14 Handy Hints for Cleaning Your Home
You don’t need expensive appliances or specially designed products to keep your home neat and tidy. The following 14 handy hints will show you how to use ordinary items that you likely have on hand to clean your home from top to bottom.
Pie Plate Dustpan
Create a quick disposable dustpan out of an aluminum pie plate. Use tin snips or heavy-duty scissors to cut the pie plate in half. Sweep up the mess and toss it in the trash!
Scuff Mark Eraser
Clean off shoe scuff marks from vinyl flooring with a clean, dry tennis ball. A light rub and heel marks are 'erased.' Click here to get more ingenious cleaning tips like this one.
Use Sawdust to Soak Up Spills
Pick up used oil spills on the driveway or in the garage using sawdust. The material is readily available in most home workshops—just open up the dust-collection bags on your orbital sander, miter saw, etc. Pour sawdust over the spill, let it soak up the liquid for about 20 minutes, and then sweep it up. the bench outdoors.
Floor Swiffer for Walls
Baking Soda + Vinegar = Magic
Now that your baking soda paste has sat overnight, take a spray bottle of equal parts water and vinegar and fully saturate all surfaces of the oven. You'll see the chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar begin to bubble and break up baked on char. Spray extra vinegar over problem areas and let the spray soak in for about 15 minutes. Put that magic baking soda to work to eliminate the stink from shoes, you'll be amazed at the results.
Remove Hard-Water Buildup with a Lemon
Remove hard-water buildup on your faucet with this simple, natural solution: Place half of a fresh lemon on the end of the faucet, wrap a small plastic bag around the lemon and secure it to the faucet with a rubber band. After a few hours, remove the lemon and wipe the faucet clean.
Clean a Sluggish Toilet
If your toilet flushes slowly, the rinse holes under the rim may be clogged with mineral deposits. (Get a refresher on the parts of a toilet.) Use a hand mirror to see the holes under the rim of the toilet. Bend a coat hanger flat and probe the tip into the holes to poke out any deposits. You can clean out those clogged holes without ever getting your hands dirty.
Move Heavy Furniture Yourself
You can move heavy furniture yourself without scratching wood floors. First, jack up the furniture piece, one side at a time, using a long 2x4 and a sturdy resting block. Then slip socks onto the legs of the furniture. Remove the jack and slide the furniture across the floor.
Remove Pet Hair with Duct Tape
That's right. We've found another use for duct tape—cleaning. The stickiness of duct tape makes it perfect for a makeshift pet hair remover and this method is faster than vacuuming. It also works on seats in vehicles. A sponge or cloth wrapped with duct tape works great for getting into corners. Wrap duct tape around a paint roller cover, sticky side out. Roll the paint cover over furniture or carpet to pick up the pet hair. Add more tape as the surface gets full of hair. Once you're done removing hair, learn how to clean a microfiber couch here. Plus: Kitchen Cleaning Checklist: 11 Tips for a Clean Kitchen
Coffee Filters for Dusting
The next time you clean your computer monitor or TV screen, use a coffee filter. The thin, cloth-like paper catches a lot of dust and can cover a large area. You can use a coffee filter for dusting other household accessories, too.
Clean the Exhaust Fan
If the grille on your bathroom exhaust fan is clogged with dust, try a trick that's faster and more effective than vacuuming. Here's how to clean a bathroom fan: Turn on the fan and blast out the dust with "canned air." The fan will blow the dust outside. This works on the return air grilles of your central heating/cooling system too. Run the system so that the return airflow will carry the dust to the filter. You'll find canned air at home centers and hardware stores, usually in the electrical supplies aisle. Caution: The cans contain chemical propellants, not just air. Don't let children play with them.