Most people don’t look forward to cleaning their apartment, but with these easy do-it-yourself cleaning hacks, you will have your place sparkling clean in no time.
POUR ONE FOR YOUR MATTRESS
Cleaning a mattress seems like an impossible task, which is why many people settle for a spritz of odor eliminator. But that’s not a solution to that lingering musty smell or the soy sauce you spilled while eating Chinese food in bed three weeks ago.
A little Russian water can help you create an effective mattress cleaner. Simply pour vodka into a spray bottle and, if desired, mix in essential oils for a pleasant smell. Spritz over your bed liberally without soaking the mattress, and let dry completely. Cheap vodka works just as well as top-shelf, so don’t waste your money on the good stuff.
TREAT YOUR MICROWAVE TO LEMON WATER
A proper scrub down of your microwave can be exhaustive, time-consuming and plain old gross, which is where cleaning hacks like this five-minute microwave cleaner come in handy. Cut a couple of lemons in quarters and place them in a glass dish filled with water. Heat up until the water starts boiling, hit stop then let the whole thing sit for a minute or two.
When you open the microwave door, you’ll notice a billow of steam, which has loosened up the gunk and grease lining the walls of the microwave. Take a sponge to the mess and wipe it away with almost no effort.
DUST CEILING FANS WITH A PILLOWCASE
There’s no getting around it: Cleaning your ceiling fans is just a part of apartment life, unless you’re unlucky enough to not have them. No matter how agile and bendable your duster is, reaching the tops of those blades is a task meant only for skilled aerial artists.
The average Joe can dust ceiling fan blades with this simple cleaning hack: Place an old pillow case over one of the fan blades, and slowly pull it backwards, wiping the dirt and grime off as you go. Move on to the next blade and the next, leaving a shiny, crud-free surface along the way. Then, just throw the pillowcase in the wash.
KNIFE-CLEAN YOUR AIR VENTS
Hate your dusty old main air vent? Poke it with a knife.
Take a clean towel and moisten it with warm water (avoid using too much water, as it can cause rust), then wrap it around a butter knife to create an excellent tool for getting between the shingles. Make sure to hit all the vents in your apartment– even the ceiling vents.
SIMMER VINEGAR TO CLEAN COOKWARE
At some time in everyone’s life, we all search for cleaning hacks for the burnt-on grease and grime at the bottom of pots and pans. Scrubbing scorched cookware might just be one of the least enjoyable of all household tasks, but a couple of household ingredients can make all the difference.
On your stove top, fill the offensive pot or pan partially with water (enough to cover the stuck-on portions), then add a cup of white vinegar. Bring it to a boil and let simmer for a minute. Remove the pan from the heat, add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and enjoy the fizzling. Then, just empty the pan and scour as usual.
Last night’s party may have gone much later than scheduled, and perhaps a few too many drinks were thrown back by all. This may not seem like such a bad thing until you discover that a guest left an unpleasant gift in the corner of your living room.
Getting out vomit is no delightful task, but it’s a little less miserable with the right cleanser. Mix together water and baking soda to create a paste, then spread it over the vomit. Let the whole thing sit overnight, then vacuum it all up the following morning. Do it all over again and add some essential oils to help dissipate any lingering odors.
GRAPEFRUIT-SCRUB YOUR BATHTUB
Grapefruits are more than delicious, nutritious foods– they can also be tools for cleaning hacks. Lemon is a common element of cleaners because the acid cuts through stuck-on grime and dissolves grease, and grapefruit has that same acidic power as well as a uniquely gentle zest scent.
Clean your entire tub by cutting a large grapefruit in half and sprinkle the top liberally with coarse kosher salt. Turn on the faucet for a moment to dampen the tub, and sprinkle more salt around the basin. Use the halves as little hand-held scrubbers, squeezing the juice out as you go, and end by rinsing the whole thing clean with water.
PRETREAT YOUR STOVETOP WITH WAX
If you’re feeling really ambitious, put in a little work now to prevent a huge, hard-to-clean stovetop mess in the future. All you need is transparent buffing wax– the same kind you might use to make your car look all shiny and new.
Clean the surface of the stove so there’s no gunk or crumbs in the way. Apply a thin layer to the stovetop and wipe off with a clean rag. You’ll notice that spills wipe off much more easily.
TACKLE YOUR OVEN WITH A HOMEMADE CLEANER
Keeping your stovetop clean is one thing, but the inside of the oven is a whole other beast. Rather than spending money on oven cleaners that never really seem to work, create your own at home on the cheap.
In a bowl, mix together 4 tablespoons of white vinegar, 5 tablespoons of baking soda and several drops of dish washing liquid. It will create a thick paste that you can spread over the surfaces in your oven using a sponge. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before scrubbing gently with a sponge to remove any grease.
For bigger messes, you can also use a lemon cut in half and a sprinkle of coarse kosher salt to do away with tough grime. A perk: The lemon leaves a fresh scent that fills the kitchen when preheating.
APPLY VINEGAR TO YOUR BLINDS
Taking down the blinds to clean them is for suckers. Instead, leave them hanging where they are and combine equal parts water and vinegar in a bowl. Put an old, clean sock on your hand, dip it in the mixture and then run your hands over the blinds to get off any embedded dust.
Use your finger to get between the blinds and in the crevices. You can also put a clean, dry sock on your hands to wipe away dampness and any leftover grime.