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Cleaning is an acquired taste. Some of us find it cathartic; We clean when we are stressed or anxious. Others only clean out of necessity-when the gunk in the toilet takes on a life of its own or the sheets begin to smell like something died in them. Dishes pile up and spill over, the sticky substance on the counters starts spreading down the cabinets... not a pretty picture.
And then there is the subject of time. In the fast paced, dog-eat-dog world we live in, we need to find the time to clean. Are you organized and wash the dishes immediately after you use them? Do you have a set laundry schedule? Good for you. Those of us that clean when we have a few minutes here and there want to be quick and done. We want our products handy and effective and preferably safe for the environment, for ourselves and our pets (and/or children, but not necessarily in that order).
Every once and a while, a cleaning quandary arises. For example, how do you get really bad soap scum off of your glass shower door? The answer, courtesy of the world wide web, Bounce dryer sheets! How many sheets all depends on how bad the door is, but with the right amount of elbow grease, your doors will look as good as new. And what about those of you that have a tendency to spill red wine on your carpet? Take one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and mix with two cups of warm water. Blot with a white, clean cloth and then sponge with cold water-repeat the process until you are stain-free (or stop drinking). As for your dirty iron- before you go out and spend money on a new one, turn it on hot, put some kosher salt on a piece of foil or paper and iron away the stains.
Is your microwave in need of an intense cleaning? Fill a microwave safe bowl with water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid, set on high for one to two minutes and wipe with a wet sponge. Have a hard-to-clean grease stain on your favorite shirt? Rub some chalk on it before putting it in the wash. Quick, easy and clean!
Here are some household items that you probably never knew had the ability to multi-task. Not only are they effective, but they are also inexpensive and make cleaning quick and easy.
From the first visit to the dentist, we are taught to brush our teeth with toothpaste. It keeps our teeth clean and healthy. Did we ever imagine that we could use toothpaste for anything else?
- If you have little kids who have a tendency to write on the furniture, have no fear. Put some toothpaste on a toothbrush, and scrub away those marker stains from your wood furniture.
- Toothpaste also helps put the sparkle back in your jewelry and takes the tarnish off of your silver utensils.
- Use it to clean your bathroom sink and not only will it get the job done, but it will help deodorize the drain-kill two birds with one stone!
- Put some on a bottle brush and clean out your baby bottles.
- Toothpaste will clean your piano keys to look as good as new.
- Takes the scuff out of your leather shoes.
Baking soda is an ingredient used in chocolate chip cookies and it helps keep your refrigerator from smelling bad. It's cleaning abilities, however, are endless.
- Baking soda removes oil stains.
- Mix with some bleach to clean your grout.
- Sprinkle baking soda in your sneakers and gym bag to keep them smelling fresh and clean. Be sure to shake out the powder from your sneakers before you wear them!
- Have a dirty dog bed? Shake on some baking powder, wait for 15 minutes and then vacuum.
- Sprinkle on a damp cloth to clean countertops.
- Three parts baking soda and one part water will clean most stubborn bathroom stains.
- Toss some baking soda on a kitchen grease fire.
Vinegar has many culinary uses. Salad dressings, marinades, sauces-all good reasons to keep this clear gold in your pantry, but this pungent smelling liquid comes in handy for so many other things.
- Vinegar and baking soda clean tough stains in your oven.
- Make ice cubes out of vinegar and put them in your garbage disposal-flip the switch and then run some cold water.
- For a sink that is having a slow time draining and needs a good cleaning, mix 1/2 cup vinegar with 1/2 cup baking soda, pour down drain and cover with wet cloth for five minutes. Flush with steaming hot water and avoid a bill from the plumber!
- To rid your gym clothes of stains and smells, add one cup of vinegar to a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Add the clothing and soak over night and by morning, they will be as clean as new.
- To remove lime stains from your bathroom faucets, combine one teaspoon vinegar with two tablespoons of salt and clean away.
- For a hard to clean toilet bowl, add one cup of vinegar to your toilet, let sit for a few hours, scrub with a toilet brush a flush away the stains and smell.
- Keep a spray bottle filled with 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water to clean windows and shower doors.
- Fun fact-applying vinegar to window sills and around doors will help keep the ants away.
You could use lemons to make lemonade that you could drink after you finish cleaning your house. But before you do that, here are a few cool things you can do with the awesome smelling citrus wonder.
- Rub a cut lemon on your cutting board with some kosher salt and it will be as good as new
- Place one or two cut lemons into a bowl of water and microwave for a minute or two. Wipe down microwave and be amazed at the cleanliness
- Lemon peels, kosher salt and ice cubes are the perfect ingredients to get rid of any funky odors coming from your garbage disposal.
- Lemons remove stains from faucets.
- Have some stubborn cheese on your cheese grater? Combine some coarse salt with a recently juiced lemon and say goodbye to the stuck substances.