These Easy Cleaning Hacks Will Save You Time and Money

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Who doesn’t love a cleaning hack? We all spend countless hours keeping our homes clean, hours that could be used for any number of other, more fun activities. The job seems endless and as soon as we reach the end of our cleaning duties, the first ones we completed are ready to be cleaned again, especially with kids in the house!

In this post, we have summed up the best cleaning hacks that will save you time and money. Many of the tips and tricks are using things that you most likely have at home already, saving you that trip to Target for cleaning supplies. Read on to discover how your life can be made easier today!


1. Clean Your Cheese Grater with Potato

Products Needed: Raw potato
What it Does: Cleans cheese from grater holes
Cost: $1*

Shredding cheese with a cheese grater is the best way to get all the cheesy goodness you want on your preferred dish. However, there’s no denying that cheese graters are nearly impossible to clean, and it can feel as though you’ve been scrubbing for ages when you clean them.


Put away the steel wool and dish soap, as there is another option. You can clean your grater using a potato. Shred the raw potato after you shred the cheese. It will clear the gummy cheese from the grater’s holes, and you can then use the shredded potato for all sorts of food.


2. Use A Lint Roller on Lamps

Products Needed: Lint roller
What it Does: Traps and pulls dust and dirt off lampshades
Cost: $4*

Lampshades are a must-have, and you can find them in pretty much every home and office. Unfortunately, these lampshades are a dust and dirt magnet. They tend to trap dust, which could even lead to a fire hazard, depending on how much heat the bulb the lampshade is guarding produces. Not to mention, dust is always a huge allergen trigger.

An effective way to clean your lampshade is to use a lint roller. Run the roller around the edges, top, bottom, inside, and outside. Chances are, you’ll be quite shocked (and pleased) with how much dust the roller pulls off the shade.


3. Put a Plastic Bag Filled with Vinegar On Your Showerhead

Products Needed: Plastic bag, white vinegar
What it Does: Cleans dirt and grime from the showerhead
Cost: $5*

Your shower is an essential part of your day or night, and it’s definitely a place that is ripe for cleaning hacks. Cleaning your showerhead might not seem as pressing to you as cleaning the tub or walls of the shower, but it is still a bacteria-prone area.

To clean your showerhead, fill a plastic bag halfway with white vinegar. Don’t overfill the plastic bag, as the vinegar could overflow when you submerge the showerhead into it. Place the bag over the showerhead, fully soaking it in the vinegar. Let it soak for a few hours, and then remove the bag.

4. Remove Water Stains With a Hairdryer

Products Needed: Hairdryer, olive oil
What it Does: Removes water stains from wood and shines the surface
Cost: $40*

When it comes to wood, water stains are almost an inevitability, especially if you have kids. These stains often show up onto wood as light-colored rings, which are caused by the bottoms of hot plates or cold mugs that rest onto the wood surface.

The condensed moisture seeps into the wood, causing a noticeable stain. If you want to fix that problem, plug in your hairdryer. Spray the water rings with a hairdryer, drying the water from the wooden surface. Then, freshen up the area with olive oil. The result will be shiny wood without a hint of annoying water stains.

5. Clean Stainless Steel with Cream of Tartar

Products Needed: Cream of tartar, cloth, water
What it Does: Cleans and shines stainless steel  
Cost: $10*

Cream of tartar isn’t just something you eat; it’s also something you can clean with. A lot of food products on this list overlap into cleaning products, and cream of tartar is no exception. You can use it to clean stainless steel.

Cream of tartar works as a scrub, as it is a powdered form of tartaric acid. All you need to do is dampen a cloth with water and sprinkle cream of tartar onto it. You can use it to spot-clean all types of stainless steel surfaces, from small appliances to pots and pans. It will remove stains and replenish luster.

6. Use Toothpaste on Old Sneakers

Products Needed: Old toothbrush, toothpaste
What it Does: Removes stains from white, non-mesh shoes
Cost: $5*

White sneakers will never go out of style, but it’s a shame that they get dirty so easily. Keeping white shoes dirt-free is a Herculean task, but it doesn’t have to be an expensive one. Chances are, you’ve got the key tool right in your home.

All you need is an old toothbrush (one you don’t use anymore, obviously) and toothpaste. Squeeze the toothpaste onto the brush, and work the brush in a circular motion onto the stain. Let the paste sit for ten or fifteen minutes, and then clean it off with a clean sponge or damp towel. Repeat as necessary, until your shoes are bright white again.

7. Clean Your Toilet with Duct Tape and Vinegar

Products Needed: Duct tape, vinegar
What it Does: Strips grime from the inside of the toilet bowl
Cost: $6*

Though duct tape and vinegar might seem like unusual cleaning products, don’t let that discourage you from giving this hack a try. To clean the toilet, cover the siphons with duct tape. Then, put white vinegar into the toilet bowl.

Flush. Let the mix sit overnight before you remove the tape from the siphons. Allowing the vinegar to soak will let the substance get into the toilet bowl, clean it thoroughly, and strip away grime. This hack is cheaper than some of the expensive, $10-$15 toilet bowl cleaners on the market today, and you probably already have duct tape and vinegar right in your own home.

8. Clean Broken Glass with Bread

Products Needed: Bread
What it Does: Picks up tiny pieces of broken glass
Cost: $4-$6*

If you have kids or pets, then you know that the number-one most stressful thing is breaking a piece of glass around them. There’s always a risk that one of them will try and step in the area before you’ve had a chance to clean up all the glass.

The seemingly microscopic pieces of glass can cause a huge injury. You can clean up these small pieces of glass with a piece of bread. After you’ve removed the larger chunks of shattered glass, take a piece of soft bread and press it into the floor. The bread will pick up the glass that you (and maybe even your vacuum) couldn’t reach.

9. Remove Lipstick Stains with Hairspray

Products Needed: Hairspray, clean cloth, water
What it Does: Removes lipstick from fabric
Cost: $5-$7*

Lipstick stains are the worst. There’s nothing more ruinous than a bright red lipstick stain on a white blouse. They also are difficult to get off, as just throwing the shirt in the wash won’t be able to get the stain off completely.

Try using hairspray. The chemical compounds in hairspray work to remove stains like lipstick. Spray hairspray onto the stain, and allow it to sit for fifteen minutes. Then, dip a clean cloth in warm water. Using the cloth, wipe the remaining hairspray off the lipstick stain. Let dry and repeat if necessary to fully remove the pesky spot.

10. Bathtub Rings Be Gone With Cut Grapefruit

Products Needed: Grapefruit (cut in half), rock salt
What it Does: Cleans soap scum and bathroom rings from tub/tiles
Cost: $2.50*

As you can see from a lot of items on this list, citrus is a powerful cleaning agent, and it’s also not too expensive. Bathtub rings, along with soap scum, are two major cleanliness issues that you find in bathrooms. They form very easily, so even constant cleaners might find themselves at a loss to prevent stains.

Try using a grapefruit. Cut the grapefruit in half, sprinkle rock salt onto the exposed top of the fruit, and then scrub the stain with the grapefruit. The acidic citrus will get your tub sparkling clean, and it will also make your bathroom smell really good.

11. Skip the Wood Polish

Products Needed: Microfiber cloth
What it Does: Removes dust from wood better than wood polish
Cost: $14/24-pack*

Is wood polish just a big scam? Well, we can’t say for sure, but there appears, according to cleaning pros over at Family Handyman, to be a better way to clean wood. You have to polish up wood floors and wooden furniture from time to time.

Otherwise, they’ll get dusty. Next time you clean them, skip the wood polish. Just buy a dry microfiber cloth and dust using that. Your wood furniture will actually accumulate less dust without using the furniture polish. It’s also not too expensive, as microfiber cloths cost $14 for a 24-pack on Amazon (the AmazonBasics brand).

12. Use a Tennis Ball on Scuff Marks

Products Needed: 12 oz. can of Coca-Cola, nylon scrub brush
What it Does: Cleans stains from concrete floors
Cost: $6*

When you think of Coca-Cola, you probably think of a cold glass of America’s favorite soda on a hot day (sorry, Pepsi). But, Coca-Cola can actually be used as a cleaning product, something that went viral when people realized how well it cleaned toilets.

Toilets aren’t the only things you can use Coke to clean. You can also use the drink to clean concrete. Pour a twelve-ounce can of Coke onto a stained area. Work the Coca-Cola into the stain using a nylon scrub brush. Don’t use wire, as that could lead to scratches. You’ll find that the Coke cleans the stain as well as any top-dollar cleaning solution.

13. Use Chalk on Your Laundry

Products Needed: Chalk  
What it Does: Absorbs the oil and grease from the stain, drying it out
Cost: $2*

Grease stains are among the most stubborn stains to get out of clothes, and they usually arise as a cooking mishap. Luckily, there’s a cheap solution to keeping your clothing stain-free. Use chalk to rid clothing of grease stains.

Rub chalk into the grease stain. Let the chalk absorb the grease from the fabric, and then brush it off. You might have to rub it for a while. If the stain is stubborn, keep at it, and then throw it in the wash as usual. Chalk will also help get rid of collar stains, as the substance is great at absorbing oil.

14. Clean Garage Floors With Coca Cola

Products Needed: 12 oz. can of Coca-Cola, nylon scrub brush
What it Does: Cleans stains from concrete floors
Cost: $6*

When you think of Coca-Cola, you probably think of a cold glass of America’s favorite soda on a hot day (sorry, Pepsi). But, Coca-Cola can actually be used as a cleaning product, something that went viral when people realized how well it cleaned toilets.

Toilets aren’t the only things you can use Coke to clean. You can also use the drink to clean concrete. Pour a twelve-ounce can of Coke onto a stained area. Work the Coca-Cola into the stain using a nylon scrub brush. Don’t use wire, as that could lead to scratches. You’ll find that the Coke cleans the stain as well as any top-dollar cleaning solution.

15. Get the Musty Smell Out Of Clothes

Products Needed: Baking powder or bag of dried herbs
What it Does: Removes must-causing agents from drawers  
Cost: $5-$10*

Must is a pretty easy-to-recognize smell. It’s always a pain, too, as it’s not easy to get out of clothing. The cause is dampness. Make sure laundry is fully, completely dry before you store it in your airless, dark drawer.

To get musty smells out of clothing, try drilling neat holes into your drawer doors. This will let in air (as will leaving the drawers cracked open). This way, even if your clothes aren’t 100% dry, they won’t get musty. Also, try storing an open box of baking powder in the drawer or closet, or a bag of dried herbs.

16. Protect Baseboards with Dryer Sheets

Products Needed: Clean cloth, warm water, dryer sheets
What it Does: Creates a dust/dirt barrier that keeps baseboards clean for longer  
Cost: $8*

Dryer sheets are great at making laundry smell amazing, but they can be used for more than just laundry-related cleaning needs. As everyone who lives in a home or apartment knows, cleaning baseboards isn’t exactly a fun task.

Dryer sheets might make that cleaning process quicker and easier. To clean baseboards effectively, use a clean microfiber cloth that has been dampened by warm water. Wipe down the baseboards, removing any dirt or grime. Then, rub down the baseboards with a fresh dryer sheet. This will create a barrier, which will repel dirt and dust, keeping your home’s baseboards fresher for longer.

18. Bring Old Candles Back to Life With a Sock

Products Needed: Sock or nylon, knife to break candle wax, old candle 
What it Does: Takes old candle wax and turns it into a hanging air freshener for your closet 
Cost: $10-$15*

We’ve all had a favorite candle or two (or three). Favorite candles burn out, but that doesn’t have to be the end of their story. If your favorite candle is all used up, chances are there is some wax left.

Cut or break the remaining candle wax from the bottom of the candle jar. Be careful, as the jar is likely glass and will shatter if you’re too rough. Take the broken wax and place it into a sock or nylon. Hang the sock or nylon in your closet. Every time you open the door, you’ll be greeted by the scent of your favorite candle.

20. Use a Floor Swiffer for Walls

Products Needed: Swiffer Sweeper, dry cloth (optional)
What it Does: Cleans hard-to-reach walls and ceilings
Cost: $22.99*

Homeowners with hardwood floors love Swiffer Sweepers, and they swear by them as their go-to cleaning tools. And, they have good reason to be so enthused. These Sweepers get all the dirt and dust off the floors, leaving a sparkling, shining surface.

You don’t have to just use Swiffer Sweepers for the floors. Get the most out of this cleaning tool by using it on your walls and trim, as well as any other high, hard-to-reach places. If you attach a clean, dry cloth to the rectangular end of the Sweeper, you can pick up dust and cobwebs lurking high in the corners of your ceilings.

21. Remove Buildup with a Lemon

Products Needed: Lemon (cut in half), plastic bag, rubber band
What it Does: Removes hard-water buildup from faucets
Cost: $6*

Hard-water buildup is a common, easy-to-fix ailment that plagues faucets and other, similar surfaces. If you’re looking for a natural solution to remove hard-water buildup, try using a lemon. You’ll need a fresh lemon, cut in half.

Take one of the lemon halves and use your thumb to gently open up the center of the lemon. Make sure you don’t have any cuts on your thumb, or else you’ll be in for quite a sting from the acidic lemon juice. Then, press the lemon half on the end of the faucet. Place a plastic bag around the lemon and secure it with a rubber band. Leave it on for a few hours so the citric acid eats away at the buildup.

22. Tin Foil and Salt for Your Iron

Products Needed: Tin foil, rock salt
What it Does: Removes stains and stuck dirt from the iron’s surface  
Cost: $9*

If your iron is beginning to get sticky, it’s probably because you have been ironing a lot of clothes with starch. This doesn’t mean you have to get rid of the starch or the iron, for that matter. Instead, you can use two household items, tin foil, and salt, to clean it.

For tough stains, pour one tablespoon of rock salt onto a piece of tin foil. Then iron over the salted tin foil, keeping the iron on its highest settings. This will help clean starch stains from the iron, and it will also loosen any dirt that could be stuck to the iron’s surface.

23. Use Shaving Cream to Clean Your Shower Glass

Products Needed: Shaving cream, dry cloth
What it Does: Cleans water stains from shower glass
Cost: $5*

When you’re staring at a streaky piece of glass, the last thing you’re probably thinking of doing to remedy the situation is spraying shaving cream onto it. However, that might be just what the glass needs to return to its shiny state.

Apply shaving cream to the water stains, and then let the mixture sit for fifteen minutes. After the time’s up, wipe it off with a clean cloth or paper towel. The result will be a water-stain-free shower glass that is remarkably clean. If you’re short on Windex and guests are coming over, try this last-second hack.

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