Spring Cleaning Tips
Use a Lemon to Clean Faucets
That’s right, a lemon! Just cut it in half and use the actual lemon to scrub the hard water stains on any fixture. It can even be used to remove rust stains from a bobby pin left sitting in the shower!
Put baking soda and white vinegar to work on the sinks and the tub to get a sparkling clean.
White Vinegar and Baking Soda – (hint: spray bottle for the white vinegar and a shaker for the baking soda or simply poke holes in the box and make your own shaker!) Apply the baking soda to the sink or tub area. Then spray white vinegar all over the baking soda until it starts to foam. Then scrub. Once the foam has a chance to loosen up the dirt and grime, it will be easy to remove. As you scrub, the two ingredients turn into a paste. Then rinse it all away with hot water.
The baking soda and vinegar mixed together into a paste make sure to rinse well with hot water or the baking soda will leave a cloudy white residue.
Clean your cast iron skillets with coarse salt.
Scrub it with coarse salt and a soft sponge. The salt, a natural abrasive, absorbs oil and lifts away bits of food while preserving the pan’s seasoning. Rinse away salt and wipe dry.
Cleaning Stainless Steel
Conventional wisdom holds that pots and pans should be given a good soak. But every metal has different properties and requires special care. Stainless steel is prone to stains from heat and hard water. To remove them, apply white vinegar with a soft cloth and rub. Always dry thoroughly after washing to prevent a film from forming. Never soak stainless steel cookware; this will result in pitted surfaces.
Dryer Sheet as Scum Buster
Remove obstinate soap buildup from glass shower doors by sprinkling a few drops of water onto a used fabric-softener sheet and scrubbing.
Other Great Kitchen Tips and Tricks!
6. Salt as Homemade Drain Cleaner
Get a slow-moving drain flowing again and pour a solution of ½ cup of salt for every quart of hot water down the pipe.
7. Baking Soda as Stain Remover
Clean discolored teacups and teapots by making a paste of baking soda and water. Gently rub over the stain to remove.
8. Tennis Ball as Light Bulb Remover
Remove a hot bulb that’s just burned out, using the other half of the ball.
9. Salt as Iron Cleaner
Eliminate sticky residue from an iron. Run the hot iron (no steam) over plain paper sprinkled with salt.
10. Newspaper as Refrigerator Odor Absorbent
Absorb odors in the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer with a lining of newspaper.
11. Olive Oil as Stainless Steel Cleaner
Buff streaks out of stainless steel with a little oil on a terry-cloth rag, then shine with a dry paper towel.
12. Aluminum Foil as Glassware Scrubber
To get baked-on food off a glass pan or an oven rack, use dish washing liquid and a ball of foil in place of a steel-wool soap pad, says Mary Findley, president of the cleaning-products developer Mary Moppins. It’s one way to recycle those used but perfectly good pieces of foil you hate to throw out.
13. Baking Soda as Silver Polish
To polish silver: Wash items, then place on aluminum foil in the bottom of a pot. Add a baking-soda solution (¼ cup soda, a few teaspoons salt, 1 quart boiling water) and cover for a few seconds. The result? A chemical reaction that gets the black off the gravy boat.
14. Car Wax as Sink Polish
Polish faucets, sinks, tile, even shower doors with Turtle Wax, which leaves behind a protective barrier against water and soap buildup, so your hard-earned sparkle will last past the next tooth-brushing.
15. Cotton Ball as Rubber Glove Protector
For leak-resistant gloves at your fingertips, push one cotton ball into the end of each finger of a dish washing glove to keep sharp nails from splitting the rubber.
16. Dryer Sheet as Iron Cleaner
Remove gunk from the sole plate of an iron. With the setting on low, rub the iron over the dryer sheet until the residue disappears, and you’re left with a pristine press.
17. Eggshells as Bottle and Vase Cleaners
Here’s an idea for all those eggs you hard-boiled: Use their broken eggshells to clean the hard-to-reach places in bottles and vases. Drop some crushed shells in the bottle, add warm water and a drop of dish washing liquid, and give it a good swirl. The shells will scrape off the gunk you can’t get to, so you can save your elbow grease for the dinner dishes.
18. Car Wax as Stove top Polish
Preserve a pristine stove top by applying a thin layer of car wax, then wiping it off. Future spills will lift off easily.
19. Citrus Peel as Coffee Mug Cleaner
Remove coffee or tea stains from a mug by rubbing them with a lightly salted citrus peel.
20. Citrus Peel as Garbage Disposal Deodorizer
Keep your disposal smelling fresh by dropping a few peels down the drain and flipping the switch.
21. Cornmeal as Grease Absorbent
Add this to the grocery shopping list for new reasons. Cornmeal absorbs grease on light colored fabric or upholstery. Pour enough on to cover the soiled area and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Vacuum to remove the grains.
22. Hair Dryer as Sticker Remover
A little hot air quickly loosens price labels—with zero fingernail-chipping frustration.
23. Lemon as Laundry Brightener
Skip the bleach—add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of lemon juice to the wash cycle to brighter up those fading whites.
24. Mustard Powder as Jar Deodorizer
Deodorize smelly glass jars by washing them with a mixture of one teaspoon powdered mustard and one quart warm water.
25. Rice as Vase Scrubber
Prepare a stained vase for a new batch of blooms. If you can’t reach the residue at the bottom, add a tablespoon of rice and a lot of soapy water, shake, and rinse until clean.
26. Rubbing Alcohol as Permanent Marker Remover
Remove permanent marker from counter tops and walls. Pour a bit of alcohol onto a cotton ball and rub on the stain. (Spot test on a hidden area first.)
27. Sugar as Hand De-greaser
Cut grease on hands by rubbing them with a mixture of sugar and water.
28. Vanilla as Freezer Freshener
Trade frostbite funk for a more pleasing freezer scent and wipe the inside of the icebox with an extract-dampened cotton pad.
29. Vinegar as Odor Remover
After chopping onions, scrub your hands with salt and a splash of vinegar to eliminate the smell.
30. Vinegar as Coffeemaker Cleaner
Clean a coffeemaker or a tea kettle by making a pot using a mixture of water and vinegar. Follow with several cycles of water to rinse.
31. Baking Soda as Crayon Eraser
Sprinkle it on a damp sponge to erase crayon, pencil, and ink from painted surfaces.
32. Lemon as Cutting Board Cleaner
To remove tough food stains from light wood and plastic cutting boards, slice a lemon in half, squeeze onto the soiled surface, rub, and let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing. The best part? You’ll have a house that smells like a lemon grove rather than chemicals.
33. Lemonade Kool-Aid as Dishwasher Cleaner
Clean lime deposits and iron stains inside the dishwasher by pouring a packet of lemonade Kool-Aid (the only flavor that works) into the detergent cup and running the (empty) dishwasher. The citric acid in the mix wipes out stains; you don’t have to.
34. Mayonnaise as Adhesive Remover
Banish stickers from mirrors, glass, and bumpers by applying a generous helping of mayo to persistent adhesives. Use a flexible putty knife to help coax them off.
35. Rice as Coffee Grinder Cleaner
Mill a handful of grains in your grinder and the fine particles will absorb stale odors and clean out residual grounds and oil. Discard the rice and wipe clean.