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42 Ways To Make Your Entire Home Cleaner Than It's Ever Been

:: bookmarks for next weekend ::

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Do everything on the list, or pick your category!

Bathroom; Kitchen; Bedroom; Living Room; All Around the House; Garage, Basement, and Outdoors

1. Soak paper towels in vinegar, then let them sit on your faucets to get rid of any buildup.

Then use a vinegar-soaked towel to shine up the faucet and the fixtures in your shower and tup. Read the full how-to here.

2. If your shower curtain and liner are AT ALL moldy, replace them or at the very least bleach them well.

Andhal / Getty Images / Via

“Mold spores are microscopic — so if you can actually see the black color, you literally have millions or billions of spores present,” germ expert Kelly Reynolds, Ph.D., previously told BuzzFeed Health. And if you have allergies or asthma, by the time you can see the mold, it may already be irritating you.

Most shower curtains are machine washable, and you can actually toss your liner in the wash, too.

(Read more gross bathroom facts that will inspire you to be a cleaner person here.)

3. While you're at it, wash your towel and bathmats.

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You're supposed to wash your towels every three uses, but if it's been a while, just wash them on a disinfecting cycle, or with some bleach.

4. Let bleach-soaked cotton coil sit on the mildew in your bathtub overnight.

Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed
Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

You could re-caulk the edges of your bathtub instead, and that's fine. But if you'd rather not (like me), try this — I reviewed the technique a full year ago, and our caulk is still mildew-free. Here's how to do it.

5. While you have the bleach out, use it to spray down your shower door's tracks, if you have them.

Those things get nasty. Don't be afraid of bleach because it's bleach — yes it's smelly, no you probably shouldn't use all the time, and yes, you should follow basic safety precautions. Here's the complete how-to.

6. Detach your shower head and give it a good vinegar soak to de-scale it and unclog any plugged jets.

On regular cleans, you can use the plastic bag trick — it works really well. But once or twice a year (depending on how hard the water is at your home), a full de-scale can help with water pressure and flow. Here's how to do it without messing up your shower head.

7. Take an acidic cleaner to the water stains on your shower's glass.

Just, uh, wait until all that bleaching stuff is done, please. Here's a recipe and tutorial for a homemade cleaner, although you can also use a store bought one like Barkeeper's Friend, $6.34. If the hard water stains aren't that bad, then feel free to use whatever glass cleaner you keep around.

8. Dip a lemon in salt and use it to get rid of lingering rust stains in your sink and sink area.

You don't need to scrub very hard at all — the acid in the lemon will do most of the work for you. Learn how to do it here.

9. After you've done your regularly scheduled toilet cleaning, go the extra mile and clean the siphons (aka the water holes inside your toilet).

You tape them up with duct tape, then flush vinegar on 'em. Read the full tutorial on how to make this work here.

If you want even more bathroom cleaning ideas, find them here!

10. Shine up your stainless sink using Barkeeper's Friend.

Here's the review and tutorial. Just make sure to check your manufacturer's instructions to see if it's an approved cleaner, which you can usually find with a quick Google search. Get Barkeeper's Friend for $6.34 here.

If you have a porcelain sink, check the manufacturer's instructions too; then, you can consider using Barkeeper's Friend or hydrogren peroxide and baking soda.

11. Microwave a bowl of lemons and water to make all the gunk come out in one easy swipe.

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Watch the full video tutorial here.

12. Let your grimy stove burners sit in a bag of ammonia overnight to get rid of all the layers of cooked-on gunk.

Ammonia is stinky, but worth it. Just make sure to do it outside. Here's the tutorial.

13. If you have electric stove burners, pull 'em off your stove and give them some elbow grease.

Here's how to do it correctly.

14. Clean a glass cooktop with minimal scrubbing: Sprinkle on baking soda, let it soak with a damp towel for about 15 minutes, then rub away.

Or just use a glass cooktop polish — letting it dry and then scraping it off is incredibly satisfying. But if you want to stick to the cheaper method, here's the tutorial, which would also work for the non-burner parts of gas and electric stoves, too!

15. Take a melamine sponge to your oven glass to make it sparkle again.

Just, wow. Melamine sponges will work for getting grime out of the rest of your oven, too. Read more about it here. (P.S. The brand name for these types of sponges are the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, which are easy to find in grocery stores, but you can also buy a pack of 15 off-brand ones for $12.99 here.)

16. Banish that greasy dust that inevitably builds up wherever you cook with a little bit of mineral oil.

Probably the most satisfying thing to clean ever, imho. Here's the how-to.

Looking for more kitchen cleaning ideas? Find them here!

17. If your couch is covered in fabric (and not leather), sprinkle baking soda on it to get rid of odors.


And then use a DIY stain solution to make it look like new again — get the full tutorial here.

18. Quickly dust your lampshades by running a lint roller over them.

Read more about it here.

19. If you don't want to pay to have your area rug professionally cleaned, you can wash it out in the driveway.

Here's the how-to. Honestly, I would do this with rugs that I paid $100 or less for — more expensive rugs I will take to have professionally cleaned. But of course, if you want to give it a go on the rugs you have, try it!

20. Dust your TV screen with a coffee filter.

Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

I do this regularly; this is literally a photo of me doing this. H/T Real Simple.

21. Wipe down all of your game consoles and other electronics with a microfiber cloth, then squirt with compressed air to get all the dust out of the crevices.

Read tutorials on cleaning gaming consoles here and here.

You can find cans of compressed air at your drugstore, grocery store, office supply store, or for $17.98 for a pack of four here.

22. Wash all of the pillows that you sleep on regularly.

This tutorial tells you how, although you can skip the bleach if you prefer — your pillows will still be clean, just not *as* disinfected as they might be otherwise.

23. Run your sheets, mattress cover, and duvet cover through the laundry. Then use this rolling trick to put your duvet cover back on in no time.

No climbing inside the cover required. Here's how.

24. And don't forget to clean your sex toys.

25. Make your own reusable cleaning wipes (or just use regular cleaning wipes) to sanitize all of the ~nonporous~ surfaces.

Like countertops in your bathroom and kitchen, your window sill, door knobs, light switches and light switch covers, cabinet knobs and drawer pulls, coffee table and side table, bedside table... I could keep going. Here's how to make reusable ones, although they probably aren't technically ~disinfecting~ wipes.

26. Use a pillowcase to dust off your grimy fan blades without getting dust all over your rooms.

Watch the how-to video here.

27. Detach all of your floor and ceiling air vents, and run them through the dishwasher.

This will work for the vent cover for your bathroom fan, too; just make sure not to run the heat dry cycle if any of the vents are plastic. Read more about how to make this work well here.

28. Clean your floors with the recommended cleaner and mop.

29. Bleach the grout in your bathroom, kitchen, and all other tile with a clinging gel.

Mop up with hot water, and your floors will be cleaner, too. If you have dark grout, test it in an inconspicuous place first, to make sure the grout's color is steadfast. Get the tutorial here, and find this bleach gel at your local grocery store.

30. Dust all of your blinds thoroughly with a pair of tongs and a couple of microfiber cloths.

When the cloths get too dirty, fold them the other way. Using an all-purpose cleaner or dust-control spray might help get the job done faster, but is completely optional. Learn how to put this together here.

31. Clean your windows (including the windowsills) with a lint-free rag and a window cleaner of your choice.

Here's a DIY cleaner, but I tend to use good old-fashioned Windex.

32. Sanitize and clean your vacuum cleaner BEFORE you vacuum all of the carpets and floors in the house.

Get full instructions and a pretty horrifying story that explains why you need to do this regularly here.

33. And use a seam ripper to get rid of all the twisted hair in your vacuum's brush.

Read more here.

34. Banish carpet stains without excessive scrubbing by using your iron.

A little heat goes a long way. Here's the tutorial.

35. Banish any grossness from your washing machine by running vinegar through it.

This tutorial has you first run bleach, then (after it's rinsed well), run vinegar. If your washer is as grody as the one above, then you might need both of those cycles. If your washer is just a little dingy, though, a cycle of vinegar should do the trick.

36. If you have a front-loading washer, don't forget to clean under the seal.

Learn how to make it easy to clean here.

37. Use toilet cleaner and a toilet brush on your garage trash cans, then rinse well with a hose.

This will also help with that trash odor that slams into your face every time you walk in the garage door. Learn how to do this and get more cleaning ideas at The Family Handyman.

38. Clean your gross steam iron with a treatment of vinegar, and then a treatment of baking soda.

Or, you could do two treatments of vinegar, or two treatments of baking soda: it all depends on what you prefer. Basically, if your iron is very gross, you'll need to go over it twice. Here's the how-to.

39. Wash the outside of your windows (assuming you live in a house with access to a hose).

Here's the full tutorial.

40. If the oil stains on your driveway bug you, get rid of 'em.

Here are several different ways of going about it.

41. Scrub the mold off your basement walls with diluted detergent.

Kelly Lawrence / Demand Media / Via

Here's an in-depth explanation of how to do it, plus the Environmental Protection Agency's guide on dealing with mold like this.

42. If you have patio furniture, pull it out onto your driveway (or somewhere that the runoff won't run into your grass), and give it a good scrub.

If you have mildew on it, you can treat that with a bleach dilution. Here's the how-to.

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