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    Here's How To (Correctly) Clean Your House From Top To Bottom For The New Year

    :: saves now for some point in the future ::

    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. If your garbage disposal's a little smelly, the culprit may be the underside 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

    7. 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.

    8. 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

    9. 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

    10. 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

    11. Pastes work well for scouring that gross, sticky area on top of your kitchen cabinets too: you can mix your own with some baking soda and dish soap, or opt for a pre-mixed version from a small biz that's scented with essential oils.

    12. Then to help keep that area clean so you never have to scrub it again, put down a layer of wax paper or paper bags to catch that greasy dust. Then you can simply swap it out months later when it gets grimy.

    13. 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.

    14. 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.

    15. 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.

    16. 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.

    17. 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

    18. 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

    19. 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.

    20. 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.

    21. 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.

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

    model's hand washing fridge shelf in soapy water

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

    light blue pouch hanging on hook in fridge

    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 iron stains with a spray-on cleaning gel that'll dissolve it right before your eyes.

    26. If you have iron stains in your shower, you might have them in your toilet too (not to mention your laundry). In that case, the same brand's automatic toilet tank tablets and all-purpose iron stain remover powder can work literal miracles.

    a reviewer's toilet before, orange with built-up rust stains, and after, completely clean

    27. For other kinds of stubborn hard water stains (calcium, lime, etc.) make short work of them by gently scrubbing them off with a pumice stone.

    28. If you have to pumice regularly, start dropping in a weekly-ish lemon-scented, citric acid-infused toilet bomb and you might not have to scrape those hard water stains off ever again. The regular dose of citric acid can help cut down on the need to scrape lime scale or calcium buildup with a stone.

    jar full of yellowish fizzy bombs in coin-shapes

    29. Opt for a high-quality, super-functional compact toilet brush to make regular scrubbing a more pleasant experience. I've owned this one for *years* now and can attest to its usefulness and durability: its cover pops open when you pick it up, then closes when you set it down, so you don't have to look at it all the time. Plus the canister's design allows for airflow so it actually dries, instead of sitting in its own germs.

    30. 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.

    31. 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.

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

    33. 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

    34. Transform your grimy bathtub into something that's actually spaworthy with a classic soft cleanser.

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

    35. 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

    36. 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

    37. 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.

    38. 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

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

    40. 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.

    41. 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

    42. 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