Clean Your Home with Household Items You Already Have on Hand

Dogs work is never done

Getting ready to do an annual fall cleaning and purge? You may have some items in your house that can do double duty – a lid may be a coaster; a sponge may be a furniture cleaner. Here are some household items that may have a second or third use, and they may just make your life a little easier.

No scrub pad? Use aluminum foil. Crumple a handful and scour to polish stainless steel pots – don’t use this on non-stick pots and pans, of course!

Use Pam or another cooking spray to dissolve soap scum. Spray your shower glass with cooking spray and leave for 30 minutes. The oil slides between the glass and the soap scum, making it easy to wash. Wipe off with soapy water (use a wet sponge with a drop of dish washing liquid).

Dog and cat hair on your furniture? Lightly dampen a sponge, and rub it across upholstery. It will easily lift pet hair.

Use baking soda to clean greasy dishes. Add two tablespoons of baking soda to the usual amount of dish washing liquid you use. It will give your detergent a powerful boost and easily clean greasy dishes.

Coffee can lids can keep your pantry and refrigerator clean. Use a plastic lid from a coffee can as a coaster. Slip it under containers that might drip – honey, jams/jellies, salad dressings. You’ve saved yourself from cleaning a sticky mess.

Dryer sheets can keep dust off your television and PC screens, which are electrically charged and attract dust. Dryer sheets remove dust and prevent it from resettling for several days. Polish glass screens with the sheets after they’ve been in the dryer, for a softer texture.

Feed your plants with water you’ve used to cook. If your water doesn’t have salt in it, it’s perfect for your plants after it’s cooled.

Freshen almost anything in your house with a cotton ball saturated with one of your favorite fragrances. Use an essential oil such as lavender, or use lemon juice or lemon, orange or cinnamon extract or vanilla. Try placing one in your vacuum cleaner to have the scent pushed throughout the room while you clean. You can also put a wet cotton ball on a shelf in your fridge to act as a deodorizer.

The good news about all of these tips is that they are easy to do and you most likely already have everything you need! They are sure to put the spring in your step when you’re spring cleaning.

Want more ideas? Check out 43 Truly Extraordinary Uses for Household Staples You Already Own.

Simple Tips for Cleaning Your Refrigerator

Midnight snacks

There are some jobs that very few of us want to spend a Saturday doing. Cleaning the refrigerator is one of them. But your refrigerator can be one of the hardest working and reliable appliances you own. Here are some simple ways to clean your refrigerator and keep it clean and smelling fresh.

Clean as you go: Wipe up spills as they happen. Wipe rims of jars, salad dressing, ketchup, etc. before you put them away.

Check for spoiled food every day or two. Why wait until garbage day to throw out old food you’re not going to eat? Cleaning it out every day or two keeps odors and from growing.

Wipe the doors, handles, top of refrigerator with damp cloth once a week. Use a mild dish soap and water.

Clean door seals once a month. Wipe away crumbs and other things that have gathered, using a dry, clean cloth. Check the seals quarterly

Use toothpaste to scrub stains. It contains a gentle abrasive that makes getting rid of stains easy.

Empty the refrigerator and remove all the shelves, drawers and walls once a quarter. Put your food into a cooler to keep it fresh. If your shelves are glass let the warm to room temperature. Clean the inside, shelves and drawers with a mixture of 2 tablespoons baking soda and 1 quart hot water. This doesn’t just clean, it removes odors as well.

Vacuum the coils. Unplug the refrigerator and move it away from the wall. Use an attachment to get the dust and dirt that has collected in the coils.

Clean underneath the refrigerator. As long as you’ve pulled the refrigerator away from the wall, now is the right time to clean the floor where your refrigerator stands. To do this more often and not only when you move your refrigerator, take a yard stick covered in a pair of pantyhose and drag it under the refrigerator to catch dust and dust bunnies.

Keep a box of baking soda in your refrigerator to absorb odors.

Put a few drops of vanilla or orange extract onto a cotton ball and put them in a shallow bowl in the refrigerator for a quick fix.

Put a crumbled piece of brown paper bag in the vegetable drawers to eliminate odors. Leave the crumpled bag in for 48 hours. The bag will absorb the odor.

If you don’t keep your refrigerator full, put a gallon of water in there and leave it. It will keep the refrigerator running efficiently.