House cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore if you know some tricks. From dusting to making your garbage disposal smell nice, we’ve gathered 20 fast and easy cleaning hacks that will make tidying up a breeze.
Originally published January 17, 2019. Updated October 7, 2022.
1. Banish Sink Stink With Lemons
Here’s an easy hack if you’ve got stinky garbage disposal in your sink. Simply toss in a lemon, follow with some vinegar, and run the disposal for a minute or so. The smell will disappear, and the disposal with be sparkly clean! Looking for more ways to use up extra lemons slices? Try making this fall stovetop potpourri.
2. Clean Windows With Vinegar
Vinegar is also a great glass cleaner with the added bonus that it’s non-toxic. Mix a solution of half water and half distilled white vinegar and fill a spray bottle. Spray liberally on windows and wipe dry. Magic! You can also spray the solution around your pet’s food area to scare off bugs. Follow these recipes for more homemade natural cleaning solutions.
3. Use Foil to Foil Messes
While not really a way to clean a mess, using foil when you cook will certainly save you time when cleaning up. Use foil to line broilers, cookie sheets and the bottom of your oven. When you’re done cooking or baking, recycle the foil.
4. Vacuum Your Cabinets
Dust and crumbs have a way of building up in your kitchen cabinets and pantry without you noticing. While cleaning cabinets can be a chore, you can make the task a little easier with your vacuum. Pull everything out then use the vacuum to suck up the dust and crumbs. Give the cabinet a quick wipe with a damp cloth and replace the contents. It’s a great way to keep bugs and vermin away.
5. Lint Rollers Clean More Than Lint
Lint rollers are handy for removing pet hair and lint from your clothes, but did you know you can also use them to roll up dust on hard to clean items like lampshades? Give it a try!
6. Clean Carpet Stains With Vodka
You can also clean stains on your carpets with vodka. Pour vodka on a soft cloth or sponge and press down to soak up the stain. Depending on the type and severity of the stain, you may have to hold the sponge or cloth in place for several minutes and repeat foa few times.
7. Clean Stains With Shaving Cream
Shaving cream is another product that does double duty. You can use it on many types of stains. Spray some foam in your hand and then rub on the stain. Wait about a half an hour before dabbing it up. Remember to test first!
8. Brighten Your Laundry With Baking Soda
Baking soda has many uses around the house, but you might not know that it can help brighten your clothes and reduce the amount of detergent you need. According to Reader’s Digest, add 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of baking soda to your washer to brighten each load. You can cut back on the amount of detergent because the baking soda softens the water.
9. Sanitize Your Sponges
Sponges are great for cleaning but they’re also notorious breeding grounds for germs. How do you clean a sponge? Easy! Soak in water and pop in the microwave for about a minute on high.
10. Clean Your Showerhead With Vinegar
It doesn’t take long for scale and other grime to build up on your showerhead. Thankfully, there is a fast and easy solution to cleaning up the mess. Fill a plastic bag with vinegar and place around the showerhead. Then use a rubber band or piece of string to hold it in place. Wait about an hour and then remove the bag. The showerhead will be nice and clean. To rinse, simply run the shower for a few seconds.
11. Say Goodbye to Pet Hair With Rubber Gloves
Pet hair can be a real drag to clean up. A lint roller is great for clothes, but what about furniture where the fur is hard to clean out of the nooks and crannies? Don a pair of rubber gloves and simply rub the fur into balls and remove.
12. Dust With Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets have numerous uses beyond the dryer: You can use them to clean computer screens and make a suitcase filled with dirty laundry smell nice. But they’re also great for dusting because their anti-static properties will help repel dust. You can also use dryer sheets to remove soap scum from your glass shower.
13. Use Beer to Clean Wood
Beer is a great wood cleaner. Simply pour a little beer on a rag and give your dirty wood furniture a good scrub. You’ll be amazed! As with any cleaning product, test in an inconspicuous area first.
14. Use Your Dishwasher for Cleaning More Than Dishes
Your dishwasher is good for cleaning more than dishes. As Living Well Spending Less notes, you can use it to clean things like hard plastic toys and even light fixtures. Use warm to hot water and hand dry.
15. Clean Caulk With Vodka
You can use vodka for cleaning bathroom caulking, says DIY Network. If your caulking has a build up of mould and mildew, use vodka to get rid of it. Simply spray the area with cheap vodka and wait for about 15-30 minutes. Then scrub off any mould and mildew that remains. If the tiles also have mould and mildew, pour some vodka on a sponge and give them a good rub.
16. Clean Your Keyboard With a Toothbrush
It’s no surprise that computer keyboards can have high levels of bacteria, especially ones that are shared. Cleaning a keyboard is fairly easy, though. First, turn it upside down and shake all the crumbs out. Then use a damp toothbrush (water or isopropyl alcohol) and scrub between the keys. A final wipe with a damp cloth will return your keyboard to a much cleaner state.
17. Stains? Hairspray to the Rescue!
According to Living Well Spending Less, hairspray is great for cleaning stains on clothes and other fabrics. You can use it to remove tough stains like lipstick. Simply spray the area and then rinse or blot out. Remember to test on an inconspicuous are first.
18. Use Olive Oil to Clean Stainless Steel
Another effective chemical-free cleaner is none other than olive oil. It’s great for cleaning stainless steel appliances and cookware. NBC News recommends putting some a few drops of oil on a chamois and then lightly rubbing soiled areas.
19. Use Socks to Clean Blinds
Give your old or orphan socks a new life by using them to clean your blinds. Simply slip on the sock (dry or damp) on your hand and then wipe both sides of your blinds. When done, toss the dirty sock in the wash.
20. The Easy Way to Clean a Blender
Instead of scrubbing a dirty blender, just add hot water and a little dish soap and – blend! The blender will clean itself. If the blender has dried on gunk, fill to the top with hot water and soap and let it sit overnight. Then pour a little of the soapy mixture out and blend.