9 Brilliant Cleaning Hacks Everyone Should Know

Whether we're maintaining our most-used appliances or performing crisis control after an everyday accident, when it comes to cleaning we can all agree: the faster, the better. Here are 9 hacks all homeowners should have in their repertoire to quickly—and successfully—whip their place into tip-top shape.

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  1. Use Bread for Broken Glass


    When a plate or cup breaks, it can be tricky to sweep up all the glass—small shards are especially easy to overlook. Once the larger pieces have been tossed, drop a slice of bread onto the floor, and press down on it to pick up any less noticeable remnants.  

    Related: 10 Home Cleaners to Borrow from the Pantry


  2. Try White Wine for Red Wine Stains


    Homeowners fear red wine stains, and justifiably so. Once the crimson liquid sets in, removing it can be next to impossible; it's vital to act fast. If you have white wine on hand, use it as quickly as possible to dilute the red wine. Next, blot the affected area with paper towels, then cover it over with salt to draw the vino out of the fibers. Finally, soak the fabric in a solution of either vinegar and water, or hydrogen peroxide and dish soap.

    Related: 10 Handy Household Uses for Vinegar


  3. Steam Clean the Microwave


    Skip the standard soap-and-water method for stubborn microwave debris, and give it a steam instead. Mix one cup of vinegar with one cup of water in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl, then drop in a toothpick or other wooden stirring utensil to ensure the solution doesn't explode. Nuke it for 5 to 10 minutes, then let stand for at least another minute before removing the bowl from the microwave. Wipe down the walls with a cloth or paper towel to reveal a sparkling clean interior.

    Related: 10 Amazing Things You Can Do with a Microwave


  4. Pick Up Pet Hair with Rubber Gloves


    It's hard to say no when Fido or Fluffy wants to join you on the couch—even when you remember how long it took to remove the leftover pet hair the last time. Sure, your vacuum has a furniture attachment, but you probably have something in your arsenal of cleaning tools that works even better than a Hoover maneuver: a rubber glove. Pull on a pair, rub your hands all over the furry zone, and let the static cling do the work. Rinse off in the sink, making sure that the drain catcher is in place to snag the fur that falls off. Try this trick with a squeegee for similar success.

    Related—Editors' Picks: Today's Top 7 Vacuum Cleaners 


  5. Remove Hard Water Scale with Lemon


    Remove hard water spots and mineral deposits with just one ingredient—a lemon. Simply slice a lemon in half, then rub the fruit over metal faucets, tub spouts, and more to reveal a shiny, blemish-free surface. 

    Related: 8 Unusual Tips for Your Cleanest Bathroom Ever


  6. Sanitize a Sponge in the Microwave


    Sponges are handy helpers in the kitchen, cleaning everything from stovetop spills to dinner dishes. They're also great, unfortunately, at growing bacteria (yuck!). Instead of throwing out a dirty sponge, extend its life by disinfecting it in the microwave. First, moisten the sponge, then set it in the microwave for two minutes. Let it cool before using. Safety tip: Never put metal scrubbers or steel wool in the microwave.

    Related: 10 Unusual Tips for Your Cleanest Kitchen Ever


  7. Wash Your Shower Curtain Liner


    Shower curtain liners can be breeding grounds for mold and mildew. Get rid of the gunk on the liner—without having to buy new—by washing it in the laundry. Toss the liner into the washer, and add a half cup of detergent, a half cup of bleach or vinegar, and a few towels to ensure the cycle runs smoothly. When finished, allow the liner to air-dry before putting it back on display in your shower.

    Related: 11 Things You Didn't Know You Can Clean in Your Washing Machine


  8. Remove Paint from Clothes with a Razor


    A fresh coat of paint looks great on walls, but it can be a disaster for clothes. If a painting mishap has left a mess on your wardrobe, clean it up with a fresh disposable razor. Lay the clothes flat, then run the razor across the fabric in a quick motion, being careful not to press too hard. You can also try this trick on stained carpets.

    Related: 10 Top Tips to Make Any Paint Job Go Faster


  9. Clean Up Oil Spills with Coca-Cola


    Is your driveway plagued by unsightly oil stains? Here's an easy fix: Crack open a bottle of Coke and pour it over the stain. Let it sit for a few hours, then rinse off with the hose for a spotless surface.

    Related: 9 Things You Didn't Know Coca-Cola Can Do


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