More Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Anything that can make cleaning easier or more effective is something I am willing to try and I’ve found a few more really great tips and tricks for keeping things really tidy. Here are 10 more cleaning tips and tricks I love.

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  1. Use a binder clip as a sponge stand. Sponges are meant to collect and hold liquid. That’s great when you’re wiping up a spill but not so when your dish sponge is sitting there getting mildewed. Use a large binder clip to hold the sponge upright so it will air dry more quickly.
  2. If you already have sponges that you’re not happy about using but are too new to just toss you can clean them in the microwave. Get them wet with hot water, then apply dish soap and really work it through the sponge. Microwave the sponge on high for 2 minutes and let cool completely. You’ll have germ-free, clean sponges. Remember, this is only for non-metallic sponges!
  3. Washing machines need to be cleaned from time to time and many now have cleaning cycles. If you have an older machine or want to give your washer a really thorough cleaning follow these steps:
  • Use the hot water cycle and fill the machine adding a couple of cups of white vinegar. Turn the machine off and let it stand for an hour. After the hour is up let it run through a normal cycle. If you have a front loading machine just use the detergent and softener cups to add the vinegar.
  • Use a clean sponge with white vinegar to wipe away any obvious grime.
  • Rinse the machine then fill again with hot water, adding two cups of bleach. Let this soak for another hour.
  • While the soaking is going on you can use cotton swabs and toothpicks with vinegar to clean all the little areas that grime collects like in the tracks where machine parts meet and behind the knobs.
  1. Clean your window tracks and sliding glass door tracks with white vinegar and cotton. First vacuum the tracks to get the really loose dirt out. Wrap cotton balls around a wooden skewer and dip in white vinegar. On the first pass you’ll want at least one whole cotton ball around the skewer. As you get more of the dirt out you can reduce the amount of cotton so you can get into the tiny corners and edges. When the tracks are clean wipe with a damp paper towel and let dry. Then take a dryer sheet and rub it inside the track. It will help keep the window and door tracks clean longer.
  1. Keep baseboards clean with dryer sheets. As I’ve mentioned, we have two dogs. Our Anatolian Shepherd Dog sheds as a hobby. Our “spare” dog, Henry, also sheds but he has a very short coat and his hair is harder to spot. Nevertheless, both dogs hair tends to collect along and on the baseboards. Rubbing a dryer sheet along them (the baseboards not the dogs although…) helps keep the hair and other dirt from clinging to the baseboards because the sheets not only clean but coat the surface.
  1. Freshen your mattress with baking soda and essential oil. Pour about a cup of baking soda in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add a few drops of tea tree or lavender oil.  Tighten the lid on the jar and shake the heck out of it. Sprinkle the mixture across the mattress and let it sit for an hour or two. I use my sieve for this. Then vacuum thoroughly with the upholstery attachment of your vacuum. The tea tree oil is a natural cleaner but the lavender leaves your mattress with that sleep-inducing scent. Either way, your mattress will be clean and smell great.
  2. Rub a faucet with waxed paper to prevent water spots and finger prints.
  1. Snip off a slice of a Magic Eraser and drop it in the toilet.  Let it float overnight and it’ll remove any toilet ring. No scrubbing! No one wants to be touching toilet germs, not even with gloves on.
  1. Use a trick that hotel housekeepers know. Fill the bathtub with a few inches of the hottest water you can while cleaning the bathroom. Alkaline cleansers become doubly effective in temperatures 10° higher than normal room temperature. Let disinfectants sit for about 7 minutes and rinse thoroughly.
  1. Lemonade Kool-Aid will remove lime and iron stains in your dishwasher. Just pour it into the detergent cup and run the dishwasher through a cycle.
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