There aren’t many homeowners who look forward to cleaning their home, but most would agree they clean because they like how it looks after they’re done. One way to make the process a little less painful is to learn shortcuts, DIY tips and best practices for tidying up your house.
I’m going to share 11 cleaning tips and tricks to help you speed up the cleaning process and work smarter. I’ll also shed some light on many frustrating and difficult tasks and cover new ways of getting to the end result stress-free.
1. Cleaning Your Air Conditioner
Yes, you can and should clean your air conditioner. One reason you want to give it a spring checkup is because the less dirt surrounding the unit, the better it’ll cool your home. Debris clogging the cooling fins, a dirty blower fan filter and a number of other simple problems will quickly decrease the efficiency of your air conditioner.
Sure, you may need a pro to help you out with any major repairs, but there are also simple cleaning tasks you can complete on your own. Your routine checks should be breeze once you’ve gone through the process once. Click here for steps and detailed instructions for cleaning your air conditioner.
2. Fix Scratches on Wood & White Marks on Furniture
There’s nothing worse than buying a new piece of wood furniture and then finding scratches and marks that stand out like a sore thumb. It’s a bad feeling and one many of us can relate to, that’s why you’ve got to know how to fix scratches yourself. The magical solution is a mixture of 1/4 cup vinegar and 3/4 cup olive oil. Use a kitchen rag to rub the problem areas and see your scratches disappear.
Have you ever noticed strange white marks on your wood table? This happens because steam from hot dishes get trapped under the finish. Regardless of why it happens, we all know it’s not pretty! You want to apply heat and moisture to the problem area using white linen napkins (mist with water) and an iron on a medium heat/steam setting. Go over the problem area for about 15 seconds and watch the spots melt away. It’s not recommended to use this method on all types of furniture. This trick has worked for some, but not all.
3. Remove Labels
There’s nothing more frustrating than buying new dishes or wine glasses, only to find it ridiculously hard to remove stickers on the bottom of each individual item. I swear ceramic manufacturers use the stickiest labels they can possibly find. They’re difficult to remove and I always find myself ruining my nails when I try and remove them myself. That’s why I was so excited to discover that there’s an easier way to remove labels!
The best way to remove these stubborn labels is to get yourself some Oxi-Clean, plug your sink with warm water and let your items soak for 30 minutes.
4. Homemade Grout Cleaner
Sick of the dirty tile and grout ruining the look of your beautiful tiles? Well, I am too and that’s why I searched high and low to find you the perfect remedy. Mix 3/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup bleach and get scrubbing! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how different the before and after turns out. This solution is great because it gets rid of the issue without you having to spend time and money replacing them.
5. Cloudy Glassware
You can wash your dishes all you want, but sometimes, there’s just no getting rid of the cloudy residue that sticks to your glasses. What you need is a new, quick trick that gets the job done. First, if you haven’t already, invest in a huge bottle of vinegar. Adding vinegar to each cycle clears the cloudy stains right up, and if you own a stainless steel dishwasher, it'l keep the inside looking clean too.
Each time you run a cycle, just pour what looks like about 1 cup into the bottom. You’ll still want to use dishwasher detergent. Don’t mess with putting it in any slot, just pour it right in the dishwasher and start it up. If your glasses are really cloudy, it may take a few cycles to get them completely clear.
6. No-Streak Window Cleaning
Unless you’re already using this magic trick, my guess is that you often notice streaks on your windows, even after giving them a thorough cleaning. This is because most cleaners take care of the dirt and dust but don’t dry nicely after wiping them down with a paper towel. You can increase your chances of a streak-free window by using a DIY cleaner made of water, vinegar and dish soap. Use a white cloth to wipe down your windows and buff your windows with a wad of newspaper.
7. Bathtub Drain
One of the most annoying clogs that occurs is in the bathtub. The shower is made for getting cleaned up and that’s hard to do with a clogged drain! Anyone with a lot of hair knows it’s hard to avoid and not fun when it happens. Look no further, there is an easy way for you to unclog your drain and enjoy your shower without standing water. See this tutorial for taking apart your drain and getting that gunk out of there!
8. Kitchen Cabinet & Handle Gunk Remover
You may not realize it, but your kitchen cabinets, and especially the handles, are prone to collecting dirt and grime. Rid that cabinet gunk with a two-ingredient mixture of 1 part vegetable oil and 2 parts baking soda. Grab a toothbrush for the hard to reach nooks and cranny’s.
9. Nail Polish & Tile
We’ve all been there. You’re grabbing nail polish or painting your nails in your bathroom and the unthinkable happens; you drop the bottle. No matter the color, it’s never good getting nail polish on your tile floors. Well, don’t freak out just yet. There’s a simple solution worth trying before you go ripping out all of your tiles.
How to clean up a nail polish spill:
- Clean the mess as soon as possible. The longer it sits, the harder it is to clean.
- Pour nail polish remover over the spill and let it sit for a minute, then wipe it up with paper towels.
- Next, scrub the floor with a magic eraser to remove any stains that are still there.
- For extra stubborn stains, spray a little hair spray and let it sit a few minutes and wipe clean with paper towels.
- When the polish is removed, clean the whole area with soapy warm water.
10. Magical Carpet Cleaner
Before you panic about that spill on your carpet that has no chance of coming out, consider trying a carpet cleaner many people swear by. This carpet cleaner is magic because it fights all kinds of hard to remove stains. According to the blog, LizzyWrite, you should follow the steps below the next time you’re trying to get a nasty stain out of your carpet:
- Scrape up the liquid.
- Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the stain & let absorb for 10 minutes and then vacuum.
- Mix 1 tablespoon clear dishwashing liquid and 1 tablespoon white vinegar with 2 cups of warm water.
- Using a white cloth (i.e. microfiber washcloths), sponge the stain with the detergent/vinegar solution and blot until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Sponge off with cold water and blot dry.
11. Cookie Sheet
Even if you’re not big into baking, I’m sure you find yourself using a cookie sheet sporadically in the kitchen. Grease and grime like to stick and hang around a lot longer than we care for on our cooking pans and sheets. You can scrub all you want, but sometimes, there’s just no ridding the stain buildup. No one wants to cook on a rusty and gross baking sheet.
There’s no heavy scrubbing involved. All it takes is a DIY miracle cleaner made up of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Sprinkle the sheet with baking soda, then hydrogen peroxide, then another layer of baking soda and let it sit for a while. When you go back to check it out, your mess should easily wipe away!
Cleaning isn’t usually a task we necessarily look forward to, but as a homeowner, it’s necessary for maintaining a happy and healthy home. These exceptional tips and tricks are sure to make your chores hassle-free. Before you spend hours trying to scrub, remove and unclog items around your home, stop and see if there’s a better way.
Need help with your next home improvement project? Complete our get started form and receive up to four free estimates from contractors in your zip code.