25 Cleaning Tips That Actually Work
Sometimes the old classics work better than the newest products. Save time and money with these cleaning tricks and tips.
The Baking Soda and Vacuum Trick
Baking soda is a natural adsorbent, which means it has the ability to absorb odors when used correctly. If you have fabric-covered furniture, then put some baking soda in a salt shaker or similar dispenser and sprinkle it liberally on the furniture you want to freshen up.
Baking soda doesn’t do its work all at once, so give it time to neutralize as many odor-causing particles as possible. An hour or so is ideal, and for bad situations, you may just want to leave the baking soda on overnight (as long as it won’t get tracked everywhere by pets). When the time has elapsed, get out the vacuum cleaner and thoroughly vacuum up all the baking soda. This should freshen up most fabrics.
Note: Baking soda may have varying effects based on what is causing the odor or general “staleness” of your furniture. It neutralizes acidic compounds very easily, but may not be effective for all problems. However, here are some other brilliant fixes for everyday problems involving baking soda.
Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner
Try using a homemade all-purpose cleaner on counter tops and surfaces to disinfect and freshen your home. This recipe includes vinegar, which removes stains and odors, and anti-microbial essential oils to keep your home germ free. Check out the complete step-by-step process to make it.
Simple Soft Scrub
Industrial soft scrub cleaners can contain strong chemical ingredients, but you can get your tub and shower just as clean with a homemade cleaner. This simple soft scrub recipe will clean a bathroom faster and better, and uses a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, which will dissolve hard mineral deposits and easily cut through soap scum. Get the complete recipe here.
Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Many commercial toilet bowl cleaners use chlorine bleach, but not this natural toilet bowl cleaner. Instead, castile soap and baking soda get the job done. Plus, you won’t have to worry about accidentally exposing your pets or children to toxic toilet water. See the complete instructions here.
P Maxwell Photography/Shutterstock
Activated charcoal is an even better adsorbent and odor-killer than baking soda, and can deal with a wider variety of particles. However, this highly purified charcoal dust isn’t the best thing to put on your furniture, where it can stain. Instead, consider getting freshener bags of activated charcoal and hiding them in the corners of your furniture to help reduce odors.
Make Your Appliances Smudge-Free
If you own stainless steel kitchen appliances, you may want to consider using car wax to clean them rather than a surface cleaner. Simply apply a light coat of car wax to the appliance, allow time to dry and buff clean to resist fingerprints and smudges. No more kiddy fingerprints on the fridge! Don’t forget to incorporate these other non-toxic cleaners into your kitchen cleansing routine.
Clean a Can Opener with Wax Paper
Did you know that you can clean and protect your manual can opener with simple wax paper? It’s that easy! Here’s how to do it: Fold a sheet of wax paper a few times; then clamp the can opener onto an edge of the wax paper and turn the handle several times—the same action you would use to open a can. The stiff sheet will break off bits of food and grime from the wheels of the can opener, and the wax residue will lightly lubricate the parts at the same time for smoother operation.
Because dryer sheets are all about eliminating static cling, used ones work very well as dust cloths, especially on electronics and mini blinds. If you need to install or replace mini blinds, here’s how to do it.
Clean Milk Stains from Clothes
It seems unusual that a dark cola could remove a milk stain, but the claim exists. After letting the milk stain soak in Coca-Cola for around five minutes, just throw it in the wash. When you’re all done with that milk jug, repurpose that milk jug as a scoop or as a tool to collect stripped paint from furniture.