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    The Ultimate Guide To Cleaning Your Entire Home

    No shame if you save this now and clean later, tho.

    Graphic header that says the title of the article
    Section divider for 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.

    A sponge 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.

    A hand washing a soapy sink

    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.

    A hand holding the cloth, scouring a sink with a few sprinkles of flour in it

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

    On the left, a white porcelain sink with grey scratches and yellow-brown stains; on the right, the same sink with no scratches or stains

    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.

    A finger lifts up the garbage disposals splash guard, the other hand uses a toothbrush to clean it

    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: The blogger's range hood, with a thin layer of dust. After: the same range hood, clean and shiny

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

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

    Two stove grates: one black with years of greasy buildup, one grey and shiny and looking new

    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.

    An oven with white paste smeared on in several spots

    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.

    Before: the blogger's oil-rubbed-bronze faucet, caked with white hard water stains. After: the same faucet, no water stains in sight

    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.

    A blogger's faucet with a plastic bag filled with yellowish liquid rubber-banded to the faucet end

    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 cleaning tablet 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.

    An infographic: Use-by dates=quality rapidly decreases and safety could be a concern. Best by=quality starts declining but food might still be safe to eat. Sell by=for stores; show when something's 2/3 through its shelf life

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

    A hand washing a fridge shelf in a sink

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

    A small rectangular fabric pouch hanging by a hook on the inside of a fridge

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

    A blogger's photo of her fridge, dried Pledge on one door, the rest shiny and smear-free. There's a towel on the floor to keep the Pledge off the floor

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

    Section divider: 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. 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.

    28. 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.

    A blogger removing the toilet seat, and using the screwdriver to clean under the gap between their toilet tank and seat

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

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

    My shower head, with plastic bag over it, filled with bubbles

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

    A blogger's before and after photos, where the tub first looks grimy, then looks bright white and clean

    32. 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.

    33. Banish any persistent mildew stains 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.

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

    A blogger's towels and shower curtain liner in their washing machine

    35. 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.

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

    A blogger's sink. Before: its faucet stained with lots of gross gunk; During: The sink with paper towels on it; After: the clean, shiny sink!

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

    38. 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.

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

    A blogger's photo of 7 tiles in their bathroom, which each have varying-size circles of clean spots in the middle of them, showing the effectiveness of products

    40. 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.

    An infographic showing how long it takes dozens of different beauty products to expire

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

    The Simple Green and Mrs. Meyers cleaners described below, next to an empty spray bottle
    Graphic header: Bedrooms & Around the House

    42. 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.

    The blogger's dishwasher, loaded with all those things plus screw drivers and wrenches in the silverware basket

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