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Cleaning Tips & Tricks to Make Your Life a Little Easier!

Updated on July 26, 2013

Cleaning the house is not exactly something that most people look forward to. For many, it's a task that is constantly avoided. However, there are many tips and tricks that you may not be aware of that can make this tedious task a little easier on you, and less time consuming, too!

There's no need for expensive brand name cleaning products because most of these tips and tricks can be done using simple things that you probably already have around your house! *If you don't have white vinegar, you may want to run out and grab a gallon of it now, because most of these tips use simple white vinegar!

**Never mix vinegar with ammonia, it is a deadly combination!

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Cleaning Hard Water, Scum, and Mildew Around Sinks and Faucets

Most people have scum and mildew that has built up around their faucets and sinks over time. It can be extremely hard to clean, especially if it has been there for a while. The sooner you can clean it, the better. It is something that you should consider doing regularly so that you don't have to scrub for half a day just to get it clean. If you do it weekly or bi-weekly, your life will be much easier!

To clean these pesky spots around the sink and faucet, you will need:

  • An old toothbrush (purchase a pack at the Dollar Tree and keep them with your cleaning supplies!)
  • Paper Towels (if you are trying to be greener, reuse old rags for this cleaning project!)
  • White Vinegar
  • Spray Bottle
  • Small bowl

Step 1: Fill your small bowl and your spray bottle with a cup or so of white vinegar.

Step 2: Dunk your paper towels into the bowl so that they are saturated with the vinegar.

Step 3: Wrap the paper towels around the base of the faucets, faucet heads, sprayers, etc. Let them soak for an hour or two.

Step 4: About every 30 minutes, take your spray bottle and spray the paper towels with vinegar to keep them saturated.

Step 5: Remove the paper towels and use the toothbrush to scrub around the faucets and sprayers. The scum should come right off without much work at this point. If it's still sticking, let soak for another hour or so.

Step 6: Rinse with warm water, and you're done!

**For shower heads, you can fill a Ziploc bag with vinegar and tie it around the shower head and let it soak for an hour, it will unclog the sprayers and it will sanitize and clean the shower head!

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To Keep Your Faucets Sparkling Clean...

Once you've polished and cleaned your faucets, keep them sparkling clean by rubbing the stainless steel faucet areas with wax paper. It will prevent water stains and help repel the hard water. Do this once weekly and you won't have to clean your sinks as often!

Cleaning the Oven and Microwave Without Chemicals

When it comes to cleaning the oven or the microwave, it is important to avoid using harmful chemicals. It may seem as though the only way to get these appliances clean is to use the brand name chemical based cleaners at the store, but there is a better, cheaper, greener way to clean these appliances!

You will need:

  • Baking Soda
  • White Vinegar
  • Dawn Dish Soap (Original)
  • Paper Towels or Cleaning Rags

Step 1: Mix 5 Tsp. of baking soda, 4 Tsp. of vinegar, and 3 drops of Dawn together into a paste in a mixing bowl (it will fizz up, it's supposed to so don't worry!)

Step 2: Coat the inside of the oven or microwave with the paste and let soak for about 15-20 minutes.

Step 3: Use a damp rag or paper towel to clean the paste off of the oven or microwave, scrubbing lightly as you remove the paste.

Step 4: Leave the oven or microwave door open to let it air dry and get rid of any vinegar smell, once it dries it will be clean and fume free!

**You can also use this cleaning method inside of the fridge to avoid using harmful chemicals around your food!

Keeping Your Shower Clean with Ease

Cleaning and scrubbing the shower is something that many people do not look forward to. Here's an easy low-maintenance way to keep your shower clean and fresh without getting down on your hands and knees to scrub it clean!

You will need:

  • A sponge wand (found in the cleaning section of Walmart or Dollar Tree)
  • White Vinegar
  • Dawn Dishsoap
  • A plastic cup

Step 1: Fill your sponge wand with a mixture of 3 tbsp. of vinegar and Dawn dish soap.

Step 2: While in the shower, use the sponge wand to scrub down the walls and shelves of the shower. You can also scrub down the faucets and shower head.

Step 3: Rinse thoroughly using your plastic cup. Then, just continue with your shower!

**You can keep your sponge wand in your shower for easy access whenever your shower needs to be cleaned. Attach a rubber band or zip tie to the sponge wand and hang it on a hook near the inside of the shower. It only takes a minute or two to scrub down everything and since you're already in the shower, you're killing two birds with one stone!

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Cleaning the Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal is probably the last thing that people think of when they are cleaning their homes. If you think about it, the garbage disposal is probably one of the dirtiest things in your home, which means that it needs cleaned just as much as anything else! If you don't regularly clean and sanitize your garbage disposal, you may start noticing smelly odors or nasty buildup around the drain.

You will need:

  • Baking Soda
  • White Vinegar
  • Fresh lemons (or limes, if you don't have lemons)
  • A pot of boiling water
  • Salt (rock salt if you can get your hands on it)
  • Ice cubes

Step 1: Put a pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil

Step 2: Pour about half a cup of baking soda down the garbage disposal drain, follow with a cup of vinegar. Allow it to soak for 5 minutes. (It will fizz, no worries, it's just doing it's job!)

Step 3: Pour the pot of boiling water down the drain to rinse the vinegar and baking soda mixture down the drain.

Step 4: Pour a few cups of ice into the disposal drain followed by half a cup of salt. Turn on the water. Allow the disposal to run until all the ice is gone. (The salt helps get rid of any stuck on gunk that might be in the disposal.)

Step 5: Take a few lemon wedges and put them into the disposal. Allow them to sit for about 10 minutes before running the disposal. After 10 minutes, turn on the water and the disposal and run until it has been completely rinsed and all the lemon pieces are gone. The lemon will help keep your disposal smelling fresh and clean.

**To clean the rubber flaps on the disposal use an old toothbrush and the vinegar and baking soda mixture. This can be done during step 2 while the vinegar and baking soda is soaking.

Keep Lamp Shades Clean and Dust Free

Lamp shades tend to gather dust, and if you have pets, you might also notice that they attract pet hair as well. Keeping lamp shades clean is really simple, and you only need one tool to get the job done!

You will need:

  • Lint roller (or masking tape, if you don't have a lint roller handy)

Step 1: Roll your lint roller over the entire lamp shade to gather dust and hair.

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Door Hanging Shoe Organizer

More Simple Cleaning Tips & Tricks...

  • To clean and sanitize the dishwasher place a dishwasher safe cup full of white vinegar on the top rack and run it through a complete cycle on the hottest setting.
  • To sanitize dish sponges submerge them in a bowl of water mixed with dawn dish soap and place it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. This will kill all the germs. You can also place the sponge in the dishwasher and run it through a cycle on the hottest setting to sanitize your sponge.
  • Use a magic eraser to clean stains and rings in the toilet. Just cut a magic eraser into quarters and throw it in the toilet, let it sit overnight and then flush. The rings and stains should be gone! (The magic eraser should completely dissolve after soaking in the water.)
  • Use a shoe organizer to keep cleaning supplies organized and clutter-free!
  • Use a sock to clean dusty blinds. Just put the sock on like a glove and wipe down the blinds. You can use a spray cleaner on the sock as well.
  • Freeze cubes of white vinegar to use in your garbage disposal to clean and sanitize it with little effort.
  • Rub dryer sheets along baseboards to keep them clean and to help repel dust.
  • Use vinegar to wash windows for a streak-free clean.

Cleaning with Vinegar

Did you know that you can replace many of your store-bought cleaning products with natural products like vinegar and baking soda? Click here for some common cleaning mixtures that you can make using vinegar to replace the harmful store bought chemical based cleaners!

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  • To sanitize hairbrushes put them in the dishwasher.
  • Run a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water through your coffee pot or Keurig to clean hard water and buildup. Be sure to run a few cycles of water afterwards to rinse the vinegar out.
  • Clean linen lined chairs and stools with a lint roller to gather dust and hair.
  • Use a rubber glove to get pet hair out of furniture. Just put on the glove and run your hand over the furniture, the hair should stick to the rubber glove.
  • Rather than using store bought carpet powder, use baking soda to deodorize carpets and keep them smelling fresh. Just sprinkle baking soda as you would carpet power and then vacuum as usual.
  • Use baking soda to freshen up your mattress. Sprinkle the mattress with baking soda, allow it to sit for an hour, then vacuum the mattress. Do this on both sides.
  • Clean dusty candles with old pantyhose. It won't damage the candle and it will collect any dust that has gathered on the candles.
  • Clean computer keyboards with a q-tip or simply use pieces of scotch tape and run it between the keys of the keyboard to collect dust and hair.

Do you have a helpful cleaning tip or trick to share? Leave it in the comment section below!

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Even more ways to clean with vinegar!

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    • velzipmur profile image

      Shelly Wyatt 2 years ago from Maryland

      I am always looking for ways to make my life a bit easier. I love this hub thanks for sharing

    • Valene profile image

      Valene 4 years ago from Missouri

      I love the idea of keeping all the cleaning products in a shoe organizer on the door!

    • Nicole S profile image

      Nicole S Hanson 4 years ago from Minnesota

      This is awesome. I've seen different ideas all over Pinterest but haven't tried very many different recipes. Great hub!

    • alisharenee profile image
      Author

      alisharenee 4 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

      pinto2011- I'm glad that you found these tips helpful! I know that they really make my life much easier as well!

      kidscrafts- I love the shoe organizer idea for cleaning supplies, too! I actually just found that idea several days ago. I plan on using it for all of my homemade vinegar cleaners. Oh, and you might find it useful that the lids to most regular plastic spray bottles sometimes fit smaller glass vinegar bottles. Now I have glass bottles to keep my homemade cleaners in rather than keeping them in plastic!

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great tips Alisharenee! Baking soda and white vinegar are definitly my best friends for cleaning :-)

      I like your picutre of the door and the organizer for all the bottles!

      Great hub! Thanks for sharing!

    • pinto2011 profile image

      Subhas 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Hi alisharenee! Your tips are really going to change our life a lot easier. Thanks for sharing all these useful tips.

    • alisharenee profile image
      Author

      alisharenee 4 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

      point2make- I'm glad that you found these tips and tricks useful!

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 4 years ago

      Some great ideas and tips for cleaning without the chemicals....thanks alisharenee I can see an immediate use for a couple of your suggestions right off the bet. voted up.

    • alisharenee profile image
      Author

      alisharenee 4 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

      Hawaiianodysseus- I really hope that more people give old fashioned methods a try! Current generations rely so much on commercially produced chemical based products which could be easily replaced with simpler methods, like vinegar and baking soda. With all the chemicals that people use and come in contact with on a regular basis, it's no wonder that there seem to be more and more cases of serious illnesses and antibiotic resistant bacteria. Thank you for the comment, it's always great to hear from you!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Voting up and then some as well as shared! You're right, cleaning the areas around the home that need it the most and get very little TLC from the Master of His Domain is not my favorite thing. But you've made it easier AND greener! I love the liberal usage of vinegar and baking soda, those old fashioned tried and true methods that our ancestors used. Thanks for sharing, alisharenee! Aloha!

      Joe

    • alisharenee profile image
      Author

      alisharenee 4 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

      Diogenes- That is a great idea, and you are more than welcome to share these tips with others!

      Faythef- Great question, the magic eraser should dissolve in the water so you should be able to just flush it without having to do anything else. Also, you might want to check Dollar Tree, I hear that they sell 2 packs of generic magic erasers for just $1.00!

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe F. 4 years ago from USA

      These are all great tips......I just discovered that a Q~tip dipped in vinegar, is great way to swab the calcium build up in the spout of the refrigerator water dispenser.....But I do have a question..Are you saying to flush the magic eraser? or did I mis~understand? voting up..and thank you for the helpful tips..

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

      So useful! I am going to email this to my cleaning lady in the hope it will make her life easier around the several flats she cleans here.

      Bob