While we’d all love to live in a perfectly clean home, actually getting everything in your house spick and span is much easier said than done! No one — well, almost no one — really loves to roll up their sleeves and dig into the mess. And chances are that you don’t have your own maid or butler.
Luckily, a few clever corner-cutters have figured out ways to make cleaning a heck of a lot simplier. These hints and tricks make it easy to have every inch of your home sparkling. And the best part? You probably already have everything that you need to get started!
1. This tip may seem a little bit counter-intuitive, but ketchup actually works as an effective polish for silverware and stainless steel or copper pots and pans. Simply squirt a little on, scrub with a scouring pad, and rinse the residue away with warm water.
2. Propping up dish sponges with binder clips is a great way to keep them on your sink without taking up so much space. As an added bonus, this method of storage helps air-dry them quickly, which is more sanitary!
Flickr / Spoon University
3. It can be hard to clean your chrome faucets and water fixtures without leaving streaks or unsightly water marks. One easy-peasy solution? Buff away smudges and grime by rubbing your faucets with a sheet of wax paper.
4. Just because your vacuum cleaner filter is dirty doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced. Simply run your vacuum filters through the dishwasher, and then let them air-dry! However, you might not want to put your dishes and silverware in there at the same time.
A Girl And Her Needle
5. Cleaning your toaster or any other stainless steel appliance is super easy! Pour some cream of tartar on a sponge and, with a little elbow grease, you can make that toaster nice and shiny again.
A Real-Life Housewife
6. The best cast iron skillets retain their seasoning between uses. If you want to clean your cast iron pans without losing that flavor, scrub them with ordinary salt! You can really get in there by rubbing the salt in with half a potato, too.
7. Here’s a handy way to kill two birds with one stone. If your garbage disposal smells funky, simply shove some used lemon rinds down there! Naturally, you’ll need to make sure the device is off before you try this.
8. If you want to clean out the barrel of your washing machine, run a regular cycle without clothes using a combination of bleach and hot water. The next time you do the wash, your clothes will be fresher than ever!
9. Dryer vents get pretty filthy and clogged up with lint, but a bottle cleaner brush and a vacuum can definitely solve that problem. You can fish out excess lint and fuzzy matter and suck ’em up with the vacuum hose!
Pretty Handy Girl
10. Window tracks can quickly acquire lots of dirt and grime simply by opening them up to the outside elements. To give them a good clean, just dip a cotton swab in vinegar and wipe.
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11. If you have pesky carpet stains from dirt or dropped food, simply spray the problem spot with vinegar, lay a damp rag over them, and steam them out using your iron. Sorry, artists — this trick won’t work with synthetic dyes or paints!
12. A sad fact of life is that everybody has a lone sock whose mate is hopelessly lost forever. Instead of throwing it out, you can use this clothing item as a makeshift duster. Socks are especially good for blinds.
Keep Home Simple
13. If you aren’t careful, your shower can get grimy pretty quickly. To prevent gross build-up, fill a dishwashing wand with equal parts detergent and vinegar. Just like that, you’ll have the ultimate tile scrubber!
Sweet Parrish Place
14. Got a stinky house but can’t locate the source? Warm up a little vanilla extract in the oven to make your home smell great. There’s no reason to waste money on synthetic air-fresheners when you have this trick!
15. To make scrubbing your bathroom a breeze, first fill the tub with an inch of hot water. The steam will help loosen any soap scum, and it eliminates the need to have a separate bucket of water to mix your cleaning agents in.
16. Most people tend to overlook lamp shades when tidying up a room. However, we guarantee that you’ll be surprised by how pristine they will look after cleaning them with a lint roller!
17. Maybe you despise shaving — whether it’s your face or your legs — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a steady supply of shaving cream. This goo is a secret weapon when it comes to removing stains on clothing, tile, and even metal!
18. Part of the problem with cleaning your windows is that just about every rag or paper towel will leave unsightly streaks. To avoid them, use regular window cleaner, but wipe the glass down with newspaper.
Drexler Shower Door & Custom Glass
19. It’s almost impossible to get grease and grime off of your keyboard without harming the electronics — or so you think. Using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can help you pinpoint the problem spots without messing anything up.
20. Is your house overrun with pet hair? Luckily, you can keep your furry friend’s shedding in check with just a pair of rubber gloves. When you slide them across a fur-covered surface, all the hair gets easily picked up.
21. Over time, your stainless steel sink will acquire water spots, patches of odd coloration, and general grime if you don’t keep up with it. Prevention is as easy as scrubbing your sink regularly with a halved lime or lemon that’s been dipped in baking soda. Hello, shine!
22. When you cook soup or tomato sauce in the microwave, splatters can leave the inside looking more than a little messy. To clean it without much scrubbing, just nuke a bowl full of vinegar, then wipe down with a wet sponge!
The Manly Housekeeper
23. Even if you change your sheets frequently, your mattress can end up smelling more than a little slept-in. Let baking soda sit directly on the mattress, then vacuum it up to pull out any odors.
24. Try this easy trick to clean your oven’s glass window. Attach a Clorox disposable wipe to a coat hanger and slide it between the two panes of glass. Leave it there while using the oven, and then fish it out with the coat hanger later!
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25. Believe it or not, Coca-Cola and other sodas make very effective toilet bowl cleaners. All you need to do is pour in the beverage, let it sit so the carbonation can do its trick, and then flush away! But don’t throw out the can…
26. Empty cans have more than a few household uses. An empty Coke, with some bark and moss glued on, can serve as the perfect home for wrens or other small birds. Just attach the birdhouse to any tree using a couple of zip ties.
Instructables / cloudifornia
27. Got your scissors handy? With a bit of cutting, you can transform any aluminum can into the perfect holder for a tea light. This homemade lamp provides some great mood lighting!
28. Need to inject a little more life into your party? If you have some spare time beforehand, you can build an awesome speaker using a soda can and a handful of audio parts. This project should cost you less than $20, which is a steal compared to brand-name speakers.
Instructables / jsincn
29. Just because your microwave is on the fritz doesn’t mean that movie night is ruined. You can have fresh popcorn in seconds by putting together a makeshift oven out of two cans and a small candle. Just add some oil, salt, and kernels— and you’re good to pop!
YouTube / Household Hacker
30. If you happen to have a ton of soda can tabs on your hands, you can make a very cool, lightweight chain. After cutting a slit in the thinnest side of the tabs, you can stack them to make an individual link, and then hook them up with other links. Soon, you’ll have a shiny chain perfect for a wallet or belt.
Instructables / The King of Random
31. When it comes to storing your valuables, a safe is often too impractical and too obvious. For a subtler method, simply use a can opener to slice off the top of an empty can, and then add a bit of weight inside. Voila! You’ve got the perfect place to secretly stash any small objects in plain sight.
YouTube / Kooper Salmo
32. Need to split apart a yolk from the egg whites? Sure, you could blow some of your hard-earned cash on a kitchen gadget you’ll only use once in a while. But for a cheaper solution, cut off the top of the can and drill some holes in the bottom. Once it’s flipped over, the gadget will do the job perfectly.
YouTube / Tuah Raja
33. Speaking of eggs, what do you do with your dirty frying pan? Pouring leftover grease down the drain seems like an easy fix, but it’s actually a great way to clog your pipes with fat. Instead of dealing with that nightmare, just pour the waste into a can and dispose of it once it cools.
34. Do you hate buying small pots for seedlings when they’ll just outgrow their home in a couple of weeks? You can have a green thumb AND keep the green in your wallet. Slice an empty can in half and fill each part with soil, and you’ve got cheap and easy planters for your next crop.
Instructables / upcycled.be
35. A lot of the phone cases out there are so bulky that you can barely fit the device in your pocket. For a slimmer profile, you can take the body of an aluminum can and wrap it around like a suit of armor. Just remember to leave a hole for your camera, or else you’ll never become an Instagram star!
YouTube / Creative Etc
36. If you have a big craft project but lack the proper tools, never fear! Putting together some repurposed aluminum, sturdy tape, and a basic lighter will get you a new hot glue gun in just a few minutes. Then you can stick to your original project!
Facebook / 5-Minute Crafts
37. For all the Tom Sawyer types out there, any day can be a lazy fishing day as long as you’ve got a couple old soda cans. The tabs — minus a bit of metal on the side — make perfect fish hooks. Plus, maybe you can use the rest of the can to dig up some fresh bait!
Instructables / McNoodle
38. There’s nothing more frustrating in life than spotty wifi. But when Netflix won’t stop buffering, don’t hurl your laptop out the window. Instead, position a cut-open soda can on your router, and it will reflect the internet signal toward any devices facing it.
Instructables / Timothee Gillier
39. Outdoor showers are the best, though they’re usually something you only get at the beach. For a taste of vacation in your own backyard, construct a shower using a garden hose, solar heating system, and a soda can shower head. One other suggestion: if you’re going to strip all the way down, it’s best to invest in a shower curtain as well.
Instructables / Paige Russell
40. For advanced DIY practitioners, two empty cans can form the skeleton for an excellent camp stove. With a bit of denatured alcohol or methanol poured inside, you can cook just about any gourmet dish in the great outdoors.
Instructables / AndrewW1977
41. This hack is perfect for forgetful types. If you’ve completely blanked on a padlock combination, don’t bother trying to guess. After all, most locks have up to 64,000 possibilities. A strip of aluminum, wrapped into a hooked cylinder fits into the lock and pops it open in seconds.
YouTube / Brianna Renee
42. We’ve all been in the situation where we’re cooking some elaborate dinner, only to realize that the cheese grater is nowhere in sight. Luckily, you don’t have to toss out your work and order takeout. Simply poke some holes in the side of the can, and use that to grate and collect your cheese.
YouTube / Household Hacker
43. Some DIY hacks get can a little complicated, so here’s a simple one: If you’re ever in a pinch and need to call for help from far away, the bottom of a can makes a perfect signal mirror. With just a bit of polish, you’ll be all set!
YouTube / Sensible Prepper
44. If your new signal mirror isn’t reaching the help you need, you can cut up another spare can to build a high-pitched survival whistle. Once you get the hang of it, the whistle can be heard for miles around.
YouTube / Black Scout Survival
45. Steel wool is a must for scrubbing mucked-up pots and pans. If you can’t find any, however, it’s pretty easy to make your own. After cutting a soda can into thin strips, you can condense them into a ball and scrub away. Just please be careful not to cut yourself on any sharp edges!
YouTube / Tuah Raja