21 Cleaning Basics You Probably Don’t Know

It’s not passive-aggressive to copy and paste this on your roommate’s Facebook wall, I promise.

1. Wash dishes without a dishwasher.

A few bubbles of soap and lukewarm water doesn’t cut it. You’ll end up with grease on your “clean” dishes. There’s an art to it, and it requires EXTREMELY hot water, elbow grease, and a little organization. Get the step-by-step here.

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2. Scrub the grime off of your stovetop.

See that? Your stove may even lift up for easy cleaning. Directions here.

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3. De-gunk the inside of your oven.

You’ll have to use some ammonia, but it’ll get it done right. How-to here.

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4. Sanitize your sink.

This is especially important if you don’t have a dishwasher. There are several ways to do it; here’s one.

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5. Kill cutting board bacteria.

Also, you should keep two cutting boards: one (plastic) one for meats, one (any kind) for veggies. Sanitize here.

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6. Clean your toilet.

Have you actually done all of this? I haven’t… but here’s how to get every nook and cranny, in case you’re curious.

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7. Vacuum your carpets.

Yeah, one pass won’t cut it. You can find everything you needed to know to actually clean your carpet here, and a video of this corgi being (happily) vacuumed here.

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8. Launder your towels.

Wait this should be easy, right? Actually, if you want to keep that mildewy smell away, you might want to follow these directions.

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9. Mop the tile (or wooden floor).

If the cat doesn’t stop you, you can learn how to mop with vinegar here.

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10. Get grease out of your clothes.

Dish soap does the trick. This one I’ve tried and loved. Supposedly chalk also works.

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11. De-rust your stainless steel.

So maybe the previous tenants didn’t take care of the stainless sink. Don’t worry — it’s no match for a lime.

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12. Un-scuff your leather sofa.

No promises this will keep your thighs from sticking to it, though. Directions here.

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13. Clean your cast iron without un-seasoning it.

Because a seasoned cast iron is a greasy cast iron, and soap breaks up grease. How-to here.

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14. Un-goop the outside of your windows.

Works for the inside, too. Directions here.

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15. Wash your workout clothes so they don’t smell.

Ok, maybe this wasn’t on your grandmother’s basics list. But it’s important. Learn how here.

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16. Get rid of those mineral deposits.

How-to here. Be patient.

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17. Pull all of that hair out of your drain.

Nontoxic directions here.

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18. Dust so the dust never returns.

You’ll always shed skin cells, but at least you can get rid of the ones that are already settled on your furniture. Get it right with this guide.

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19. Detangle pet hair from your carpet.

There are several techniques you can use.

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20. Wash countertops after cooking.

The key: Wash without leaving a soapy film behind. Depending on the type of counter, warm, soapy water usually works well. Just make sure you go over again with a rinse.

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21. Then enjoy a better cup of coffee…

…after cleaning your coffeemaker out with vinegar.

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