrasive.
- Step 1: Slice the lemons in half.
- Step 2: Sprinkle salt around the area you want to clean.
- Step 3: Clean the faucet or steel using the lemon halves.
- Step 4: Rinse with warm water for a shiny, streak-free finish.
7. Clean your baseboards with dryer sheets
Dryer sheets can be an effective tool to help keep a clean house – even after they have been used. Running a dryer sheet along your baseboards will help repel dust while making your room smell like fresh laundry.
You can also use the dryer sheets to remove dust from blinds, mirrors, and even chandeliers or delicate light fixtures.
8. Use a squeegee to remove hair from your carpet
If you have a house full of children and pets, you know the struggle of trying to remove hair from carpets, blankets, and upholstered furniture. Sometimes vacuuming just doesn’t cut it, but this cleaning tip will.
Use your trusted bathroom squeegee to scrape over your carpets or rugs to lift up embedded hairs and dust that get pushed down by the vacuum cleaner. Because of the shape, squeegees are also great at removing dirt or dust from the corners of your room.
9. Clean your couch with baking soda
A lot of cleaning tips on the internet will no doubt mention baking soda in some form. The great thing about baking soda is that it is super absorbent, making it a great tool to help remove lingering smells or unwanted odors in your home.
- Step 1: Brush the couch to remove any dirt or debris.
- Step 2: Sprinkle baking soda on the area you want to clean.
- Step 3: Let it sit for around 20 minutes or so.
- Step 4: Vacuum up the baking soda.
This method can be used on any soft furnishings including, carpets, rugs, curtains, and even pet beds.
10. Use brown Coca-cola to remove tough stains
Cola is commonly used within the household to get rid of rust and dust, but it can be used for other stains as well. Cola contains phosphoric and carbonic acid, which makes it a highly effective cleaning solution.
The most popular way to use cola as an effective cleaning tool is in the bathroom. To help get your toilet squeaky clean, all you need is a can of soda and a toilet brush.
- Step 1: Pour the cola around the rim and let it flow down into the bowl.
- Step 2: Let it sit for about an hour.
- Step 3: Scrub off any stubborn stains using the toilet brush.
- Step 4: Flush the toilet – and you’re done!
11. Remove bathtub and sink stains with grapefruit and salt
Lemon and vinegar are frequently used in the household as a cleaning agent, but grapefruit is just as effective and can leave your home smelling fresh and fruity. It is worth noting that although using lemon and grapefruit within the house is a handy way to clean stubborn stains – they are not a substitute for antibacterial cleaners and, therefore, cannot be used as a way to remove bacteria from your surfaces.
Stubborn bathtub rings and grime stains on your sink are unwelcome in any home, and they can be tough to clean. However, a simple scrub using grapefruit and salt can remove these tough stains and leave your bathroom or kitchen smelling delicious.
- Step 1: Slice a grapefruit in half.
- Step 2: Sprinkle salt onto a grapefruit half and also onto your bathtub, sink, or counter.
- Step 3: Scrub the grapefruit around your sink or tub. Use the rind to scrub particularly stubborn areas.
- Step 4: Rinse away the pulp and salt with water, and you’re good to go.
12. Clean screens using your coffee filters
Give your television or tablet screen a good clean with help from your coffee filters. It turns out the little rippled cones of blotting paper that filter your morning coffee is perfect for leaving your screens streak and lint-free.
The filter works by catching the dust while cutting static on the screen – all without leaving behind unwanted fibers and lint like you would get with traditional household cloths. As you aren’t spraying your beloved appliances with household cleaners, this tip can be used on pretty much any screen, from phones and tablets to TV and laptops.
13. Use your dishwasher to clean more than just dishes
The dishwasher is a wonderful invention that has cut down the arduous and dreaded task of pot-washing. But are you really using yours to its full advantage?
If you have any glass, ceramics, or plastics around your house, then you can try washing them in your dishwasher for a deeper clean. This can be anything from toy Legos and glass light fixtures to toothbrush holders and flip flops! For any small items, ensure you put them in a dishwasher safe container, so they don’t fall to the bottom and cause damage to the machine.
Before putting any new item in, make sure they are dishwasher safe — click here for a list of which items are dishwasher safe and which items aren’t. After washing your stuff, give the dishwasher a good clean after by running it on empty.
14. Clean dirty jewelry and silver with aluminum foil and baking soda
As beautiful as silver is, it’s hard to maintain. Unfortunately, air naturally tarnishes silver, turning your favorite necklaces dull and covering silver candlesticks in unsightly streaks. It needs to be cleaned regularly to ensure it maintains its coveted shine. However, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive silver cleaning products. By using simple aluminum foil and baking soda, you can bring your tarnished silver and jewelry back to life.
- Step 1: Line a large bowl with aluminum foil – shiny side up!
- Step 2: Place the soiled silver items into the bowl.
- Step 3: Pour boiling hot water into the bowl, ensuring all the silver is covered.
- Step 4: Add heaping tablespoons of baking soda to the water. You will need 1.5 tablespoons of soda for every gallon of water.
- Step 5: Allow the silver to soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Step 6: Remove the silver pieces from the water and rinse well, ensuring all the baking soda is removed from all nooks and crevices.
15. Remove greasy fingerprints from your walls with white bread
This cleaning tip may finally be the answer to the age-old question of what to do with the butts of the bread loaf. Instead of tossing your stale and end-pieces of bread, use the slices to rub off unwanted fingerprint stains from your walls or wallpaper. The spongy surface of bread means it is excellent for erasing smudges from walls, and the gluten is great at absorbing dirt and stains.
To lift the unwanted marks from your walls, just dab at the surface with your piece of bread. Make sure you don’t rub harshly, or the bread will break into crumbs – and more mess for you.
The benefits of bread don’t stop there. You can also use it to pick up broken glass. Carefully press the slice over glass shards and allow them to stick into the bread and then throw it into the trash.
The bottom line
Deep-cleaning your house, especially stubborn stains, and hard-to-remove marks generally is not at the top of everyone’s list of fun things to do. Plus, cleaning products can be expensive and sometimes ineffective. These 15 cleaning hacks can make those chores a lot easier, more natural, and faster.