You might think “My home is so spotless that I could sell my house today without having to clean anything up!” However, many people are surprised to learn that common cleaning methods can actually be extremely inefficient. The way that most people clean these 15 items can actually waste time and leave germs and dirt everywhere. To avoid making that cleaning mistakes, be sure to follow these cleaning tips.
1. Cleaning Sponges
We use sponges to clean just about everything in the house, but these handy little tools can harm more than they help. When you clean up with a sponge, rinse it with hot water, and then leave it out to dry, the warm, moist environment is actually the ideal place for bacteria and germs to flourish.
The next time you use the sponge to clean something, you are actually just coating the item with more germs as you scrub it with a sponge that is clogged with nasty microbes. To make sure that your sponge is actually clean before you use it, microwave the sponge on high for two minutes. However, only do this with a damp sponge, otherwise you could catch it on fire!
2. Gross Microwaves
Anyone who has worked in an office with a kitchen knows just how nasty a microwave can get after repeated uses, and the typical janitorial service never bothers to clean it. Most people who get fed up with dirty microwaves just try scrubbing it out with a paper towel, but this does not remove all of the little bits of food that are dried and baked onto the microwave’s surface. To make cleaning the microwave easier, all you have to do is put a cup of water and a tablespoon of white vinegar in a microwave safe cup.
Stick this cup in the microwave and turn it on for three minutes. Then all you have to do is quickly swipe the surface of the microwave, and all the grime will come right off. With this quick tip, you can save time and clean the microwave without any hassle.
3. Stinky Mattresses
Anyone who has decided, “I’m going to sell my home,” realizes quickly that they do not want movers noticing their dirty mattress when it’s not covered by sheets. This furniture item is often poorly cleaned because people just beat the mattress in a pointless attempt to remove dust and odors. However, cleaning a mattress does not have to be exhausting, backbreaking work. Instead, you can just sprinkle baking soda on the mattress surface and let it sit for a couple of hours.
The baking soda soaks up any unpleasant smells and helps to lift stains, and then you can just use a vacuum to clean it up without creating any mess.
4. Cutting Boards
The porous surface of a wooden cutting board can trap tiny bits of food that you can’t see with the naked eye. A quick wipe with a soapy dish rag is not enough to actually clean your cutting board, but this does not mean that you have to call Fly Cleaners cleaning services every time you use your cutting board.
You can clean your wooden board by sprinkle salt and squeezing a small amount of lemon juice across the board. The salt is abrasive enough to thoroughly clean it, and the lemon juice removes weird odors from fish or onions.
5. Matted Hairbrushes
Slowly unwinding the individual hairs from a brush that is clogged with hair strands takes forever. Use scissors to cut the wad of hair into one inch wide strips. These can easily be peeled off the brush without tangling into all of the other bits of matted hair.
You still have to be careful not to cut the brush bristles while using scissors to clean it, but this is still way faster than trying to remove the entire hair clump.
6. Dusty Blinds
When you are making a list of “Things to Do Before I Sell My House,” cleaning the blinds should be one of your top priorities. You may not notice the built up dirt on your blinds, but your visitors definitely do. Dusting blinds with a cloth is not enough to remove the accumulated grime on blinds, and it takes forever.
A quick way to clean blinds is to mix two tablespoons of vinegar into some warm water and soak an old sock in the mixture. Put the sock on your hand like a mitten, and you can easily wipe between the blinds.
7. Sneaker Soles
Stylish canvas sneakers with shining white soles are so trendy that it’s common to see both a celebrity and her live in nanny wearing them, but grimy, beat-up high tops make an outfit look sad instead of stylish. Soap may seem like an obvious cleaning method, but it cannot penetrate the rubber surface.
To keep your sneaker soles in tip-top shape, scrub them with a soft cloth and tooth whitening toothpaste, which is designed to lift stains from microscopic crevices.
8. Cast Iron Pans
Even an air conditioner repair man who knows nothing about cooking will most likely know that using soap on a cast iron pan destroys its finish. Therefore, most cooks just rinse the pan out with water after using it. This may maintain the seasoned finish on the pan, but it can also leave food and grease crusted on the surface.
To actually clean your cast iron pan without harming it, use a mixture of coarse salt with warm water to gently scrub the surface clean.
We put them in our mouth everyday, but a toothbrush can be coated with germs and buildup from an inadequate water heater repair. This sort of accumulated gunk can quickly get really gross. To kill the bacteria that might be growing on your toothbrush, dip it in a mixture of water and vinegar at least once a week.
Be sure to rinse it afterwards, or you might get a sour surprise the next time you go to brush your teeth!
10. Plastic Toys
Scrubbing each one of your children’s toys by hand takes way too much time out of a busy parent’s schedule. The fastest way to clean your kids plastic toys is actually just to stick them all in the dishwasher, and then you can run it on the gentlest cycle with warm water.
Just make sure you don’t include any fabric toys, or you might end up having to call plumbing services.
11. Paint on Glass
If you get paint on your window glass while painting the interior or exterior of your home, you might be tempted to just buy a window replacement. However, removing paint from glass does not have to be an exhausting and time consuming process involving paint solvents and sponges.
All you have to do is mix dish soap and warm water together and wet the window. Then you can just use a razor blade to carefully remove the paint stains.
Bits of hair are one of the biggest cleaning hassles in any room. Vacuuming them clogs the vacuum, while a damp sponge just swirls them around on hard surfaces. This tip may sound weird, but every janitorial service swears that it really works.
The rubber blade of a squeegee can push any hair tangles into a single clump, and then it is a breeze to pick it up and throw it away.
13. Coffee Stains
Everyone loves coffee, but some people would rather apply for multiple home loans than try to get coffee stains out of fabric. If you spill your Starbucks’ drink on your favorite shirt, don’t toss it out just yet.
Simply mixing baking soda into a paste and letting it sit on a coffee stain before washing the item in cold water will be enough to lift out even the most stubborn of stains.
14. Broken Glass
Broken glass is not just a nuisance, it can actually be dangerous to clean up. Almost everyone, from We Buy Houses investors to schoolteachers, has ended up cutting their hands while trying to pick up a dropped cup or vase before.
If you are dealing with tiny shards of glass, grab a basic piece of bread. All you have to do to pick up every tiny glass shard is press the slice against the area.
15. Coffee Maker
After being used multiple times, a coffee maker can get weird buildup from hard water that makes your coffee taste weird. You don’t have to call plumbing services or buy fancy cleaners to keep on enjoying the taste of freshly brewed coffee.
Instead, the trick to clean it is just vinegar and water once again. Run two cycles with vinegar and water before running one cycle with just fresh water. This should be enough to clear away any weird gunk that was causing unpleasant tastes.