Spring cleaning can be a daunting task, which is why our friends at Hometalk are here to make your life a little easier. Rather than go out and spend a bundle on a new arsenal of cleaning supplies, gather up a few key materials you probably already have at home and try out these unusual cleaning tips instead. They might seem a little weird at first, but trust us — they're nothing short of brilliant.
We modern homemakers don’t have quite the same sixth sense with cleaning solutions that our grandparents once cultivated. While they could remove any stain or dissipate any odor armed with just a toothbrush and some hard soap, we tend to prefer the trusty brand name cleaners that do exactly what they say. After all, what’s the point of pouring baking soda into your greasy oven only to end up with a white, powdery residue you’ll have to clean up for weeks? While our hesitation is understandable, it turns out that not every wacky tip you find on the Internet is a flop — some weirdly magical cleaning solutions actually get the job done better and faster than their chemical alternatives.
Using ingredients you’ve already got in your pantry, tackle those tough mess areas in your home that aren’t having their cleaning needs met by bleaches and sprays. These methods may sound crazy, but the results are nothing short of miraculous. These weird rubbish-ridders will save you money, effort, and many sweaty and frustrated hours of scrubbing. So go ahead — make Grandma proud!
1. Use Kool-Aid to clean your toilet bowl
<img width="624" alt="" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/BwQNxnWTbFwjRXJHpI2clqs1vwBzReCkE4nxRjMMQzEHt8zDi_SrkzohyC7x8X3Z9vcVzNm15Z1hfpf1RCnnhIip4P01SpdnLsS5Yp5o1iV9NrXdVejP3oyO8HUIgtzl18XnZ8U" height="441" class="article-body-image" title="Image: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/BwQNxnWTbFwjRXJHpI2clqs1vwBzReCkE4nxRjMMQzEHt8zDi_SrkzohyC7x8X3Z9vcVzNm15Z1hfpf1RCnnhIip4P01SpdnLsS5Yp5o1iV9NrXdVejP3oyO8HUIgtzl18XnZ8U"/>
A 25 cent packet of lemonade flavored Kool-Aid is your go-to superhero when standard cleaners can’t rid your toilet bowl of that icky build-up ring. Give your toilet a generous sprinkling of Kool-Aid powder, let the mixture sit, brush down the sides, and then simply flush your soft drink (and your worries) away!
Project via Diana @Anyone Can Decorate
2. Try a vinegar wash to fluff your towels
<img width="624" alt="" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/nWCFSTm-eSwxo5eIaOSJUNJP9mq86QuGMBRNAIQJ9e-vxavOe6HpiBwBX3LOA22pGCvsr5FwehbofrC_lOlNGuUs5KYDeog8PK7LGSP8VD79KbOPK05eSgJFfcZJ6ZVwxxDqO1A" height="365" class="article-body-image" title="Image: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/nWCFSTm-eSwxo5eIaOSJUNJP9mq86QuGMBRNAIQJ9e-vxavOe6HpiBwBX3LOA22pGCvsr5FwehbofrC_lOlNGuUs5KYDeog8PK7LGSP8VD79KbOPK05eSgJFfcZJ6ZVwxxDqO1A"/>
If your towels or linens are starting to build up a mildew stench, give them a refreshing wash in a vinegar bubble bath. Your tired textiles will emerge completely fresh-scented and re-fluffed, with no trace of that dank aroma. Save on laundry detergent, and enjoy this age-old pantry solution.
Project via Jessica @Mom 4 Real
3. Get rid of rings on wood with olive oil and salt
<img width="624" alt="" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/ExHBbPc1Y3PZPUROg5JmzVNdKxgSy3xpMA_2moBXs0ozdzZgRgrt7b2Hw-ghTt-I5GI8OIM7PVSox4F18N1NNHzI6s3PJWrx9WLdvAhouA0ujhYmeXuDbF7cYwiIvQ7DwLQXKQs" height="451" class="article-body-image" title="Image: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/ExHBbPc1Y3PZPUROg5JmzVNdKxgSy3xpMA_2moBXs0ozdzZgRgrt7b2Hw-ghTt-I5GI8OIM7PVSox4F18N1NNHzI6s3PJWrx9WLdvAhouA0ujhYmeXuDbF7cYwiIvQ7DwLQXKQs"/>
Even though your coffee table is starting to show the wear of coaster-less cups and glasses, don’t start shopping for a replacement just yet! This kitchen concoction is just the thing to ease those stains out of your grain and get your wooden surfaces back to their lustrous origins. Don’t get discouraged if the rings are still there when you wipe off your mixture — just check back later and enjoy the disappearing act.
Project via Diana @Diana's DIY Den & Treasure Showcase
4. Clean your microwave without scrubbing
<img width="624" alt="" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/2foENsV9DKBtEEjJLNgZTo4EJModls40XpdLSH0hYWjWpvuCwv0DIVdp4zhttcVPhwuNl1j_6D_EGzT8KwutO4vqsmaRsqYRyiclfuOhkihu20qJjxxHB5U_HKf_AcPTRMYUhtk" height="421" class="article-body-image" title="Image: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/2foENsV9DKBtEEjJLNgZTo4EJModls40XpdLSH0hYWjWpvuCwv0DIVdp4zhttcVPhwuNl1j_6D_EGzT8KwutO4vqsmaRsqYRyiclfuOhkihu20qJjxxHB5U_HKf_AcPTRMYUhtk"/>
You know that some ovens are self-cleaning, but what’s this about microwaves? It’s true — you can let your microwave do the job for you by heating up some water and lemon juice or vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl for five minutes, letting the mixture sit to cool, and then wiping down the sides. Any built-up grease and grime will be long gone, without you wearing yourself out.
Project via Angela @Angela Says
5. Rub away silver tarnish with toothpaste
<img width="624" alt="" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/Jp3HDf21s-zQ7hDu82uEs07y8YrkzQw9M4QRBY0D58TcrLWnACOUczX0clsS59sbSLtKvv3Ubq-0BqDv3hGLPzpsMefjlz0Z8-cocQvav5uLlC9EprP3rtFON0e90pyXx5X_sqc" height="405" class="article-body-image" title="Image: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/Jp3HDf21s-zQ7hDu82uEs07y8YrkzQw9M4QRBY0D58TcrLWnACOUczX0clsS59sbSLtKvv3Ubq-0BqDv3hGLPzpsMefjlz0Z8-cocQvav5uLlC9EprP3rtFON0e90pyXx5X_sqc"/>
Instead of the standard smelly silver cleaners, try this minty-fresh alternative. Simply apply toothpaste to your pieces and rub it in with a rag. You can use a toothbrush (what else?) to get into any crevices or ornate designs.
Project via Lisa @Concord Cottage
6. Unstick labels easily with orange essential oil
<img width="624" alt="" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/m00mVjSnm_iDLqsnE_cTrZXfF53XI6iF6LuXPm7qydSrUMxaF5Ned06ZN1LXwUeHfYhXQkWrGIYwTQlTILwhlCeA3boIFulVEpr2jFNZE1n751en4iR2lo9TuVlPaAmt3beKg8Q" height="369" class="article-body-image" title="Image: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/m00mVjSnm_iDLqsnE_cTrZXfF53XI6iF6LuXPm7qydSrUMxaF5Ned06ZN1LXwUeHfYhXQkWrGIYwTQlTILwhlCeA3boIFulVEpr2jFNZE1n751en4iR2lo9TuVlPaAmt3beKg8Q"/>
This works great for sticky price tags as well as large labels on jars and bottles. Break down the tacky sticker glue with this sweet smelling essential oil, and peel the offending tag right off. Not only will you love how easily this trick gets the job done, you’ll enjoy the bonus skin care that the oil gives your fingertips!
Project via Jessica @Mom 4 Real
7. Scrub greasy appliances with baby oil
<img width="624" alt="" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/sZ6FwnMfxl8PqqBYp_UoooQd5_i1b3jJBaDEyHuPdWR6FrYjubGDoeb9NPi_J9pq8rsClxcJDeFkcwJZc04suen2ukDIebAvcZ2wcOEC_2M7auW-dgNvxWseiKTicxo_Nlk9_kA" height="427" class="article-body-image" title="Image: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/sZ6FwnMfxl8PqqBYp_UoooQd5_i1b3jJBaDEyHuPdWR6FrYjubGDoeb9NPi_J9pq8rsClxcJDeFkcwJZc04suen2ukDIebAvcZ2wcOEC_2M7auW-dgNvxWseiKTicxo_Nlk9_kA"/>
Put down the chemical sprays, and break out the rag and baby oil for a much cleaner, much quicker grease-buster that won’t leave any harsh scents in your kitchen. Not only does a quick scrub with baby oil cut away the grime, it’s a great way to buff metal appliances and leave them with a week-long shine.
Project via Alicia @Thrifty & Chic
8. Iron out carpet stains without using chemicals
<img width="624" alt="" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/HIn0oqCiDBq7ID_UDjXJNYdKQeVzuoa16XJSjYKq03is0NiJ4qoJCeKKOnTc_FYYBw-mKPtSHoUs-6dy3ikYigimxke53faUrtpwiHqffhQDJbx0yCBOuLXkk9GwdJx8vdGLLZg" height="364" class="article-body-image" title="Image: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/HIn0oqCiDBq7ID_UDjXJNYdKQeVzuoa16XJSjYKq03is0NiJ4qoJCeKKOnTc_FYYBw-mKPtSHoUs-6dy3ikYigimxke53faUrtpwiHqffhQDJbx0yCBOuLXkk9GwdJx8vdGLLZg"/>
If you don’t have a carpet cleaner on hand, try this chemical-free treatment to get spots and stains out of your rug or carpet. Simply place a damp cloth over the spot, and press it with an iron set to high. The steam will release the stain, and your carpet will be left dry, spot-free, and stunning.
Project via Ashley @Bigger than the Three of Us
9. Shine metal faucets with used dryer sheets
<img width="624" alt="" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/34sHZaIM-h7E7Cy5BjyZer7OEicz2l2BWgFjk45SAKtMlhEgG7yCBV39nJI827PES6hT1fh13LaPuviVvZ2rHDEsdweJE8c35MyHLbzdIwNF0nCTD8Td3xz1Jyt2kvZUl3ZabKQ" height="488" class="article-body-image" title="Image: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/34sHZaIM-h7E7Cy5BjyZer7OEicz2l2BWgFjk45SAKtMlhEgG7yCBV39nJI827PES6hT1fh13LaPuviVvZ2rHDEsdweJE8c35MyHLbzdIwNF0nCTD8Td3xz1Jyt2kvZUl3ZabKQ"/>
Give your spent dryer sheets one last hurrah by using them to shine your metal faucets and appliances. Shower handle looking dull? Give it a quick shine, totally free. You can even use dryer sheets to dust the surfaces of your home, and because they contain anti-static properties, you might find that doing it helps to lessen future dust build-up.
Project via Raye @Thoughts by Her
For more helpful cleaning tricks, tips, and how-tos to help you tackle your spring cleaning, check out our cleaning tips page on Hometalk!