1. Make your own window cleaning spray
It may be tricky to find a replacement for store-bought glass cleaners, as most home cleaning products tend to leave streaks and stains behind. But don't worry, grandma's got you covered: simply mix 2 tablespoons of ammonia with half a gallon of warm water (about 2 liters), and you're done. This mixture works just as well as a store-bought glass cleaner and get smudges and stain off of mirrors, windows, and glass furniture, all streak-free. By the way, you can also replace paper towels with newspapers when cleaning windows - they work just as well.
2. Prevent mildew from collecting on the shower curtain
It's super annoying when a relatively new shower curtain suddenly starts developing mildew. Fortunately, it's super easy to prevent - simply trim off the bottom seam on the shower curtain. This will ensure that water doesn’t collect at the bottom of the curtain and it dries off before mildew could form. Once the curtain does get a bit grimy, though, you can always throw it in the washing machine together with a towel and it will be as good as new again.
3. Get rid of persistent stains with baking soda
Persistent burnt stains on the bottom of pots and pans can linger on for weeks or months, and no soaking can help get rid of them. Who knew a simple kitchen staple like baking soda could help? But it's true, simply mix baking soda with a little bit of water until it forms a thick paste, and then coat the stain in question with a thick layer of the paste. Let the baking soda dissolve the stain for about 4-5 hours or overnight, occasionally spritzing it with water. Afterward, simply wipe off the baking soda, and the stain should be gone. Repeat several times if needed.
Bonus: the same method works wonders at cleaning the oven without the need to use any chemicals.
4. Use coffee to get rid of odors around the house
Coffee has remarkable odor-absorbing and smell-canceling properties - this is exactly why fragrance sellers provide customers with coffee beans as a "nasal palate cleanser". Households have been using these properties for decades to get rid of odors around the house and replace it with a cozy coffee aroma. You can put a small cup of coffee beans next to the garbage, in the fridge, or anywhere else. Over time, it will absorb any unpleasant smells. Needless to say, you won't be able to reuse the beans to make coffee, so this trick works best with cheap beans or old coffee.
5. Make your silverware sparkling clean with toothpaste
Although toothpaste is the most common way to clean one's teeth today, in the past, tooth powder was used for the same purposes. Over time, people also realized that this tooth powder also works great at removing tarnish from silverware without damaging the fragile surface of the utensils. Polishing the silverware with the powder also gave it a nice shine. When the first toothpaste was invented, it too was used to clean silverware, a trick that many of us have now forgotten.
So, if your forks and knives are in need of a good clean, try polishing them with some toothpaste. The trick is to use a plain white toothpaste instead of the gel stuff, though, as it's closer to that original tooth powder formula and is much better at polishing silverware.
6. Use cloth diapers to dust the house
Did you know that microfiber cloths are made of plastic? It's true, the now ubiquitous cleaning cloths may do a great job at cleaning various surfaces around the house, but all of them are produced from either 100% polyester or a blend of polyester and polyamide. Therefore, using them only causes more plastic pollution, and is by no means environmentally friendly.
Luckily, the previous generations have a more eco-friendly solution in mind. It turns out that using cloth diapers isn't just as effective as microfiber cloths, it's also kinder to the environment. This is because cloth diapers are nearly always made of natural fibers, such as linen, cotton, and hemp. An extra advantage to using cloth nappies as a dusting rag is also that they can be cleaned in the washing machine at high temperatures without losing their cleaning properties, unlike a microfiber cloth.
7. An easy solution for wall crayon stains
Left your kids or grandkids alone in the room for just a second, and now you suddenly have a crayon masterpiece in the middle of the wall? It's a known issue, and we're hardly the first generation to deal with it. Yet again, our grandparents have a solution for us, so let's not reinvent the wheel and listen, as we should. Get some dry cleaning solvent, soak a cloth in it, and proceed to erase the masterpiece from the wall.
This method is extremely effective, but be careful and patch-test in an inconspicuous area of the wall first to make sure that it doesn't leave any stains. This trick should also probably be best avoided on antique wallpaper or very old walls.
8. Fight soap stains with more soap!
Soap scum can be quite difficult to clean up, unfortunately, but once you realize that most soap scum is just build up soap mixed with body oils, the job becomes much easier. If you've seen your parents and grandparents clean the bathroom with dish soap or even laundry detergent, you might have been puzzled, but it's actually the smart thing to do, and they knew it well. This is because both of these detergents are formulated specifically to remove oil and grease stains from surfaces, and now that you know what soap scum is made of, it becomes only logical to use them to scrub away the soap scum from the shower. We urge you to try it.
9. Render your carpets dust free with tea
To say that a dusty and smelly carpet is the source of all evil is hardly an exaggeration because the majority of dust and debris in the room comes precisely from the carpet. When we're walking or sitting on the carpet, or when our pets are rolling around on it, all of the dust and dirt goes up into the air, and it then settles on the furniture, making it look as if you've never dusted your house in the first place. Not to mention that all this dust is also the perfect place for germs to stick around.
Therefore, having a quick solution for this issue is really important, and at times when you don't feel like it's time to wash the carpet just yet, but need a quick fix to get rid of dust and bad smells, reach into your kitchen pantry for some loose leaf tea. Simply sprinkle plenty of tea evenly over the carpet, wait for 15 minutes, and then vacuum the carpet as usual. This method is sure to help you get rid of stale odors and dust from the carpet.
10. Leftover beer can be easily reused to clean your home
Yes, people in the past did utilize beer in a variety of ways, too, and it turns out that the alcoholic beverage is not only beneficial when it's inside you. They used old or leftover beer to refresh wooden furniture, for example, by simply soaking a cloth with beer and varnishing the surface of the furniture with the beverage. The beer may make the furniture a bit sticky, but you can get rid of the stickiness by simply washing the beer residue away with a damp cloth. The result is pretty amazing - the beer will tint the wood into a nice golden-brown color.
11. Absorb spills with salt
Just a sprinkling of salt can do wonders at absorbing fresh liquid stains and making them look less apparent. This trick works on any surface, too, be it wood, carpet, or even clothing. Simply sprinkle some salt on the fresh stain, let it sit and absorb the stain for a few hours, and then dust off and wash the item in question with soap and water. This clever method works on all kinds of stains, even persistent ones like those left by ketchup or red wine.
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