Headed into a spring cleaning mode? Or, is someone important visiting and you need the place to gleam like Downton Abbey expecting the royal family?
If you’ve been cleaning in the same way for years and getting the same lackluster results, it might be time to check and see if there are tips, tricks, and methods that can cut down on your work or allow you to achieve a better level of cleanliness.
While sometimes turning to harsh and pricey chemical cleaners can seem like the only way, for these cleaning hacks, all you need is natural household products like vinegar, baking soda, ammonia, and elbow grease.
Have you been cleaning your hardwood floors incorrectly?
Keeping your hardwood floors looking as stunning as the day they were finished is the dream. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of confusion about how to properly care for them. The trouble is that floor care is tied into both what wood you have and how it has been treated. A comprehensive article on cleaning hardwood floors from Your Best Digs outlines a step-by-step process for making sure that your floors are given the TLC they need. Some tips they recommend are:
Test first: Before you try a new hardwood floor cleaning regimen, test the new product on a small out-of-the-way place first. For example, white vinegar works wonders on some floors, it’s been known to take the shine off of others.
If wax, then no water: If your floor is wax sealed, you don’t want to use moisture at all, but rather just a dust mop and microfiber cloth.
Be a floor whisperer: If possible, consult with the manufacturer to learn more about proper maintenance for your particular floor.
Don’t get oversaturated: For most floor cleaning projects you want to keep the cleaning solution from saturating the floor. Damp, but not soaked, is the motto for your rag mop.
Quick sticks: If possible, get to rinsing the cleanser off the floor before it dries.
Some other quick tips include:
- You can use hydrogen peroxide on a tough floor stain by putting some on a paper towel and laying that on the stain for about five minutes. But test this method first — some floors will not react well.
- Take off your shoes and set up a shoe bin for others.
- Don’t scrape the floor with heavy items. Make sure you lift heavy pieces of furniture even if they are on casters or floor protecting pads.
Save yourself hours of scrubbing the tub or shower
One of the toughest chores at home is getting the tub really clean. It’s hard not to just give up after a while on some of the grime and soap stains associated with tub washing. After all, you usually don’t have all day to spend on a tub.
There are a few tricks that will let you achieve a sparkling tub without having to waste a full afternoon or giving yourself a scrubbing elbow injury.
Sometimes there are tricks that look outrageous and when you try them, they end up being a huge fail, but many cleaners swear by this odd trick.
- Purchase an inexpensive plastic bristle broom. You will want a new one as a used one will make a mess.
- Spread dish soap on the bottom and sides of the tub. Grease fighting dish soap will get into the grime that coats your tub.
- Scrub the tub with the broom.
- Rinse with a bucket of water to usher the soap down the drain.
One of the best things about this method is that it works well for those with limited mobility.
Vinegar and forget it (for an hour or so)
Another method says to mix dish soap and vinegar in a spray bottle and spray down a tub and shower. The trick with this is to let it alone for an hour or two and then come back. The longer it can react with grime the less time you’ll have to scrub with a trusty scrub brush.
Note: don’t use too much, it can take longer to get the dish soap cleared away and you’ll achieve the same result with less.
Don’t clean the oven again without trying this
The oven is another part of the house that never seems to reach peak cleanliness. However, those baked-in food stains are not only unsanitary, but they can also affect the way your food tastes during cooking.
Obviously, there are harsh chemicals you can use to attack oven stains, but some all-natural solutions are just as, if not more, effective. Here are a few clever solutions that will make oven cleaning a snap.
The ammonia trick
This is another one for the strange, but true file. It takes overnight, but the results are stunning.
- Heat the oven to 200 degrees and then turn it off.
- On the middle rack place a few cups of ammonia in a baking dish.
- Underneath the ammonia place a pot of boiling water.
- Close it up and leave it overnight.
- By morning stains in the oven will wipe off like magic.
The old baking soda trick
For spot cleaning, mix baking soda, dish soap, and water. Let it sit overnight and then spray with vinegar. Wait a couple more hours and then wipe away all the grime.
Additional oven cleaning tricks
- Use coarse salt as an abrasive to scrub tough stains.
- Try cleaning oven racks with dryer sheets and dish soap.
- Clean the slats behind the oven handle with a butter knife wrapped in a paper towel.
What we like about these tips is that they use inexpensive natural products rather than harsh chemicals to get the job done. Just think about how much more time you’ll have to sit back and relax, with the big jobs of the floors, tub, and oven complete.