Cleaning is one of my least-favorite chores. It’s a Sisyphean job that never ends, and at times it can feel too big for us to handle. When we encounter dirt and grime which we don’t know how to remove, we either give up or call a professional cleaner. However, there are certain stubborn stains that you can easily remove with a little guidance, and for a fraction of the cost of a professional cleaner.
1. Detailing your car
Getting your car detailed can be quite costly, but even very stubborn stains can be quickly cleaned if you know what you’re doing.
All you need is:
• Soda water
• Dish soap
• Scrubbing brush
• Spray bottle
• Wet vacuum / steam cleaner
1. Mix equal parts soda, dish soap and vinegar in a spray bottle.
2. Spray the stains and let the liquid sit for a few minutes.
3. Scrub the area with a brush using circular motions.
4. Now use the steam cleaner or vacuum to suck out the mix of solution and filth.
5. Let it dry - mission accomplished.
2. Clean the gunk from your windows
Windows can get very dirty, and if left for too long, the accumulated dust, cakes in and becomes very stubborn gunk. The way to clean it is very simple – sprinkle the dirty area with baking soda, and then pour a little vinegar on it. Let it bubble for a bit, and then use an old toothbrush or a cotton swab to clean the now-free gunk. Finally, wash the glass with some warm water.
3. Cleaning the ice maker
If you have a fridge with an ice maker, there’s a good chance you’ve never cleaned it. If you do not clean the ice maker, your ice will start smelling and tasting funny due to a bacteria buildup. Cleaning it can be very easy, just remember to switch off the ice maker first.
All you need to do is grab a steam cleaner and direct the jet at the grimy bits. Try to get it into the ice nozzle. Then wipe and repeat if needed.
4. Cleaning your washing machine
If you have a front load washing machine, you know that they can get smelly after a while. The solution is extremely simple. The smell comes from a buildup of bacteria and fungus, so getting rid of it involves running a hot cycle with bleach (no clothes) once every few weeks. That's all there is to it.
5. Removing dirt from grout
The difference between an old, dirty-looking bathroom and a shiny, clean one is the dirt that accumulates between the tiles. Surprisingly, cleaning grout involves using the right detergents and not much more. All you need is Clorox with bleach toilet bowl cleaner. Pour it on the grout and let it sit for about 10 minutes, then use a hard bristle brush to scrub the filth away.
6. Clean stains from laminated surfaces
If your countertop is laminated and somehow acquired a stubborn stain, sprinkle baking soda on the stain and scrub it with a wet microfiber cloth to remove it once and for all.
7. Clean the car’s air vents
If you’re trying to clean dust from your car but your vacuum isn’t getting there, grab an old paintbrush or hard bristle makeup brush and sweep away the dust.
8. Dust your ceiling fan
This method is ingenious in its simplicity. Grab an old (clean) pillowcase and cover a fan blade, and slide the case down to pull and collect all the dust, then repeat for the rest of the blades.
9. Dog toys
These toys may give your dog hours of joy, but if left as is, they will accumulate bacteria, making them smelly and a potential health risk for both your pooch and your family. Cleaning the toys is very simple – give them an initial rinse, and then toss them in the washing machine.
10. Glass bottles
You have some fancy-looking glass bottles but with time, they gather dust, outside and inside. The outside’s easy to clean, but what do you do if a brush won't fit in the bottle to clean the inside? The solution is quite simple – use a mixture of coarse salt, dish soap and water, and then shake hard. The salt will scrub the inside, and the soapy water will rinse it.
11. Hard water stains
Forget about buying industrial cleaners, all you need is some cleaning vinegar. Rub it on the stains and let it soak in for about 15 minutes. Then wipe the stain off.
12. Remove permanent marker stains from wood
If your kid is a regular Picasso and draws all over your wooden furniture, there’s no need to fret. Get plain white toothpaste, rub it in and scrub with a washcloth. You may need to put in some elbow grease, but the stain will come out.