Cleaning is called a chore for a reason. For most of us, it's never going to be fun. But it can be made a little less tedious by using some clever cleaning hacks, or at least finding products that won't make you feel like you're being attacked by toxic fumes.
Check out some of these 25 tips, and while you probably won't end up a cleaning convert, you may at least end up with a gleaming sink and some pride to match.
1. Use a pillowcase to clean ceiling fan blades. The dust gets trapped inside instead of being spread around the room.
2. Vinegar, vinegar, vinegar. If it's not already your best friend, it should be. Check out all the amazing things it can do in and for your home here, and see more examples below.
3. Stinky garbage disposal? Grind up half a lemon in there. Fresh and clean-smelling in no time.
4. A moldy shower is unhealthy. And it's gross. Harsh chemicals aren't the bastion of health and safety, and they might not help much anyway. Use Borax and water and mix into a paste. Scrub and let sit for at least 30 minutes before rinsing.
5. Don't scrub your cooktop until your hands bleed. A paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide makes it so much easier.
6. Tags on new glassware or dishes can be a drag. Remove them easily by soaking in OxiClean and warm water.
7. The aforementioned vinegar won't make your clothes smell good if you spill two cups of the stuff on your outfit. But filling up your washing machine with water and pouring those same two cups inside will help get all your laundry cleaner. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight, and the sediment that's settled into your washer will be gone.
8. Kids. Socks. Floor polish. (But only if they have good balance and/or you have good health insurance).
9. Microwaving a bowl of water for five minutes will steam it up and caked-on stuff will wipe away easily.
10. Hairspray doesn't just give you a nicely controlled coif. It can also help remove nail polish from wood finishes.
11. If you hate cleaning the blinds, you're in good company. But put socks on your hands, and all of a sudden it's not quite so abhorrent. If you're looking for a way to engage your kids in some cleaning fun, turn those socks into puppets with some permanent marker first.
12. Clogged drain? Hold the Drano and reach for the Alka Seltzer. Plop-plop three tablets into half a cup of vinegar and wait for the fizz-fizz. After they finish bubbling up, run the hot water for five minutes.
13. You can also clean your toilet without harsh chemicals by combining a half a cup of vinegar with baking soda. Let bubble up and soak then wipe away.
14. Dryer sheets are your friends. The same thing you use to get your laundry smelling fresh can also get your shower door sparkly clean. Soak in water, scrub, rinse, and dry.
15. Dryer sheets are also great for dusting baseboards. Just run one along the perimeter of the room—or have the kids do it. They love helping if it means they can get on the floor.
16. If your baseboards need a little more help than dryer sheets can provide, grab an old toothbrush and a can of spray cleaner. They'll shine up nicely.
17. Put some baking soda-infused toothpaste on that toothbrush and you can get rid of rust stains on your tub.
18. Clumsy in the kitchen? Cleaning up broken glass is a cinch with white bread. Grab a slice to pick up those tiny pieces that always end up in the bottom of your foot.
19. A paste of baking soda and warm water can remove crayon and pen from walls better than a sponge.
20. Permanent marker end up on your walls instead?. Break out that hairspray or toothpaste and toothbrush.
21. Clean and deodorize your mattress. You know you should.
22. Clean your shower head with little effort. Simply fill a plastic baggie with white vineyard, tie it around the shower head, and leave it to soak while you're gone for the day.
23. A mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide won't blow up your kitchen, but it will get all the gunk off of your cookie sheets. Make a paste with a quarter cup of baking soda and as much hydrogen peroxide as you need to reach the right consistency. Rub it in, leave for two to three hours, and rinse. Good as new.
24. Dirty grout is unpleasant to look at and can also be unhygienic. A paste of three-quarters of a cup of baking soda and one-quarter cup of bleach can do the trick. Use a rough brush to work it into the crevices and leave it on for 10-20 minutes. Reapply if needed, then rinse.
25. White rice is a savior for waterlogged cell phones. It's also a great solution for cleaning your coffee grinder. Use uncooked white rice, run the grinder, then dump it and give a good wipe.