1.Always Clean Thoroughly From Top to Bottom
Stephanie Sisco, our Home Director, has said it several times – the best way for anyone to clean a room is to clean it top to bottom, as you make your way out of the room.
In the May 2016 issue of Merry Maids, home cleaning expert Debra Johnson said that the reason why it is best to clean a room top to bottom is so that all of the dirt falls downward and you won’t ever have to reclean anything. The same principle applies to work your way from the farthest point of the door. Imagining that you are at a party and got stuck with a crazy guest who you are trying to escape without getting stuck in a corner – and that’s how you should clean your way out of a room.
2.Vodka, the Best Cleaning Agent (yes, really!)
We have spent a great deal of time researching and publishing the best ways to clean your house without using any toxic chemical cleaning products, using products that you can find anywhere in your home. Vodka is one of those cleaning agents. It has been proven to not only eliminate bacteria but also odors. It is a key ingredient in many homemade cleaning product recipes.
Tip: You can use any brand of vodka, as long as it isn’t flavored with anything.
3.Cleaning with Bread
It might seem surprising – but using a slice of white bread to clean isn’t a bad idea! In our April 2019 issue, Senior Editor Brandi Broxson said that she used a slice of white bread as a sort of “DIY duster” to clean the brick wall of her apartment, as it absorbed the dirt and dust, and did not leave behind marks or streaks the way a rag would.
We have also recommended in the past that you use a slice of bread to pick up small bits of broken glass, safely.
4.Dusting with your Pillowcase
How is anyone able to clean their ceiling fan without getting dirt and dust all over their bedding? Our April 2018 issue holds the secret to this issue – place a pillowcase over your ceiling fan and pull it towards you to collect the dirt and dust. All of that debris will be caught by the pillowcase and not fly all over your bed. Spring cleaning at its finest!
5.DIY Pet Fur Removal
Stephanie Sisco has been a pet owner for several years, and this little trick has never failed her – put on a rubber glove, get it damp, and then run your hand over the back of your couch or anywhere where there is fur, and watch it collect all over your glove.
6.Use the Sun to Remove Stains
The next time your plastic containers get stained by tomato sauce after leftover spaghetti night, don’t sweat it – don’t go to using harsh bleach to get rid of those stains, use a more natural method. The author of Cleaning Plain & Simple, Donna Smallin Kooper and Blake Bakkila both recommend that you place your containers in direct sunlight, as the prolonged exposure to direct sunlight will make the stains disappear naturally.
Lil Chizler was a small tool that was created to help people apply decals, however we have used it for a wide variety of purposes since it came out onto the market – from cleaning the gunk out of the kitchen sink to scraping out dirty pots and pans.
8.The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
This is somewhat dating ourselves, but the Mr. Clean Magic eraser was launched three years after we launched Real Simple – which changed the landscape of cleaning forever. Today, it is used for a wide variety of dirty tasks, including cleaning out the grime in a tile shower.
9.Legos and Makeup Brushes
Senior Editor Brandi Broxson in our April 2019 issue suggested that to clean your makeup brushes, one tip would be to apply a little bit of dish soap onto the bristles of your brush, and then sweep them over the nubs on a lego baseboard, while you have warm water running. The caked-on makeup will eventually stick to the lego and your brush will be clean.
10.Baby Wipes and Other Uses
Instead of using microfiber cloth to clean baseboards, we realized in our April 2018 issue that you could use baby wipes instead. We have Natalie Emann Russell to thank for this tip, as she notes that the wipes are nontoxic (so children can perform this chore), and thus are gentle enough to use even on painted baseboards.
11.Shower Cleaning Supplies
We get amazing cleaning tips from some of our readers – J.F on Facebook gave us this tip, which we posted in our April 2017 issue – which is to keep a dish wand filled with (equal parts of) vinegar and dish soap to scrub at the shower walls while she’s showering.
Protein stains aka tears, blood, and sweat might take some work to remove, but you don’t only have to use bleach or harsh cleaning supplies to do so – so says Nicole Sforza in our April 2014 issue. All you have to do is get a bit pot of water boiling, add some lemon slices, and add the stained garment to the mix to boil for a few minutes.
13.Remove Price Stickers Easily
Whenever we remove price stickers from items, particularly glass, we are aware of the sticky, gummy residue that is left behind. To remove this, Lauren Philips, our SEO Editor, said that she puts a bit of peanut butter over the residue and rubs it in a circular motion, using a piece of paper towel to do so until the residue comes up. Afterwards, give the glass a rinse with some soap and water or wipe it down with glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth.
14.For those Coaster Rings
Donna Smaller Kuper, who wrote Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness stated in our April 2019 issue that whenever she forgot to use a coaster on her bedside table and saw a ring of water left behind, she would first take a hairdryer to the ring to get rid of the moisture that the wood absorbed, and then finish off the area with olive oil.
15.After Leaving your Clothing in the Washer
You’ll have noticed it countless times before – you’ve washed your clothes, but then forgotten to take them out of the washer before they have developed a mild mildew/moldy smell. We offer a very simple solution to this in our August 2014 issue – simply take a cup of white vinegar and add it to your wash and rerun the load (no detergent, only water) to get rid of the smell.
16.Squeegee Outside of the Shower
To get rid of pet hair that is on the rug, simply run a dry squeegee over it. The plastic in the squeegee attracts the pet hair via electromagnetic energy. We learned this tip from Melissa Maker, the founder of Clean My Space in 2015.
17.Crayon and Walls – Removal
Another one of our readers, Ashley Dean (in the May 2012 issue) gave us a tip about cleaning crayon marks off of walls. She got this advice from her mom, who told her to get a rag damp, put some toothpaste on it, and then use that to clean the crayon marks off of walls.
18.Deodorizing the Garbage Disposal
We’ve found a few methods that work for deodorizing your garbage disposal – you can either make some vinegar ice cubes and put them down the disposal (turning it on of course) and follow it up with some cold water, or you can run orange or lemon peels down the disposal to give it a citrus scent.
We’ve all been there – when the little tube of glitter has been knocked over or your child brought home a beautiful glitter project – either way, your home is covered in glitter. To get rid of it, use a lint roller to get every bit of glitter up.
If you don’t want your bathroom mirror to fog up, grab some shaving cream and cover your mirror in it, using a clean, dry cloth to wipe it away. The residue of the shaving cream will keep the mirror clear by resisting any moisture.