1.17.2012

Cleaning Tips: Magic Eraser, Pumice Stones, Bar Keepers Friend and More

It's a rainy, thundery kind of morning... the perfect time to sit with a fresh cup of coffee and update my websites.  Actually, this morning I was reading the news and stumbled across a great article about housekeepers which, at the very end, had some fabulous cleaning tips.  Originally this article was a partnership between Good Morning America and the Readers Digest.


Although the main article isn't a 'budget' friendly tip (most of my readers clean their own homes) the cleaning hints and tips they listed at the end were worth keeping in my files for future reference.  About half of them I already use and grew up already knowing, but there were a few that were 'new' to me.  Maybe you can use them too.

Cleaning Tips

  • The best way to dust blinds: Close them, then wipe up and down with an old dryer sheet. It'll create an antistatic barrier that helps prevent dust from building up again.
  • The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is your friend. It will cut your cleaning time in half for bathtubs, sinks, countertops, and dirty walls.
  • To clean glass and mirrors, use coffee filters, not paper towels. They leave no streaks or lint — and they're cheap.
  • Vinegar and water is a great deodorizer for a musty bathroom. Spray your shower down as you're getting out. It really absorbs the odors, and the smell of vinegar goes away in an hour.
  • A wet Pumice Stone will clean a dirty oven faster than any spray-on product.
  • Vacuuming bathroom mats is a nightmare. Toss them in the wash every week or two instead.
  • To damp-mop wood floors, use plain water or a water-based floor cleaner like Bona. Don't use vinegar. The acid in it will pit your polyurethane finish, can void your warranty, and may reduce shine over time.
  • Seventh Generation Liquid Dish Soap diluted with water is a great nontoxic all-purpose cleanser. Just put two squirts in a spray bottle and fill it with water.
  • Our biggest secret weapon? A powdered product called Bar Keepers Friend®. We use it on everything. Its active ingredient is rhubarb powder, which really cuts through grit and grime. It cleans glass-top stoves, counters, toilets, porcelain and more. Your sink will never be shinier.
  • To clean your microwave oven, microwave a cup of water with some baking soda in it until it's boiling. That eliminates odors and makes it super easy to wipe away all that stuck-on stuff.
  • Clean cobwebs with a yardstick covered by a tube sock. That also works for cleaning under stoves and refrigerators.
  • Shine your bathroom tiles with lemon oil. It also helps prevent mold and mildew.
  • To eliminate that ring in your toilet, drop in a bubbling denture tablet, and leave it for at least 30 minutes or overnight. The stain will come off with just a few swishes of the brush.

Sources: Torrey Shannon, former maid service owner in Westcliffe, Colorado; Lynette Haugen, owner of True Blue Maids of Pasadena; Tangela Ekhoff, a housecleaner in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Theresa Peterson, owner of Quality Cleaning "Maid to Order" in Fremont, California; Dee Strickland, owner of A Zing Zap Cleaning Service in Minneola, Florida.
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