Cleaning Tips 

Scouring Powder:
Cover half of the holes with masking tape.  Scouring powder will last twice as long and will not be as messy when you shake it in sink.


For cleaning windows, appliances and counter tops, dilute with 3 parts water and put in a labeled spray bottle.  Rinse counter tops where food is used.


Baking Soda:
Scours kitchen and bath fixtures.  Removes orders and stains from refrigerator, freezers, coffee pots and teapots.  Also good for thermos bottles.  Sprinkle a little on carpets before vacuuming to remove odors.


Before washing a painted wall:
Dust with a cloth taped over a broom.  When dirty, change cloth.  Lift cobwebs from walls rather than pushing them into surface.  Cobwebs can be sticky--vacuum off of walls is better.  If you have small nail holes in the wall from something you hung, you can fill the hole with white toothpaste, smooth it flat and paint.  The hole will not be seen.


Masking Tape:
Put masking tape on the bottom of rocking chair rockers to protect floor.  And you can roll tape around your hand to remove lint on any surface, I use this for the cushion pleats. 


Wash fiberglass curtains in bath tub.  Just rinse away fibers down drain.  When you wash curtains, wash rods, too.  Put a little furniture polish on rod to make curtains slide easier.


Vacuum Cleaner:
Be sure to clean beater bar of hair and fibers.  When finished vacuuming, turn off, invert and remove fibers and hair by hand.  This practice will improve the beater bar's ability to operate more efficiently.


Artificial Flowers (silk):
Use blow dryer on low to clean (before you vacuum)  For stubborn dust, use an artists brush.


Always disinfect doorknobs, switch plates, telephones and remotes.  They collect germs from everyone who touches them.

Freshen Curtains:

Freshen curtains in the dryer with a fabric sheet and a damp towel.

Blood Stains:

Put a paste of water and cornstarch, cornmeal or talcum powder on fresh spots.  Let dry and brush off.

Blood on leather?  Dab on a little hydrogen peroxide.  After if bubbles, wipe it off.

More uses for hydrogen peroxide here.

Blood on fabric?  Quickly wet a long piece of cotton thread with your saliva and place it across the spot.  The thread will absorb the blood.  Saliva and blood are in the same group of bodily fluids.  When I needlepoint and stab my finger, I chew a piece of floss and dab the blood away.

Windows: (Yeah, I know)

Wash on a cloudy not rainy day.  Never in bright sunlight.  The sunlight dries the cleaner too fast to work.  Use clear water and if the window is dirty, add 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar to gallon of water.  For drying windows, use crumpled newspaper and wear gloves to keep the newsprint off of your hands.

Candle Wax:

For spilled wax on carpets and upholstery, put a brown paper bag over the dried wax and run a hot iron over it.  The paper bag will absorb the wax.

Dried wax on wood floors can be removed by softening the wax with a blow dryer, then removing with a paper towel.  Wash down spot with a combination of vinegar and water.

Combs and brushes:

Use a combination of baking soda and hot water.  Let soak and the oil and dirt will come right off.  Run a toothpick thru the brush to dislodge stray hairs.

Clean Doors:

If company is coming, the first thing you should do is clean your entry doors.  First impression of a clean front door will give other items not as clean some leeway.  Be sure to dust the very top and the hinges.  Also  clean the upper side of your ceiling fans.  Your house will appear spotless.

Very Important:

NEVER mix cleaning products like bleach and ammonia.  They can be toxic.  I once mixed brands of paint trying to save the little bit in three cans.  The color was great, but I got hives and the fumes almost closed my throat.  Do not mix products.  Use what is in the bottle, then use what is left in the next bottle.  Do not mix to save a little money, you could be putting you or your family in great danger.  The fumes could seriously harm you or be flammable.

Stainless Steel:

To remove water spots on stainless steel, rub the area with a soft, clean cloth dampened with vinegar.  Then wipe dry to avoid additional spots.

Cleaning in General:

Listen to an audio book while you clean.  You can rent audio book from the library.  Listening to audio tapes will pass the time, you will clean a little longer and you can catch up on that mystery you have been wanting to read. To keep the kids busy while you clean, mix up this modeling dough for their enjoyment.  Combine l cup of very hot water with 3/4 cup of table salt.  Let this dissolve completely. When cool, add to a bowl of 3 cups flour.  Stir until it starts to form a dough.  Work the dough until it looks like one giant blob.  Now let it sit for a few hours in a big ziplock baggy.  Your kids can not sculpt what ever they want.  To keep their little creations, put on a cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes at 325 degrees.  Keep checking them to keep them from burning.

Chewing Gum:

Wrap an ice cube in a paper towel and apply to the gum.  As soon as it is hard, use a dull knife to remove the chunk.

Collar Rings:

Dirty collar rings can be removed by using shampoo.  Shampoo is made to remove bodily oils.  Keep a bottle of cheap shampoo by the washer.

Cleaning the toilet bowl:

I keep a container of Anti-bacterial towels, like Clorox or another brand, next to the toilet.  Several times a week, I get a wipe, pull up the seat, and clean around the top of the toilet.  If you have people who put the seat up to urinate, you can use this tip to keep ahead of the smell and the mess of cleaning only once a week.  I pull one out of the container, clean the sink, then raise the seat and clean there.  Come the weekend, when you do your regular cleaning, the toilet is an easy chore.

Garbage can tip:

Drop a twist tie in the bottom of your garbage can.  When you are ready to close the bag and take it to the curb, you already have a twist tie handy.

Repairing a small hole in a window screen:

Apply clear nail polish to the hole and let it dry.  Apply a second coat and you are good.

A teaspoon of vanilla in a gallon of paint will get rid of "paint smell".

Kitty litter:

Can be used to absorb spilled grease or oil.  Can absorb orders.  I keep a coffee can of it in the corners of my basement to absorb basement orders.

After working outside, use a old toothbrush and tooth paste to get grass stains from your shoes anew orders from your hands.

Dryer sheet:

A used one can be used to pick up sawdust or bits of wood from tile floor.

Wine rack can be used to store guest towels in your powder room.  Takes little space on the wall and can give our guests a fresh towel to use.

Dry erase pens can be used on the top of a dryer lid.  Special instructions for drying certain items can be right at hand.  Just wipes off with any cloth.

Power outages:

Keep glow sticks in your pantry.  They can be put anywhere and are safer than candles around children.  Put a few in a glass vase in a large room to illuminate whole room.

Empty square tissue boxes make great trash containers for dressing table.  Discard Q-tips, eyeliner pencil shavings and used tissues.  When full, dump, or use a newly emptied one.

Long hair can get tangled around vacuum cleaner brushes.  Turn vacuum cleaner upside down to expose brushes.  Use a seam ripper to cut through the tangles hairs and just lift out.  Makes brushes pick up much better.


Fill a spray bottle with 10 drops of peppermint or wintergreen oil to 16 ounces of water and 2 drops of dishwashing liquid.  Spray anywhere.

Soap Scum:

1 gallon water, 1 cut white vinegar and Dawn dishwashing detergent.  Spray soap scup and let it soak for a little while.  Will wipe right off.

Remember your filters.  In window air conditioner, small electric heaters, dryer filters.  They have the purpose of filtering the air used in them.  Clean filters will allow the appliance to work more efficiently and put cleaner air in your house.

When working outside and a bee comes around you, don't swat, blow air in its direction, it will get disoriented and fly away.

Moving heavy furniture:

Put heavy gym socks on each leg.  Will move easier over floors.

When out of scouring pads, crumple up some aluminum foil and use to scrub your pan.

Copywriter: Karen B. Cardwell 2012.   Email me at: cradwell.kc@Gmail.Com 

 Tweet me at: Karen Cardwell@blairie12.

 Original Artwork Images by Tom Wilson.