Sunday, February 05, 2012

Shortcuts for People Who Hate Housework

I was cleaning out some magazines today and found this article full of cleaning tips.  I thought I'd share some of them, just in case you can use one or two to make your life easier.
  • After using your blender, partly fill it with warm water, give it a squirt of dishwashing liquid and run it for a few seconds.  Rinse it out, then turn it over and allow it to dry on a towel.
  • Clean the top of the refrigerator, then cover with plastic wrap you can pull off and throw away when dirty. (Moisten the surface slightly so the plastic wrap will stay put.)
  • Line crisper drawers with paper towels so you don't have to clean the drawer - just toss the dirty paper towels and replace with clean ones every two weeks or so.
  • Garbage night?  Clean out last week's leftover from the fridge before putting out the trash.
  • Wipe your TV screen with a fabric softener sheet.  This will help cut down on static electricity, which attracts dust.  Swipe other vertical surfaces - computer screens, mirrors and hanging photo frames - while you're at it.
  • Stop dirt in its tracks.  Put two shoe racks near the door - one for street shoes, the other for clean-soled tootsies to slip on indoors.  (Or just plain take off your shoes!)
  • Spray nonstick spray on plastic storage container before filling with tomato-based sauces to avoid stains.
  • Before working with messy foods, like dipping fish or chicken in bread crumbs or peeling potatoes, cover the countertop or sink with waxed paper or a ripped-open brown grocery bag to catch the mess.  When finished, wad up the paper and throw it away.
  • Soak grimy pans in warm, soapy water while you eat.  After the meal, messy pots and pans will be much easier to clean.
  • Clean the bathroom right after taking a shower, when the steam has loosened the dirt.  (Or if you don't have time to actually clean, at least wipe things down with a towel while everything is all steamy.)
  • Fill your teakettle with equal parts vinegar and water.  Bring to a boil, turn off the heat and let it stand overnight.  This will remove the lime deposits left behind by hard water.
  • Clean stubborn residue from flower vases.  Mix 2 tablespoons of oxygen bleach with 1 gallon of warm water.  let the bubbles work while you sleep.  Rinse clean the next morning.
  • To unclog drains, pour 1/2 cup each baking soda and salt down the drain.  follow with a cup of boiling water and let sit.  Flush with hot tap water the next day.
There were quite a few other tips, but I just shared a few.  Some of these I already do and others I am definitely going to try.  There were a couple tips for cleaning microwaves, which again had me wondering what people are doing with their microwaves.  How in the world do they supposedly get so dirty?  If yours gets dirty please share - and
  • spray the inside with a plant mister, then turn on high for a few seconds.  Allow it to sit for a minute or two, then wipe with a clean cloth.  You can also nuke a few tablespoons of baking soda in a cup of water and then wipe up the mist with a paper towel.  For stubborn stains, scrub with a toothbrush.  
and there was at least one that seemed so obvious I couldn't imagine anyone really needed to be told, like:
  • Before putting muffins or a cake into the oven, wipe off drips from the rim of the pan so they won't get baked on and require extra elbow grease to remove.  (really, people don't know this?)

And here's a bonus tip from me (actually I got this one from my mom):
  • Line the tops of your kitchen cabinets with waxed paper.  It's just about exactly the right width and will protect the cabinet tops from accumulating all that greasy dust.  When it's time to clean, just remove the waxed paper and replace it with new - so much easier than trying to get that dust off!  You'll still have to clean all the stuff you put up there to look pretty, but at least that can be pulled down and cleaned off in a sink of hot soapy water, unlike those cabinet tops.
If you've got any tips to share, leave them in the comments.
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  1. SOme of these I've heard of but others are fabulous! But wax paper is expensive (to me) so using disposables like that are more of a pain to pay for- it's cheaper to clean! I guess there's a balance between easy cleaning and frugalness. My penny pinching usually wins.

  2. My penny pinching usually wins, too - but I got a really good deal on wax paper at Walgreens a while back, so it's pretty cheap. And, it only gets changed once a year if it's lucky!

  3. Some good tips there.. anything that helps with the boring tedious tasks!

  4. Old newspapers work just as well on cupboard tops.

    1. Thanks, Pamela! Great idea, and really cheap, too.


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