25 Clever Cleaning Hacks You'll Wish You Would've Known All Along

25 Cleaning Hacks You'll Wish You Knew Sooner

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25 Cleaning Hacks You'll Wish You Knew Sooner
Cheapism; MaxCab/istockphoto; skhoward/istockphoto

The More You Know!

From using toothpaste to take crayon off the wall to cleaning your floors with a dishwasher tablet, there are so many creative and innovative tricks to cleaning that most people have never thought to try. Here are some of our favorites.

trash can cleaning hack
Amazon / iStock / Cheapism

1. Use a Toilet Wand to Clean the Trash Can ...

Not everything stays contained in the trash bag, and you should stay on top of cleaning the bin after taking the trash out to keep odors away. The easiest approach is to put some hot water and dish soap in the bottom of your empty trash can and use a Clorox toilet wand (or something similar) to scrub the inside of the bin. Don't forget to get all the little nooks and crannies near the lid. Once you're done scrubbing, take the bin outside for a rinse, and dry it thoroughly before putting a new bag in.

febreze small spaces

2. ... And Put an Air Freshener in the Bottom

While we're on the topic of keeping your trash can clean and stink-free, after you clean your can, you can pop an air freshener (we like to use Febreze Small Spaces) in the bottom before putting a fresh bag in. You can buy scented bags too, but this trick really makes a difference.

Bounce Pet Hair and Lint Guard Dryer Sheets

3. Use Dryer Sheets to Clean Baseboards

Dryer sheets are not exclusive to laundry chores. You can use them to dust your baseboards too, and the scent they leave is a nice bonus. If you want to avoid getting on your hands and knees to do this, you can also fasten the dryer sheets to a Swiffer Sweeper. 

Making zero waste, toxic free room freshener, DIY baking soda and essential oil air freshener.

4. Put a Baking Soda & Essential Oil Mixture on the Carpet Before Vacuuming

Some people call this "seasoning" your carpet. You just grab a bowl and put about 1/2 cup of baking soda in it and 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Mix it up, and you can sprinkle some on your carpet before you vacuum, filling the air inside your home with the scent of the oil.

The aluminum scoop and ice

5. Use Ice to Clean Your Garbage Disposal

If you pour some ice into your sink and nudge it down the garbage disposal, when you flip the disposal switch, the ice will clean out debris as it gets crushed up. 

Cleaning set-top stove

6. Polish Your Stainless Steel with Cooking Oil

Stainless steel appliances beg to be permanently tainted with fingerprints and smudges. Rather than searching for the perfect cleaning spray to remedy that, you can put a little bit of cooking oil on a microfiber cloth and polish your stainless steel. All the smudges will vanish and you won't need to buff any streaks out because of the sheen the oil leaves behind. 

Young adult woman finger showing dust from top of white lamp shade in room. Closeup. Front view. Checking cleanliness quality.

7. Use a Lint Roller to Dust Lampshades

Lampshades are dust magnets and the best way to clean them isn't with a duster. Instead, rub your dusty shade down with a lint roller. Works like a charm. 

Shower Head with Hard Water Deposit Stains

8. Soak Your Showerhead in Vinegar to Remove Calcium Build-Up

If you have calcium build-up on your faucet or showerhead, look to vinegar. Fill a plastic bag halfway with equal parts white vinegar and water. The bag should be big enough to submerge the faucet head or showerhead fully. Secure the bag with a rubber band or zip tie, ensuring the seal is secure so no vinegar leaks out. Let that sit for a minimum of 30 minutes, or overnight if you're working with a showerhead that doesn't have a sensitive vinish like brass, gold, or nickel. After you remove the bag, you can scrub with an old toothbrush, rinse everything off, and wipe it down.  

Foam cleaner spray.
Oleksii Bilyk/istockphoto

9. Spray Vodka on Your Mattress

Vodka can kill odor-causing bacteria on your mattress, so if you spritz a little on your bed when you take the sheets off, it goes a long way.

Trace water on wood, Abstract background

10. Use Mayonnaise to Remove Water Stains

Mayonnaise can be used to remove water stains from wood because the oil in it displaces moisture. Just put a bit of mayo on a microfiber cloth and dab it onto the stain, wiping the space clean as you go. You might have to work with it a bit, especially if you're dealing with a tougher stain.

Dusty ceiling fan in family room
Sheila Fitzpatrick/istockphoto

11. Use Pillowcases to Clean Ceiling Fans

Instead of battling with the blades of your ceiling fan every time you go to dust them, and creating a dusty mess on the floor beneath, try the pillowcase trick. Spray the inside of an old pillowcase with an all purpose cleaner and use a step stool to reach the fan. Slide the pillowcase over the dusty blade and slowly pull it back to remove it (and the dust!). 

Household cleaning silver with salt and aluminum foil

12. Use Tin Foil to Polish Silverware

To polish silverware with foil, line a pan with aluminum foil, shiny side up, and fill it with hot water and a few tablespoons of baking soda. Submerge the silverware in the solution for a few minutes, then rinse and dry. Keep in mind: This trick is for silver silverware.

Cleaning washbasin in bathroom

13. Remove Wall Stains with Toothpaste

Take a little dab of white toothpaste and put it on an old toothbrush. Use it to scrub stains off your wall, wiping with a cloth when you're done. Remember to keep this toothbrush somewhere far away from the one you brush your teeth with every morning and night.

Woman holding dirty and dusty ventilation grille, blurred.

14. Use a Moist Rag & Butter Knife to Clean Air Vents

Wrap a moist rag around a butter knife and use it to get between the slots of your dusty air vents.

Lemon and pile of coarse sea salt on cutting board

15. Clean Your Cutting Board with Lemon

Cut a lemon in half and use the flesh side to scrub the odors out of your cutting board. For an extra touch, you can use coarse salt to get into the pores thoroughly. 

Electric toothbrush on table

16. Use an Electric Toothbrush to Clean Grout

Grout can be tough to clean, but an electric toothbrush is just the right size to get between those narrow nooks.

Black pot filler faucet over gas stove

17. Clean the Gap Between Your Oven Using a Butter Knife

Butter knives are multi-purpose cleaning tools. If you have a gap between your oven and counter, you can use a butter knife to chip away at the crumbs that congregate there.

Blender with milk from above

18. Let Your Blender Clean Itself

Don't waste space in your dishwasher by putting your dirty blender in there with the rest of your dishes. Instead, fill the inside of the blender with soapy water and turn it on. Rinse it out, and there you have it. 


19. Use a Squeegee to Remove Pet Hair

Before vacuuming your couch to rid it of pet hair, try taking a squeegee to it to scrape as much of the hair off as you can.

Chrome kitchen sink

20. Polish Your Stainless Steel Sink with Flour

If you want to give your stainless steel sink a nice shine, buff it out with a little bit of flour. You'll want to do this with your sink dry or you'll create a bigger mess.

Picture of bucket and mop on the wooden floor

21. Using Dishwasher Tablets in Mop Water

Before filling your mop bucket with hot water, toss a dishwasher tablet in it. It will dissolve as you add the water, creating the perfect cleaning solution for your floors.

Microwave oven with water and lemon
Andrei Zonenko/istockphoto

22. Clean Your Microwave by Steaming Lemon & Water

Put some lemon in a bowl with water and steam it in the microwave to easily wipe out the grime inside and leave it smelling lemony fresh. 

A roll of white paper unrolled for packaging
Pawel Kacperek/istockphoto

23. Use Wax Paper to Collect Dust on the Tops of Your Cabinets

If you want to make dusting the tops of your cabinets as low effort as possible, top them with sheets of wax paper, arranging them so you can't see them from down below. The dust will accumulate on the paper instead of your cabinets.

Nonstick Spray

24. Use Cooking Spray to Remove Soap Scum

If you're dealing with tough soap scum messes, try spraying them with cooking spray. The oil will loosen the scum, making it easier to wipe clean.

Sanitizing the toilet bowl with baking soda and vinegar
Andrei Zonenko/istockphoto

25. Try Alka-Seltzer to Clean the Toilet

If you're looking for some fizz to clean your toilets with, Alka-Seltzer tablets are a handy hack to take advantage of.

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