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Turn your cleaning nightmares into a dream clean home with these tips and tricks.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Forget monsters in the closet. Your monsters are in the kitchen, the bathroom, the playroom — all over your house. And they’re not just scary; they’re dirty, dusty and disorganized. They’re your cleaning nightmares.
Everyone has one or two dreaded cleaning tasks. Maybe the mess is too big, you don’t know how to clean it or you don’t have the right tools. Putting off those chores, however, can make them even harder to deal with in the long run.
Turn your cleaning nightmares into a dream clean home with these tips and tricks to make cleaning easier and simpler.
Everyone has had the experience of heating something in the microwave, turning for just a second and hearing that telltale popping noise that means part of your meal is now stuck to the inside walls of your appliance.
To clean the mess quickly, microwave a glass bowl with two cups of water and a splash of white vinegar for about five minutes. The steam will eliminate any odors and loosen the caked-on food, so all you need to do is a quick swipe with a sponge or paper towel. Add some lemon juice to the mix and you’ll give your microwave a nice clean scent.
Smelly garbage disposal
One of the most useful tools in a kitchen also has the potential to become the smelliest. Buildup of old food particles inside the disposal can create a sink with a foul odor. But you don’t have to take the disposal apart to get it clean and good as new.
Deodorize it by pouring 1⁄2 cup of baking soda and 1⁄2 cup of hot white vinegar into the drain. Wait five minutes, and then run hot water from the faucet through the sink for a few minutes.
To break up any food particles that may be stuck to the blades, let the disposal cool off, toss down a handful of ice cubes and flip the switch. The ice will knock things loose from the blade and then melt, washing away anything left behind.
Pet hair everywhere
Man’s best friend and feline companions are great additions to a family, but the mess and hair they leave behind isn’t a good mix for your home.
Instead of fighting with your vacuum cleaner and lint brushes, try this trick to remove the hair easily and without damage.
Put on rubber gloves and then wet them slightly. As you run your hands over any surface covered in pet hair, the hair will stick to the glove. All you have to do is wash the gloves and your home will be pet hair-free.
You’ve had a spill and suddenly your kitchen floor is covered with grease. Don’t fret.
Instead of scrubbing for hours and hours on your hands and knees, mix three tablespoons of baking soda with one cup of water. Then use that mixture to clean the floor. The alkaline nature of the baking soda will cut through the grease, making it lift right off, scrub free.
Moldy shower grout
If your shower or tub has a future science fair project growing in it, take cotton beauty coils — the kind used in salons for perms and available at any beauty supply store — and soak them in bleach. Lay the bleach-soaked cotton along the grout line and leave overnight. When you take the cotton off, the mold will be gone! Make sure to use gloves and proper ventilation whenever you work with bleach.
Dusty window blinds
It feels like you clean your blinds once a day — but they’re still always dusty.
Fill a squirt bottle with lukewarm water and a dash of dish soap like Ivory or Dawn, and squirt one side of the closed blinds. Use a lint-free cloth to wipe them down, and then open and shut the blinds so they’re facing the other direction. Repeat, and wipe dry with a new cloth.
Care.com is an online service that matches families with great caregivers for children, seniors, pets and more. Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston.
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