14 Crazy Cleaning Tips That Actually Work

You may have your allegiances to certain brands of cleaning products, but are they really getting the job done? If you have an especially tough cleaning problem to solve and the supermarket supplies just aren’t cutting it, maybe it's time for a slightly more unconventional approach, one that involves grabbing a few items from the pantry or trying a wacky, off-the-wall cleaning trick. Ready for a little adventure? Here are 14 crazy cleaning tips that actually work.

  1. Dryer Sheets to Clean Stubborn, Stuck-On Food

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    dryer sheets clean pans

    Scrubbing pots and pans is never anyone’s favorite chore, but it can seem truly impossible when you’re trying to remove heavily burnt-on food using just a scrubber and soap. Make the job easier by dropping a dryer sheet into a dirty pot filled with soap and water. Let the dryer sheet sit in the soapy water for an hour, then be prepared to be amazed at how easily all the gunk and grime come off.

    Related: 9 Things You Didn't Know Dryer Sheets Can Do

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  2. Coffee Filters for Cleaning Glass

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    Coffee Filters for Cleaning Windows

    When your mirrors or windows start to look cloudy, you probably reach for paper towels and a glass cleaner, but this tired old cleaning method can leave behind streaks and spots. The next time you need to shine up some windows, try using clean coffee filters for spot-free glass cleaning.

    Related: 13 Clever Alternative Ways to Use Coffee Filters

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  3. Baby Wipes for Cleaning Chalkboards

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    Baby Wipes for Cleaning Chalkboards

    No longer do chalkboards live just in the classroom—now we have them all over the house as practical and playful decor. They're not so pretty, though, when they're covered with chalk dust. To get a truly clean slate without any chalky residue, clear off your chalkboard surfaces with a baby wipe.

    Related: 9 Brilliant Cleaning Hacks Everyone Should Know

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  4. Hairspray to Clear Dry-Erase Boards

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    hairspray on dry erase board

    Nothing ruins a dry erase board faster than a dry erase marker stain that just won't go away, no matter how much cleaner you put on the board. If you have a stubborn stain on your dry-erase board, try spritzing on some hairspray to remove it. After spraying and erasing, wipe down the board with good old-fashioned soap and water to get rid of the sticky residue.

    Related: 9 Home Repair Remedies to Borrow from Your Medicine Cabinet

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  5. Vodka to Clean Off Old Camping Gear

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    cleaning with vodka

    Vodka can be a nice reward at the end of a really long day, but it's also a tough cleaning agent—especially on smelly camping gear. All you need to do to freshen up your outdoor accessories is mist them with a little bit of vodka from a spray bottle. If you want added freshness, mix in some essential oils for the perfect cleaning cocktail.

    Related: 10 Home Cleaners to Borrow from the Pantry

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  6. Sunscreen to Remove Permanent Marker

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    Sunscreen to Fix Permanent Stains

    Sunscreen is crucial for protecting you and your family from the sun’s harmful UV rays, but did you know that it can also protect your furniture, clothes, and other surfaces from a rogue permanent marker? Rub in a dollop of sunscreen to get rid of those impossible-to-remove permanent marker stains.

    Related: 9 Products You Will Love If You Hate Cleaning

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  7. Baby Powder and Dish Soap to Remove Oil-Based Stains

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    how to remove set in oil stains from clothes

    Oil-based stains are perplexing and tough to eliminate from furniture or clothing, no matter how much you dab or how hard you scrub. Remove those offending stains once and for all by treating them with a mixture of equal parts baby powder and dish soap. 

    Related: These Are the Only 9 Cleaning Supplies You Really Need This Spring

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  8. Chalk to Remove Oil Stains on Clothing

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    Chalk to Remove Oil Stains on Clothing

    How many times have you ruined your favorite shirt by splattering it with bacon grease during the breakfast rush? After your next unfortunate encounter with oil or grease, before you throw your shirt in the washing machine, pretreat it by rubbing plain old white chalk into the stain. The chalk will absorb the grease, making it more likely that the shirt will emerge from the wash stain-free.  

    Related: 12 Things You Never Knew Chalk Can Do

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  9. Mayonnaise to Clean Porcelain Tubs

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    Mayo to Clean Porcelain Tubs

    Besides adding a little bit of zest to your turkey sandwich, mayonnaise can be quite a helpful cleaning tool. The condiment is particularly good at eliminating rust stains in porcelain tubs or sinks. Simply spread a dab of mayo over the stain, let it set, and wipe it dry to reveal the shiny surface underneath.

    Related: 11 Home Hacks You Can Do with a Bag of Groceries

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  10. Vegetable Oil for Cleaning Wood Floors

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    Vegetable Oil for Cleaning Wood Floors

    Vegetable oil is great for frying eggs and is often a key ingredient in a batch of cookies, but did you know that it can also be used to clean wood floors? Get your shiniest wood floors ever by combining equal parts vegetable oil and vinegar in a spray bottle, spritzing the floor, and mopping up the solution. Follow up with a clean cloth or dust mop.

    Related: 7 Ways You May Be Ruining Your Wood Floors

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  11. Windshield Water Repellent for Glass Shower Doors

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    Windshield Water Repellent for Glass Shower Doors

    The same product that prevents a buildup of rainwater on your car windshield can also work wonders on your glass shower door, which is notoriously difficult to keep clean. Simply spray on the water repellent coating and wipe it down lightly to prevent those annoying hard water or soap scum stains.

    Related: 9 Top Tips for a Bathroom That Cleans Itself

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  12. Mayonnaise for Cleaning Cloudy Wood Stains

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    Mayonnaise for Cleaning Cloudy Wood Stains

    Those cloudy stains from heat or water rings can really mar the look of a nice piece of wood furniture. Brighten up that beautiful surface by slathering on some mayonnaise—yes, mayonnaise—and letting it sit overnight. Once the stain is gone, wipe off the mayonnaise, buff the spot, and then shine it up with furniture polish.

    Related: 9 Sneaky Ways to Get New Floors for Under $50

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  13. Freshen Up Your Laundry with Mouthwash

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    mouthwash in washing machine

    Have you ever pulled a load of laundry out of the washer that smelled less than fresh? Eliminate musty smells in the washing machine by running a cycle with mouthwash. Not only does this disinfecting substance leave your mouth smelling squeaky clean, but it also gets rid of odor-causing bacteria in the laundry room.

    Related: The 7 Weirdest Things That Can Clean Your Laundry

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  14. Polish Your Silver with Cornstarch

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    Polish Your Silver with Cornstarch

    Cornstarch is primarily used as a thickening agent in soups, stews, and stir-fries, but it can also perform well around the house as a gritty cleaning agent. Apply a paste of cornstarch and water to your tarnished silver, let it dry, then wipe it off to reveal that sparkling surface. 

    Related: 21 Time-Saving Tricks That May Change the Way You Clean

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  15. See the House of the Week

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    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!