It’s spring cleaning time, but this year you don’t have to stock up on all those expensive potions and cleaners. The stuff you already have in your house might be even better at getting—and keeping—it clean.
Here are a few of our double-duty (or triple or more!) products:
Mr. Clean Magic Erasers
Dirty baseboards. Scuff marks on sneakers. Crayon or pen on painted walls. Shower scum. What do they all have in common? They can be cleaned with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. They’re good in a pinch and also as a regular addition to your cleaning regime, so do like we do and buy them in bulk!
The sheet that keeps static cling away from your clothes while they’re drying can also be useful in a few other areas of your home. Have company coming over and just realized you’re out of Swiffer Dusters? Run that Bounce over your surfaces, instead. The bonus: If you have scented dryer sheets, they’ll leave a fresh smell behind. You can also use them to wipe window casings, baseboards, and doors that tend to collect dust and dirt in the grooves.
Sponges and Dishwashing Gloves
Forget those pots and pans. Sponges and dishwashing gloves can also help clean dog hair off of upholstered surfaces. This tip could come in very handy for a last-minute cleanup when you don’t have time to vacuum. For regular cleaning of dog hair on a stubborn surface like a low-pile rug, try a dog brush. The short, stuff bristles make it easy to gather the hair.
It’s not just for salad dressing! Vinegar is a multi-purpose cleaning agent, and one you can feel good about if you’re looking to stay away from harsh chemicals and commercial cleaners.
“If you could invent a green-cleaning ‘wonder’ product, it would probably end up being a lot like white vinegar,” said The Spruce. “Safe, readily available, and really cheap, there are perhaps hundreds of uses for vinegar. There are at least two great uses for vinegar in your automatic dishwasher. First, it can be used as a cheap, effective rinsing agent to get your glasses, plates, and other dishes sparkling clean. Second, it can help to clean the dishwasher itself: Once a year or so (more if you have hard water), pour a cup of white vinegar into an empty dishwasher, then run it for a short cycle to get rid of the lime and soap build-up that can prevent your dishwasher from working at peak efficiency.”
White vinegar is also great for cleaning tile and caulk, “windows, hardwood floors, carpet stains, fireplace bricks and irons, CDs and DVDs, shower curtains, upholstery, mattresses, wood furniture (when combined with olive oil), and glassware. If it’s in your house, you can probably clean it with vinegar.”
Pick up a few extra lemons at the market because you’ll get more use out of them than just as a squeeze in your water. “High in citric acid, lemon juice is one of the best natural cleaners due to its low pH and antibacterial properties,” said Networx.
These are just a few of the ways you can use lemon to clean your place:
• Spray on chrome faucets
• Rub on cutting boards
• Squeeze on an old toothbrush to scrub grout
• Add two tablespoons to a bowl of water to steam clean your microwave
• Place half lemon on a saucer to make your refrigerator smell fresh
• Spray a mixture of lemon juice and water onto windows to get them streak-free and clean
• Use half a cut lemon to remove hard water stains from glass shower doors
Lemon can also breathe new life into tarnished brass. “It’s no secret we think this citrus fruit is one of the hardest-working cleaners when it comes to stains and smells, but it can also banish tarnish on brass,” said Good Housekeeping. “Sprinkle problem spots with salt, then run a lemon juice-soaked sponge on top, and rinse it off with water.”