Having a clean house makes me feel super-good. The problem is that there are these niggly things that just never seem to go away, no matter what I try to get them cleaned. And I don’t have infinite time to keep trying alternate cleaning approaches to find something that works. And so those niggly cleaning problems just stay as they are: cloudy glassware, dirty grout, hard-water-stained faucets, toilet bowl rings, streaky windows, the list goes on and on. Can you relate? Enter my favorite cleaning hacks.
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I find nothing worse than investing some of my precious free time to try to address one of these cleaning thorns-in-my-side, only to not make any difference at all – glassware still cloudy, grout still gray, and so on.
So I’ve searched over time for magic solutions – cleaning hacks that work spectacularly well to tackle these cleaning thorns. So that I can invest a tiny bit of time, and come out brilliantly successful – with those cleaning thorns gone. And oh, does that feel good.
It’s gotta be quick. And easy. And work.
Searching around for a lot of specialty cleaning items, tools, and ingredients doesn’t work for busy people like us. If it works great, is something I already have on hand, and it doesn’t take much time, this is what I add to my list of brilliant cleaning hacks. So I want to share with you my top 5 remarkable cleaning hacks. Try them and watch your house and attitude transform!
Cleaning Hack #1: Coca Cola for your toilet bowl
OK, this isn’t the most graceful of topics, but let’s be honest — cleaning the toilet is the absolutely worst, especially when you can’t really even get it fully clean. Even when it’s possible to get the bowl mostly clean, I often have problems with the area at the very bottom of the bowl, where you can’t really fit the brush or get any leverage to apply some good elbow grease to scrub.
Enter good ‘ol Coca Cola. It’s totally crazy, but it works like magic. Pour in 1 liter of Coca Cola into the toilet you are having problems with, leave it overnight without flushing, and in the morning, brush it with your toilet brush, and it will be sparkling clean – stains GONE.
I would do this only for stains you can’t remove, rather than on a regular basis, since it’s so powerful it probably isn’t great for your porcelain.
Cleaning hack #2: Lemonade Kool-Aid for your dishwasher
The inside of the dishwasher can get nasty-looking and smelly, and there is no easy way to get in there and scrub (and it’s not a time investment I would choose). But there’s an incredibly easy solution: unsweetened lemonade-flavored kool-aid (lemonade is the only flavor that works) .
The citric acid will remove your gray filmy layer, iron deposits and lime stains, and leave the inside of your dishwasher sparkling. And it couldn’t be any easier – just remove all dishes, sprinkle a single package into the dishwasher powder holder, and run the normal cycle.
Sometimes if your dishwasher is especially bad to begin with, you may need to wipe it out afterwards to remove the loosened crud — if that’s the case, a quick once-over with some paper towels should do the final trick. Back to beautiful!
Cleaning hack #3: Cream of Tartar for your toaster
Metal appliances can get grimy with buildup and fingerprints that don’t just wipe away with a regular cleaning solution. To get a quick, clean shine back for your metal toaster, coffee pot, or other metal appliance, dab some cream of tartar onto a wet paper towel, and scrub the outside surface. All the gunk will come off, and will be replaced by a beautiful shine!
Cleaning hack #4: Pumice stone for your grout
Grout is my arch-nemesis. I’ve tried everything – baking soda and vinegar, toothbrushes, borax, etc etc etc. Nothing works for me to get back to a clean, white grout. Until I discovered pumice. Pumice stones are magic. Just wet the pumice stone, and lightly scrub your grout. Voila – clean!
Be sure to keep your pumice wet as you go, to avoid scratching. Also be careful of surrounding areas (eg tile), as you don’t want to scratch that.
By the way, your pumice stone will also do magic on your toilet bowl rings that won’t come off with a regular toilet brush! A pumice with a handle like this one (Amazon aff. link) works amazingly great.
Cleaning hack #5: Onion for your barbecue grill
Grilling outside makes for amazing, quick, and fun meals. That is, until you open the grill excited to get your amazing dinner started, and you see that it’s caked with gunk from last time. Sure, there are brushes etc. that can get some of the big chunks off, but that doesn’t work as magically well as I’d like it to, for a beautifully clean grill surface.
Enter the common onion. Heat your grill, slice your onion in half, stick a long fork in it (like this one (Amazon aff. link) ) and rub the hot grill with the onion (cut side down, and don’t forget your grilling mitts to keep your hands/arms safe).
The bonus is that the onion also makes the grill more non-stick, so you won’t have as much stuck on it next time!
If you’re looking to really kick it up a notch with your clean and organized home, there is an excellent online series called 30 days to a clean and organized kitchen (aff. link) (also ‘living spaces’ and ‘family spaces’) by Rachel Jones at Nourishing Minimalism that gives you daily wins and step-by-step instructions to get you clean and organized once and for all.
Happy clean house!