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    Here's How To Correctly Clean 56 Important Things In Your Home

    :: saves for the unavoidable moment where ketchup gets spilled all over my carpet ::

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    Article header: "The Ultimate Guide To Cleaning Your Entire Home"
    Section header: Kitchen

    1. Steam-clean your microwave: heat a bowl full of water for five minutes, let it sit without opening the door for another five minutes, and any stuck-on grime will easily wipe off with a paper towel or damp sponge.

    2. Then zap your damp or wet sponge in the microwave for one minute to kill 99.9% of the bacteria lurking on it.

    sponge sitting in a microwave

    3. And let your sponge dry out every single night, whether you use a simple binder clip or a stainless sponge holder.

    4. After you're done with the dishes, regularly wash out your sink like you would a dish: using hot water, dish soap, and your sponge.

    hand washing out sink with soap and a sponge

    5. Then shine up your stainless steel sink with a quick dusting of flour and a microfiber cloth — it'll clean out all of those tiny bits of grime that regular washing doesn't.

    hand scrubbing out stainless steel sink with flour

    6. A soft cleanser's the quickest way to polish up a scratched porcelain sink so it looks brand new.

    before: reviewer's scratched up, stained sink and after: the same sink, now polished white and gleaming

    7. If your garbage disposal's a little smelly, the culprit may be the under-side of the splash guard: an old toothbrush will help you knock that stuff down the disposal where it belongs.

    finger pulling up a garbage disposal's splash guard, revealing gunk stuck to the underside

    8. But if that doesn't do the trick, a foaming cleaner can deeply cleanse everything in your disposal, including the underside of the splash guard and the interior side walls.

    9. Wipe up the sticky, dusty buildup that gathers on your range hood and other appliances using a little bit of mineral oil.

    before: dusty white range hood and after: clean hood with no dust in sight

    10. Mix up a paste of water and polish cleanser to easily scrub off cooked-on gunk from your stainless or enameled gas stove.

    before: reviewer's stainless steel cooktop, covered in cooked-on oil splatters and after: the cooktop shiny with no stains in sight

    11. Then make your greasy stove (and grill!) grates look brand new again by letting them sit overnight with just a little bit of ammonia.

    blogger's stove grates in Ziploc plastic bags, with bottle of ammonia sitting behind them

    12. Polish up your glass cooktop in five minutes: drizzle on some Dawn and hydrogen peroxide, sprinkle with baking soda, and quickly scrub in circles with a dish brush.

    13. Or, if you know a basic scrubbing won't touch your stovetop's seemingly impenetrable cooked-on stains, try a cooktop cleaning kit that includes a cleansing polish and a razor scraper.

    14. A homemade paste of dish soap, baking soda, and water is probably all you need to spot-clean baked-on stains inside of your oven.

    15. But if you haven't kept up with regular spot or self-cleaning, a 40-minute spray-on cleaner may be just what your oven needs.

    16. Wrap your hard–water–stained faucets in vinegar-soaked paper towels to dissolve the minerals so they wipe off in one go.

    grid of four: two before of oil-rubbed bronze faucet with white caked-on mineral residue, and two after with all the residue vanished

    17. And banish hard water from the mouth of your faucets by attaching a plastic bag filled with vinegar, using a rubber band. If they're heavily stained, substitute the vinegar for a more intense mineral cleaner.

    kitchen faucet with plastic bag filled with vinegar rubber-banded over the nozzle

    18. Freshen up your wooden cutting boards by scrubbing them down with salt and half a lemon — then season them with a douse of food-grade mineral oil.

    19. Water spotting and funky smells in the dishwasher can be solved by simply running an empty cycle with a cleaner designed exactly for those purposes.

    20. Go through your fridge, freezer, pantry, and any other spots you store food and toss anything that's expired, that you know you won't eat, or that's, y'know, gross and moldy.

    Chart breaking down differences between used-by, best-buy-, and sell-by dates.

    21. Then wash the shelves, drawers, and other removable parts of your fridge like dishes: in hot, soapy water.

    hand washes glass fridge shelf in sink

    22. Stop any lingering refrigerator odors in their tracks using a fabric deodorizer filled with activated charcoal.

    the blue fabric deodorizer pouch hanging in a fridge

    23. Shine up your refrigerator and any other stainless steel appliances with a coat of Pledge.

    The DIY Girl's Fridge, with freezer and one fridge door super shiny, and the other fridge door covered in dried pledge

    24. Drop a couple of fizzing tablets into your coffee pot to break up any seemingly permanent stains that regular scrubbing leaves behind.

    Section header: Bathroom

    25. Tackle even the worst, most egregious rust stains with a spray-on cleaning gel that'll dissolve it right before your eyes.

    26. And make short work of stubborn hard water toilet stains by gently scrubbing them off with a pumice stone.

    27. If you have to pumice regularly, start dropping in a weekly-ish hydrogen peroxide-infused toilet bomb and you might not have to scrape those hard water stains off ever again.

    the five white spherical toilet bombs

    28. As you scrub your toilet, make sure to get the water jets under the rim, too — and if you have hard water, consider soaking them with vinegar overnight to dissolve any buildup.

    29. And don't forget to give the outside a good wipe-down with an all-purpose cleaner or a cleaning wipe. Remember to even remove the toilet seat every once in a while so you can get every last nook and cranny.

    30. Once your toilet bowl's all fresh and clean, a stamp-in gel can actually keep it that way for weeks at a time.

    31. Rubber-band a plastic bag filled with vinegar around your shower head to de-scale and deep-clean it with basically zero effort.

    plastic bag full of clear, bubbly liquid tied on the showerhead in my bathroom with a rubber band

    32. Transform your grimy bathtub into something that's actually spa-worthy with a classic soft cleanser.

    blogger's tub before, looking grey and brown with some dirt, and after, looking bright, shiny white, and clean

    33. Soft cleanser will also erase any trace of mineral and soap scum buildup from your glass shower doors, so they sparkle like they've never seen even a single speck of water.

    Amazon reviewer's glass shower door before, almost opaque with the mineral buildup, and after, no gunk in sight and completely see-through and clear

    34. Banish any persistent mildew from your tub or shower caulking with gel cleaner. The gel stays put on the nasty spots much longer than a spray would so the cleaner can actually do its job.

    thick clear gel sticking to moldy grout; close-up for bottle's cap to show how it lets out only a thin line of gel at a time

    35. Wash your grimy plastic shower curtain liner with a couple of towels to get rid of any mildew or other buildup.

    shower curtain liner in sudsy washing machine with towels

    36. Vacuum the dust from the outside of your exhaust fan with a dusting brush attachment, then pull the cover off to wash it well in soap and water.

    37. Wrap your faucet and sink in vinegar-soaked paper towels so stubborn hard water buildup literally just wipes away.

    blogger's faucet before, looking grimy; then wrapped with vinegar paper towels; then after, looking shiny and clean

    38. Unclog your slow-draining tub or sink using a simple drain clearer.

    39. Skip the heavy-duty elbow grease but still make your grout look brand new: let an automatic scrubbing brush do all the work for you.

    40. Remove years of sticky, built-up hairspray residue from tile by scrubbing your floors down with a paste of Borax and water.

    blogger's tile bathroom floor, testing one cleaner in each of seven tiles. one tile is significantly cleaner than the rest

    41. Sort through your shower and all of your cabinets, and toss every single thing that's past its expiration date, because yes, even bath and beauty products expire.

    chart of expiration dates for every beauty product

    42. Then simply spray down your mirror, sink, and everything else with your favorite all purpose spray cleaner, and give it a good wipe-down.

    containers of the two concentrates listed below next to a reusable spray bottle
    Section header: bedrooms and around the house

    43. Clean all sorts of plastic, glass, and metal from around the house in the dishwasher: from light fixture shades to vent hood filters to AC vent covers.

    all of the mentioned objects in blogger's dishwasher

    44. If you have a rope mop, use the ~slop mop~ method to give your tile or linoleum floors a truly deep wash.

    45. Erase those mysterious (and not so mysterious) carpet and upholstery stains with a nontoxic and odor-free spot remover spray — all you have to do it spritz, gently massage it into the stain a little, then blot everything up with a paper towel.

    reviewer's carpeted stair landing before, covered in a huge ketchup mess, and after, looking like the mess never happened

    46. Capture all the dust lingering on your ceiling fan by wiping the blades down with an old pillowcase.

    hands putting fan blade inside of pillowcase

    47. Rubber-band microfiber cleaning cloths to your kitchen tongs to pick up literally all the dust from your blinds.

    blogger's hand wiping down blinds with tool; close-up of all the dust the tool picked up

    48. Or just get an extendable microfiber duster set that makes it easy to follow the cardinal rule of cleaning — start at the top, and work your way down to the bottom, so you don't vacuum first then end up with dust on the floor from your fan.

    49. Strip your bed and wash all your bedding, then freshen your mattress with a quick sprinkle of baking soda and a good vacuuming.

    50. Launder your pillows in hot water to wash out all the sweat, skin cells, drool, and other gross things lurking where you rest your head every night.

    blogger's two pillows in washing machine

    51. Knock out that sour washer smell by running a cleaning tablet through it once a month.

    52. Besides pulling the lint off your dryer's screen after every load, regularly get the lint out of the spot where the screen sits using your vacuum or a lint brush.

    53. Set-in mattress stains are no joke, but you can make 'em look better by using a carpet stain remover and a carpet washer.

    reviewer's mattress before, with a big brown stain on one side, and after, with the stain significantly faded so you can barely see it

    54. Use any old squeegee and some water in a spray bottle to easily clean pet hair off your sofa, furniture, and basically anything that's upholstered with fabric.

    blogger's upholstered car seat with spray bottle, squeegee, and clumps of pet hair that have been lifted out of the fabric

    55. Or try an infinitely reusable pet hair roller to pick up gobs of hair all at once.

    56. And grab a squeegee broom to sweep up the hair embedded in your carpet and scattered over your hardwood or tile floor.

    You, walking around your home impressed with how incredibly clean it is now: