9 Cleaning Hacks from Your Pantry


Toothpaste smeared on the wall. Pillowcases on the ceiling fan. Damage from a wild party? Nope. It’s cleaning day, and the key to fast, cheap cleaning is finding new ways to use what you already have on hand, like these 9 unexpected hacks:

Polish a steel sink with flour
Wash and dry your steel sink, dust with flour and buff to a shine. Be sure to wipe out all the flour so none slips down the drain.

Use clear alcohols on carpet and upholstery stains
Vodka is good for more than mixology. Blot the stain and dab vodka on it to pick up the rest. Rubbing alcohol and white wine work too.

Pick up broken glass with bread
You read that right. When broken glass leaves shards, press a slice of bread on them. They’ll stick to the soft bread.

Clean the coffee maker with denture tablets
Dissolve three or four denture cleaning tablets in warm water and run the solution through your coffee maker as if you’re making coffee, followed by a couple of cycles of plain water.

Scrub with citrus
Cut a grapefruit, lemon or lime in half, dip the cut end in coarse salt, and scrub sinks and tubs. Citrus’s acid and salt’s abrasion create a natural cleanser. Bonus: Chop leftover citrus and run it through your garbage disposal for a fresh scent.

Clean away crayon using toothpaste or WD-40
Work toothpaste into crayon marks on walls, then wipe both away (enjoy the minty freshness). Another crayon removal trick: Spray on WD-40. Yes, the stuff you use on squeaky hinges.

Dust fans with pillowcases and blinds with socks
Knocking dust off ceiling fans triggers a dust shower you don’t want. Get a pillowcase, slip it over each fan blade, and wipe with the pillowcase. The dust comes off inside the pillowcase. Then take an old sock, dampen it, and wear it like a mitten to wipe each slat of your window blinds.

Collect pet fur with rubber gloves
When Fluffy sheds on the furniture, pop on rubber gloves. Rub the gloves over the upholstery and watch the fur cling to them. Pull it off with a paper towel and wash your hands with the gloves on to clean them.

Melt gunk off a shower head with vinegar
When the shower head gets crusty with hard water deposits, fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and tie it around the shower head, immersing it. Leave it overnight. If you can detach your shower head, put it into a bucket with just enough vinegar to cover the gunky sprayer. By morning, the crust is gone!