Zip-Tie to the Rescue
When my bathroom sink gets clogged, I don’t reach for chemicals as a bathroom sink cleaner. Instead, I use a long zip tie. I cut several notches on the zip-tie’s end. It’ll hook the hair clog, allowing you to pull it out. Problem solved. The size of the eye of the zip tie prevented me from inadvertently pushing the tie past the stopper. — Rick Holmen
Every homeowner should have a stash of these tiny, versatile straps on hand. Zip ties can help you conquer clutter, work hands-free and even see in the dark. Check out these 13 zip-tie hacks that make DIYing a cinch.
Don't forget the doormatDoormats are your best friend when it comes to trapping dirt, so make sure you have two—one outside the house and one inside. This tip is especially helpful in the winter when you have salty and snowy boots going in and out of the house. Just be sure to clean the mats regularly as dirty mats contribute to the mess. Keep your hardwood floors clean with these eight tips.
Combine tasksKill two birds with one stone by doing similar cleaning tasks at the same time. "Clean your baseboards when you are vacuuming or washing floors, clean blinds when you are cleaning windows, etc.," suggests Becky Rapinchuk, owner of CleanMama.net. Here's how often you should be cleaning everything in your home.
Skip the bucketSometimes moving around the mop bucket only makes more of a mess thanks to the dirty water splashing around. Leslie Reichert, founder of The Green Cleaning Coach and author of The Joy Of Green Cleaning, has a bucket-less mopping technique that works wonders: a spray bottle filled with diluted cleaning solution and a microfiber mop.
Stock up on productsNo, a bathroom tile cleaner shouldn't be used to wipe down your mirrors. "The right products that actually clean go a long way to getting the job done more effectively and efficiently for you," says McGee. Scared to clean your house because of all the chemicals in cleaning products? Try these 15 alternative cleaning solutions to keep your home chemical-free.
Buy a soap dispenser dish brushAccording to Dana White, founder of A Slob Comes Clean, you can use a soap dispenser dish brush in your shower. "Mark it for the bathroom only with a permanent marker, and fill it with your favorite dish soap," she says. "Hang it in the shower, and you can scrub the shower while you're in it anyway. Dish soap does a great job cleaning the bathroom!" Be sure to read up on the ways you might be cleaning your bathroom wrong, too.
Vacuum the right wayRapinchuk recommends first vacuuming a room horizontally and then vertically to get all of the trapped dirt. Most cleaning experts agree that vacuuming slowly is also very important to ensure that vacuum picks up all the dirt particles.
Define "clean"Everyone has a different idea of what "clean" actually means. Some think a sparkling floor is clean, while others are happy with just doing a load of laundry. Beth McGee, author of Get Your House Clean Now: The Home Cleaning Method Anyone Can Master, suggests asking yourself questions like how much stuff do I have and what type of home do I have to determine what clean and organized really means to you.
A pillowcase can be a cleanerObviously, you don't want to use the pillowcase you sleep on every night, but using a pillowcase to clean your ceiling fans is a hack that you need to try ASAP. "The pillowcase holds the dust so it doesn't fall on a table or bed," says Reichert. "A very clean way to dust a fan." Here are 11 brilliant cleaning shortcuts lazy people will appreciate.
Create a cleaning planWe all have those random cleaning bursts, but having a plan beforehand will make your cleaning hacks process smoother. "Cleaning is really like a dance. You start high, work down and around, and carefully observe anything that needs attention," says McGee. "As you move around, wipe light switches, door frames, baseboards, walls, working in a circle around a room and not back and forth from one thing across the room to another. Don't get distracted, keep a smooth motion around your home."
Use your dishwasherDishwashers are for so much more than just washing dishes. Reichert recommends using yours to dust off knickknacks like mason jars and glass candle globes. Pretty much anything glass or ceramic should be fine going in the dishwasher, but you do want to stay away from putting meltable plastics, and these eight objects in your dishwasher at all costs.
DIY cleaning solutions
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 3 drops peppermint essential oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol