Save yourself a trip to the store. Next time you need to clean, try one of these 31 secret cleaners that you already have at home.
Use your morning pick-me-up to eliminate odors in the fridge. Simply place coffee grounds, new or used, in a bowl on a shelf.
Replace them every two months for a fresh, slightly caffeinated smell.
Keep your dishwasher extra clean with white vinegar. Pour ½ cup into the detergent cups and run the empty machine for a complete
cycle. You can also use a few tablespoons of powdered laundry bleach, Tang or lemon-flavored Kool-Aid (it must be lemon) for the same results.
It won't be a pretty sound, tossing ice cubes into the garbage disposal break sup grease and keeps it clean. Every few weeks, toss in a handful of cubes, turn on the disposal and run cold water. Add some orange, lemon or lime peels to ward off odors.
Get baked-on foods off pots and pans with this laundry staple. Just place a dryer sheet in a pot, fill with water and let
sit overnight, then sponge off the next morning. The antistatic agent weakens the bond between the stuck-on food and the surface
of the pan, while the fabric softener works its loosening magic.
Before you toss out (or better, recycle) your newspaper, use it to get rid of some garbage grime. Cover the bottom of your
trashcan with old newspapers to soak up leaks and odors.
Use this playtime gear to pick up tiny slivers of broken glass (you know, the ones you don’t notice until you’ve stepped on them). Simply press a piece into the area to grab those smaller shards. Be sure to wrap the glass up carefully before throwing it away!
To keep bacteria from taking up permanent residence in your kitchen sponges, rinse them with water at the end of each day, squeeze, then put in the microwave for three minutes. Let cool before touching. Do the same with your cutting boards, if they are microwaveable.
Harness the power of citrus to clean your microwave. Cut a lemon in half, squeeze juice into a small bowl of water, add both
lemon halves and place in the microwave for five minutes. The fresh scent eliminates cooking odors, and condensation from
the steam loosens random splatters that have hardened. Wipe away the loose stains with a damp cloth.
Polish tarnished copper with this natural solution. Fill a 16-ounce spray bottle with white vinegar and 3 tablespoons of salt. Spray onto the copper, let sit briefly, then rub clean.
It's not just for yout teeth! Use dental floss to remove debris from the cutting disc on your electric can opener.
The same product that kills bad-breath germs also zaps the gunk beneath your feet. Add a capful of mouthwash to a gallon of water and mop vinyl or tile—but not wood—floors with the mixture.
Grab a few disinfecting wipes to give faucets, sinks, tubs, toilet seats—you name it—an easy daily touch-up.
After going over your bathtub, sink or shower with disinfectant, wipe the area with baby oil or lemon oil. Do this once or
twice a month to help dirty water bead and roll down the drain faster, buying you more time before the next cleaning.
Freshen the toilet bowl with effervescent tablets (denture or antacid) in between scourings. Drop two in the water, let soak for at least 20 minutes, then brush and flush. A can of cola dumped in for one hour also does the trick. The phosphoric acid in this mixture removes rust rings and other mineral deposits.
Get rid of lime buildup on sinks by soaking an old rag in vinegar, then wrapping it around the faucet and clasping with a hair clip. Let sit for an hour, then take off rag and dry faucet.
Combat mold and mildew on tiles and shower curtains with a paste of equal parts lemon juice and baking powder. Spread on the
mixture, leave for two hours, then rinse.
Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar to clean chrome and stainless-steel fixtures, and to remove scum, grime and mildew
from your bathtub, tile or shower curtain.
A dry paintbrush (with bristles at least 3 inches long) is great for both the surface and grooves of your collectibles. Dust framed photos with a pastry brush, which is softer than a paintbrush and easier to dip into corners and places that are difficult to reach.
Cut the crust off a piece of white bread, squish the bread into a doughy ball and use it to gently dab the surface of paintings (but not valuable or antique works). Once the ball is covered with dirt and grime, start again with a new slice. Use a pastry brush (or another soft-bristled brush) to clear off any crumbs.
Take a hands-on approach to your mini blinds and venetians. Just slip on a pair of white cotton gloves, dip fingers into a solution of equal parts white vinegar and warm tap water, then run your fingers across both sides of each slat. Rinse gloves as necessary in a bowl of clean water.
Slice a potato in half and gently rub the cut end on a muddy slipcover or comforter. Soak the fabric in cool water, then throw it in your next load of laundry.
Keep air pure with houseplants. Research from NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America suggests that palms, English ivy, ferns, mums and similar plants remove up to 87 percent of indoor pollutants.
To wash a narrow vase, pour in 2 tablespoons of dry rice and ½ cup warm water, cover with the palm of your hand, shake vigorously,
Give chandeliers a quick cleaning with a blow-dryer (set on low) or a feather duster. For tougher jobs, fill a spray bottle with one part vodka to five parts water, spritz on fixtures and blow-dry.
Wrap a microfiber cloth over the bristles of a regular broom or around the end of a golf club, secure it with a rubber band and use to get rid of cobwebs or dust in hard-to-reach places.
Did your child use the painted walls as a canvas? Mist them with hairspray and wipe immediately to remove colored marker. For crayon, scrub with a toothpaste-covered toothbrush, or gently massage with baking soda and a damp microfiber cloth.
Shine brass using a dab of Worcestershire sauce or ketchup. Squeeze the condiment onto a cloth, rub the item, then rinse with water and dry with a towel.
Use a new tennis ball to wipe scuff marks off tile, vinyl, woodwork—even painted walls. It won’t harm the surface.
Text by: Kimberly Goad
To remove ring around the collar, draw over the stain with a piece of white chalk. Let it soak up the grease for a few minutes,
then dust off excess chalk and launder as usual.