Out-Of-The-Box Cleaning Tips, Part 2


In the first part of this series, we looked at the wonders of scrubbing a counter with lemons, using your blow dryer to dust off your chandelier, using newspapers to get a streak-free shine on glass and mirrors, and using tennis balls to fluff your pillows.

We’ve come up with a new list of innovative ways to use everyday household items to clean around your home.

1. Tennis balls don’t just fluff pillows, they can be a great make-shift iron when you’re in a bind. If a shirt or pair of pants needs a quick once-over, and you don’t have time to whip out the old iron and board, just throw it into the dryer with two (clean) tennis balls and let them spin around for at least 20-30 minutes. When they come out, they’ll be prêt-à-porter. Note: this trick only works on items that don’t require much ironing, and that are dryer-safe.

2. Repurpose your old newspapers by creating your own brooms. Sounds strange, but it works. Here’s how you do it: roll the paper lengthwise and then cut multiple lengths, but not all the way so you have a piece to hold on to at the top. Spread the pieces around and now use it as a broom or duster to clean away crumbs and the like. You can reuse it a few times, or discard it after one use. Simple as that.

3. Vases are tricky things to clean. Once you’ve thrown out your flowers, there’s often moldy residue that’s built up along the sides and sometimes in the crevices, or perhaps it’s a tall and thin vase that’s hard to clean manually. The trick? Aquarium gravel. Fill the vase with one-third water then add a handful of (clean) gravel. Shake well, careful not to splash water about. Lastly, dump the gravel in a strainer to recycle the gravel for next time. Even if you don’t have fish, you can buy inexpensive bags of gravel at dollar stores around the city.

4. Who doesn’t hate seeing the coffee and tea rings leftover on their mugs? Scrub and scrub as you might, for some reason they seem to be constant reminders of our addiction to all things caffeinated. However, there is hope! Put salt on the outside of a lemon peel and use it to scrub your mugs clean. Not only does it work, it’s natural and will make you forget the stains were ever there.

5. BBQ season has started and it’s definitely a good idea to clean your grill. The best way is the natural way. Cleaning the grill before, and during, each season makes your food taste better, and it helps to keep the critters away from the stuck-on leftovers as well. Dip a damp scrub brush into some baking soda and scrub the grill until it’s nice and clean. Then, just rinse off with some water and voilà. Your burgers never tasted so good.

6. Is there anything lemons can’t do? Not really. If you have a garburator then you know it can get a little stinky sometimes with all those food scraps. The solution, throw in a leftover lemon or cut a lemon in half and throw it in there and turn it on. The result is a natural clean thanks to the citric acid from the lemon, and of course, your sink will smell lemony fresh.

Do you have any favourite tricks you like to use? Share them with us by leaving a comment below.

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