Cleaning Tips

1. Bag your shower heads.
However, your shower will never truly be clean if you have hard water deposits and buildup on your shower head. For this hack, you need a plastic sandwich bag, vinegar, and a rubber band, string, or twist tie. Fill the baggie with vinegar and submerge your shower head in it. Secure it with the rubber band or twist tie, making sure it’s really on there. Leave it on for a few hours, or overnight, and voila! Cleaner shower head, stronger water pressure.

2. Disinfect smelly drains.
If there’s a smell in your kitchen that you can’t quite place, it might be your sink drains. Food and who knows what else get trapped beneath the surface, making the whole area smell dirty. In your tea kettle, boil one-part vinegar and one-part distilled water. While it heats up, sprinkle baking soda in and around the drains. Pour the boiling water and vinegar down the drains, and take a deep breath.

3. Dust fabrics with adhesives.
Vacuum attachments, if you have them, aren’t that efficient at removing the super fine dust that collects on lampshades and such. Remove fine dust buildup that seems glued on…with glue. For example, you can use packing tape, sticky side up, wound around your hand. An easier option would be an adhesive lint roller. Use the roller or tape on lampshades, couches, and other fabric-covered items that aren’t regularly cleaned or trafficked to get these particles off.

4. Steam away microwave stains.
There’s no need to try and pry out the remnants of over-nuked late night burritos. Take a Pyrex measuring cup and squeeze a lemon into it. You can also add a quarter cup of white vinegar. Dilute with a little water and microwave it for about three minutes. Once it’s done, don’t open the door; let the steam soften up grime inside. After ten minutes, wipe down with a paper towel.

5. Clean microfiber furniture with rubbing alcohol.
Time to clean that filthy microfiber furniture. What, you thought that required upholstery expertise and specialty products? For this, all you need is rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Begin by vacuuming the piece in question very well. Spritz a section with the alcohol and go to work at the area with a natural sponge, also sprayed with alcohol. Dry the area with a blow dryer and continue on down, working in small sections.

6. Nuke your sponges!
It’s counterproductive to clean with a smelly, germy sponge. This trick is proven to remove 99% of germs and bacteria from your well-loved sponge. First, get the sponge completely wet – never attempt this with a dry one. Pop it in the microwave and set it on high for two minutes. If you want even more insurance against a filthy sponge, do this while your sponge soaks in a hot cup of our next hack.

7. Scrub up with aluminum foil.
If you’re not fond of cleaning, you may be caught without Brillo pads or other tough scrubbers. For heavy glass cookware that has telltale signs of your last meal on it, use aluminum foil. Soak the pan in warm, soapy water. Crumple and re-crumple a piece of tin foil into a ball. You didn’t have to run to the store, and your pan is as good as new.

8. Soap up your blender.
The easiest way to clean your blender is to use it. Pour a few drops of full-strength dishwashing liquid into a blender mostly full of warm – not hot – water. Simply pulse it several times until you get a good lather going. This method will clean between and behind blades. Afterward, rinse away all soapy residue.

9. Squeegee away pet hair.
Use this window-cleaning tool to get a whole bunch of your pet’s hair up at once. Using long, firm swipes with a squeegee, collect fur that the eye doesn’t catch. This is a great technique post-vacuuming, when you want to do an extra-thorough job. It also works on furniture and is even more effective on smooth, low-pile fabrics. Just remember to clean off the squeegee before you move on to mirrors and windows.

10. Clean vents with a butter knife!
This kind of detail work can be maddening if you don’t have a hack for it. Fortunately, this hack is super-fast and does a great job! Wrap a soft cloth around a butter knife. For extra cleaning power, spray your favorite nonabrasive cleanser on the cloth first. Use your new tool to de-grime heating and air vents, vents on appliances, and other tight spaces.