Well, crap. Here's a few ways to make cleaning some obnoxious stuff WAY easier.
I'm a new mom to a four month old little boy. When I was pregnant, the nesting stage hit me EXTRA hard. I couldn't seem to get me house clean enough! During that time I discovered these cleaning hacks that not only got my house super clean, but also saved a ton of money by avoiding expensive cleaning products.
Keurig Coffee Machine
Have you ever tried to make a nice cup of joe in your Keurig, only to have it spit out a tablespoon? Not only does this waste money by using up an expensive pod, but it is also impossible to get the jolt you need from a shot of coffee. If this has happened, it means there is a buildup in your machine that needs to be cleared out. Luckily there is a cheap way to clean it and get those coffees pouring again! All you need is vinegar.
Pour vinegar into the reservoir to the max fill line. Run the machine multiple times with nothing in the coffee slot until the machine light indicates that it needs more water. Fill the reservoir with water and do another full run of the machine to use all of that water. Once the machine indicates it needs water again, dump the vinegar/water mix that is left and rinse the reservoir with hot water. Run one more full cycle of water only through the machine, then dump what is left. Your reservoir shouldn't smell like vinegar anymore, and the machine will be clean from any buildup! You may want to do one test cup of just water to make sure the vinegar is cleared out before you make an actual coffee/tea (unless you enjoy the taste of vinegar).
Grease Stains on Clothing
It is the worst feeling to bite into a nice juicy burger (or salad with dressing, whatever floats your boat) only to drip the grease/oil onto your clothes. A lot of people will just chalk it up to another piece of clothing lost to a permanent stain, but I have found the magic trick to getting grease stains out of your clothes!
Take the item and put blue Dawn dish soap directly on the stain. I have found that if you get it wet first you can't see exactly where the drain starts and stops, so apply while dry! Let the soap soak in and sit on the garment for five to ten minutes. Then throw it into whatever wash the tag suggests for that particular item. Proceed to dry the item in according to its specifications, and the stain will be gone! I don't suggest trying this with a fine fabric such as silk or cashmere, or with a super expensive article of clothing, but for most clothes this will do the trick!
Toaster Breadcrumb Tray
This isn't so much a hack as a reminder. For years I had no idea that my toaster has a crumb catching tray underneath! I just let the crumbs build up until one day when I was wiping it down and I thought, "what is this little part sticking out?" Then I pulled it and boom! Crumb catching tray revealed! Depending on how many times you use your toaster, don't forget to periodically pull out that little tray and empty the crumbs and give it a quick wipe down!
Baby Bottle Cleaning
I am currently nursing my four month old son. I use a pump and bottles for pumped milk when I am not going to be around my son for long stretches. Let me tell you though-I had no idea how tedious washing bottles and pump parts was going to be! And if you are formula feeding it’s possibly even more bottles!
While the instructions on most bottles say you can put them in the dishwasher, I still feel better hand washing them first to make sure I can get into all the nooks and crannies with the brush. My favorite way to do it is to fill a bowl with soap and really hot water. I then dip the brush into the bowl before scrubbing, rinsing the brush before putting it back into the bowl. This makes the process much faster than having to reapply soap to the brush every couple of bottles.
And a little more advice...there exists a miracle concoction that is cheap and efficient, sitting in your pantry now. Baking soda and vinegar. If you aren't aware, baking soda and vinegar make a great cleaning combination for so many things! I am going to highlight my favorite four usages:
I have really long hair, and my husband, a tall sexy Brazilian, is a human werewolf. It’s totally part of the sexy package until plumbing woes happen. The combination of our hair in the shower drain would make any plumber happy as we are a guaranteed call for them. But I’ve not had them on our contacts list since I discovered using baking soda and vinegar!
Take about a one cup of baking soda and sprinkle it down the drain (can be a shower drain, sink drain, bath drain - they all work). Then take one cup of vinegar and slowly pour it into the drain. You will see a cool chemical reaction of bubbles (think junior high volcano science project). Cover the drain with a moist washcloth and leave for fifteen to twenty minutes. Pour hot water (boiling even better) down the drain to clear it out. Boom, hair gone!
One of the things I hate cleaning the most is the bathtub! Not only is is back-breaking work, but it seems like no matter how hard I scrub, the stains refuse to disappear. But then I discovered my baking soda/vinegar life hack.
Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the entire tub. For the vinegar, I use a spray bottle set to mist. As if you pour the vinegar straight into the tub, it will just rinse the baking soda straight down the drain. Spray the baking soda with the vinegar until you start to see it all bubble up. Leave it to bubble for five to ten minutes, then scrub with a hard bristle cleaning brush. Rinse with hot water, and see your tub shine like it never has before!
While your kitchen sink is used to clean things, it ends up pretty dirty and disgusting itself. Oh, the irony! Sometimes I don't even realize how dirty it has gotten until I give it a proper cleaning. You are going to use the exact same method as with the bathtub for the kitchen sink including a liberal sprinkling of baking soda, misting the vinegar, watching the bubbling, and using a hard bristle brush. However, I also make sure to scrub the rubber flaps and exposed parts of the garbage disposal. Rinse with hot water, and you won't believe the difference! I sometimes have to give it a second go as I see a few spots I may have missed the first time.
Speaking of the garbage disposal, you can use baking soda and vinegar to clean and deodorize that as well. All of the scraps of food that sit in the disposal leave it pretty musty and gross.
Pour one cup of baking soda into the garbage disposal, followed by slowly pouring one cup of vinegar. Let it sit and work its magic for ten minutes, then pour hot (boiling is even better) water into the disposal. Run the disposal for a few seconds with cold water. It will get rid of that stale odor and freshen up an often ignored part of the kitchen.
What are your best cleaning tips for making the job easier?