To prevent dust from settling on the surface of glass-topped tables, TV screens or stereo lids, mix a little fabric softener with warm water. Wipe mixture on the surface, then rub dry with a soft cloth.
Just can’t seem to get that funky smell out of your sponges? Combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and warm water in a shallow bowl, and let the sponge soak for about 15 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
Mix 1 part baking soda and 1 part coconut oil, rub a little on a sticky spot, and let it sit for a minute or so. Then scrub the spot with a scouring pad, rinse it off, and voilà!
The trick to using hand sanitizer is to use a little bit of hand sanitizing gel applied on a clean cotton swab, or the corner of a clean handkerchief. If you use a mechanical mouse, you can rub some hand sanitizing gel on the trackball. The gel would gently dissolve the caked-in grime and dirt and leaves a smooth, clean surface. Sanitizing gel can also be used to clean optical mice, because the cleanser does not leave a sticky residue on the optical sensor.
Harness the power of citrus to clean your microwave. Cut a lemon in half, squeeze juice into a small bowl of water, add both lemon halves and place in the microwave for five minutes. The fresh scent eliminates cooking odors, and condensation from the steam loosens random splatters that have hardened. Wipe away the loose stains with a damp cloth.
Here’s an energy-saving laundry tip for you: Placing a dry towel in the clothes dryer with a load of wet laundry reduces drying time, cutting down on energy usage and utility bills. The idea is that by adding a dry and absorbent material, some of the moisture from the wet fabrics is wicked away by the dry towel. This reduces the moisture inside the dryer, allowing each item to dry out more quickly.
Spring is a perfect time to freshen up your bed by washing your pillows. To do so, toss them in the washing machine and then the dryer. Clean two at a time to keep a balanced load. Use tennis balls or dryer balls to expedite the drying process. If your pillows have a yellowish stain, try mixing in laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, bleach, borax, and very hot water to bring your pillows back to bright white.
Forget about salad dressing. This inexpensive kitchen staple—the distilled white kind, that is—can multitask in any room of the house.
Soak old tools and corroded nuts and bolts in vinegar for a few days. Rinse them with water and watch rust and scale disappear.
If you’ve ever sweated to a dance exercise video, you know that making a chore into a game really works. Ask your kids to dust your hardwood floors by skating around them in a pair of “cleaning” socks. You’ll be foiling the dust bunnies and showing your youngsters that housework doesn’t have to be dull. Fold laundry to the “same and different” game. Have your child find and match his clothing items, fold them and place them in a child-sized laundry basket. Start with socks and move up to tees and pants. You’ll be spending quality time with your child and teaching him how to dress himself more intuitively and fold laundry all at the same time. Start looking at chores as opportunities to create cleaning games for your kids to play. They’ll use up excess energy and be more responsible around the house.
For pleated shades on floor or table lamps, grab a clean paintbrush to quickly whisk dust from inside each pleat, working from top to bottom all the way around the shade. Run the same brush over the bulb and the wire that holds the shade in place. Nonpleated shades don’t gather as much mess, so a once-over with a duster, microfiber cloth, or even a lint roller should do it. Use a duster or microfiber cloth to spiff up the lamp’s base.