Whether you’ve just run out of your favorite cleanser and need something fast, or you’re actually trying to use fewer chemicals or buy fewer home products geared toward cleaning, we’ve got some great cleaning and home hacks for you using things you probably have already! From toothbrushes to lemons, see if any of these ideas help you shine.
The Wonder Of A Little Lemon
Grab a fresh lemon and cut it in half (or even just a slice will do!) and place it in a cup or small bowl filled with water. Put it in the microwave until the water gets hot and steamy, then just let it sit with the door closed. The lemon steam loosens grime and crust from inside, so in a few minutes, you can just easily wipe it all away – no scrubbing!
Have You Heard The News?
A lot of older generations have, but maybe you haven’t! If you get newspapers or fliers that are made from newspaper material in the mail, you can spray your windows with white vinegar diluted with water, crumple the newspaper into a ball, and clean! It offers a dust, dirt, and virtually streak-free shine.
Keep Things Smelling Great
To make things smell great when company comes or if you’re too sensitive to sprays, incense, and such, you can bake cookies! Yum. If you don’t have time and energy or baking supplies, try just simmering something fresh on the stovetop. A pot of simmering fruit and/or herbs can do wonders for your whole home. Just remember not to leave the stove going when you’re gone.
For actual odor reducers, try a little bowl of white vinegar or a piece of charcoal near a litter box since both absorb odors. Some baking soda might work too. And coffee grounds (before they’re used!) works like a charm as well. Some use an open container of baking soda or coffee grounds in the fridge for odor absorption.
Sprinkle baking soda on furniture or carpets and leave overnight, then vacuum in the morning. It’s a great odor absorber. A little cinnamon in your baking soda can work too, but please do spot check on carpets and upholstery to make sure it works for you. And it absolutely cannot be damp or you’ll end up with a cinnamon mess!
And you can also use an old parmesan cheese container (washed out) or another similar container to hold baking soda in the cleaning cupboard for quick and easy access to a baking soda shaker.
Clog No More!
You can regularly use baking soda down your drains to keep them clog free or loosen light clogs. First dump the baking soda in the drain, then fill with either white vinegar or lemon juice. You’ll hear and see it fizzle. Rinse thoroughly with hot or even boiling water. Repeat as necessary! If done regularly, this should help keep clogs at bay.
Remove Wax Spills
If you have candle wax drips on furniture, tubs, or even upholstery, don’t go crazy trying to scrape them. Grab ironing paper if you have it, or a plain paper bag (with no coloring, lettering, etc) and your iron. Lay the ironing paper or brown bag over the wax and iron it. The wax should stick and peel right up! You can also use a hair dryer on some surfaces by blowing hot air on the wax to soften it enough that peeling it off your decor (or wiping it up with a paper towel) will be easy and not leave damage or scratches.
Think About Your Towels & Sponges
Sponges are amazing! But they get funky, don’t they? Bacteria grows rampant on them. We hate waste, but health is a priority. To get rid of that funky dish sponge smell fro bacteria, you can wet it and zap it in the microwave for 20 seconds. We also recommend tossing your sponge into the dishwasher regularly for good measure.
Are you using a ton of expensive paper towels that also leave a huge carbon footprint to make and sell? Try regular washcloths, towels, microfiber towels, cut up flannel, and old t-shirts and socks to do a ton of your dirty work! This includes sliding a sock over your microfiber duster!
Once used, they can be tossed in the washer and used over and over again and you never run out. Save a roll of paper towels for those absolutely disgusting messes that you’ll need to throw the towel away for. You’ll save money, save the planet, save your frustration, and in no time you’ll have a knack for which towel is the best kind for the job you’re dreading.
Toothbrushes And Toothpaste For The Win!
Old toothbrushes (or new, if you like!) are great for getting into crevices literally everywhere, in every room. Don’t bother trying to find and buy a specialty cleaning tool or brush – grab one from your bathroom and keep it on hand. It’s perfect for cleaning fixtures, faucets, and getting grime and crumbs and dust from crevices around the home.
Toothpaste (and a toothbrush) cleans jewelry to a sparkle! Just be sure you rinse VERY well. Toothpaste also works on things like shower caulk. Try it! You might be surprised what and where it will clean for you.
You Gotta Love Recycled Things
This is a wonderful idea! You may have empty toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls on hand that you toss into the recycling bin. But you can use them one more time before you toss! And you can give yourself the gift of less back-breaking cleaning methods because you won’t be sliding heavy furniture and appliances around.
Slide the roll on the end of your vacuum cleaner hose, tape it on, flatten the end, and now it’s a homemade crevice tool for getting into tight spots between furniture and walls, under the refrigerator or stove, and virtually any other deep and/or narrow place that dust and gunk gathers.
We have tons of home cleaning hacks we will share with you in the future. Enjoy! Now also check us out at Tidy Maids of Durham and Chapel Hill (https://www.thetidymaidsdurhamchapelhill.com/) to help you with all your home cleaning needs.