Every Day Household Cleaners

Save money by reusing household items to clean the home.

Household heroes

Keep your stove sparkling by using these handy products:

  • Toothpaste: For messy spots, put a non-gel tooth-paste on a soft cloth and rub.
  • Paper towels: Wet a few and let them sit on top of stubborn stains for an hour to soften them before cleaning.
  • Salt: When food bubbles over in the oven, sprinkle salt on the spill right away. After you're done cooking, close the oven door and leave it overnight. The next day, wipe the spot up with a clean cloth.
  • Toothpicks: Clean stove knobs with a toothpick to remove grease. Scrape inside the tiny grooves and the gunk comes right out.
  • Baking soda: For a burned-on food stain on the stove surface, spritz with water and sprinkle on baking soda to form a paste. Scrub to remove the spot.
  • Vinegar:  Get rid of grease in the oven-hood vents by wiping them down with a sponge and undiluted white vinegar.

Clean your makeup tools with these everyday items:

  • Baby shampoo: Use the sudsy stuff to wash makeup brushes. Put a drop on the bristles and lather. Rinse well, then blot with a cloth.
  • Cotton swabs: Keep a few cotton swabs in the bottom of your cosmetics bag―they absorb spills and powders. Replace frequently.
  • Toothbrush: Use an old, clean toothbrush to scrape mascara buildup off your eyelash curler.
  • Baby wipes: Remove blush, powder or other kinds of stains on your makeup case with a wipe.
  • Rubbing alcohol: Fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and spritz some on an unused cosmetics pad. It will clean makeup residue off lipstick containers, compacts, lip-pencil sharpeners, eye-makeup applicators and other beauty tools.

Discover new uses for your broken stuff:

  • Plates: Before you repot a plant, place several large pieces of a broken plate in the bottom of the pot. This will prevent the drainage holes from clogging, so the water will drain properly. Attach a reminder to the pot so you won't cut yourself if you have to repot.
  • Necklaces: Attach a bead (from a broken string of beads) to the pull cord of window shades, or restring the beads onto a ribbon as a tieback for your curtains.
  • Stockings: Don't throw them away because of a run. Cut the legs off and use them to tie plants to stakes. The hose will stretch to let the plants grow.
  • Lightbulbs: Paint an old bulb a festive color, tie a ribbon around it and hang it as a decoration. Or try stringing together a group of painted bulbs.