With dirty dishes in the sink, soap scum in the shower, and dirty clothes on the floor, the house chores may seem endless. No matter how many times you scrub those dirty pans, they still have that oily residue and stained bottom. Since we know a thing or two about making cleaning easier and smarter, we put together a list of 15 cleaning hacks that will save you time and a lot of elbow grease.
1. Shining Pots and Pans
Get spotless pots and pans by pouring baking soda over the bottom of the pan and then mixing in a good amount of vinegar over the same area. This mixture will instantly start foaming and break down the brown buildup on the bottom of your pot or pan. Let the pan soak in the mixture for about 15 minutes before rinsing with soap and warm water. It sounds like a great excuse for a quick TV break or time to pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read…for months now. If the bottom is still brown, just repeat the same process until the buildup is gone.
2. Get Rid of Baked on Oven Stains
Cleaning your oven has to be one of the hardest and most annoying things to clean. Also, if you’re like us, you probably put this off until you need a small army to return it to its former glory. However, a little baking soda and vinegar will disintegrate that baked-on mess. Pour a little baking soda all over the brown stains, add a little vinegar over the same area, and watch the magic happen. The instant foaming action will break down the grime. After the foam is gone, take a paper towel and wipe the surface clean.
3. Say Goodbye to Soap Scum
Soap scum is disgusting—that’s something we can all agree on. To clean off soap scum without scrubbing, take a bit of baking soda and cover the shower/tub with a thin layer. Then pour bleach over it. This mixture will break down the soap scum and make the shower/tub much easier to clean. To prevent getting soap scum in the future, use shower gels instead of soap. Shower gels, unlike soaps, do not lead to soap scum buildup because shower gels are not made of waxy fats and oils.
4. Fix Leather Furniture with Shoe Polish
Leather sofas or seats look amazing when they’re new, but after a few months (or maybe even weeks) scratches and scuffs start appearing out of nowhere, ruining that luxury feeling. This is particularly true if your family includes a few furry friends. By the way, we’ve also put together a guide on how to remove pet hair. To fix scratches and scuffs on leather seats, simply rub some shoe polish on a paper towel. Then, in circular motions, rub the leather surface with the paper towel.
5. Flour your Clothes and Get Rid of Grease Stains
This is probably the only time that you’re going to deliberately put flour on your clothes, but we promise, this trick actually works! A small amount of all-purpose flour will remove any grease stains from your clothes. Apply the flour to the grease stain and rub the flour in. This rubbing motion will aid the flour in absorbing the grease. After rubbing the surface, shake off the excess flour and place the clothing in to the washing machine to wash as normal. Who would’ve thought that you could clean clothes the same way prepare pizza dough?
6. Nail Polish and Carpets
These two enemies have finally met their match. A bit of rubbing alcohol on a towel can clean off any nail polish stains on your carpet. So, the next time you’re removing polish from your nails, you might want to tackle that stain you threw a rug over!
7. Removing Lipstick Stains with Hairspray
Lipstick seems to stay everywhere except on your lips. To get lipstick stains off your clothes, simply spray the stained area with hairspray. Wait 10 minutes to allow the hairspray to do its job and break down the lipstick stain. Once that time is over, lightly dab the stained area with a damp washcloth. This now faded stain will easily wash off in the washing machine. Now you can confidently rock that fire engine red lipstick and white shirt with no worries.
8. Gleaming Glassware with Heat
Glass baking pans look great in stores, but a few casseroles and lasagna recipes later the glass looks foggy and gross. To clean a glass pan, simply fill it with water and place it in a hot oven for about 10 minutes. The heat will break up the grease and the stains. After 10 minutes in the oven, take the pan out and carefully pour the hot water out. Using warm water, rinse the pan with soap. You’ll be amazed how easy the stains just wipe straight off.
9. Sparkling Dishwashers with Baking Soda and Vinegar
Who wants to get on their hands and knees and scrub out all the grime on the walls of their dishwasher? Not me. An easy way to clean your dishwasher is to sprinkle a fine layer of baking soda on the bottom with a cup of vinegar on the top shelf. Set the dishwasher on the highest temperature and turn it on. The hot water will mix with the vinegar and cause an instant foaming action that will break down the grime. After the washing cycle is done, your dishwasher will look shiny and clean.
10. Get Rid of Bathtub Rings
Elbow grease only leaves you with a sore arm and a faded stain, so make your life easier by cutting a grapefruit in half. Sprinkle some salt over the grapefruit and use this side to scrub away the bathtub rings. The acid in the grapefruit mixed with the coarseness of the salt melts away the stains. Also, the other half of the grapefruit makes a great breakfast if you sprinkle a bit of sugar over it—okay, now I’m getting hungry.
11. Remove fur from carpets
A fast and effective way to remove fur from carpets is to use a squeegee, yes those things you use to dry off your car winds will become your new best friend in the fight against pet fur. Drag the squeegee over your carpet and watch as the squeegee picks out all the fur trapped between the carpet fibers. For more info on fighting fur, check out the Neato Pet Shed Solutions Guide.
12. From Stinky and Sticky to Fresh and Clean Microwaves
After a while, microwaves start to smell exactly like what you’ve been cooking in it. To freshen up the smell and the look of your microwave, fill a bowl with equal parts water and lemon juice. Then, microwave the bowl for 2 to 5 minutes. The heated water will begin to steam and break down the mess while also leaving your microwave smelling lemony fresh. After microwaving the bowl of water, take the bowl out and wipe away any stains. Now your microwave has gone from smelling like burnt pizza rolls to lemon trees—I’d call that a step up.
13. Remove Faucet Buildup with Lemons
Have you ever noticed a white cast slowly building up on your faucets? Well, that white cast is actually a buildup of minerals from the soaps and detergents we use. To erase that white cast, simply scrub the faucet with a half cut lemon. Maybe use the leftover lemons after cleaning your microwave!
14. Get Rid of Germs and Bacteria…with Vodka?
Remember when your grandma used to drag her sofas and mattresses out to her backyard every summer to air out? Well, she was attempting to kill some of the germs and bacteria in the mattress and cushions. An easy way to do this (without all the backbreaking labor) is to take a spray bottle and fill it with vodka. Spraying vodka on your sofa or mattress will destroy odor-causing bacteria and prevent the appearance of germs or bed bugs. (Remember to let your sofa or mattress dry before putting your sheets back on!) Now that leftover vodka is good for more than just post-work vodka tonics!
15. Make Your Home Smell Like Cinnamon While Vacuuming
In another classic two birds one stone style cleaning hack, you can make your home smell like cinnamon while vacuuming! Simply vacuum three tablespoons of cinnamon before beginning your normal vacuuming routine. The cinnamon will heat up inside the vacuum and like a heated air freshener, will spread a cinnamon scent behind it while you vacuum. This is particularly useful during the times of the year when cinnamon lattes are unavailable and Christmas seems like a distant memory.
YES! You’re finally done. Kick back and pour yourself a glass of wine because you have a clean house and you still have time to watch that movie you wanted to see weeks ago.