No one likes cleaning, but it is one of life’s necessary evils. We may put it off for as long as possible, but eventually, we all crack under the pressure of hygiene – or our moms – and eventually find ourselves de-griming the house. After all, Oscar the Grouch is the only individual who can pull off that “living in filth” lifestyle. But just because cleaning sucks doesn’t mean it has to be difficult. Here are 10 simple tricks to make the chore a tad bit easier.
Number Ten: Lemon Juice. The microwave is probably everyone’s second least favorite appliance to clean – the first being the fridge. The fact is, until someone finally invents a contraption to keep food from splattering over the walls of this magic oven, we’re going to be stuck wiping down our microwaves for a while. To make the job easier – and smell better, mix water and lemon juice in a microwave safe bowl and nuke the mixture for five minutes. The citrus steam will loosen grime and grease while also eliminating leftover – pun intended – food odors. Afterwards, all you’ve got to do is wipe the inside clean.
Number Nine: Vinegar. Vinegar may be a bit pungent, but it’s a miracle worker when it comes to cleaning. If you fill a zip-lock bag with a cup of vinegar and tie it off around your shower head, leaving it to sit for a night, come morning you’ll have a scum-free shower head. You can also run a mix of vinegar and water through your coffee maker – be it a standard percolating drip machine or a cute little Keurig – to clean out the machine. Just be sure to follow the run with a couple rinse cycles to wash the vinegar smell out.
Number Eight: Squeegees. You love your pets, but you do not love their dander. You also hate vacuuming. Lucky for you, there’s an easier way to clean up all that pet hair. Simply run a squeegee over your carpet and watch the hairballs disappear.
Number Seven: Wash Your Blender Using… Your Blender. If you like Pina Coladas… then you probably use your blender a lot, and are more than familiar with the pain that goes with cleaning the thing. Next time you entertain your friends with blended creations, instead of taking your blender apart to clean it all out, just fill it with hot water and a pinch of dish soap and run it for a minute on high. Empty. Rinse. Make more margaritas.
Number Six: Trashcan Alterations. Garbage bags are supposed to help contain messes, not create them, so of course we’re all annoyed when the garbage bag leaks or rips as we pull it out of the trash can, making everything gross and unfortunate. To help avoid these issues, try padding the bottom of your trash can with balled up newspaper. This way, if your garbage bag leaks the liquid will be absorbed by the newspaper and easier to clean up. Another easy fix for garbage related mess is to drill a couple holes into the bottom of your trash can. Doing so prevents suction from ripping the bag apart as you try to pull it out of the garbage can.
Number Five: Dryer Sheets. Dryer sheets are made to handle more than just laundry! Use them as a wipe to clean grease off your stove and remove soap scum from the bathtub. Their fibers are made so they’ll pick up almost any kind of dirt, dust, or grime you throw at them. Furthermore, the chemicals the sheets contain, designed to soften your fabrics, also soften dirt, so it’s easier to clean.
Number Four: Lint Rollers. Dust your furniture, not with a duster, but with a lint roller. Not only will this collect more dust, but it’ll also keep said dust from flying around everywhere else.
Number Three: Ammonia. Got crust in your oven? If you use it, I promise you, you do, and it can actually make your food start to taste funny. To get rid of it, simply fill a dish with ammonia and set it in your oven, making sure the oven is completely cool when you do so. Leave the bowl there overnight, and by morning the fumes from the ammonia will have knocked all that crust off the grill and walls. All you’ve got to do is wipe it up.
Number Two: Glad Press n’ Seal. I said it when we kicked this list off: the fridge is everyone’s least favorite appliance to clean. Lucky for us, Glad came up with this nifty stuff called Press n’ Seal, and while the sticky paper fails in regards to its intended purpose, it can help with keeping the fridge clean. Line your refrigerator shelves with the sticky paper and when a mess strikes, or it’s just time to clean the fridge out, simply pull the paper off and throw it away. Congrats, you just cleaned your fridge shelves in under five minutes.
Number One: Bread. Break a glass? Bread is actually better for cleanup that a broom or mop. Press the bread down on the broken pieces of glass – careful not to cut yourself – and then shake it out in the trash. Amazingly, the bread slice will actually pick up the shards, as well as all the tiny pieces of glass you can’t even see but can certainly feel when you step on them.