Quick and Easy Household Cleaning Tips

“Housework is a treadmill from futility to oblivion with stop-offs at tedium and counter productivity.” – Erma Bombeck (U.S. humorist, 1927-1996)

By following these quick and easy household cleaning tips, you can escape the futility and chaos of doing housework, and have more leisure time.

ADHESIVE RESIDUE FROM LABELS

Rub the label with a cotton ball soaked with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover.

BLINDS

Turn the slats downwards. Start at the bottom of the blinds and spray your way to the top using a foaming tub and tile cleaner. Wait until the foam has begun to drip from the top then sponge off, reverse the slats, flip the blind over and repeat from the back. Dry and rehang. This painless procedure should only take you 10 to 15 minutes.

Be sure to spray the cord as well!

BRASS
Coat freshly polished brass with wood finishing oil, like tung oil. To remove the oil, use paint thinner on a soft, cotton cloth. Regularly polish the brass and coat with the oil.

BATHTUB

For hard water stains in the bathtub, cover the tub in paper towels, soaking them in full strength vinegar. After a couple of hours, remove the soaked towels. Your stains will be gone.

CAN OPENER (ELECTRIC)
Electric can openers can collect a lot of “gunk.” Who wants to open a can of tuna for lunch after opening Fluffy and Fido’s dinner the night before? Use an old, soft toothbrush dampened with 2 or 3 drops of any essential oil to clean in and between those small parts. Rinse, and the gunk is gone.

CANDLES

*To keep candles looking fresh and new, rub a soft cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol over the stems.
*To remove untidy wax from candleholders (not wood ones), soak them in hot water and rub off softened wax.
*To mend a candle that has broken in half, hold the two pieces under very hot water and melt the wax. Then press the two parts together.
*If you store candles in the freezer before using, they burn longer and drip less.

CAT

An economical way to keep a cat’s litter box fresh is to shred or tear newspapers and mix them with baking soda. Place them in the litter box and change often.

CAT HAIRS

To get cat hairs off furniture, rub the affected areas with a damp sponge.

CHINA

Fine China: Rinse fine china in a sink of water adding one half cup of borax then a second rinse in plain water. It shines your china for those special dinners.

COUNTER TOPS

Many stains on counter tops can be removed with whitening toothpaste. This is safe for Corian, marble or granite. Corian can also be rubbed gently with our white scrub pad to remove stubborn stains. A paste made from baking soda and hydrogen peroxide also does a good job removing stains

CUTTING BOARD

Sanitize wooden cutting boards by rubbing with half of a freshly cut lemon, lime, or grapefruit. Or let the board soak in a solution of 2 cups of water and 15 drops of a citrus essential oil. Then wash with a mild soap and hot water.

DISHWASHER

Fill a coffee cup with white vinegar and place it on the top rack of the dishwasher, run on regular cycle with no other dishes. This helps to remove dishwasher odors as well.

DRAINS

to unclog a drain, do the following .. crush 3 or 4 Alka-Seltzer tablets and drop the powder in the drain followed by a cup of Vinegar. The Alka-Seltzer/ vinegar combination should cut through the clog. After about 3 or 4 minutes flush the drain with warm water for 3 or 4 minutes. Repeat if neccesary.

DRESS DRAWERS

If your dresser drawers, or others, stick when you pull them, rub a bar of hand soap across the runners. This will make them move smoothly.

ELECTRIC PLUG, DIFFICULT TO TAK OUT OF THE SOCKET

Rub a lead pencil on the prongs. The graphite in the lead acts as a lubricant.

FIREPLACE BRICKS

To clean the bricks, use a spray-on oven cleaner. When using the fireplace regularly, clean the bricks with the oven cleaner often to avoid extensive discoloration.

FREEZER

To clean the freezer and get rid of any odor, mix 1/2 cup of isopropyl alcohol with a dishpan of lukewarm water. Using a sponge, clean the freezer with this mixture. The alcohol will loosen icy matter, clean the dirt and eliminate odors. You don’t even have to wipe it dry, the alcohol evaporates quickly.

GOLF

To clean golf balls, soak them overnight in a heavy solution of ammonia and hot water. No need to scrub.

GRILL

Place the grill in a large plastic garbage can and soak it with industrial strength detergent. Fill the can with water, and let it soak overnight. When you rinse it, the baked-on dirt will come right off.

HAMPER

To eliminate odor, sprinkle a teaspoon of baking soda inside the hamper.

IRON

To clean the iron’s soleplate, rub it with a damp sponge and baking soda.

JEWELRY

To clean silver and gold jewelry, soak in a solution of 1 cup warm water and ½ cup of ammonia for 10 minutes. Rug with a soft cloth and allow to dry. Do not use on pearls.

LAMP SHADES

Dust lamp shades with the dusting attachment of the vacuum cleaner.

MILDEW

Scrub bathroom shower walls and doors with a stiff brush and a solution of bleach and water (1 cup chlorine bleach to 5 cups hot water). Bleach not only cleans, but kills bacterias, like molds and mildews, as well. You can use regular household bleach or cleaners containing bleach.

NAIL HOLES

To fill nail holes, rub a cake of wet soap over the holes until they are filled.

ODOR

To eliminate room odor, keep a basket of charcoal briquettes in the room.

PICTURE FRAMES

To clean picture frames, use eyeglass cleaning tissues.

ROACHES

To get rid of roaches, put borax in the cabinets, under the sink, and around the baseboards.

SAW

To make the blade saw easier, rub a little kerosene on it. This acts as a lubricant and makes the blade glide better when cutting.

SHOWER DOORS
Wipe glass shower doors with any furniture polish that contains lemon oil. For shower doors with a heavy film, use a nonabrasive steel wool pad soaked in dishwashing liquid.

SHOWER HEAD

Mineral deposits can clog the shower head. To clean it, boil the shower head in a mild solution of white vinegar and water. Do this about once a month.

TOOLS

First, clean the tools with steel wool. Then apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly on them. This will prevent them from rusting. To keep rust from accumulating in the tool box, place a piece of charcoal, chalk or some moth balls in it.

VASES

Vases: Clean the inside of a vase by filling it about two-thirds full with a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide to water. Then add one teaspoon full of baking soda. Yes do this in the sink in case it bubbles over. Let that set overnight and your vase will be fresh and clean the next morning.

WICKER

To clean wicker, especially the hard to reach areas, spray a paintbrush with a dust remover product or furniture polish. Clean the wicker with this brush – it’s a lot easier and quicker.

WINDOWS

Rubbing alcohol is a great glass cleaner. Dilute it to 1/2 alcohol 1/2 water and you have a great cleaner that will not leave blue dye in your carpet if you spill it.

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