Friday, March 1, 2013 2:30 PM EDT
When looking for a solution to a cleaning problem sometimes the answer is right under our nose — all we have to do is know where to look. Every household is stuffed full of items that can be used for something other than their original purpose. These five simple suggestions for cleaning conundrums will have you saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?” in no time.
1. Damp Rubber Glove = Pet Hair Remover
When the cap jumps off the couch and leaves a heap of hair behind, there’s so need to rush out and buy a specially designed tool for this very specific cleaning task — the only trip we need to take is one to the kitchen to grab a pair of rubber dishwashing gloves. Slip them on, quickly douse them with water under the tap and “sweep up” the hair with your glove-covered hands. The hair will stick to the glove, which easily rinses off in the sink and can be tossed away pronto.
2. Lint Roller = Lamp Shade Duster
It’s not unusual to find a lint roller stored somewhere close to the front door for those last-minute go-overs before heading out, but maybe it should be kept close to the living room lamps instead. When a layer of dusk clings stubbornly to fabric lampshades, put away the feather duster and reach for a sticky lint roller to whisk it away. It instantly picks up the fluff and lets the lamp light shine through.
3. Baking Soda + Aluminum = Silver Polish Dip
With this homemade silver polish dip recipe, there’s no need for any elbow grease — just a few ordinary kitchen items. First, line the bottom of the sink (or bucket or glass dish) with aluminum foil. Pour in enough boiling water to cover the items in need of polishing, and then add two tsps. of baking soda and 1 tsp. of salt (or thereabouts, no need for exact measurements). Drop in the silver, making sure all the items are touching each other and the foil, and watch the tarnish disappear (shouldn’t take more than five minutes). Remove, rinse and gently dry with a soft rag or paper towel.
4. Coffee Filter = TV Screen Cleaner
Sacrificing a cup of coffee for clean screens seems well worth it. Using a paper coffee filter to wipe away that fine layer of fluff from TV and computer screens eliminates the static that made it stick there in the first place. Now, enjoy that cup of coffee and your favorite morning show dust-free.
5. White Vinegar = Label Remover
Trying to remove a sticky label from the bottom of a new glass or vase without ripping the paper is nearly impossible. Instead of gumming up our fingernails trying to scrape the label off, dampen the label with vinegar and let it sit for five minutes. Use a cotton ball or paper towel to rub off the label. Bye bye, sticky mess!