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10 Smart Tricks to Make Cleaning Easier

Sep 21, 2015

Use ice cubes to deodorize a garbage disposal

Tired of your stinky garbage disposal? Get rid of odious odors: Feed ice cubes made of vinegar down your disposal. Flip the switch to grind the cubes, then flush with cold water.

Use aluminum foil to scrub off baked-on food

If you have remnants of your casserole stuck to your baking dish, wad a clean piece of foil—maybe one you used to keep a plate of food warm while the rest of dinner cooked?—into a ball, then use it with few drops of dishwashing liquid to scrub glass cookware clean.

Use baking soda to clean silver

Here’s a no-polish shortcut to getting your silver pieces, from knives to gravy boats, sparkling. First, hand wash items in warm soapy water (use mild dish soap). Place in an aluminum foil-lined pot. In a separate pot, mix 1 quart of boiling water with ¼ cup baking soda and a couple teaspoons salt. Pour the mix over the silver, then cover with a well-fitting lid. Let sit for up to five minutes as the solution works to remove any blackness from the silver. Remove silver from pot, rinse with clean water, and dry with a clean, soft cloth.

Use a pillowcase for dust-free cleaning

Yes, you can clean a ceiling fan without the dusty mess. Working with one blade at a time, slide an old pillowcase over the blade, then slowly draw the fabric back. All the dust and dirt will stay in the pillowcase instead of flying everywhere.

Use a dryer sheet to get rid of soap residue

Don’t toss that used dryer sheet. Sprinkle it with a few drops of water, then use it to wipe away built-up soap residue on your shower doors. It works wonders on scummy surfaces.

Use rice to clean a coffee grinder

Get the inside of your coffee grinder squeaky clean: Run a handful of white rice grains through the empty grinder to remove trapped coffee grounds and stale odors. Toss the rice, then wipe the grinder clean.

Use a rubber glove to pick up fur

Never mind your pet: Has its fur taken up residence on your sofa or chair? Pick it up quickly and easily by running a damp rubber glove over the surface. Any hair will cling to the glove, not the upholstery.

Use a coffee filter to dust

Dust on your flat screen TV or computer monitor, you’ve got. A microfiber cloth, not so much. A coffee filter will actually work quite nicely (and safely) instead to leave screens lint-free.

Use a lemon to freshen a cutting board

Lemon juice will work magic on food-stained cutting boards made of light wood or plastic. Slice a lemon in half, squeeze its juice onto the soiled surface, rub, and let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing. Your cutting board will be stain-free and smell lemony fresh.

Use baking soda to unclog a drain

If your drain moves slower than a tortoise, unclog it by pouring down ½ cup baking soda, then ½ cup vinegar. Cover the drain with a wet cloth, and let sit for five minutes. Uncover, and flush with steaming-hot water.

This article originally appeared on Real Simple

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