Are you always looking for new tricks, techniques or advice when it comes to cleaning your house? It seems like you can always improve on this area, to make your cleaning more efficient and effective. Whether it’s discovering a new solvent that can work wonders, or an approach that will make cleaning a certain hard-to-reach spot simple – it’s a terrific strategy to learn what works best from others. So, with that in mind, here are ten cleaning tips to make a neat and beautiful home.
Tip #1: Make Your Own Cleaner.
If you’re like many people today, you don’t want to use harsh chemical cleaners inside your home. Having these powerful substances on the surfaces and in the air inside your house, may put you and your family at risk. While there is a balance between using cleaners strong enough to disinfect effectively and employing ones that are all-natural too, you may be interested in making your own. This allows you to fully control the process, and choose exactly what substances will be included. There are many different recipes available online, so you can pick one that works well for your needs.
Tip #2: Use Toothpaste For Marker Stains.
If you have little ones in your home, then marker stains on your wood surfaces seem almost inevitable. These can be nearly impossible to remove. Fortunately, there’s a little tip that can help. Toothpaste works wonders on this problem, dissolving marker stains like they never happened (1).
Tip #3: Clean As You Go.
While this tip may seem obvious, some people never learned this habit when they were growing up. It is especially helpful when cooking, as cleaning as you go leaves a much smaller mess once the meal is finished. Another area where it’s helpful is while you’re getting ready in the morning. Remember to straighten up the bathroom counter and re-hang the towels before leaving for the day.
Tip #4: Polish Copper or Brass With Ketchup.
Surprisingly, ketchup isn’t just a tasty condiment. It’s also able to revitalized tarnished brass or copper, such as your sink faucet or handles. It works on pots and pans too. Simply apply a small amount of ketchup to a clean cloth and rub the tarnish away. Rinse the item off with water when finished (2).
Tip #5: Refresh Your Dishwasher.
Over time, your dishwasher may begin to smell a bit musty. To refresh it, place a dishwasher safe cup that’s full of vinegar in the top rack and run it through a wash cycle (there should be no other dishes in it). Once finished, sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the unit, running the empty dishwasher through a short hot water cycle again (3).
Tip #6: Use a Chore Wheel.
While this approach may seem more applicable to a shared living situation (such as having roommates), it can work wonders for your family too. All too often, Mom is left shouldering the bulk of the cleaning duties – even though the kids make most of the mess. Once your children reach the age where they can start handling some responsibility on their own, assign them weekly chores to take care of.
The chore wheel helps to break up the monotony of their tasks, giving them different ones every week or month. It also helps to dissipate arguments between siblings about the list of chores, as every child has to handle each chore on a rotating basis.
Tip #7: Don’t Put Things Down.
It never fails. As soon as your house is clean and tidy, people start walking in the door and dropping various belongings all over the place. Your kids may throw off their shoes in the front hallway, put their backpacks down on the kitchen counter and toss their coats on the couch. You and your spouse may scatter your purse or briefcase, jacket and bags of shopping.
Allowing this type of habit to flourish, is a sure-fire recipe for a constantly cluttered home. It may be time to try a different tactic. Establish a rule that items can only be put down in their appropriate place (4). It will be hard for your household to adjust to this guideline in the beginning, but soon it will become second nature.
Your kids may require a bit more incentive, so take away belongings that end up where they shouldn’t be for a day or two. If it’s something they need like a backpack or their shoes, make them use a second-hand replacement while their item is off limits. Having little brother take his sister’s old princess backpack to school, will probably be enough to ensure that he never drops his in the hallway again.
Tip #8: Use a Lemon to Get Rid of Hard Water Stains.
Do you have trouble getting rid of the hard water stains on your faucets? If so, try cutting a lemon in half and scrubbing away the stains with it (5). While this might sound bizarre, this tip can reduce the time you spend cleaning the bathroom. It’s an all-natural solution as well.
Tip #9: Set Aside a Cleaning Time Daily.
Letting the mess pile up can make cleaning your home seem like an insurmountable task. You may also have trouble finding the time to thoroughly clean your home all in one marathon session. If that’s the case, consider setting aside a short time for daily cleaning instead. You may want to use a simple kitchen timer, and set it for 10 or 15 minutes (6). While it’s running, you’ll clean as much as you can. When it goes off – you’re finished for the day!
This strategy not only breaks down cleaning into manageable daily pieces, it allows you to get your family involved too. Make it known that during the daily cleaning time, every member of the family is expected to participate. This not only helps your kids learn that cleaning is their responsibility, cleaning as a group makes it an event. In fact, you might want to play music and try to make your daily cleaning a fun family time.
Tip #10: Reduce Bathroom Cleaning From an Hour to 10 Minutes.
Last on this list of ten cleaning tips to make a neat and beautiful home, this technique may allow you to cut your time cleaning the bathroom to only 10 minutes. While this may sound too good to be true, the secret is used dryer sheets. After they’ve done their job softening your clothes, don’t throw them away. With a tough weave that won’t scratch the surfaces in your bathroom and the infused fabric softener – these little sheets are amazing at getting rid of scum, mildew, rings in the toilet and even polishing fixtures like your sink and shower faucets (7).