One of the best feelings in the world is that moment right after you finish cleaning your home. Finally, everything is spic and span and you know that relaxation is in your future. Unfortunately, the whole cleaning part of the equation is easier said than done.
Whether we like it or not, cleaning is a part of everyday life — but that doesn't mean it has to be stressful. There are a ton of tried-and-true cleaning hacks that garner great results with minimal effort on your part. Keep reading for cleaning hacks that are guaranteed to make your life a little easier (and cleaner). Best of all, you likely already have everything you need at home!
Buff Away Grime and Smudges With Wax Paper
One of the most difficult parts of your home to clean are the faucets in the bathrooms and kitchen. Not only do things like toothpaste, food waste, and general grime build up on them, but faucets also attract unsightly smudges.
If you're even slightly OCD, chances are these smudges drive you crazy. What's worse is that no matter how often you spray and wipe to remove them, they always come back fast. One easy trick to say goodbye to smudges? Wax paper! Simply grab a small piece of wax paper and have a go at your faucets. The wax paper easily buffs away those grime and smudges.
Nuke a Bowl of Vinegar to Clean Your Microwave
No one likes cleaning a dirty microwave. Unfortunately, foods like soup can splatter all over and leave your appliance looking unsightly. If you dread laboring over your dirty microwave with a scrubber in hand, try this simple trick.
All you need to do is fill a microwave-safe dish with vinegar. Nuke the bowl of vinegar for a few minutes — the time will depend on how powerful your microwave is but the goal is to create a steam bath inside your appliance. When the time is up, carefully remove the bowl and wipe down the sides of your microwave with a damp rag or sponge. Any food mess should easily wipe away!
Cream of Tartar Can Make Stainless Steel Look Shiny and New
Stainless steel can be a clean freak's worst enemy. Even if you get your stainless steel appliances sparkling clean, they just don't have the same shine they did when they were new. But what if we told you there was an easy way to restore the shine to your appliances, and you probably already have what you need in your spice rack?
With a little cream of tartar, cleaning your stainless steel appliances is simple, whether it's a small toaster or a jumbo-sized fridge. All you have to do is grab a damp sponge, add some cream of tartar, and scrub away. With a little work, your stainless steel will look good as new.
Use A Dishwasher Tablet To Clean The Shower
The shower can be one of the most tedious places of your home to clean. This simple hack using a dishwasher tablet will make the task a bit easier! Grab a Magic Eraser sponge and a dishwasher tablet. Create a hole in the sponge that the tablet can fit into without falling out. Wet the sponge and start scrubbing.
After you've scrubbed down the shower using the sponge-tablet combo, rinse with warm water. A mom in Australia came up with this cleaning hack and it works wonders.
Polish Tarnished Dishware With Ketchup
Metal tends to lose its luster over the years, making it look dingy. Luckily, you can revamp tarnished dishware by putting a dab of ketchup on a cloth and rubbing the condiment onto the item. Then, rinse and dry as you normally would. This cleaning hack also works well with copper pots and pans, as well as silverware.
Dishes look tarnished over time because the oxygen in the air forms an oxide that coats the metal, making it appear dirty. The salt and vinegar in ketchup break the oxide build-up making them look brand new.
Clean Your Cast Iron Skillets With Salt to Protect The Seasoning
A cast iron skillet deserves a place in your kitchen and in your heart. This heavy-hitter is a true workhorse in the kitchen as it's durable, almost completely non-stick, and super affordable. But cast iron needs to be kept clean and well-oiled.
Over time your cast iron skillet will begin losing its seasoning. To keep your hard work shining through in dishes, ditch the soap when it's time to clean your cast iron. Instead, all of you need to do is grab a sponge and some regular ol' table salt. Coat the bottom of your cast iron pans with salt and gently scrub away any food debris. Dry as you normally would.
Easily Clean The Barrel Of Your Washing Machine
No one really thinks to clean their washing machine since it's supposed to do all of the cleaning for us. Over time, however, the barrel inside your washing machine can accumulate grime. What's worse is this grime can progress to mold, leaving a bad scent in your appliance. The easiest way to clean it? Bleach and hot water.
All you need to do is run a regular cycle (without clothes, of course) using a combination of bleach and warm water. We like to use a capful of bleach or two, depending on the size of the washing machine.
Freshen Your Garbage Disposal With Citrus
Your garbage disposal is a champ for all it puts up with. But over time, food waste can create an unpleasant environment beneath your sink. If you've noticed your garbage disposal doesn't smell as fresh as you'd like, no worries. You can easily freshen the scent coming from your appliance without dismantling it.
All you need to do is cut up a few slices of citrus (any citrus will work, whether you use lemon, lime, grapefruit, etc.). Take the sliced citrus and put it through your garbage disposal while the water is running. Not only will the acids from the fruit clean the surface of the blades, but the scent of delicious citrus will cut any foul odors.
Clean Your Toilet With Coca-Cola
Coca-cola isn't just a sugary treat enjoyed on a hot day — it's also a powerful cleaning agent. The mild acidity in the soda makes it the perfect cleanser for removing stubborn limescale from your toilet. Best of all, Coke is only a few bucks for a liter and is non-toxic.
All you need to do is measure out two or so cups of Coke. Pour the soda into your toilet, evenly coating the surface of the bowl. Let the Coke sit for at least an hour so it can break down the stains. Then, watch the gentle carbonic and phosphoric acid go to work! When an hour or more has passed, flush the toilet. Repeat the process again for stubborn stains.
Remove Stains With Baking Soda and Lemon
When it comes to removing stains, you don't always need harsh bleach or other chemical-laden products. For some stains, a little lemon juice and baking soda will do the trick.
Lemon juice works as an all-natural bleaching agent. When combined with baking soda to form a paste, the mixture can help remove stubborn stains without the use of chemicals. Simply combine a scoop of baking soda and a few drops of lemon juice in a bowl and mix to form a paste. Depending on the size and location of the stain, you can use something as simple as a toothbrush to apply your all-natural paste. Work the paste into the stain, let sit for a few minutes, and then rinse under warm water.
Use Vinegar to Clean Floors
Vinegar has so many uses we could write a book, but one of our favorite ways to use it is when cleaning the floors. To make a simple floor cleaner, combine 1/2 a cup of white vinegar and one gallon of warm water in a bucket. Once you've done a quick sweep the floor, mop as you normally would. Allow your floors to dry completely or dry them yourself with a towel.
Best of all, this homemade cleaning solution is easily customizable by adding your favorite essential oils.
Use Your Spice Cabinet to Make Your Home Smell Wonderful
Candles are an easy way to make your home smell great, but they can be expensive and many are made with harmful ingredients. Next time you're in a pinch to make your home smell nice, check your spice cabinet. There are lots of spices you can combine to make your own potpourri of sorts on your stovetop.
There are tons of potpourri recipe ideas online, but you can pretty much add any variety of spices, herbs, and fruits in a pot with water and bring to a low boil (we especially love cinnamon, orange rind, vanilla extract, and rosemary). As the ingredients simmer on low, they essentially become a homemade diffuser.
Clean Air Vents With Compressed Air
When dust builds up on the air vents in your home, it can look unsightly. Even worse, cleaning the air vents isn't the easiest, especially if you have high ceilings. Instead of using a regular, old duster or washcloth, next time reach for a can of compressed air.
Not only is compressed air great for cleaning the nooks and crannies in your keyboard, it's also perfect for zapping dust bunnies from your air vents.
Take a Lint Roller to Your Lamp Shades
When we think about cleaning our homes, lamp shades don't typically come to mind. Lampshades get dirty too though and can accumulate dust like nobody's business. Next time your inner clean freak comes out, add the lampshades to your list — we promise cleaning them will make a big difference.
But how do you clean such an obtuse object? It's surprisingly simple. Since you can't plop your lamp shades in the washing machine, just reach for a lint roller. This nifty tool will effectively pick up lots of dust you might not have realized was hiding out.
Make Your Stainless Steel Shine With Lime And Baking Soda
This simple cleaning hack cuts through grease and grime and leaves your stainless steel looking and smelling amazing. What you see above is all you need!
Simply cut a lime in half and dip the fruit into a small bowl of baking soda to coat the bottom. Scrub your stainless steel appliances in a firm circular motion. If you don't have a lime, you can use another citrus fruit as well, although limes tend to be easiest to handle. Once you're done scrubbing, use a damp washcloth to remove any remaining baking soda.
Combat Oven Grime With Clorox And A Hanger
If you're a certified clean freak, the awkward space between your oven door and oven is probably your worst nightmare. Even though this area is protected from food with glass, dust and other debris can still stake their claim in this hard-to-reach spot.
Luckily, cleaning this spot is surprisingly easy and doesn't involve spending your afternoon removing the oven door from your appliance. Better yet, you likely already have everything you need at your home. Simply grab an old wire hanger and twist so it's in a straight line. Attach a Clorox wipe (or similar wipe) to the end of the hanger with a rubber band and voila!
A Simple Trick That Makes Cleaning Your Shower Crazy Simple
Cleaning the bathtubs and showers in your home likely isn't your favorite thing to do. There's really no easy way to get into all of those nooks and crannies with a simple sponge — but this cleaning hack is about to make your life a whole lot easier.
Dish wands are great for cleaning up after meals, but they also have a place in your bathroom. Take a dish wand and fill it with one part white vinegar and one part dish soap and get to cleaning. The vinegar and dish soap combo effortlessly cuts through soap scum while the dish wand gives you extra leverage and scrubbing power with less effort on your part.
Throw a Tennis Ball In With Bulky Items
It's important to wash your bedding regularly, and that includes pillows, too! Experts recommend that pillows be washed twice a year for best hygiene practices.
Throwing a tennis ball into the load of laundry of pillows or a comforter can help keep the items moving, and prevent them from getting curled up or jammed.
Have a Glittery Mess? Grab Some Play-Doh
For clean freaks, glitter is a nightmare. But glitter, no matter how insidious it may seem, can keep kids occupied for long stretches of time. It's truly a double-edged sword, providing hours of entertainment for the little ones — but also a potential mess. Fortunately, there's a surprisingly easy method for cleaning glitter spills.
Next time you've got a glitter catastrophe on your hands, reach for the Play-doh. Play-doh is an easy way to dab up all of those pesky pieces of glitter and is much more effective than vacuuming. Once you're done, simply toss the Play-doh away or give it to the kids. They'll love how the glittery Play-doh looks!
Pour Laundry Detergent In The Toilet
It might seen a bit odd, but think about pouring laundry detergent in the back of the toilet. Just a little dollop, the detergent will float to the bottom of the tank.
Each time a person flushes the toilet, the scent of the detergent will then fill the air! Honestly, that's a much better scent than anything else that could potentially waft into the air.
Soak Dirty Brooms For A Like-New Sweeping Tool
It's difficult to sweep the floor when a broom is full of dust, hair, and whatever other debris it picked up off the ground. Thankfully, there is a great and easy way to make a broom look and feel brand new.
Grab a big bucket, fill it with warm water, and add some soap. Stick the broom's bristles into the water and allow it to soak for at least an hour. The soap and water will get all of that yucky debris right off the bristles!
Clean Baseboards With Dryer Sheets
Cleaning the baseboards throughout your home is a surefire way to make your house look spotless. But cleaning the baseboards is a hassle. Next time you do a deep clean, instead of laboriously scrubbing the baseboards with a wash rag, reach for the dryer sheets.
Dryer sheets are perfect for easily picking up all of the dust that accumulates on baseboards — especially in those hard-to-reach corners!
Make Your Shoes Look Brand New
Toothpaste doesn't just belong in the bathroom — you can use toothpaste to make your shoes look almost brand new. If you've got a pair of shoes that need a good sole cleaning, simply grab an old toothbrush, apply some toothpaste, and get to work on those puppies.
For this cleaning hack, you'll want to make sure to use a non-gel white toothpaste since colored ones may leave stains.
An Easy Way To Clean Your Blender
We all love whipping up smoothies in our blenders and effortlessly pulverizing ingredients in food processors. But cleaning these kitchen tools isn't exactly fun.
Next time you need to clean your blender or food processor, don't bother disassembling it and washing it by hand. Instead, simply remove the container and give it a good rinse with warm water. Then put a few drops of liquid dish soap and fill with warm water. Return the base and turn on your appliance. This will easily clean the blades!