December 21st, 2015

LD Picks: Best Home Cleaning Tips and Tricks

The web is full of brilliant cleaning tricks, so we figured we might as well collect our favourites in one easy-to-access place.

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Refresh a stinky mattress with a vodka bath

mattress-vodka

Good in a cocktail, better as a disinfectant. Got a stubborn odor on your mattress? Vodka is an odorless antiseptic that evaporates quickly, eliminating the odor and odor-causing bacteria that go overlooked in ordinary cleaning.

  1. Fill a spray bottle with vodka—Silent Sam will do; no need to pull out the Ketel One or Russian Standard.
  2. Add a couple of drops of essential oil for an extra scent boost.
  3. Shake well, and spray liberally over the mattress.
  4. Let the mattress dry completely before making the bed.
  5. Repeat as needed.

[More at Real Simple]

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Dry clean your carpets with, yes, a squeegee

squee-carpet-2

We all know the perks of using a squeegee on windows, but have you ever thought of using it on your carpets? Vacuuming your house can cause fur and hair to wind itself into the fibers of your carpet, making it nearly impossible to clean. The solution? Squeegee it. Using a dry squeegee on your rug creates static electricity, which draws out hair and fur for a much deeper and complete clean.

  1. Drag a dry squeegee across your carpet, under medium pressure.
  2. Collect and discard the clumps of fuzz, fur, fibre, and hair as they take shape.
  3. Stand back and admire your clean & clear rug!

[More at Real Simple]

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Clean fabric & upholstery stains with shaving cream

foam-stain

You’ve just discovered a massive stain on your living room couch and you go to grab… shaving cream? You bet: Shaving cream is essentially whipped soap, and its frothy lather can lift almost any stain from any fabric. Here’s how:

  1. Apply a small amount of shaving cream to a wet cloth and blot the stain
  2. Let the lather sit on the stain for half an hour
  3. Wipe up the remaining soap and stain residue

TIP: If you’re up against an especially stubborn stain, leave the shaving cream on overnight for extra penetration.

[More at Real Simple]

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Make your toilet sparkle with citrus Kool-Aid

toilet

You knew Kool-Aid tasted great, but did you know it can clean? A cult classic among kids, this sugary drink does far more than spike your blood sugar. Hidden within a handful of Kool-Aid flavours is an ingredient called citric acid, which, it turns out, is surprisingly effective at cleaning toilets.

  1. Sprinkle your toilet bowl with Kool-Aid powder (lemonade and orange flavours are best) and let the citric acid get to work breaking down buildup and stains
  2. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, brush down the sides, and flush.
  3. Remember, this trick doesn’t work for every flavor, only those with citric acid in them.

TIP: If you have Coke or Pepsi on hand, they work just as well. (Both are rich in citric acid.)

[More at Real Simple]

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Do You, Ahem, Wash Your Bath Towels Enough?

Everyone has a different opinion on when you should wash your towels, but Consumer and Environmental health agencies recommend waiting no longer than three to four uses. After that, potentially hazardous bacteria and mold can grow.

We know, four times between washes sounds unreasonable, especially if you live in a dormitory. There are a few tricks to extend the interval:

  1. Reduce air humidity by opening the bathroom door.
  2. Run the bathroom fan for 30 minutes after a shower.
  3. Always hang your towel flat, not folded.
  4. Use a couple of towels per person. That way, you needn’t use the same one each morning.

[More at Prevention]

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Kill garbage-disposal odours with ‘vice’ cubes

garbeu

When you’ve got stinky leftovers in your fridge, the garbage disposal gets rid of the mess. But what happens when IT is the thing producing evil smells? Most garburators handle all manner of scraps, and food particles and bacteria getting stuck in the drain, out of the reach fingers—but NOT noses. The cure? Vinegar ice cubes.

  1. Pour pure white vinegar into an ice-cube tray, freeze until solid.
  2. Pull out your vice cubes and gaze upon them. Together you are ready to eliminate the moral hazard of your garbage disposal.
  3. Throw in five or six cubes and turn on the power. (The vinegar deodorizes the unwanted smells; the crushed ice sharpens the blades.)
  4. Run disposal for 30 seconds, or until ice is completely consumed.

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Make glass and Pyrex sparkle with aluminum foil

foil-glass

Baked-on food ruining your casseroles? Stop wasting your time picking off leftovers piece by piece and instead try this simple trick.

  1. Crumple up a ball of aluminum foil.
  2. Add a couple drops of dish soap to the dish and gently scrub dish in hot water.
  3. Recycle the spent aluminum.

Aluminum foil is harder and tougher than a sponge, but less abrasive than steel wool. (It’s also, critically, softer than both glass and Pyrex.) That means it  removes stubborn food particles from a surface without scratching or gouging. Combined with the grease-cutting power of the soap, aluminum foil is a powerful scrubbing machine.

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Clean and refresh your coffee grinder with rice

coffee-grinder

Coffee is a beautiful thing. A coffee grinder…not so much. When a grinder pulverizes coffee beans, physical particles and oils can get trapped and turn rancid, resulting in horrible smells and tastes, neither of which have a place in your morning coffee. Help keep your coffee grinder as fresh as your morning brew with this easy tip.

  1. Place about a quarter cup of uncooked white rice into your coffee grinder.
  2. Grind for a minute, or until all of the rice is crushed. (This allows the oils and fragments to stick to the rice and become absorbed.)
  3. Dump out the rice.
  4. Wipe the grinder with a damp cloth to get rid of any remainders.

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Eliminate stubborn grease on appliances with baby oil

micro-door

Your secret weapon in cutting through grease? Baby oil. It sounds counter-intuitive, we know, but it’s pure genius. The kitchen surfaces—microwave doors, oven panels and cabinets—that remain unimproved by hours of scrubbing with soapy water, here come clean with a swipe of baby oil. Here’s what to do:

  1. Blot some oil on a paper towel and start rubbing the grease. It comes off like magic! But now you’re faced with a choice.
  2. You can either leave the surface covered in oil. Pro: It’ll be easier to clean grease off later because none will stick to it. Con: Airborne particulates (like dust and dog hair) will cling to it more.
  3. Or you can clear the oil away, for a more traditional ‘clean.’ Take your natural all-purpose cleaner (1 part vinegar, 2 parts water), spray it on and wipe it off. If you want extra help cutting grease, add a drop of soap to the mixture.

[More at Thrifty & Chic]

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How to clean between panes of oven glass

best cleaning tips
Cleaning the glass on your oven door can be difficult because it’s double-paned… so how do you clean where you can’t reach? With a very special tool.

  1. Find an old wire hanger (like one from the dry cleaner).
  2. Unbend the hanger so it’s long and skinny but with a little hook on the end. 
  3. Wrap a rag or cleaning wipe (like Clorox or Windex) around the end of the hanger.
  4. Fasten the wipe with a rubber band.
  5. Remove the drawer under your oven.
  6. Lay down on the kitchen floor. (Did you mop first?)
  7. Look up at the bottom of the oven door. (You’ll see one to three little slots.)
  8. Use your contraption to wipe between the panes of glass. (You might need more than one wipe at a time.)

[More at AskAnnaMoseley]

[Related: 6 surprising foods that help you sleep all night long]

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The easiest way to clean your windows

washing windows made easy

Most people hate soaking, scrubbing, rinsing, and drying windows. Luckily, this technique is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Cleaning solution:

  1. Spray window with hose.
  2. Wipe or brush window using cleaning solution.
  3. Rinse window with hose.

That’s it! You’re done.

[More at Made From Pinterest]

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How to clean your microwave in 8 minutes flat

best cleaning tips

If you’re going to clean your microwave, why not put the microwave to work?

  1. Place a bowl in the microwave that’s filled with water and 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar. 
  2. Microwave for 5 minutes.
  3. Let sit for 2 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove bowl (it will be very hot!) and turntable tray (it will also be very hot!).
  5. Wipe down the microwave with a sponge.

[More at Practically Functional]

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Make your shower clean your shower

best cleaning tips

Showers can be difficult to clean and rinse without getting drenched in the process. The easy solution is to clean your shower while you’re in there. But who wants to get that close and personal with chemical cleaners?

This technique just requires a dish scrubby filled with a half-and-half solution of dish soap and vinegar. Scrub a little once a week and your shower will stay squeaky clean.

[More at Joyful Homemaking]

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How to remove gum from clothing

670px-Remove-Gum-from-Clothes-Step-29-Version-2

There are apparently tons of different techniques that will remove gum from clothing, but our favourite involves vinegar, a microwave, and a (clean!) toothbrush.

  1. Heat up a cup of vinegar until it’s almost boiling.
  2. Dip a clean toothbrush in the vinegar and brush at the gum.
  3. Continue dipping and rubbing until the gum is removed.
  4. Wash garment as normal to remove the vinegar.

[More at WikiHow]

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One thought on “LD Picks: Best Home Cleaning Tips and Tricks

  1. most oven doors can be removed

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