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Updated on Mar 13, 2020. Posted on Mar 13, 2019

42 Ways To Make Your Entire Home Cleaner Than You Ever Thought Possible

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1. Microwave your damp or wet kitchen sponge for one minute to kill 99.9% of the bacteria lurking on it and potentially prolong its life.

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That's according to the USDA. And if you heard that microwaving doesn't help, well — all those news reports back in 2017 were inaccurate. Although if your sponge is smelly, it's past time to swap it out for a new one!

2. And microwave a bowl of water + lemons for three to five minutes — then let sit for another five minutes to let everything steam — and you'll be able to wipe off every single dried-on food bit with one swipe of a paper towel.

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It works the same with water + vinegar, or even just plain water! I do this regularly and have been doing it for years, and have yet to find a microwave where it doesn't work.

3. Dab some mineral oil on a cloth or paper towel to instantly wipe off the buildup of sticky dust that always seems to gather on your range hood and the back of your stove.

onegoodthingbyjillee.com

If you don't like the oily residue, a little soap and water will pick it up in no time. (Olive oil also works here, but if you go that route, definitely wash it off; otherwise it might go rancid and smell bad.) This also works for that same stubborn dust on the top of your cabinets, or on any objects you have displayed there! From One Good Thing by Jillee.

4. Shine up a dingy cooktop using just the smallest bit of elbow grease: drizzle on dish soap and hydrogen peroxide, sprinkle on some baking soda, then grab your dish brush to quickly scrub in circles.

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Then just wipe clean! It will only take about five minutes. This works well for gas stoves too, if you remove the burner grates first. Goodbye, gunk! From My Thirty Spot.

5. Seal your greasy stove grates in with a bit of ammonia to make years of gross build-up disappear literally overnight.

thevspotblog.com

Just put 'em in a big plastic bag with a little bit of ammonia at night, go to sleep, then wake up the next morning for the big reveal. Of course, be safe — don't mix ammonia with any other cleaners, and definitely read the full tutorial on The V Spot before you do it!

6. Soak a greasy vent hood filter in borax and water for fifteen minutes to make it look basically brand new.

7. Wrap encrusted sinks and sprayers with vinegar-soaked paper towels to dissolve any mineral buildup.

8. Spot clean cooked-on gunk in your oven by scrubbing with a homemade paste of dish soap, baking soda, and water.

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The dish soap cuts through the grease while the baking soda helps you scrub up every last bit with less effort. From Ask Anna Moseley.

9. Sort through your fridge, freezer, and pantry to toss everything that's expired, moldy, or otherwise past its prime.

Svetl / Getty Images

Even most spices lose their potency and flavor after two or three years. Here are a bunch of other surprising things that expire.

10. Wipe down your fridge shelves and drawers with a 1:1 vinegar and water solution (or your favorite all-purpose cleaner), then wash any mysteriously sticky ones in the sink, just like you would a dish.

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That's with hot soap and water, of course. Or if they happen to fit in the dishwasher, wash 'em there!

11. Shine up your stainless steel appliances with a coat of wood dusting spray to erase (and prevent!) those pesky fingerprints and smudges.

thediygirl.com

Just remember to lay a towel down before you spray it, or the residue will make your tile floor slippery! From The DIY Girl, who says after you do it once, it just takes minor touch-ups once a week.

12. Simmer water and cream of tartar to easily scrub away those impossible burnt-on bits from your favorite pots and pans.

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Get the full tutorial to save your scorched pans from Nifty.

13. Descale and clean your coffee maker so it keeps brewing delicious pick-me-ups: just run it with vinegar instead of water.

thefrugalgirls.com, thefrugalgirls.com

And skip adding any coffee grounds or pods, of course. From The Frugal Girls, who have tutorials for both Keurigs and coffee makers (although you might also want to check out Keurig's official descaling instructions).

14. Lift the flaps of your garbage disposal to brush off all the lingering bits of food and grease — the likely culprits behind its persistent stink.

15. Rinse out your dishwasher's filter in the sink, then run an empty, hot cycle with just baking soda. This will keep everything running smoothly and make sure your dishes always get as clean as they can be.

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Refer to your dishwasher's manual to get all the specifics for your particular model, of course! From Blue i Style.

16. And combat those hard water stains you find on pretty much every load of dishes by adding a cup full of vinegar to the top rack.

Joe Lingeman / Apartment Therapy

Read more on Apartment Therapy.

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17. Rubber-band a plastic bag filled with vinegar around your shower head to banish hard water and just generally deep-clean it.

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I tested this cleaning hack and do it all the time, so yes, it actually works! Just wait for an hour or two before removing, or even let it go overnight.

You can also optionally add baking soda to get the fizzing bubbles — the reaction might help break up the residue, but also just leaves water and a little salt behind. I've had it work both ways, so do what feels right to you!

18. The same trick works to de-scale your faucets — and if you have particularly hard water, you may even want to use some harsher chemicals.

19. Wash your moldy vinyl shower curtain liner in your washing machine with a couple of towels, and it'll come out looking as good as new.

Kontrastdesign / Getty Images

The Farmer's Almanac recommends using laundry detergent and 1/2 cup of baking soda; while Chatfield Court uses detergent and a little bit of bleach.

While you're at it, wash your shower curtain separately according to its directions, especially if it has any mold on it. Same goes with your bath mats!

20. Just like you did in the kitchen, go through your bathroom cabinets and throw away (/recycle!) all the makeup, soap, and other beauty products that are expired or that you don't use anymore.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Because yes, unfortunately makeup and beauty products do eventually either lose their potency or grow too much bacteria. Most products will also have a little icon on the bottle that says something like "24M" or "36M" — that's the number of months it's good to use after you open it.

(If you're on your phone, you can see the full chart here.)

21. Mix dish soap and warm vinegar together in a spray bottle for a quick bathtub cleaner that conquers all kinds of dirt and soap scum buildup.

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Just use equal parts of each! Get the full tutorial from Nifty.

22. And lay bleach-soaked cotton coil in your tub to vanquish the moldy caulk that no amount of cleaner or scrubbing seems to touch.

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Just be careful to turn on the fan and open any windows for ventilation, wear gloves, and avoid mixing the bleach with any other cleaners. I tested this several years ago, and it kept the caulk mildew-free for over a year. Get the tutorial from This Blessed Life.

You could also totally re-caulk your shower instead, of course, if that's more up your alley.

23. Smear some hydrogen peroxide and baking soda paste over your dingy grout, go do something else for a bit (like tackle other cleaning tasks), then wipe it up with a gentle scrub to reveal flawlessly clean lines.

atthepicketfence.com

And when I say "a gentle scrub", I mean do make a bit of an effort to get at those grout lines. Also this may work best with white grout, because the peroxide's going to have a bleaching effect, but even if your grout's tinted, it will definitely be a little cleaner. From At The Picket Fence.

24. During your regular toilet scrub, don't forget to reach all the way under to get the siphon jets, 'cause it gets gross under there, too!

25. And take off the toilet seat so you can really clean every last square inch.

A Real Life Housewife for Ask Anna / askannamoseley.com

A flathead screwdriver helps you get into tight spots, so you don't let any grime escape! This totally works whether you opt for a disinfectant wipe or a cleaning cloth and your favorite all-purpose cleaner. From Ask Anna Moseley.

26. Bust through cloudy hard water buildup on shower doors by coating them with glass cooktop cleaner.

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Then rinse it off for the big reveal! From First Home Love Life.

27. And the hard water and rust stains in your toilet are no match for a pumice stone.

28. Alcohol + vinegar + water will shine up your windows, mirrors, glass, and chrome, and leave your bathroom smelling like, well...nothing.

Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

I use this formula all the time (I discovered it when I tested Pinterest cleaning hacks), and it really does work like a charm. I admit it's smelly when you're using it, but when you come back to your bathroom later, it will noticeably lack any smell — a good thing in my book. I usually use this with a cotton or microfiber cleaning cloth, but if you want to avoid fuzzies, a wadded up piece of newspaper works just as well.

29. Blast away dust build-up on your bathroom fan with canned air; turn the fan on first, and it'll suck up the dust to blow it all outside, instead of into your bathroom.

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From Family Handyman. You can also try taking it apart and more thoroughly vacuuming it (Practically Functional has a how-to), but this is probably easier!

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30. Ensnare the dust built up on your ceiling fan by putting a (dirty!) pillowcase over each blade, then sliding it off kind of slowly.

homemakerchic.com

The dust will fall into the pillowcase, instead of landing all over the bed or couch that's under the fan. Then just toss that case in the washer! From Home Maker Chic.

31. And generally dust and/or vacuum from top to bottom, so you don't finish dusting your doorframe only to realize that some of the debris settled on the carpet you *just* finished vacuuming.

Kzenon / Getty Images

Also, using microfiber cloths + dusting sprays can also help you actually pick up the dust, then wash it away in the laundry. Feather dusters may be fun, but they just spread the dust around, instead of letting you actually get rid of it.

32. Secure microfiber cleaning cloths to a pair of tongs, and you have pretty much the fastest way to dust a bunch of blinds.

onecrazyhouse.com

To make it even more effective, you could spritz on a little dusting spray. From One Crazy House.

33. Grab a coffee filter to dust off your TV without leaving fuzz or residue behind.

Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

Works like a charm! I know because that's me, dusting my TV.

34. Run all your air vents through the dishwasher to rinse off more dust than the vacuum could ever hope to pick up.

designdazzle.com

Well, this will at least get the dust on the front *and* the back, which is more than the vacuum would do if you just ran it over the vent fronts. From Design Dazzle.

35. And quickly dust all your lampshades with a simple lint roller.

36. Give your tile floors a truly deep wash using the ~slop mop~ method — it actually picks up dirt and grime, instead of just spreading it around.

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Basically, you use a saturated mop to get your floors wet, then squeeze out your mop, use it to soak up the dirty water (in no more than three swoops at a time), and squeeze that dirty water back into your bucket. Creekline House has the full tutorial.

37. Rip through all the twisted hair on your vacuum's beater brush with a simple seam ripper.

rehanadujour.com

Struggles of having long hair, made easier. From Rehana Du Jour.

38. Rescue your pet hair-plastered furniture and rugs: spritz on a little water, then scrape it into clumps with a squeegee.

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Then vacuum up all the clumps. From CareaBearaSara.

Bonus: Here are even more ways to clean up after your pets!

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39. Sprinkle baking soda on your couch and mattress, then let set for about an hour to help absorb any odors.

Popsugar

This only really works for fabric-upholstered couches, not so much leather. From Popsugar.

40. And enlist the combined powers of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to completely remove any mattress stains.

apieceofrainbow.com

You need two spray bottles for this: one filled with a clear dish soap + water dilution, the other filled with hydrogen peroxide + water. After coating the mattress in these sprays, you cover it with a thin layer of baking soda and let it dry overnight. A Piece of Rainbow has the full how-to.

41. Launder your pillows in the washing machine so you're not sleeping on all the sweat, drool, skin cells, and other gross things that build up night after night.

thehappierhomemaker.com

The secret: two pillows facing each other in the washer means the load stays balanced. From The Happier Homemaker.

42. Vanish some stubborn carpet stains with vinegar + dish soap + water — and the steam setting on your iron.

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Wet the cloth with the solution, lay it over the stain, then press the iron over the cloth for a second or two. (If you have synthetic carpet, definitely use the lower heat settings on your iron, and test in an inconspicuous area first to make sure the heat doesn't melt the fibers.) From Creekline House.

Ready to get to cleaning? Let's do it!

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