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Cleaning hacks for 12 things you thought would stay dirty forever

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Be honest: When was the last time you cleaned your computer keyboard, baseboards and ceiling fans? That’s what we thought. We’re also willing to bet you’ve ignored your grimy cookie sheets and the splatter-stained wall behind the stove because you incorrectly assumed there was no way to improve their appearance. 

The truth is that most of the things you thought were impossible to clean actually have simple solutions — in fact, some of them are so simple that you’ll be kicking yourself for neglecting them for so long. These 15 cleaning hacks will revolutionize the way you tidy up, saving you plenty of time and effort. 

 

Makeup brush to clean a keyboard

You can use that Swiffer Duster all you want — your MacBook’s keyboard will still be left with stubborn crumbs and dust particles clinging to the crevices between the keys. Makeup brushes, on the other hand, make the perfect cleaning tool in this scenario since the individual bristles are able to sweep across those small spaces.

 

Cornstarch for grease stains on walls

Even if you manage to get all the grime off of your stovetop, evidence of your messy cooking endeavors may linger on the walls. To remove grease stains, simply sprinkle some cornstarch on a cloth and rub until the stain is gone. This also works for grease and oil stains on light-colored fabric and upholstery.

 

Lint roller to clean inside of purse

Months of putting god-knows-what in your purse takes its toll on your handbag’s interior. Ladies, you know what we’re talking about — suddenly you’re wondering when you went to the beach (“Where did this sand come from?”) and finding bits of makeup, crumbs and unidentified particles when fishing around for your chapstick. For a quick and easy cleanup, use a lint roller to catch all of the loose particles. 

 

Pillowcases to clean ceiling fans

Those months of avoiding the ceiling fan have finally caught up with you: Without frequent cleaning, it’s become covered in a thick layer of dust, and all you can think about is how those particles are going to fly all over the bedroom when you attempt to wipe it down. Grab a pillowcase, cover a blade and wipe — all the gross stuff stays inside. Repeat for each blade, and throw the pillowcase in the wash.

 

Baking soda paste for iron

After plenty of use — especially if you’re using it for purposes other than smoothing out clothes — irons can start to look a little worse for wear. Heather at Bargain Hoot found an easy solution to make it look good as new: Make a paste out of baking soda and water, coat the bottom of the iron with the paste (avoid pressing the paste into the holes), let it sit for 45 minutes and then wipe it off with a washcloth.

 

Dryer sheets to keep baseboards clean

Cleaning baseboards is one of those household chores that sucks up a lot of your time and has to be done far too often to keep them looking decent. Now imagine a cleaning tool that could not only dust your baseboards but also significantly reduce the number of times a year you’re forced to clean them. It exists. And it’s in your laundry room right now. Fabric softener helps reduce static, says Apartment Therapy, so by wiping your baseboards with dryer sheets, you’re both dusting and applying a dust-repelling coating that will prevent more dust and pet hair buildup.

 

Broom & dust cloth for hard-to-reach areas

Good news and bad news for you. Bad news first: You can no longer use the excuse of, “Well, I can’t reach the top of the molding on that window, so I’ll just have to skip it.” Good news: There’s an easy fix, and you can finish cleaning the room knowing you’ve tackled every inch of dust. Place a microfiber cloth or Swiffer duster on top of a broom, using a rubber band to secure it in place. Unless you have extraordinarily high ceilings, you should now be able to dust any dirty spots on the ceiling and moldings. 

 

Window squeegee for pet hair in carpets & rugs

If you have a pet, you’re well aware that your cat or dog’s fur is about as easy to eradicate from your home as it is to completely remove sand from a beach bag. Pet hair becomes trapped deep in carpets and rugs, and a thorough vacuum doesn’t always get the job done as effectively as you might wish. Behold: the squeegee. This handy tool, which is usually used for cleaning windows and mirrors, also pulls up a shocking amount of pet hair when you run it along the carpet.  

 

Sol-U-Mel for making cookie sheets shine

So this one isn’t so much a trick as just using the right product. We admitted defeat to cookie sheets long ago, after endless scrubbing and different cleaning products failed to remove the grime. But then we saw this post by One Good Thing By Jillee. Blog creator Jill tried Sol-U-Mel, made by EcoSense, and couldn’t believe the results. Give your pans one last chance and give it a try!

 

How to get wax out of candle jars

Those cute little candleholders you used to love aren’t ruined after all! No one expects you to sit down and pick off pieces of dried candle wax for an hour. Just boil some water, and pour it in. Whatever wax is stuck in the jar should now be easy to remove. (Warning: If it liquefies, do not pour it down the sink.) If you have wax stuck on the outside of the votive as well, you can instead drop the whole thing into the boiling water.

 

Ammonia for stove burners

Arguably the worst part about cleaning the home is scrubbing the stovetop and all the grimy pieces associated with it. Unless you really want the arm workout, try this tip from The V Spot blog: In a large Ziploc bag, place ¼ cup of ammonia and one of the burners. No need to soak it — the fumes are going to do the job. The V Spot recommends leaving it outside on a cookie sheet overnight, then removing it and wiping it clean with a sponge. No scrubbing necessary! (Note: Do not EVER mix ammonia with any bleach-containing products, as the combination creates toxic fumes.)

 

Soda for removing rust from chrome

Here’s an unnerving fact about soda: It makes for an excellent rust dissolver. Since you won’t be drinking that soda in your fridge now that you’ve discovered this, try it out on some of your rusty chrome! ModFruGal applied cola with wadded-up aluminum foil to get her chrome bar stools looking shiny and squeaky clean. 

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