Living Rooms and Dens
Dust first, then clean floors. It’s best to work with gravity when cleaning so you won’t have to clean anything more than once. Work from top to bottom in every room. Clean ceiling fans first; then walls, windows, and furniture; and finish up with floors last.
Place doormats inside and outside all entrances. You will drastically reduce tracked-in dirt by keeping doormats on both sides of all outside doors.
Clean dust and dirt with the damp-duster method. You really don’t need to disinfect most areas in your home, so you don’t even need to use cleaning spray. The friction from wiping surfaces with a microfiber cloth is more than enough to kill most germs. Simply wet a microfiber cloth with warm or hot water, and wring it as dry as you can. Wipe surfaces to remove dust and dirt, and follow up with a clean, dry cloth when dusting wood surfaces. You may need a mild DIY cleaning spray to remove tough, stuck-on messes, but for day-to-day cleaning, water and a microfiber cloth should do the trick.
Remove dust and pet hair from lampshades and speakers with a lint roller. Instead of pushing the hair around, grab it with the sticky lint roller.
Dust candles with pantyhose. Cleaning cloths just push dust into candles, making them look even dirtier than they did before. Use pantyhose or knee-highs to remove dust from candles quickly and easily.
Wash knickknacks (even candles!) in warm, soapy water. Once or twice a year, hand-wash your knickknacks like you do your dishes to remove dust buildup. You can use this method on candles to make them look new again! Don’t worry; they’ll burn just as well as they did before once they air-dry.
Use a covered broom to clean the walls. Put a clean cloth over the bristles of a broom to reach cobwebs and dust near ceilings.
Use the dishwasher to clean and disinfect kids’ toys. Pop your children’s plastic toys in the dishwasher to keep them clean. Do this regularly, especially during cold and flu seasons. While you’re at it, throw in other non-food-based items, like glass light covers, vent hood filters, and AC vent covers.
Wipe down the walls with a microfiber mop. Spray the wall with all-purpose cleaner, then wipe clean with a clean microfiber mop to reach from floor to ceiling without bending or using a stepladder. Don’t have a microfiber mop? Just drape a damp microfiber cloth around a dry mop.
Remove crayon from walls with mayonnaise. Put a layer of mayo on the crayon stain, and let it sit for 20–30 minutes. Wipe away with a cloth or paper towels. The oils in the mayo will break down the crayon wax, so you can wipe the stain away with ease. You can also use plain white toothpaste for smaller areas.
Dust ceiling fans with a pillowcase. Put a pillowcase over a ceiling fan blade, and carefully trap dirt and dust inside as you remove it. Repeat for the other blades. This method prevents dust and debris from falling to the floor and making a bigger mess. When finished, shake the dirt from the pillowcase into the garbage, and launder as usual.
Prevent scuff marks on baseboards with tape. Put packing or masking tape on the corners of your vacuum so it won’t leave marks when you accidentally run into baseboards.
Disinfect doorknobs with a spritz of hydrogen peroxide. Doorknobs are often forgotten when cleaning yet are one of the leading spots for germs and viruses to be passed among family members. Keep them clean, shiny, and free from germs with a little spray of hydrogen peroxide, followed by a quick wipe with a microfiber cloth. Do this at least once a week and every day during cold and flu seasons to help keep your family healthy. You can also use vodka if you prefer.
Keep throw rugs in place with bathroom sealant. Apply acrylic sealant (typically used to seal tubs, sinks, and showers) to the bottom of your throw rugs to keep them from moving around on bare floors. Allow the sealant to dry completely before replacing the rugs on the floor.
Use an extension cord to vacuum faster. Save time and effort finding a new outlet for every room by plugging in your vacuum with an extension cord. A 50-foot cord works great in most homes.
Clean popcorn ceilings with your vacuum’s brush attachment. Use the brush attachment on your vacuum to dust and remove cobwebs from popcorn ceilings without damaging the plaster like most cleaning methods can.
Transform a chenille sock into a reusable dry mop cloth. Slip a large, stretchy sock over your dry mop, then throw it in the washer when you’re done cleaning.
Wipe glue from a hot glue gun with aluminum foil. The next time you break out the crafts, keep this smart tip in mind. Using a paper towel to wipe glue from a hot glue gun (or any glue bottle, for that matter) can make a huge mess when the paper towel sticks to the glue. Instead, use aluminum foil to wipe away glue without the mess!
Pick up glitter with clay. Brooms and vacuums can seem to just push glitter around—instead, press kids’ clay on the glitter. The glitter will immediately stick to the clay, and your kids can still play with the clay!
Use a floor steamer to clean and disinfect without chemicals. Steam cleaners clean and disinfect tile, laminate, and carpet flooring with hot water vapor and zero cleansers. They can even be used to clean dirt and grime embedded deep in carpets!
Give tile, hardwood, and laminate floors a streak-free shine with a homemade floor cleaner. Make your floors spotless, and leave them smelling clean and fresh with this DIY floor cleaner.
1 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon dish soap
1 cup baking soda
2 gallons warm water
10–15 drops essential oil for scent, if desired (pine is commonly used)
Remove pet hair in no time with a squeegee. Run a squeegee over carpets, rugs, and upholstery to remove pet hair the easy way.
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