8 Fast Cleaning Fixes to Get Rid of the Grime

There’s hope for even the dirtiest, most outrageous messes that somehow find their way into our homes. Here's how to fix any disaster area.

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If you have: Grimy kitchen walls

If you have: Grimy kitchen walls istock/Casarsa
The combination of cooking grease, steam, and regular old dust creates a sticky residue on your kitchen's surfaces. Clean up grease splatters from your walls, range hood, and cabinets by washing them with a sponge dipped in undiluted white vinegar. Use another sponge soaked in water to rinse, then wipe dry with paper towels. Tip: Don't forget the top of your fridge, which can get greasy as well. Source: Woman's Day

If you have: A splatter-filled microwave

If you have: A splatter-filled microwaveistock/Spauln
If the interior of your microwave is a real mess, use the softening power of steam to your advantage. Mix 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar and 1/2 cup water in a glass bowl, then bring to a rolling boil inside the microwave. Carefully remove the hot bowl and wipe the microwave clean of the now-loosened food using a paper towel. Source: SheKnows

If you have: A gross kitchen garbage can

If you have: A gross kitchen garbage canistock/VikaValter
An often-overlooked source of real filth is the kitchen garbage, as traces of food and liquid make their way out of the bin liner and onto the can itself, leaving a smelly mess. Scrub using dish detergent or multi-surface cleaning liquid and a nylon-bristle brush (your bathtub is an ideal place for this task). Rinse and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Source: Real Simple

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If you have: Crusty, burned-on oven spills

If you have: Crusty, burned-on oven spillsistock/bukharova
Don’t leave that baked-on mess on the bottom of your oven; it can give off unpleasant odors and even create smoke. If you can’t run a self-cleaning cycle, spritz with water from a spray bottle, then sprinkle on some baking soda and add a few drops of white vinegar. Let the mixture bubble for a minute or so, then use a scrub sponge to sweep away the grime. Follow with a thorough wipe-down with a damp paper towel. Source: Good Housekeeping

If you have: Cloudy, unsightly shower soap scum

If you have: Cloudy, unsightly shower soap scumistock/PeopleImages
A haze of soap residue and hard water spots accumulates quickly in showers and on shower doors. To remove, use a sponge or clean cloth to wipe room-temperature white vinegar onto your shower walls and door. The acid in the vinegar will help dissolve the residue. Wipe clean with a damp paper towel. To prevent buildup, use a squeegee on the surfaces after each shower. Tip: Use a nylon brush to scrub out the shower door's tracks. Source: Woman's Day

If you have: A less-than-tidy toilet bowl

If you have: A less-than-tidy toilet bowl istock/4X-image
Time can be your ally when tackling a dirty toilet. To clean and deodorize the toilet bowl, pour one cup of white distilled vinegar or multi-surface cleaning liquid into the bowl and let sit several hours or overnight, if possible. Then scrub well with a toilet brush and flush. Source: SheKnows

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If you have: Filthy windows

If you have: Filthy windowsistock/gabriel__bostan
Clean windows make everything seem brighter, but you don’t need additional bottles of window cleaner for the job—simply use a multi-surface spray cleaner or a water-vinegar solution, and wipe windows down using crumpled-up newspapers or paper towels. Tip: Wash windows on a cloudy day; the windows dry more slowly and will streak less. Source: Stylelist

If you have: Pet hair everywhere

If you have: Pet hair everywhereistock/acmanley
Of course, you can use special lint rollers and dry sponges—but if you’re in a hurry, simply dampen the palm of your hand and wipe the pet hair off in a downward motion. Rubber gloves or latex gloves also work, as does the sticky side of a FedEx label. Sources: Stylelist, Woman's Day

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