3 ‘easy’ cleaning tips put to the test


baking soda

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Whether you’re searching online for good cleaning tips, or you come across some crazy-looking ideas on Pinterest, you’re sure to wonder, “Does that really work?” Well, we wondered the same thing, so we decided to put a few online cleaning tips to the test. Here are three with photographic evidence, plus a few more that, thankfully, turned out to work really well.


1. Cleaning stainless steel

I was surprised when I read on MarthaStewart.com that the best trick for cleaning your shiny appliances was none other than Windex. (And I immediately thought of that ever-enduring quote from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” that says Windex cures all ailments!) As you can see in these photos of my refrigerator, glass cleaner quickly removed all signs of fingerprints and smudges.

Grade: A


But then I also read that cream of tartar and water, formed to create a paste, also does the trick. It cleaned the front of my microwave with a little more effort than the glass cleaner as it seems susceptible to streaking, but it’s a great alternative if you don’t have glass cleaner on hand. (MotherNatureNetwork.com recommends this as an eco-friendly alternative and suggests mixing a little white vinegar with the cream of tartar and water.)

Grade: B+.



2. De-gunk baking sheets

As you can see from the “before” photo, I have a toaster oven pan that was in sad, sad shape. Lately, I’ve just been covering it with foil if I decide to use it at all. But when I read on Lifehacker.com that I could use hydrogen peroxide with baking soda to lift off all that grime, I was excited to try it! Sadly, it really didn’t work. Lifehacker suggests leaving the solution on for a few hours … I didn’t have the patience. I applied the paste and let it sit for about 30 minutes, then tried to scrub with the rough side of a sponge. As you can see, it’s in better shape, but not completely shiny and clean as promised.

Grade: B-



3. Shine up the glass stovetop

I’ve actually used this tip a couple of times and I love it because it involves very little scrubbing. According to CleanMySpace.com, simply cover the stovetop with a thin coating of baking soda, place a hot, soapy towel on top and let it sit for 15 minutes or more. When you remove the towel, swirl it around to use the baking soda as a gentle scrub. Then wipe the stovetop with a paper towel dampened in white vinegar (this should remove the streaks), followed by a paper towel damp with water. You may need to buff it dry with a clean kitchen towel, but it should be good to go!

Grade: A



Here are a few more tips we’ve seen online that actually do work: