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7 time-saving cleaning hacks using household products

Save time and money with these simple cleaning hacks.


Rachel Kiley


Something nobody tells you about adulthood is just how much time is spent cleaning your home. Even if you live by yourself in a small apartment, clutter and dust and grime pile up, requiring constant attention and even the occasional deep clean. Fortunately, there are cleaning hacks that can make some of the more frustrating aspects of keeping things neat and tidy a little more manageable. We’ve compiled some of the best ones you can implement right away, and most likely using things you already have around the house.

1. Use salt as an abrasive cleaner

Good old-fashioned table salt can work wonders around your home. Sprinkle salt over food or other gunk that’s hardened onto cast-iron skillets, stovetops, coffee makers, cutting boards, or sinks, let it sit for awhile, and see how easily things scrape off. You can even create a paste by adding water and either lemon juice or vinegar for harder to clean surfaces.

2. Clean your microwave with lemon juice

Get rid of the food splashed all over the interior of your microwave by simply cutting a lemon in half, placing it in a bowl of water, and microwaving the dish for two to three minutes. This makes it easier to turn around and use the resulting mixture and a cloth to wipe out the mess—plus it will leave your microwave smelling great.

3. Tackle hard water stains with vinegar

Hard water contains high concentrations of minerals, which quickly leave behind streaks and stains on surfaces like shower glass and even cause an annoying build-up on the faucet heads of all your fixtures.

For this cleaning hack, you can mix distilled white vinegar with water to create a spray to easily wipe down any stains in your shower, and you can take a similar approach to cleaning out mineral buildup on your faucet heads. Instead of putting the mixture in a spray bottle, pour it into a plastic bag, wrap it around the faucet head and secure it with a rubber band, and let it sit for half an hour. 

4. Banish fabric stains with clear alcohol

You may have heard of using white wine to clean up tricky stains on upholstery, like red wine or ink. But other clear alcohol, like vodka or even rubbing alcohol, can also get the job done. Always blot the stain first to get as much out as you can. Some folks recommend creating a spray with the alcohol, while others suggest making a mixture with dish detergent for the best results. It’s a good idea to look into the best options for whatever particular type of fabric you have, and to always do a test spot first to make sure the color won’t fade.

5. Suck up cabinet crumbs with a vacuum

Cleaning out spaces like kitchen cabinets or the oven or any other nooks and crannies that are prone to attracting crumbs can be annoying, at best. But that’s where your vacuum attachments can come in handy. Pop one onto the hose that suits your needs and skip trying to wipe up piles of crumbs with a paper towel.

6. Clean your oven with a baking soda paste

Oven cleaning hacks are some of the most useful, because cleaning out the oven can be a strangely daunting task. But the bulk of it can be done with a simple mixture made out of 3/4 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of warm water. Martha Stewart recommends removing the racks and spreading the mixture over the oven walls (minus the metal parts and the door), letting it sit for 12 to 24 hours, and just wiping it clean. This method is easy enough that you can even do it a few times throughout the year to avoid any major build-ups of debris.

7. Soak your oven racks in the bathtub

Scrubbing oven racks is a huge pain, but there’s a better option—soaking them. Many of us likely don’t have sinks big enough to accommodate these racks, but the bathtub makes a great alternative. Fill the tub with hot, hot water deep enough to cover the racks, pour in some dish detergent, and let everything soak overnight. From there, a sponge or even paper towels should take everything right off.

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*First Published:

The Daily Dot