These hassle-free tips eliminate and prevent messes in the most inconvenient, “uncleanable” places.
The inside of your purse
Push a lint roller along the bottom of an empty purse to pick up dirt, loose change, and more.
Place a grimy candle inside a stocking and roll it around. The nonabrasive nylon will clean the wax surface without sticking to it.
Grungy window blinds
Dip a sock into a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. Put it on your hand inside out and use it to clean both sides of window blinds at the same time.
Dingy TV screens
Swipe a coffee filter across dusty and staticky computer monitors and plasma TV screens to remove buildup.
A stinky kitchen
Toss orange and lemon peels into the garbage disposal and grind them up for a few minutes to give your kitchen an amazing fresh citrus smell with no work at all.
Kitchen sink clutter
Clamp a binder clip onto the short end of your sponge. Stand the clip upright on its side to keep the sponge clean, dry, and mold-free. Once it does get dirty, learn the only right way to clean a sponge.
Pet hair horrors
Drag a window squeegee (you can find one at any home-goods store) across a carpet to remove pet hair. The rubberized blade will quickly lift fur from rug fibers.
Cut a hole in the center of a cloth napkin and place it over a hanger to keep dust from settling on nice dresses and leather jackets.
That ring around your toilet
Let an Alka-Seltzer tablet sit in the bowl for 20 minutes, and then flush. The citric acid will eliminate rings and stains.
Prevent glasses from breaking in the dishwasher
Stretch a rubber band around a wineglass and over the spokes of the dishwasher rack to keep the glass from moving around and breaking during the wash cycle. Here are some more common dishwasher loading mistakes.
Fill buckets or watering can without making a mess
If you have a bucket or a large watering can that won’t fit under the faucet, place a dustpan with a hollow handle beneath the stream of water to redirect it into the larger vessel on the floor in front of the sink. Avoid these other cleaning mistakes that make your home dirtier.
A soiled coffee grinder
If you use this tool to crush spices as well as coffee beans, process a handful of Cheerios in the appliance for 30 seconds. This will remove any smells from the machine before you brew your next cup.
Try vertical stacking: Place folded shirts vertically into drawers to make it easy to see and reach what you need.
Want to clean the blades of your ceiling fan without raining dust down on your furniture? Take a pillowcase and slide it over each blade. Press down and slide the pillowcase back off; it’ll take all the dust with it.
Use a cleaning toothbrush to scrub down the coils of your pop-up toaster with clean water. Make sure it’s unplugged first, of course! Take out the crumb tray and stick a paper towel underneath the toaster so that crumbs don’t get out of control.
Make sure you’re vacuuming your mattress every time you rotate it. But did you know that baking soda can banish sweaty mattress odors? Put some baking soda in a sifter and shake it over the mattress. Let it sit for a half an hour and then break out the dustbuster to vacuum it up. To make it smell extra-good, mix in a drop or two of essential oil with the baking soda before you sift.
Shower curtain liners (or plastic shower curtains)
Throwing your plastic curtain liner in the wash is all well and good, but that won’t banish mildew for good. TipHero recommends adding a cup of vinegar to the washing machine, and only using half the recommended amount of detergent. After that, throw the liner into the tub itself, fill the tub with enough water to cover the liner, and add a cup of salt. Soak it for three hours. The salt helps the liner build up a layer of resistance against mildew.