1. Get that fresh laundry smell in every room.
Forgo pricey air fresheners by securing dryer sheets to the back of your A/C vents with tape or by tucking the edges beneath the diffuser. Let the air flow move the scent through your home.
2. Disinfect toys, flip-flops and brushes in your dishwasher.
So long as the item is dishwasher-safe, you can wash and disinfect kid and pet toys, toothbrushes, dish sponges, rubber footwear, brushes and combs (yes, the kind for hair), stove burners, vent covers, grills, cup and fixture covers, small tools, scissors, pulls and knobs, outlet shields, and small shelves and drawers. Put the smallest items in those mesh laundry bags before you wash.
Note: Did you know you can cook a potato or yam in the dishwasher on the hot water setting? Wrap the potato with foil and wash. Really. Oh, and don’t add soap.
3. Sop up leaks and absorb smells with newspaper.
Hate…loathe…DREAD…removing the garbage bag from the can to clean beneath it? Just place some rolled up newspaper underneath the bag inside the can.
4. Soak a dirty pot with a dryer sheet.
Put a dryer sheet in a dirty pot, fill with water, and let it sit overnight. The chemicals in the dryer sheets soften the bond between the cooked-on gunk and the pan.
5. Add soap and water to a dirty blender and blend it clean.
When I first saw my mom blending soap and water in her blender, I was pretty sure she was finally losing it. Then she explained that a quick rinse to make sure there’s no dried on gunk plus one blend cycle leaves you ready for another round.
how it cleans the whole blender quickly and perfectly, and now I’m hooked!
6. Use an old sock to dust blinds.
Add this to the kids’ chore chart, stat!
7. Wax your stove top for easy cleanup.
Wax your stove top with car wax, then wipe off with paper towels or an old sock. Any future spills—no matter how crusty—will wipe off in a jiffy (and if you don’t get to the spill right away, add a few drops of any oil to a paper towel to increase the effect as you wipe).
8. Dust with a lint roller.
9. Clean a toilet with Coke or Pepsi.
Instead of pouring cola (fizzy or flat) down the drain, pour it around the rim of your toilet bowl and let it sit for an hour. The corrosive acids in the cola will break down the stains.
10. Microwave dirty sponge to neutralize bacteria.
Have a dish sponge with tons of useful life left—only you don’t want to touch it? Dampen the sponge, then pop it in the microwave on high for 60 seconds to kill bacteria.
11. Use a rubber glove or squeegee as a pet hair magnet.
You’d be surprised at what rubber attracts! Use a squeegee or wear rubber dish-washing gloves, and run your hand over carpet covered in pet hair.
12. Remove sticky labels with OxiClean.
Add a scoop of Oxi-Clean to a sink full of warm water, and in 30 minutes you should find the labels separated from your dishes and floating on the top.
13. Unclog a sink with DIY Drano.
Drop a couple of Alka-Seltzer tabs down a clogged drain and follow it with one cup of distilled vinegar. Turn your hot water tap on full force and flush the clog away!
14. Remove grout stains with bleach and baking soda.
Combine bleach and baking soda to form a paste, then use an old toothbrush to apply the paste to dirty grout. Let the bleach and baking soda mixture work its magic for 5-10 minutes. Scrub a bit more with the toothbrush, wait 5 more minutes, then rinse!
15. Get rid of stubborn carpet stains with an iron and vinegar.
No need to buy pricey carpet stain removers—just spray the stain with 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water, lay a damp towel over the spot, and iron on the steam setting for 30 seconds. You may need to repeat the steps if the stain is really stubborn.