1. Use a binder clip as a sponge stand.
This will allow it to air-dry instead of getting all mildewy.
To kill the germs and viruses that have gathered on your nasty sponges, microwave on high for 2 minutes and let cool. This only works for non-metal sponges!
3. Clean your clean machine: the washer.
This page gives you a step-by-step way to get the grime off the nooks and crannies of your washing machine.
4. When your toaster gets all sticky and gunky…
Use a few drops of water, cream of tartar, and a sponge to get your stainless steel appliances looking brand new again.
Now watch this video on how to clean the INSIDE of the toaster.
5. Clean your sink drain.
Your sink drain is home to some of the grimiest dirt and germs. Get directions on how to use baking soda, a toothbrush, and citrus fruits to get your sink smelling and looking fresh.
6. Clean your window tracks.
Dip a q-tip in white vinegar and run it along the track. For more window cleaning tips, check out Ask Anna.
7. Make the steel plate on your iron smooth and shiny again.
All you need is salt. Get the directions here.
8. Refresh your mattress.
Once you sprinkle the ingredients on, you’ll also need to vaccuum the bed. Get the full instructions here.
Hint: you can also use fabric softener instead of lavender oil if you DON’T want to do this the all-natural way.
9. Keep baseboards clean with fabric softener.
10. Remove any carpet stain (and anything off a mattress as well).
11. Use an iron to remove REALLY stubborn stains from carpet.
12. Invest in a “Purifying Light Sanitizing Cutting Board System.”
It costs $129 but just think of all the germs from old food that could be embedded in your cutting boards.
13. Dust first, then vacuum.
That way you can vacuum up all the fallen dust. On a sidenote, did you know that dust is made up of 80% human skin?
14. Clean your candles with pantyhose.
It’ll get the dust off.
15. Unscrew light bulbs and wipe off with a microfiber cloth.
Dust builds up on those things.
16. Rub a faucet with waxed paper to prevent water spots and finger prints.
You can also remove mineral deposits easily with white vinegar.
17. Snip off a slice of a Magic Eraser and drop it in the toilet.
Let it float overnight and it’ll remove any toilet ring. No scrubbing! No one wants to be touching toilet germs, not even with gloves on.
18. Keep a Scotch Brite dishwand in the shower filled with 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 dishwashing detergent.
This will make it easy and convenient to wipe down the walls while you’re in the shower.
19. Get rid of household odors with vanilla extract in the oven.
“Put two caps full of vanilla extract in a coffee cup, then place it in the oven at 300 degrees for one hour. Within twenty minutes the whole house smells like Heaven.”
20. Use slow cooker liners.
You know these things are a pain to clean.
21. Clean old paintings with a bagel cut in half.
Get the full directions here.
23. While cleaning the bathroom, fill the tub up with a couple of inches of the hottest water you can draw from the tap.
Heating up the bathroom 10 degrees above the normal air temperature “doubles the effectiveness” of alkaline cleansers. It’s a trick hotel staffers use. Let disinfectants sit for at least 5-7 minutes, and always rinse off cleaners to prevent build-up.
24. Cut a hole in a cloth napkin to make dust covers for coats and vests.
25. Use foil in your George Foreman grill or panini maker to prevent mess.
Electrical appliances are a pain to clean, and you can’t just dunk the whole thing in soapy water. Prevent disgusting drips and messes by either covering the insides of the grill with foil, or wrapping the item you want to grill in foil.
27. Pour a packet of lemonade Kool-Aid into the detergent cup of your dishwasher.
It’ll remove lime deposits and iron stains.
28. Know your uses for vinegar and natural cleaning agents.
If you’re paranoid about chemicals (many OCDers are), white vinegar is an ideal alternative. It kills 99% of bacterias, 82% of molds and more than 80% of viruses. You can use it with tea tree oil, hydrogen peroxide, or baking soda to increase its antibacterial effectiveness. However, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar should be applied separately, not mixed together. Also, don’t use vinegar in your microwave or oven — your kitchen will smell like vinegar for days when using those appliances. And never mix bleach with vinegar in hopes of amplifying the cleaning power — it creates a dangerous chemical reaction.
Cream of tartar is another natural cleaning agent. Get more tips on how to use cream of tartar here.
Here’s an effective but natural recipe for Martha Stewart’s Tub Scrub.
29. Hang your brooms and mops instead of storing them on the floor.
This keeps them from getting mildewed and bent.
30. Start cleaning out your dryer vents.
You’ll prevent fires by cleaning out the dryer vent every six months. Get the full directions here.
31. Behold, the sanitizing vacuum cleaner.
32. Use a Solution of 1/2 Coconut Oil and 1/2 Baking Soda to Remove Sticky Residues
It’s the non-chemical equivalent of Goo Gone.
33. The ultimate organization tip: anything and everything should have a place.
This seems to be the #1 organization tip from OCDers: everything you own should have a place to be put away, and should always be put back to that place after use. Sounds simple, but it’s a practice that takes getting used to if you’re an inherently messy person.
- At least three people – including a police officer – died in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. The suspect is in police custody. ›
- At least 15 people were killed after a suicide bomber attacked a Shiite Muslim procession of hundreds of people in Nigeria. ›
- And how well do you know what happened in the news this week? Take our quiz. ›