House cleaning isn't exactly fun, but it doesn't have to be drudgery either. Here is a great collection of clever tips and hints that will make cleaning your house easier and more efficient using common items you already have on hand.
The results of a simple surface cleaning with mineral spirits
may amaze you. Polish buildup and the dirt embedded in it
can muddy the finish, but will wipe away. Don't use stronger
solvents; they might dissolve the finish.
Soak a coarse, absorbent, clean cloth with mineral spirits
and wipe the finish. Keep applying and wiping
until the cloth no longer picks up dirt. Then do a final
wipe with a fresh, clean rag.
Clean crevices, grooves
and carved areas with
cotton swabs dipped in
Don't throw away the cardboard tube from
wrapping paper! Tape the tube to the end
of a vacuum cleaner wand to reach
cobwebs in ceiling corners or dust
on fans. Reach all the way under beds and
furniture, or flatten the
roll to vacuum narrow
crevices. Make it a permanent
by wrapping it with duct
tape, and it'll stand up
to years of use.
Your plumber's snake is a great tool
for pulling clumps of wet leaves out
of clogged downspouts.
To clean your birdbath, put
two cups of vinegar in the bath
and fill it to the brim with
water. Cover with a trash-can
lid, and let the bath soak overnight. Scrub and rinse well.
To attract butterflies to your
birdbath and avoid algae, put
a layer of builder's sand in the
bottom of the birdbath.
Add a pantyhose leg stuffed
with oat straw (available at
amazon.com starting at $10)
inside to your water for an
Now that discount and dollar
stores carry cheap ($1 to $5) electric
toothbrushes, you can add a
modern twist to routine cleaning.
Rapid vibration will quickly scrub
out stubborn dirt, while the long
handle can get to hard-to-reach
places without all the elbow grease.
Cut your litter cleanup time in
half with this nifty trick! Line
your litter pan with a plastic
kitchen garbage bag before
adding the litter.
time to change the litter,
simply lift out the bag, tie it
off and throw it all away.
If you like to use your
workbench outside in
nice weather, then you
know that the slightest breeze
sends your plans flying or
turns the magazine page.
To solve that problem, put
spring clamps at the corners
of the plans or magazine to
keep it on the table and open to
the desired page.
A garden sprayer can be a
mini power washer for
cleaning windowsills and
other hard-to-reach spots.
Before you fill the tank with
water, be sure to rinse it
repeatedly to flush out any
An old plastic spatula makes a great
tool for cleaning debris from
gutters. It doesn't scratch up the
gutter, and you can cut it with
snips to fit gutter contours.
Grime wipes right off the
spatula too, making cleanup a breeze.
Here's a slick way to locate small parts that fall to the floor.
Turn off the lights and shine a flashlight beam across the
floor. When the part is struck by the light, its large shadow
makes it easy to find.
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
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