Cleaning…ugh! For most of us, spring cleaning is right up there with a root canal, though the results are admittedly gratifying – after you’re done.
Even then, there may be still be some stains that you can’t seem to get completely out. Today, we’re going to give you some tips to help your back and kick those stubborn stains.
- Use lemons to remove water stains
You know all those little spots on water spigots and shower handles that just won’t go away no matter what you do? Use slices of lemon on them. The citric acid in the lemon will have your fixtures gleaming in no time!
- Use dryer sheets to clean buildup off of shower doors
This is a great way to get a second use out of something, and as preppers, multi-use items are king! Just wet them with water and wipe your doors with them. Also good for removing mineral deposits from fixtures.
- Use a dustpan to fill your mop bucket
Those tiny bathroom sinks are a bummer when you’re trying to fill a bucket. Just prop the “floor” end of your dustpan on the rim under the faucet and rest the handle on the edge of the sink. Fill the dustpan, and the water will run up the handle and out into the bucket on the floor, turning the handle into an extended faucet.
- Scrub your iron skillets with sea salt
Sometimes your skillets get really dirty, or they get a sticky residue but you don’t want to “unseason” it or use harsh cleansers on the iron. Coarse salt and a sponge will have it clean in no time.
- Remove pilling or lint from jeans or sweatshirts using a razor
Don’t throw away those pants or shirts that have built up fabric or lint pills. Just use a disposable razor to “shave” them off. It’s quick, easy, and effective and removes stuff that a lint roller leaves behind. Your sweatshirts and jeans will look new again.
- De-funk a sponge in the microwave
Sponges start to smell funky after a couple of days due to bacteria and mildew. Get it damp then toss it in the microwave for a minute. Be careful because it will be hot, but it won’t smell funky anymore because the heat kills the odor-causing bugs.
- Clean your shower head with vinegar
Do this first, then when you’re finished cleaning the rest of the house, the shower head will be clean. Pour a cup or so of white vinegar into a bag, place it over your showerhead, then rubber band it to hold it in place. It’ll clean all of the deposits out so that the water flows freely again.
- Scent your house with a few drops of extract or oil
This is an old real estate agent trick. If you don’t have a wax burner or oil diffuser, place a few teaspoons of vanilla extract or a teaspoon of your favorite essential oil in an oven-proof mug and bake for an hour. The whole house will smell great.
- Steam clean your microwave
Spaghetti pops sauce all over your microwave, meats spew grease and beans explode, making cleaning the microwave seem harder than carving a sculpture. Warm a cup of water in there for 2 minutes, then wipe clean – the steam loosens it right up.
- Clean the toilet with coke
Don’t scrub that crazy ring and the orange drip stains in your toilet – pour some coke in there, let it sit for a bit, then flush. Shiny and clean!
- Line fridge shelves with plastic wrap
This one never seems to work for me because everything seems to stick to the plastic and pull it loose, but it works like a charm for my sister. Just line your fridge shelves with plastic wrap and then remove the plastic when spills occur.
- Keep sheets matched by storing in pillow case
This one is a sanity saver for me. When you wash the sheet set, fold them all up and store the whole set in a pillow case, then when you need a fresh set, they’ll all be right there together. I tuck a dryer sheet in between the sheets to keep them smelling fresh.
- Use newspaper and baking soda to freshen your trash can
Absorb leakage and odor from your can by just lining the bottom with newspaper and sprinkling some baking soda over it. If you get spillage, just remove the newspaper and start over.
- Clean your food storage area
Remember that you need to keep your food storage area clean, and also to check your food supply regularly.
- Clean the toaster with a pastry brush
Those crumbs are tough to get out but if you use a pastry brush, the job will be much easier. Just unplug the toaster first.
- Clean windows with a microfiber rag and water
There’s no need for breathing in chemicals. A microfiber cloth and water is all that you need. Wipe one direction then the other and they’ll be clean and streak-free. Want to add a great smell? Add a couple drops of lemon or orange essential oil.
- Clean your garbage disposal naturally
Garbage disposals are great, but they’re also a steam bath for germs and will smell bad because of it. Instead of reaching down in there to clean it (gross!) toss your citrus fruit peels down there when you’re done with them and grind them up.
- Make your own degreaser
This is a trick that I use all the time, as my fiancé is retired military and now spends his time getting greasy working on motorcycles and I frequently help. As a result, I had to find a degreaser that works, and I did. Baking soda, dish soap and WD-40. Mix them in about equal parts and rub it onto the stain as a pre-soak. For smaller food stains, just use dish soap.
- Clean wine with wine
Yay – you’re celebrating completing your spring cleaning and you spill red wine on your shirt or carpet. Ugh. That’s OK – cover the red wine with white wine, then baking soda. Scrub with a toothbrush and rinse/dab dry.
- Get paint out of carpet with nail polish remover
If you think about it, it makes sense. Just drizzle a few drops of nail polish remover, aka acetone, to the spot and dab it up with a rag.
- Clean your coffeepot with vinegar water
If your coffeepot slows down, the lines are probably clogged with mineral deposits. Put a cup of vinegar in the pot and fill with water, then pour in the well. Run a cycle through, then run a couple of cycles of clean water just to get the vinegar out. Problem solved.
- Remove wax from carpet with an iron
Crayons and candles – two staples in many of our lives, but a nightmare if you spill it in the carpet. No worries. Just place 2 pieces of paper over it, then iron it. The wax will stick to the paper. Repeat if necessary.
- Clean stainless steel with citrus and baking soda
Slice a lemon or lime into thick slices then dip it into baking soda and scrub your stainless steel sink or grill with it to make it shine! Oh yeah, don’t forget to rinse.
- Clean the dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda
Sprinkle the bottom of the machine with baking soda and run it through a cycle. Then spray the inside with a vinegar/water mixture. Run a rinse cycle and you’re good to go.
- Make your own carpet cleaner
Last time I cleaned my carpets, the cleaning solution was almost $30! No way was I paying that for a jug of chemicals so I looked for a natural alternative. 1 cup peroxide, 1/2 cup vinegar, 2 tablespoons of dish soap, 10 drops of lemon essential oils, and 2 tablespoons fabric softener.
- Clean your mattresses with a martini
Well, not really, but sorta. Pour vodka or rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle and add a few drops of lemon essential oil (or oil of your choice). Spritz it onto your mattress and allow to air dry. The alcohol kills bacteria that causes odor.
- Organize your cleaning storage space
This is a big deal for me because I don’t have a ton of space for storing cleaning supplies. Use a tension bar (curtain, shower, or closet rod depending on length you need) to hang your bottles from.
- Clean your vase with rice and water
Just sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of rice into the vase, then add an inch or so of water. Shake and swirl until it’s clean. Sea salt and ice works well, too. Oh, and the salt and ice is great for a burnt coffee pot, too.
- Use vinegar to remove film from glasses
Dishwashers leave behind a film that builds up after some time. To remove this film, just wipe them with a paper towel soaked in vinegar.
- Clean fans with a pillowcase
Slide an old pillowcase over the blade of your ceiling fan, then wipe it clean, pulling the case off as you do. The dirt will fall inside the case.
- Clean microfiber furniture with rubbing alcohol
Pretty self-explanatory. Spritz the alcohol onto the spot and then use a brush and sponge to clean it. Use white sponges and brushes because colors may transfer onto your furniture.
Hopefully these hacks have offered you some quick and easy DIY cleaning hacks that will make spring cleaning easier! If you have any that you’d like to add, please share them with us in the comments section below. And remember to subscribe to our newsletter for more spring hacks for your homestead!
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
Evan | April 5, 2016
Another trick for cleaning out old food deposits in your disposal is by using ice cubes. Take a couple pounds of ice cubes and fill your disposal up and run it adding ice as you go. I found that this brings up a lot of old food stuck in the system. Then add you favorite citrus for that good smell.