No one enjoys scrubbing away at grime until their arms get tired — so when it comes to cleaning, we love a good trick that simplifies the chore a little. Thankfully, Pinterest had many. Use the following tips so you can spend less time scrubbing and more time doing fun things in your spotless home.
1. How to: Clean your shower head
Frugally Sustainable provided us with a simple DIY cleaner to eliminate those gross hard-water deposits on shower heads: Mix 1/3 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar in a plastic bag over the sink. (Warning: You should pour in the vinegar slowly. There’s an “explosive” foaming reaction that happens when you combine the two ingredients.) Place the bag over the shower head, submerging the shower head in the baking soda/vinegar solution, and secure it in place with a twist tie. Let it soak in the solution overnight or for at least two to three hours. Then remove the bag and wipe off the shower head.
2. How to: Remove dings from wooden furniture
ApartmentTherapy.com showed us that all we need is a walnut to fix this problem. Rub the walnut on bumped or scraped areas of wooden furniture. The area should darken, covering up the scratch.
3. How to: Clean the dishwasher
We’ve tried running the dishwasher through a cycle with no dishes in it — it just doesn’t take care of all the spots. Here’s what does work (via OneGoodThingByJillee.com): First, pull out the bottom rack and check out the drain area, pulling out any hard chunks that could plug the drain, cause damage to the pump or scratch the dishes. Next, place a dishwasher-safe cup (like a measuring cup) filled with plain white vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher. Using the hottest water available, run the dishwasher through a cycle. The vinegar will help wash away the loose, greasy grime. Plus, it sanitizes and helps remove the musty odor. Last step: Sprinkle a cupful of baking soda around the bottom of the tub and run it through a short but complete cycle using the hottest water. This will help freshen the smell of the dishwasher and remove any stains.
4. How to: Remove grease stains from clothes
Grease stains can hang around even after you’ve put your clothes through the wash — thankfully, Lifehacker has a solution. Next time you clumsily spill aioli on your favorite shirt, grab a stick of chalk and rub the spot to absorb the grease. It should easily disappear in the wash afterward. We know what you’re thinking: Where the hell am I going to get a piece of chalk when I’m eating tacos at my local Mexican restaurant? Yes, you will have to carry around a piece of chalk all the time — but it’s simple enough to hide it in a purse pocket. Just make sure you act quickly when the food hits your shirt — once the stain sets, chalk can’t help you.
5. How to: Get rid of armpit stains
One of the downsides to white T-shirts: nasty-looking armpit stains. Jill from OneGoodThingByJillee.com had even used bleach on her sons’ stained shirts to no avail. The only thing that worked was this miracle spot remover: 1 teaspoon of Dawn, 3 to 4 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide and 2 tablespoons of baking soda, mixed together. Scrub the mixture into the stains, let it sit for an hour or so and then throw it in the wash like usual, and you’ll have an all-white shirt once again. This trick also works on grease stains and colored clothing.
6. How to: Clear up cloudy car headlights
No need to buy expensive cleaner. Apply some of your toothpaste to a dry rag, and scrub away. Make sure it’s the paste kind rather than gel.
7. How to: Clean the microwave
Cleaning the microwave can be a nightmare if you’ve procrastinated long enough. Here’s an easy fix from Crafty Little Gnome: Fill a microwave-safe bowl with water, and add a dash of vinegar. Place it inside, and turn the microwave on for five minutes. The steam will soften up all the gunk, and the vinegar will help absorb the smells. Use oven mitts to take the bowl out (it’s going to be hot!), and wipe down the walls with a damp cloth. Everything should come off easily.
8. How to: Use cream of tartar to clean everything
Well, not everything. But Razor Family Farms showed us that cream of tartar can be a handy tool when it comes to discolored aluminum pans; rusty drains; and porcelain surfaces, like the sink and tub. Rub a little cream of tartar on sinks and tubs to eliminate stains, and mix a few tablespoons of it with hot water or hydrogen peroxide to clean aluminum pans or rusty drains.
9. How to: Clean the shower faucet
It doesn’t get any easier than this trick from BroccoliCupcake.com! Cut a lemon in half, and use one of the halves to rub the fixture clean. Rinse, and you have a shiny shower faucet free of hard-water stains!
10. How to: Clean the toilet bowl
Simply add a cup of baking soda to the toilet, let it sit for an hour and then flush. You’re left with a clean, odorless commode. Thanks to Lifehackery.com for this one!
11. How to: Remove scratches from leather
It sounds crazy, but Mash-up Chic showed us that rubbing your leather couch with some olive oil and a rag in a circular motion will eliminate those unsightly scratches left by your mischievous cat (or kid). Afterward, just buff it up with a paper towel, and you have a new-looking couch and no oily residue.