Household Cleaning Tips

Always check manufacturer's instructions first. Always try a test patch first. If you are unsure as to whether the item you are cleaning is suitable for our instructions, take professional cleaning advice first.


Kitchen Nightmare's Banished


Descale a kettle

By filling it with half water and half clear vinegar. Leave overnight, empty, wipe out, refill with water, reboil, empty, refill, reboil.



Tired of battling all of the baked on food in your microwave?
Well, guess what? You can finally put away all of the cleaners and elbow grease. Vinegar is the answer! Just fill a microwave-safe bowlwith a mixture of half vinegar and half water, and nuke it for two minutes. Then, dip a sponge into the vinegar-water solution, and use it to wipe the food off of the walls of the microwave. It'll fall right off - no strong-arming required.


Dishwasher rinse 
Finish using up any commercial rinse agent that remains in your dishwasher. Replace the cap, and run your dishwasher as usual. 4. Refill the dispenser as needed. Moisten oven surfaces with sponge and water. Use 3/4cup baking soda, 1/4cup salt and 1/4cup water to make a thick paste, and spread throughout oven interior. (avoid bare metal and any openings) Let sit overnight. Remove with spatula and wipe clean. Rub gently withfine steel wool for tough spots.


Fridge cleaner and deodorizer

Vinegar - Make a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar and wash the inside and outside of your refrigerator. To keep mildew out of your refrigerator wash inside the walls and drawers with a cloth dipped in full strength vinegar. You can also use vinegar that has not been diluted to wipe off dust and grime from the top of the refrigerator.


Vinegar naturally cleans like an all-purpose cleaner.
Mix a solution of 1 part water to 1 part vinegar in a new store bought spray bottle and you have a solution that will clean most areas of your home. Vinegar is a great natural cleaning product as well as a disinfectant and deodorizer. Always test on an inconspicuous area. It is safe to use on most surfaces and has the added bonus of being incredibly cheap. Improperly diluted vinegar is acidic and can eat away at tile grout. Never use vinegar on marble surfaces. Don't worry about your home smelling like vinegar. The smell disappears when it dries.


Clean And Dry Floors Fast 
I wash my floor in sections, using a regular mop. But instead of futilely trying to sop up the dirty water, I toss down an old bath towel. I then push the towel around with my feet over the floor. It works great and is fast! Usually when I mop, no matter how much I rinse, a dingy film remains. This way the towel soaks up all the dirty water so the floor really shines. Plus, it keeps the bucket water cleaner so I don't have to change it before I finish. An added bonus is the towel also dries the floor. By the time I'm done with the last section, the floor can be walked on!


Lampshade Cleaning 
I have fabric lampshades with very fine pleats which are hard to clean. So I remove them, take them outside and brush them with an old baby hair brush. The bristles get between the pleats to remove the dust and dirt, but they are soft enough so as not to crush or damage the pleats. My shades look like new.


Toothpaste--a Versatile Cleaner
Want to remove a stain without damaging the smooth surface of furniture and countertops? Use toothpaste. The extra mild abrasives in toothpaste remove stains without scratching the surface. I have used toothpaste to remove water stains on finished furniture and stains on kitchen countertops. It also works on small rust stains. Simply rub a dab into the stain for about 30 seconds and wipe it away. 


Clean Kitchen 
Mix one teaspoon of vinegar with 2/3 cup of water and place in microwave for one to two minutes. The vinegar prevents the water from boiling over while making the microwave a breeze to clean, including the splatters from tomato based sauce. Once the water cools slightly use it to clean the kitchen countertops. It will sterilize the countertops for a lot less than expensive cleaners.


The Cleanest Windows 
The best way to clean windows and mirrors to a sparkling smear free shine is to spray on a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water and buff dry with newspaper. No smears even when the sun shines.


Free Hangers 
I've stopped buying hangers since I discovered most department stores are eager to give away their excess hangers! I always ask for the hangers with my purchases and as needed, request any extras behind the counter. Usually, my requests are met with literally bags of plastic, swivel-neck hangers. I especially like the large hangers from the men's department for my husband's garments and the small clamp-type pants hangers from the children's' department for hanging everyone's wet trousers bottoms up (wrinkle free!).


Another Use For Used Dryer Sheets 
I save my used dryer sheets for a lot of reasons. This week I found another use that is really a labor saver. Take a used dryer sheet and cut it to fit inside your air vents. The sheet acts like a filter thus reducing the need to dust and run the vacuum so much. Just change them as needed  


Cheap And Easy Oven Cleaner 
A great way to clean your oven with no smell and little money is to mix baking soda and water to form a paste. At night I put on a pair of disposable latex gloves and smear it all over the inside of my oven. Then throw away the gloves and go to bed. (leave the oven door open) The next morning when it is dry, simply use a wet sponge to remove the dried mixture, and all that icky oven stuff comes right of with it! 


Baking Soda Cleans: Sinks Laundry Pans...more 
I've found that baking soda does an excellent job of cleaning my stainless steel kitchen sink pots and pans with burnt on food, and porcelain bathroom sinks. I keep a sugar shaker of baking soda on the kitchen window sill. The baking soda is also good for cleaning stains off the kitchen countertops. If you have a porcelain collectible with 'dust' that won't come off, or a sticker mark that is gathering dust, a little baking soda and water rubbed on gently with your finger will do wonders. (Don't use this though if you think the finish or decoration will come off with the mark you're trying to get rid of.) A wet paste of baking soda will also remove smoke stains from glassware, including fragile cut glass antiques (only cold water though.) Baking soda is really great on heavy soil when added to the laundry.


Keeping Phone Numbers Handy 
Make a phone list laminate it and keep it near the phone. Your Parents Brothers, Sisters, relatives, doctors and dentists with Insurance information, Poison Control. Don't forget Ambulance, Fire Department and the Police or Telephone, Water and Garbage Companies. All numbers frequently used. And if you want you could make a smaller version for your purse of any numbers and addresses that could come in handy when you are not home.


Microwave Potpourri 
I love the smell of potpourri and candles but I hate leaving anything burning unattended. Since I cannot be in every room at once I had to find a way to freshen each room without using a flame. I found it: thermal coffee mugs (we have accumulated many of them.) I just mix liquid potpourri with water in a thermal coffee mug, microwave for about a minute, and place the mugs in whatever rooms I want to freshen. It's quick and the mugs stay warm for a good while. When the mug cools down, it's easy enough to pop back into the microwave and reheat. 


Cleaning Those Silk Flowers 
How to clean those silk flowers--place 1 cup salt into a small paper bag add individual flowers and shake. Dust, cobwebs, etc. come right off and into the salt 


Cleaning Silk Plants 
To easily and inexpensively clean your silk plants, mix one part vinegar to two parts water and mist plants with a spray bottle (I find outside to be the easiest place to do this). Bring inside after dry and enjoy a clean dust free decoration once again.