17 Cleaning Tricks for Hard-to-Clean Household Objects

Looking for some hassle-free ways to clean objects and places in your home that can be tricky? These easy tricks eliminate and prevent messes in the most inconvenient, "uncleanable" places.


The inside of your purse

Push a lint roller along the bottom of an empty purse to pick up dirt, loose change, and more. Here’s how to downsize a heavy handbag.

Sticky candles

Place a grimy candle inside a stocking and roll it around. The nonabrasive nylon will clean the wax surface without sticking to it. Here’s how to remove candle wax from pretty much any surface.

Grungy window blinds

Dip a sock into a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. Put it on your hand inside out and use it to clean both sides of window blinds at the same time. You won’t believe how many great vinegar uses there are that make cleaning easier.

Dingy TV screens

Swipe a coffee filter across dusty and staticky computer monitors and plasma TV screens to remove buildup.

A stinky kitchen

Toss orange and lemon peels into the garbage disposal and grind them up for a few minutes to give your kitchen an amazing fresh citrus smell with no work at all. Here are 7 surprisingly germy things in your kitchen that you probably forget to clean.

Kitchen sink clutter

Clamp a binder clip onto the short end of your sponge. Stand the clip upright on its side to keep the sponge clean, dry, and mold-free.

Pet hair horrors

Drag a window squeegee (you can find one at any home-goods store) across a carpet to remove pet hair. The rubberized blade will quickly lift fur from rug fibers. Learn the 50 things your pet would tell you if they could.

Dusty clothes

Cut a hole in the center of a cloth napkin and place it over a hanger to keep dust from settling on nice dresses and leather jackets.

That ring around your toilet

Let an Alka-Seltzer tablet sit in the bowl for 20 minutes, and then flush. The citric acid will eliminate rings and stains. Here are some ways you’re cleaning your bathroom wrong.

Prevent glasses from breaking in the dishwasher

Stretch a rubber band around a wineglass and over the spokes of the dishwasher rack to keep the glass from moving around and breaking during the wash cycle. Here are some more common dishwasher loading mistakes.

Fill buckets or watering can without making a mess

If you have a bucket or a large watering can that won’t fit under the faucet, place a dustpan with a hollow handle beneath the stream of water to redirect it into the larger vessel on the floor in front of the sink.

A soiled coffee grinder

If you use this tool to crush spices as well as coffee beans, process a handful of Cheerios in the appliance for 30 seconds. This will remove any smells from the machine before you brew your next cup. We’ll bet you didn’t know these 10 weird facts about coffee.

Messy drawers

Try vertical stacking: Place folded shirts vertically into drawers to make it easy to see and reach what you need.

Ceiling fans

Want to clean the blades of your ceiling fan without raining dust down on your furniture? Take a pillowcase and slide it over each blade. Press down and slide the pillowcase back off; it’ll take all the dust with it.

Pop-up toaster

Use a cleaning toothbrush to scrub down the coils of your pop-up toaster with clean water. Make sure it’s unplugged first, of course! Take out the crumb tray and stick a paper towel underneath the toaster so that crumbs don’t get out of control. Here’s how to make the perfect toast, according to science.

Smelly mattress

Make sure you’re vacuuming your mattress every time you rotate it. But did you know that baking soda can banish sweaty mattress odors? Put some baking soda in a sifter and shake it over the mattress. Let it sit for a half an hour and then break out the dustbuster to vacuum it up. To make it smell extra-good, mix in a drop or two of essential oil with the baking soda before you sift. However, if your mattress smells really funky, it might mean it’s time to get a new mattress.

Shower curtain liners (or plastic shower curtains)

Throwing your plastic curtain liner in the wash is all well and good, but that won’t banish mildew for good. TipHero recommends adding a cup of vinegar to the washing machine, and only using half the recommended amount of detergent. After that, throw the liner into the tub itself, fill the tub with enough water to cover the liner, and add a cup of salt. Soak it for three hours. The salt helps the liner build up a layer of resistance against mildew. Here are some other handy uses for salt you never knew.

Sources: buzzfeed.com, Real Simple, viralnova.com, keephomesimple.blogspot.com, aol.com, huffingtonpost.com, wellnessmama.com, lifehacker.com, coffeemakeroutlet.blogspot.comtiphero.com

Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for RD.com who has been writing since before she could write. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for Reader's Digest since 2017. In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine. She is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap.