General Cleaning Tips
- Your used toothbrushes make the best cleaning tools. They can fit behind a faucet, around faucet handles, around toilet hinges, in grout lines, etc.
- Remove price tags from glass, wood and china with vinegar. Saturate with vinegar, let set for 5 or 10 minutes, and gently scrape the tag off with a nylon scrubber.
- Remove tags and stickers by first saturating them with oil.
- Remove stuck candle wax from candleholders by soaking in hot water. The wax will soften and can then be wiped out with a paper towel.
- Remove stuck candle wax in a metal candleholder by placing it in the freezer until the wax hardens.
- “Oxygen Bleach” Cleanser will “scrub” away dirt and rust from just about any type of surface (even clothes), but it doesn’t scratch. It is also environmentally safe and contains no hazardous chemicals, not even bleach.
- To vacuum in a tight spot, lengthen the vacuum’s crevice tool by adding a flattened paper towel holder and taping it on.
- Dust silk flowers with a hair dryer set on low. A soft brush may be needed to wipe out crevices.
- Clean silk flowers with salt. Place the flowers in a bag, add 1 cup of salt, close the top, and shake.
- Plastic dolls can be cleaned of pen or marker with alcohol . Dip a cotton ball in the alcohol and rub over the marks. Let set for a few minutes, then wipe off. Alcohol is very drying so go over the area with soapy water.
- Clean up a broken egg from the floor or counter easier with salt. Cover the egg with salt and let it set for a few minutes. The egg will then be easy to pick up with a paper towel.
- Clean a thin vase with a baby bottle brush and hot soapy water.
- Clean a very thin vase with cold soapy water. Add several grains of uncooked rice (not the instant kind) and swirl. The rice will scrub the sides and bottom.
- A large vase can be cleaned by filling with warm water and adding a denture cleaning tablet . Let set overnight.
- Remove grime from computers and printers with a mixture of half vinegar and half water. Use a dampened towel.
- Keyboard keys can be cleaned with half vinegar and half water, or with alcohol . Use Q-tip swabs to get into each key and between keys. Be sure the computer is off during the cleaning.
- Scissors can be cleaned of dirt and glue by wiping the blades with white vinegar.
- A soft clothes brush is a great tool for dusting hats, dolls, stuffed animals, velvet boxes, etc. That is how they kept all clothing clean in the olden days. If you can’t find a good clothes brush in a store, you can get an antique one from Ebay for $10 or less.
- If you clean tin with water, it will rust. Cleaning tin items with Vaseline will prevent rust. Put some vaseline in a soft towel and rub, rub, rub. Most dirt and stains will come off, the tin will shine, and it will have protection from rust.
- Remove ink from vinyl items with shortening. Apply some shortening to a soft cloth and rub the ink off.
- Piano keys can be cleaned with an eraser.
- See Toys to clean stuffed animals.
Clean blood off a mattress with hydrogen peroxide and unseasoned meat tenderizer. Wet the stain with hydrogen peroxide and sprinkle over that with the meat tenderizer. After the stain disappears, blot the area with water to rinse.
Remove urine odor from a mattress with borax. Sprinkle borax over the wet spot, let dry, and vacuum off. This may have to be repeated.
Microfiber cloths and sponges do a super job of cleaning, either dry or with just water. They grab dirt on their own, so chemicals are not needed. This saves money, the environment, and your health. Microfiber cloths can also be washed for reusing.
General Cleaning Recipes
- Add 4 tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of warm water. Stir or shake.
- Sprinkle baking soda on a wet sponge to scrub like cleanser.
- Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water.
- Add 2 teaspoons of borax to 2 cups of hot water. Stir or shake.
- Add 2 teaspoons of borax and 4 tablespooons of vinegar to 3 cups of hot water.
- Add 20 drops of tea tree oil to a cup of water. Stir or shake.
How to Remove Smoke
Remove smoke from a room with a damp towel. Mix one part of white vinegar and one part of water, dip in an old towel, and wring it out thoroughly. Twirling the damp towel over your head several times will