8 Killer Cleaning Hacks to Keep Your Apartment Sparkly Clean

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Spring has finally sprung and it’s time to give your apartment a good, solid cleaning to start the year off right. If you’re not looking forward to getting on your hands and knees to scrub for hours, then you’re not alone. Luckily, there are some great tips and cleaning hacks to help make your spring cleaning a lot easier. Some tricks are so useful that they make cleaning a breeze year around!

Cola Destroys Your Teeth and Tile Scum
If you’ve ever spilled Coca-Cola or any other sodas on the ground, you’ve probably noticed how sticky it makes the floor. But we bet you’ve never realized that it picks up any dirt in its path! Once you wipe it up, it leaves the floor squeaky clean, albeit a bit sticky. The same carbonation that makes a cold Coca-Cola so refreshing also happens to make it a great cleaning agent. It’s best used in hard-to-reach spots that are prone to stubborn build-up, such as tile grout. Take a bottle or can of soda and pour it over the tile seams. Let it sit and work its bubbly magic for about 10-20 minutes. After the bubbles have died down, wipe up the Cola and all the dirt with a rag. If you have more stubborn stains, giving the area a quick scrub with a clean toothbrush should do the trick. The best part about the Cola trick is that it’s a common household item and is much cheaper than a magic eraser or harsh cleaning chemicals.

Disposable Razors Double As Lint Removers
Finding that your razor is no longer cutting it? Before you throw it into the garbage, you should know that disposable razors also work well as lint removers. Just run the blades lightly across your clothing and BOOM! You have yourself a nice, lint-free outfit! It also works well for paint stains and old shirts with fuzzes hanging from them (Pro tip: get rid of the old shirts and get yourself some brand new t-shirts from your favorite brand). The razor blades loosen the materials clinging to the fabric and “shave” them off for a clean finish. This is a great trick to have on hand for painters or pet owners. No more going to the bank covered in paint stains. No more heading to work with Fluffy’s hair clinging to your best black pants. No more having sweaters look worn an old within a few weeks. It’s a real lifesaver.

Dryer Sheets Work Great as Rags
Though fabric softening and lint catching dryer sheets work wonders for our laundry, it’s a shame that we throw things out after only one use. Luckily, some smart cookie came up with the idea of using old dryer sheets as rags to clean up household messes. Their unique texture makes them incredibly good at picking up dust, so if you want to give your house a quick sweep without purchasing Swiffers, grab some old dryer sheets. Used dryer sheets are also extremely effective for buffing out persistent water stains on glass doors, faucets, shower heads, and various other water fixtures. Keep a small bin next to your dryer where you can store used sheets until you need them.

Hanger Clips are Excellent for Closing Food Bags
Is there really anything more frustrating than finding an open bag that spilled inside a cabinet or drawer… or digging into an open bag of potato chips and finding that they’ve gone stale because the bag wasn’t sealed back up? It’s been a matter of debate for roommates since, well, forever. Now there is no more excuse for haphazardly rolling up the top of the bag! Snap the clips off of some old pant or skirt hangers and use them for your chip bags. It’s as easy as snapping, clipping, and waiting until the next time you get to enjoy delicious chips that taste as fresh as the day they were opened.

Refrigerator Mats Make for an Easy Clean
Cleaning out the fridge is essential to a spring cleaning, but it’s not exactly fun. Let’s face it, old food is disgusting and so are all the leaky juices and goo that go along with it. Aside from the “gross out factor,” the fridge is a small space, meaning it can be a real pain in the butt to scrub down. There is nothing nice about sticking your head into a confined space filled with the fumes of cleaning chemicals, either. You can simplify your fridge cleaning routine with refrigerator mats. These mats will sit on your fridge shelves and drawers, assuring that the fridge surfaces remain protected. If you have a simple spill, you can just take one mat off and wash it, instead of scrubbing out your entire fridge. It’ll also reduce the number of deep cleans you need to perform per year. You can purchase these mats online, at your nearest home retailer, or DIY a few of them if you’re feeling ambitious.

Sea Salt Takes Stubborn Stains off Dirty Pans
Sea Salt isn’t just a seasoning. It also works wonderfully as a cleaning supply because of its coarseness and ability to absorb moisture. The most common use for it is for cleaning pans. Just dump some salt into the pan and begin scrubbing with a sponge. It works like a charm. Ever rubbed sea salt-based beauty products on your skin to exfoliate? Well think about this as exfoliating your pan. It’s scrubbing all of the dirt and grime away, while still retaining the integrity of the pan. The effect is enhanced even more by adding citrus juice, such as lemon or lime juice. This technique works best on cast iron skillets, which need to be cleaned while retaining their cooking oils and seasoned status.

White Wine is a Stain Remover
Keeping a bottle of white wine in your fridge is essential, particularly if you’re an avid red wine drinker. Why? It’s the perfect cleaning supply for those tragic moments when red wine spills onto light clothing or a white carpet. The chemicals in the white wine neutralize those in the red wine, making the red wine significantly easier to lift out of fabrics. Just pour on the white wine immediately after the spill and blot out the red pigment with a towel. The keyword here is “blot.” Wiping or smudging will only make the stain worse. After all, drinking red wine may look sophisticated, but having it dripping down the front of your crisp white shirt is anything but!

White Vinegar is for…Well, Everything Else
White Vinegar is actually one of the most magical cleaning supplies known to man, but the really funny part is that very few people actually seem to know about it. Vinegar is the best kept cleaning secret out there. It has wide range of uses that can’t all be listed here, but we’ll definitely give you a few. White vinegar cuts through tough water stains. Just soak a rag in vinegar and run it over your water fixtures for a shiny, clean finish.

Heating a bowl of water mixed with white vinegar in the microwave for a few minutes (depending on how dirty it is) will loosen up any excess grime before cleaning. The dirt can then be wiped away easily with a paper towel or wash cloth. Vinegar’s abrasiveness mixed with baking soda’s effervescence can also do wonders for oil stains in carpeting.

Do you ever find your clean laundry or towels smelling a bit musty? Often times this i caused by using too much laundry detergent, which is “food” for mold and mildew. Throw that laundry in with a cup of white vinegar instead of detergent and say goodbye to that mold and mildew!

White vinegar often used in combination with other simple ingredients – such as lemon juice – to make natural, green cleaners. Overall, vinegar is probably one of the most useful items in your pantry for cleaning and one of the best cleaning hack tools you can have on hand. 

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Photo Credit: SmallNotebook, WikipediaFrugal Pantry, omgchrista, Domestically Made, Mariyana M