Life Hacks

Add a bowl of vinegar to your dirty dishes. Plus 18+ cleaning shortcuts everyone needs to know

December 8th, 2020

If you asked 100 people their least favorite thing to do, there’s a good chance they’d all say cleaning. After all, it takes a lot of time and physical effort. That doesn’t just entail keeping the house in tip-top shape but also dealing with messes, odors, dirty cars, and more. With these 20 shortcuts, cleaning won’t be nearly as difficult.

1. Unclogging cleaning shortcuts everyone needs to know a toilet

Cleaning includes all the annoyances that crop up such as dealing with a clogged toilet. Rather than call a plumber, pour liquid dish soap inside the bowl, let it sit for about 30 minutes, and then plunge. Just be sure to buy a product with a degreasing agent.

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Unsplash/99.films Source: Unsplash/99.films

2. Gooey laundry cap

While some people aren’t bothered by the little things, others are. Case in point…a gooey laundry detergent cap. Instead of getting your hands sticky every time you open and close the bottle, just drop the entire lid in with a load of laundry.

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Pexels/Rodnae Productions Source: Pexels/Rodnae Productions

3. Washing dishes

Thank goodness for dishwashers. But sometimes, they don’t get things as clean as you’d like. To solve the problem, fill a small glass or bowl with vinegar, place it in with the dirty dishes, and then run the wash cycle as normal.

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Unsplash/Nathan Dumlao Source: Unsplash/Nathan Dumlao

4. Dirty crevices

Even with a good vacuum cleaner, it’s hard to reach dirt that settles into crevices. For the home or car, you’ll love this tip. Place an empty paper towel holder on the end of the attachment, crimp the end to form a funnel, and then vacuum.

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YouTube Screenshot/Household Hacker Source: YouTube Screenshot/Household Hacker

5. Freshen bedsheets

Few things are better than climbing into bed with freshly washed linens. But over time, sheets and pillowcases become dull. You can liven them up by washing them with a small amount of vinegar and baking soda.

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Unsplash/Ketut Subiayanto Source: Unsplash/Ketut Subiayanto

6. Burnt food

Have you ever accidentally overcooked something only to end up with burnt debris on the bottom of your pots and pans? To remove it, wrap produce mesh around a sponge. It’ll get rid of the mess and without damaging your cookware.

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YouTube Screenshot/Can You Show Me How Source: YouTube Screenshot/Can You Show Me How

7. Eliminate odors

Every home has odors, whether in a closet, dresser drawer, or perhaps the pantry. To eliminate unpleasant smells, fill a jar with uncooked white rice, and add a few drops of essential oil. Then, poke a few holes in the lid, seal the jar, and place it wherever you want.

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Pexels/Karolina Grabowska Source: Pexels/Karolina Grabowska

8. Oil stains

Especially when cooking, it doesn’t take much for oil to splatter on clothes. With this shortcut, you can remove the grease quickly and easily. Simply rub it with regular white chalk and then launder.

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Pexels/George Becker Source: Pexels/George Becker

9. Dryer sheets for messes

The next time you have a mess to clean up, reach for a dryer sheet instead of a paper towel. As an example, if you open a bag of flour only to have dust go flying, this works great. And it’ll leave your countertops smelling good.

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YouTube Screenshot/Facts Verse Source: YouTube Screenshot/Facts Verse

10. Make carpeting look new

Sometimes, it’s fun to move furniture around. But after it’s been sitting on the carpet for a long time, you have indentations to deal with. To make the carpeting appear new, rub the indented areas with ice.

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YouTube Screenshot/Today Source: YouTube Screenshot/Today

11. A baker’s hack

If you enjoy baking, you know how easy it is to make messes. Instead of scooping out baking soda with a measuring spoon only to spill it, put this ingredient in a salt shaker. Now, it’s so much easier to use and no more mess.

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Pexels/Kaboompics Source: Pexels/Kaboompics

12. Stuck gum

You might’ve heard of this shortcut before but it’s worth repeating. If you ever have to get gum off clothing, place an ice cube on it first to freeze it. That way, it’ll come right off. This also works for gum stuck in hair.

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YouTube Screenshot/Home Serve Source: YouTube Screenshot/Home Serve

13. Clean pots and pans

Stop spending so much time and effort cleaning your pots and pans. Instead, use dry coffee grounds. When placed on a damp sponge and used to scrub, food particles come off easily.

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Unsplash/Andrea Tummons Source: Unsplash/Andrea Tummons

14. Removing pet hair

If you have a cat or dog, you probably live with pet hair in your house. Trying to get it off various surfaces can be a real challenge. Well, not anymore. Slip a latex glove on your hand and start wiping. This also works great for cleaning pet beds and cat towers.

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YouTube Screenshot/I Am Casper Source: YouTube Screenshot/I Am Casper

15. Clean shower/bathtub

It doesn’t take long for a shower or bathtub to get dirty. Here’s a great way to keep it in shape in between regular cleanings. Use a dishwashing brush with an attached soap dispenser on grimy spots, especially grout lines.

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YouTube Screenshot/Bill’s Kitchenware Source: YouTube Screenshot/Bill’s Kitchenware

16. Shiny sink

If you have stainless steel sinks, you want them to shine. Usually, that requires a lot of work. But by using flour as your cleaning agent, the sinks will sparkle.

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Unsplash/Andrea Davis Source: Unsplash/Andrea Davis

17. Keeping things together

Whether doing laundry or dishes, you can prevent things from going missing or falling in the bottom of the dishwasher. How? Place items like socks, baby bottle lids, corn cob holders, and so on inside a mesh laundry bag before the wash cycle.

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YouTube Screenshot/Creative U Source: YouTube Screenshot/Creative U

18. Tidy laundry room

It doesn’t take long for a laundry room to get dirty. In particular, people commonly find things like strands of thread, broken buttons, and lint. To keep those items picked up, place a couple of empty tissue boxes nearby. When full of debris, just throw them away.

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Unsplash/Kelly Sikkema Source: Unsplash/Kelly Sikkema

19. Disaster prevention

Unfortunately, toilet leaks often go unnoticed until it’s too late. If you’re worried about this, remove the tank lid, add a few drops of green food coloring, place the lid back on, and let it sit for about 15 minutes. If you notice any of the colored water leaking into the bowl, the flapper on the fill valve is probably faulty.

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YouTube Screenshot/Best Plumbing Source: YouTube Screenshot/Best Plumbing

20. Silica gel packs

Whether gel packs sold in stores or the ones that come with new shoes, they’re super handy. If you have an issue with moisture in your house, place them inside of the pet food package, boxed cereal, and other dry products. These packs absorb moisture, keeping things fresher longer.

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YouTube Screenshot/BuzzFeed Nifty Source: YouTube Screenshot/BuzzFeed Nifty

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Source: Apartment Therapy, Good Housekeeping

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