It’s the time of year when soap bubbles and detergent scents are wafting out of all the open windows while the hum of the vacuum cleaner is heard steadily from within. We’re all up for the “Great Yearly Pesach Cleaning Challenge.” Truth be told, all that technically needs to happen is for crumbs and their cohorts to leave the house, but in our zealous attempt at banning the bread, we go all the way…working our hands to chapped conditions. So if you’re going to do all those details anyway, why not make it a bit easier on yourself by trying some proven tips and tricks which will leave all parts of the house squeaky clean?
- Your burners have seen better days? There’s no need to scrub and rub your fingers to the bone. Place the burners (one by one) in a large Ziploc bag and fill with a bit of ammonia. You don’t need to soak the burner; you just want to seal it with the ammonia fumes. Let sit overnight. Remove from bag and wipe clean with a cloth. Grime gone!
- You’ve been baking some great food all year in the oven, but now it’s time to contend with the mess. Try this amazing potion for miraculous results. Make a thick paste with baking soda and water, and spread it liberally over the glass. Let sit for 20 minutes and wipe it off with a sponge. Voila!
- Whether you have tiled kitchen floors or bathroom walls, grout is a dirt attractor wherever it may be. Fortunately, there is a simple way of cleaning it. Don a pair of plastic gloves and make a paste using baking soda and bleach. Brush it onto the dirty grout and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Wipe it down thoroughly to reveal sparkly clean grout that looks like it was just redone.
- One of the hardest places to clean is inside the toaster. It seems as if entire loaves of bread could be put together from the amount of crumbs lodged between the thin wires and metal walls. To clean the toaster easily and effectively, repurpose an old toothbrush. Its thin, long handle and plastic bristles make it easy to reach every last crumb.
- Dreading cleaning the oven racks? Have no fear! This time around, all you need to do is spray them with vinegar, sprinkle with baking soda, and cover with hot water for 10 minutes. Then, wipe them clean with a rag. All done!
- To disinfect the sink disposal and get rid of odors, too: Drop in a cut-up lemon, a little salt and a few ice cubes. The lemon will deodorize, while the ice and salt clean away gunk and residue.
- Refrigerator has an odor? Place a tab of Alka-Seltzer in a glass of water at the back of the fridge to remove the odor in a day.
- You made some good use out of your microwave and it’s a bit self-evident. Make the job easier by microwaving a bowl of water and vinegar on high for 2 minutes. The steam will break down all stuck-on grease and grime, making it easy to wipe down with a rag.
- Got some hard water stains on faucets or shower heads? You don’t have to deal with harsh chemicals. Simply cut a lemon in half and give them a good rub down. Let sit for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water and wiping it dry. Hard to believe that a lemon can be so powerful!
- To deodorize sink and tub drains, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain while running warm tap water. It’ll get rid of bad scents and buildup.
- Hair products like brushes and combs get oil buildup with constant use. Clean them by soaking in a small bowl of warm water with a teaspoon of baking soda. Rinse and allow to dry.
- To make glass shower doors look like new, try wiping them down with some dryer sheets. You won’t believe the results.
- Get the most use out of your Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Cut a little chunk, and throw it into the toilet bowl. Let it float overnight and it’ll remove rings and dirt. No scrubbing!
- Instead of scrubbing away the mess on your shower head, immerse it in a baggie filled with vinegar. Close the bag with the shower head inside, using a twistie. Let it sit overnight. Remove the bag in the morning to reveal a beautifully clean head.
- Here’s an amazing way to clean your iron bottom. Sprinkle some salt on the ironing board. Switch the iron to the highest power and turn the steam setting off. Run the hot iron over the salt on the board, and all dirt will be removed safely and effectively.
- Ink stain on a towel or on your favorite shirt? It’s not doomed! Spray stain with a hefty serving of hairspray and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, launder as usual and watch the stain disappear!
- Don’t work so hard scrubbing that piece of hard gum or silly putty. Just rub it with an ice cube until it becomes frozen and then can be broken off.
- If you find a grease/oil stain on a fabric couch or piece of clothing, try one of these two methods to remove it successfully:
- Sprinkle baby powder liberally over stain. Let sit until it hardens. Scrape off baby powder and launder as usual.
- Rub white chalk over stain, creating a chalk powder. Let sit for a few minutes and launder as usual.
- There is one magic formula for taking out tough laundry stains that won’t budge. Mix 1 part dish detergent, 2 parts hydrogen peroxide, and ½ part baking soda. Make as much as needed and rub a generous amount onto stain with laundry brush. Allow to sit 10-15 minutes and launder as usual. All stains will disappear like magic! Try it on sweat, wine, blood, ketchup, grass, mud, etc.
- Got some stubborn scuff marks on the floor? A spritz of WD-40 and a quick wipe is all you need to get rid of them.
- One of the most annoying things to clean has got to be window blinds. They tend to stick together, making them hard to clean and dry properly…until you try the sock method! Slip on a pair of old socks, one on each hand. Dip one sock-covered hand into a vinegar/water solution and wash a slat while the second, dry, sock-covered hand wipes it right away. Hey, it’s actually fun!
- Tons of silver to clean but no time to stand and polish? Line a glass pan with aluminum foil and lay it in the kitchen sink to avoid spills. Fill the pan with flatware, jewelry, coins, or other silver, making sure that each piece of silver physically touches the aluminum. Add a 1/4 cup baking soda to 4 cups boiling water and pour over silver. Double this recipe as needed to cover silver completely. Once the mixture is added to the pan, it will begin to foam. The tarnish will rapidly begin to disappear, and you may see the resulting aluminum sulfide form yellow flakes and stick to the foil. Once the silver is clean, remove it from the pan, rinse it with clean water, and dry with a soft cloth.
- You can freshen up runners, carpets, and rugs without expensive products. Sprinkle baking soda on rugs and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Shake clean or vacuum off.
- Got rusty tools or utensils? Quit the rubbing. Try soaking the affected piece(s) in lemon juice overnight. All that’ll be left to do is to wipe them dry in the morning.
- How do you clean the dust off lamp shades? Easy! A lint roller will take care of that quickly.