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    33 Ways To Clean Things You're Not Really Sure How To Clean

    Cleaning conundrums, solved.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI β€” prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Erase mystery stains from your Uggs with a specialty four-piece cleaning kit made specifically for their sheepskin.

    It comes with a cleaner and conditioner, a freshener, a protector, and a two-sided brush for applying. A few reviewers recommend following along with the official YouTube tutorial for the best results!

    Promising review: "I thought my Uggs were ruined after I spilled hot grease on them and then tried to fix it with a ridiculous baby powder YouTube tutorial (bad idea.) I used this on two pairs of Uggs that were in pretty bad shape. I watched a YouTube video and followed directions to a T, and both pairs of my boots look almost brand new! Just follow the directions VERY closely. I used both the cleaner and the protectant on two pairs, and there is probably enough left over to do it again on two more pairs. Definitely worth the money!" β€”Diane L. Scott

    Get it on Amazon for $17.30.

    2. And clean up all kinds of other suede and nubuck shoes, coats, and bags with a multi-functional brush that even diminishes water stains, no spray or other cleaner required.

    You can totally use it with another cleaner or spray if you want, but it seems like reviewers have success without! It just takes some elbow grease.

    Promising review: "This little brush works incredibly well! I was skeptical at first, because the shoes I need to fix were very damaged β€” as you can see in the photos, they are nude suede and have a lot of watermarks and dirt. I didn't think these shoes were salvageable, but this brush changed my mind. It's not perfect and you can still see where the watermark like is if you really really try, but overall, the shoes look 95% better and only took me about 10 minutes to fix." β€”Alexa

    Get it on Amazon for $6.99.

    3. Rub a paste of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and water over your white fabric shoes to turn them bright white again.

    Nifty / BuzzFeed

    After rubbing on the paste, you just set 'em in bright sunlight to dry. Here's Nifty's full how-to.

    4. And if your soles are yellowed from age, try applying a shoe whitener to make them look fresh and new.

    It's basically a forgiving white paint, so it works best for (cleaned) leather, pleather, and rubber. If your shoes are fabric, try the hydrogen peroxide method above.

    Promising review: "This stuff works great! I used it on a old pair of Adidas shell toes on which the rubber had gotten quite yellow. I used three coats and now they look as good as now! I would definitely recommend!" β€”Amazon Customer

    Get a bottle on Amazon for $6.69.

    5. Pick up all kinds of embedded dirt and earwax from the inside of your Airpods or other earbuds by repurposing mounting putty.

    H/T two Reddit threads, plus a handful of reviewers for this putty. First do as Apple suggests and use a cotton swab and/or clean, soft-bristled brush to nix what gunk you can, but when/if that leaves stuff behind, try *gently* pressing on a small amount of this putty, then carefully pulling it upward and off. Gentleness is key here! You don't want to damage them at all, or get putty stuck inside of 'em.

    Promising review: "Purchased this product to clean earwax from my Apple AirPods, works perfectly, very happy." β€”Steve

    Get enough to clean your earbuds many times over on Amazon for $4.12.

    6. Or opt for a dual-sided electronics cleaning brush with a pointed silicone tip that can help push out any embedded gunk from your Airpods or other earbuds.

    Of course, it can also work wonders for cameras, keyboards, and so much more. The other end has a soft-bristled brush.

    Promising review: "Bought this to clean my increasingly nasty Apple AirPods charging case, and it did the trick. There are a lot of tiny creases, tight spots, and gunk traps under the hinges and this did a really good job with some cleaning solution to break the grime away and bring it back to the clean white case. The brush part was great and getting magnetic dust crap away from it, the rubber blade was great for cleaning the cracks." β€”Adam

    Get it on Amazon for $5.99.

    7. Spritz a half-rubbing alcohol, half-bottled water solution on a soft microfiber cloth to sanitize and de-smear your phone.

    Seriously, our phones get grossly, unbelievably germy. Cleaning wipes can damage the protective coatings on your screen, so stick with diluted alcohol! And if you don't have a spare one around, get a pack of twelve small microfiber cloths from Walmart for $5.56.

    For more, check out Here's How To Actually Clean Your Disgusting Phone.

    8. Scrub out a cast iron pan using salt and hot water (I sometimes also add a paper towel in the mix).


    Completely dry it out by heating it briefly over the stove again, then add a thin layer of oil to protect it until the next time you pull it out to cook.


    9. A regular bar of soap is all you need to extract excess makeup β€” not to mention bacteria β€” from your Beauty Blender or other makeup sponge.

    Macey J. Foronda and Charlotte Gomez for BuzzFeed, Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

    In our test, the regular bar of soap was actually just barely out-performed by the Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser β€” so that definitely works, too. In another test, we found that washing a makeup sponge in hot, soapy water also takes care of most of the bacteria. Just remember to replace your makeup sponge when it starts to fall apart!

    Get 14 bars of Dove soap for $13.99 and the solid cleanser for $13.60, both on Amazon.

    10. Check your dishwasher's filter for any food or mineral blockage weekly to remove it ASAP, then run the washer on hot with some vinegar in the bottom to help dissolve anything that's left.

    This can be especially helpful if you know you have hard water. From Clean Mama.

    11. But if vinegar doesn't quite cut it, rely on a trusty standby cleaning tablet even the hardest water doesn't stand a chance against.

    Promising review: "Started getting white streaks all over my dishes. That never happened before. Thought it was my detergent and changed it, but no difference. Clean dishes with this weird white film on them. Wash them by hand, then put them back in the dishwasher, and white film again! Then I did an internet search to figure out what was going on (a dishwasher is an incredibly simple piece of machinery.) Found this! Bought it. Used it. Dishes are clean again!" β€”Carey Holzman

    Get a pack of six on Amazon for $5.99.

    12. And if your dishwasher's starting to smell bad or leaving residue on your dishes, consult your manual to figure out how to give it a ~deep clean~.

    Home Repair Tutor shows how they clean their dishwasher, but your exact steps will vary depending on your model.

    13. Run a few cups of white vinegar through your humidifier (plug it in outside, so you don't have to smell it), then rinse it out, scrub any areas you can reach that are still gunky, and run some water through (outside, again).

    Check your humidifier's manual before getting started, of course; it may have more specific directions. But if it doesn't, I'd say running vinegar through it is a great place to start. From Ask Anna.

    14. Wash your Keurig K-cup holder in regular old soap and water, then descale the rest of the machine by filling it 3/4 of the way with white vinegar, and running that through.

    Then fill the tank all the way with water, and run it all through to rinse. From Freebie Finding Mom.

    15. Of course, white vinegar works to clean and de-scale the inside of your drip coffee maker, too.

    Joe Lingeman /

    Get the full tutorial on The Kitchn.

    16. Effortlessly wipe away years of baked-on grease, sugar, and other mystery crud with a fume-free oven cleaner.

    Multiple reviewers leave it overnight, although supposedly all you actually have to wait is 40 minutes. And you don't even have to let your oven get that gross: it totally works for spot-cleaning, too!

    Promising review: "Imagine a family of four not cleaning an oven for two years. With so so much burnt on grease and debris that a scouring pad didn't touch it, the glass was so dirty that you could tell if the light was on. It was disgusting. So one evening I let the oven cool then let loose with the Easy-Off. I left it for 24 hours and was dreading cleaning it the following evening after work. I took a damp cloth and just wiped it clean β€” it removed everything. Couldn't believe it. Now my oven is more sparkly than ever." β€”MarkJ

    Get it on Amazon for $4.97.

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

    Promising review: "I have been using bleach to clean my machine for some time, but decided to give this a try a few months ago. My very first clean was delightful: it cleaned my machine and eliminated the nasty smell that always transferred to my clothes thanks to a build up of mold I didn't even know about. Every month now, I toss a tablet into the drum and let it work its magic. Now, my machine is cleaner than ever, and my clothes always smell wonderfully fresh." β€”Kelli Crawford

    Get a six-months supply on Amazon for $11.99.

    18. 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.,

    From Today's Homeowner.

    Promising review: "Saw lint in bottom of the lent vent when I removed the screen but couldn't get to it. This guy does the trick. Love that the brush is long, perfect to get down deep and pull out years of lint. At first glance I didn't think this brush would fit into the lint trap but the bristles are quite flexible and the brush slipped right in. This is also great for cleaning under the refrigerator." β€”budgetshopper

    Get the brush on Amazon for $11.04.

    19. And push out all the built-up lint in your dryer's duct using a specialty brush that (optionally) attaches to your drill. It just might make your clothes dry faster!

    You can always hire a pro for this, but it's a pretty simple DIY. If you happen to own a plumbing snake already, you can use that with this tutorial. Or opt for a specialty brush and pole set that works with your drill instead:

    Promising review: "First, let me admit: I didn't think I needed this tool at all, but when the "Auto-Dry" function on our dryer started delivering me damp clothes on a regular basis, I reluctantly agreed to clean out the vent. It didn't look clogged from the outside, and seemed to be blowing plenty of air there, so I was skeptical but I ultimately disgusted to see all the gunk this tool pushed through. Whether you're paranoid about burning the house down, or you just have a dryer that isn't working so great anymore, you need to get the lint out of the duct!" β€”Lego Girl

    Get it on Amazon (the brush + 12 feet worth of rods to extend it) for $20.48.

    20. Keep finished leather shoes, furniture, and bags looking sharp using a one-step cleaning and conditioning spray.

    Arrowcatcher / Walmart, Walmart

    Promising review: "I first tried this on some cowboy boots that were pretty marked up. It was easy to apply and made them look just like new, at least from more than a foot away. A little bit seems to go a long way. Especially if you're using it mainly for boots and shoes, a bottle will last a long time. It's an inexpensive easy way to make leather footwear look great." β€”Arrowcatcher

    Get a pack of two bottles from Walmart for $4.12.

    21. If Legos ever get a little icky, corral 'em in a mesh bag and toss them in the washer on hot.

    From Gettin' By.

    Get a set of three mesh wash bags from Walmart for $3.

    22. Boil water and a tablespoon of cream of tartar to easily scrape out all the gunk from the bottom (and sides!) of a grossly burned pan.

    Nifty / BuzzFeed

    You might have to repeat twice, and scrub a little with your sponge + more cream of tartar, but it'll work! Get the full tutorial from BuzzFeed Nifty.

    23. Coax the stains out of your microfiber couch with alcohol, distilled water, a new sponge, and a dish brush you use just for that purpose.

    Spray the alcohol on one stain at a time, scrub each one with the sponge, then once the alcohol's dry brush the fibers out with the dish brush. Follow up with a "rinse": spray water instead of alcohol, scrubbing what remains of each stain with the sponge again. From Lemons, Lavender and Laundry.

    24. Make your stainless utterly spotless literally in seconds with stainless steel cleaning wipes.

    Some reviewers mention going over after the wipes with a microfiber cloth or paper towel to get rid of a few streaks, but that doesn't mean they love them any less.

    Promising review: "If it was possible to give 10 stars, this product's definitely worth the 10 stars. My friend came over and said, 'what in the world did you clean your refrigerator with because it looks brand new?!' Just wipe down and let it sink in, then wipe over with a clean soft towel for a polished, shiny look! IT IS MARVELOUS! I SAY MARVELOUS! Don't bother with sprays!" β€”Roie

    Get two packages (thirty wipes total) on Amazon for $13.98.

    25. Some silver polishing wipes will transform your tarnished silver jewelry, heirlooms, and flea-market finds into gleaming masterpieces.

    Promising review: "Have tried a lot of silver polish through the years, but these wipes are a great improvement over all of them and do a super job. I used one cloth on an almost totally silver necklace, parts of three other necklaces, a Paul Revere bowl that looks better than ever, and three other silver or silver plated dishes. Hopefully, the moisture will keep on the other cloths in the jar and continue to do a great job." β€”Amazon Customer

    Get a jar of 20 wipes on Amazon for $12.98.

    26. Dunk your greasy stove vent-hood filter in a pot of boiling water and baking soda to melt off the greasy buildup in about one minute.

    I'd say it's as easy as pie, but in my experience pie crust is never that easy! Bring the water to a boil first, then gradually add the baking soda a little a time (it'll fizz up!) until you feel like you have enough in there. From The Everyday Cinderella.

    27. Spot-clean sweat, blood, urine, and other people-and-pet stains using an enzyme cleaner β€” whether the stains are on your mattress, furniture, or carpet.

    WikiHow and Apartment Therapy both have in-depth tutorials that'll help you clean your mattress. You have to be patient and persistent with it, though!

    Get a 32oz spray bottle of enzyme cleaner on Amazon for $19.97.

    Promising review: "Worked better than we even anticipated. We found all the trouble areas and doused them liberally with the product. Did as it says on the label: allowed it to dry overnight and vacuumed the area next day. There is absolutely no smell whatsoever. I am so impressed with this product." β€”Greg Lindeman

    28. And zap stubborn dirt, oil, food, makeup, and all kinds of non-pet and people stains with a powerful spot remover spray.,

    You can definitely always try dish soap and water first, of course! But for the most persistent or impossible stains (like when my friend spilled an entire smoothie on their carpet), pretty much nothing's better than this. You simply spray, gently rub it in with your fingers, then dab it and the stain up into a cleaning cloth or paper towel.

    Promising review: "I had terrible rust and oil stains all over the seats of my car when I bought it. I took it to the dealership to see if they could get it out and they flat out told me no, so I gave up and lived with it for almost five years. I tried this after it was recommended by a friend. I sprayed it on and literally watched the stain run right off my seat. It was amazing! I thought I was going to have to pay hundreds of dollars to replace the seats in my car because nothing else would work. This stuff really is awesome!" β€”Brittany

    Get it on Amazon for $11.67.

    29. Run all your air vents through the dishwasher and vacuum your intake vent to ditch all that dusty buildup at once.,

    If the intake's still dusty, though, you might want to unscrew it and wipe it down with a damp cloth.

    From Design Dazzle and It Happens in a Blink.

    30. 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.

    31. But if that doesn't do the trick, try a disposal cleaner that'll foam up to get the gunk out of every last nook and cranny.

    Promising review: "It seems counterintuitive to put a little packet down your garbage disposal to clean it, but this does actually seem to work, at least for getting out weird smells that baking soda and vinegar don't really touch. I scrub the sink down first, especially around the garbage disposal area, rinse it down, and then just follow the directions on the package." β€”KS

    FYI, some reviewers talk about it unclogging their disposal, but this will NOT do that β€” it just cleans it, and helps get rid of the smell!

    Get it on Amazon for $5.86.

    32. Banish the growing mildew buildup in your bathtub's caulk by letting cotton coil and bleach sit for a little bit.

    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

    Wearing rubber gloves, soak the cotton coil in bleach, then run it along the mildew. Let sit overnight (or just for a few hours), running the fan and opening any windows to ventilate. Remove and toss the coil, then rinse! Get the full how-to from This Blessed Life.

    You can find cotton coil at specialty beauty supply store, or get a 40-foot roll on Amazon for $13.96.

    33. Or opt for a mold and mildew remover made from a no-odor gel that sticks and stays to your grout and caulking.,

    Either way works! The gel serves the same purpose as the coil: keeping the bleach on the caulk for longer.

    Promising review: "Wow! We've had issues for a few years with the caulking behind the handle of our kitchen faucet turning black from mildew. We've scrubbed with what seems like a million different products, with no luck. We were actually just talking about ripping out the caulking and doing a total replacement. But, my husband saw this online the other day and decided to order it. Almost immediately when he applied it, you could see it was starting to work. We left it on overnight and the black is COMPLETELY GONE! It's incredible. 1000% worth the (small) investment." β€”Nicole D.

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

    Everyone else, when they see how effortlessly clean everything in your life is:

    Disney /

    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Make your life even tidier. Check out some of the best home organization products on Amazon, the best all-natural cleaning products for your home, the best bathroom cleaning products, organization products perfect for neat freaks, and, of course, our ultimate guide to cleaning every single room in your house.

    Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!


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