Information taken from: All things Shabby Chic blog postWhen you dust, start at the top and work down.
Take all your cleaning tools, avoid unnecessary trips back and forth.
Clean as you go! It takes a lot less time to remove new dirt than old.
Leave baking soda on carpeting over night will absorb musty odors
Make a checklist of chores to get organized first.
Wash walls from the bottom up, to avoid streaking.
Use old socks as mitts for cleaning difficult wood work.
Wash small knickknacks instead of dusting.
To removing heel marks , take pencil eraser and rub them off.
Don't mix cleaning products. Ammonia and bleach are toxic.
Remember common cleaners such as windex and comet meet this don't do rule.
Allowing cleaners to set for several minutes will ease the cleaning job.
Wall cleaner, mix 1/2 c. ammonia, 1/4 c. white vinegar, and 1/4 c. baking soda to 1 gal. warm water.
For cleaning textured walls use nylon socks instead of a sponge or cloth to avoid leaving material chunks behind.
To dust wall paper, tie a dustcloth over your broom and work from the top down.
To remove pencil marks & other non-greasy spots from non-washable papers, use an art-gum eraser .
To remove greasy spots or crayon, apply a paste of cleaning fluid and fuller's earth and cornstarch. Let the wall dry and brush off residue. Repeat the treatment until the spot is gone.
Use a water hose to spray the outside of your house. This will remove siding cobwebsand dirt.
Textured siding ? Attach a car-washing brush to the hose to remove dirt.
Make your own spray cleaner. Fill a spray bottle with 3 tablespoons ammonia, 1 tablespoon vinegar & the remainder with water.
Dust blinds by wrapping a cloth around a ruler. Spray cloth with a dusting spray and run the flat end across each blind.
Shine windows using old newspaper.
Clean windows on an average temperature, preferably overcast day to avoid streaks.
Dry windows outside in one direction then inside in the other direction. If you see a streak, you will know which side is the ofender.
To clean window sills, pour diluted rubbing alcohol on a cloth and rub the entire surface.Then dust off the sill with a clean cloth.
Rubbing alcohol can remove the dull haze from mirrors.
Use rubbing alcohol to remove spots from bathroom fixtures.
Glass shower doors will sparkle if cleaned with white vinegar.
To clean the shower, use a solution of 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 cup ammonia, and 1/4 cup baking soda added to one gallon of warm water.
Lemon furniture oil will remove water spots on metal frames.
Rusty tile marks can be removed with kerosene.
Running the shower on hot for five minutes will steam the dirt loose.
Grout need cleaning? Wash with 2 tablespoons chlorine bleach in one quart of water. Dry thoroughly, then apply several coats of lemon oil. Let dry one hour between coats.
Dull walls will shine when washed with vinegar and water and polished with a dry cloth.
Lighter fluid will remove most stains from porcelain sinks and bathtubs.
Pour club soda on counter and clean with a soft cloth, rinse with water then wipe dry.
Baking soda or club soda will clean and shine stainless steel sinks easily.
Remove stubborn water spots from a stainless sink with a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol.
Spots on stainless steel also can be removed with vinegar.
Rub stainless steel sinks with lighter fluid if rusty .
For a sparkling white porcelain sink, place paper towels across the bottom of your sink and saturate with household bleach. Let sit for 8 hour & rinse. Never use bleach in colored sinks.
An open box of baking soda will absorb odors for a month or so.
A few drops vanilla extract on a piece of cotton placed in the refrigerator will eliminate odors.
Wipe refrigerator with vinegar to prevent mildew.
Use your vacuum on the front of the coils and motor to remove dust and dirt
Stop yellowing of white appliances. Mix 1/2 cup bleach, 1/4 cup baking soda and 4 cups of warm water. Apply with a sponge and let set for 10 minutes. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
Wax large appliances with car wax to make them shine and to remove small scratches.
Floor cleaner is a solution of 1/2 cup of white vinegar in 1 gallon of warm water. Damp mop with a mop squeezed nearly dry. It is safer to mist the mop with the cleaner than to apply to floor. Do a section at a time and throw an old towel on the floor and scoot back and forth with foot to dry and prevent streaks. Standing liquid from mopping, spills, and pet accidents can damage floors.
The greatest damage done to wood floors is from grit. Mats at doors are necessary to collect grit and it's important to keep these clean. Frequent dust mopping in high traffic areas to collect grit is the best prevention. This should be done based on the amount of traffic, which may require dust mopping several times a day in an active household. The brush attachment of a vacuum can be used (no beater bars). Felt and furniture protectors should be installed on furniture. Never scoot furniture on wood.
Put a piece of waxed paper under your dust mop. Dirt will stick to the mop and the wax will shine your floors.
Use a paper bag over spilled candle wax then lightly iron
Rub the spot with No. 2 steel wood and rewax. For more serious water stains, lightly sand with fine sandpaper, clean the spot with No. 1 or 00 steel wool and mineral spirits or floor cleaner then refinish and wax.
If not severe, the burn can be removed by rubbing with steel wool moistened with soap and water.
Heel and Caster Marks-
Rub vigorously with fine steel wool and floor cleaner. Wipe dry and polish.
Ink Stains and Other Dark Spots-
Use No. 2 steel wool and floor cleaner to clean the spot and surrounding area. Thoroughly wash the affected area. If the spot remains, sand with fine sandpaper, re-wax and polish. Stubborn stains may require that you replace the affected area.
Chewing Gum and Wax Deposits-
Ice until the deposit is brittle and crumbles off. Pour floor cleaner around the stain so the fluid soaks under and loosens it.
Rub the spot with liquid or paste wax
Sweep then damp mop using a gallon of water and a dash of dish-washing detergent.
No-wax floors eventually need waxing, this will help to prevent further deterioration.
To clean dry spots, loosen soil and vacuum away prior to moistening it.
When taking out stains, always use a white cloth.
Wax dropped on carpet or upholstery? Set a clean, absorbent cloth over the wax stain and hold a hot iron on it. Then remove the cloth.
Coat mildly greasy stains with aerosol shaving cream, use a hair dryer to speed dry. Then vacuum.
Sprinkle a greasy stain with baking soda, cornstarch or talcum powder. Leave on at least 8 hours, then vacuum.
Did you know that Bounce, the stuff you use in the dryer has many cleaning uses?
Eliminates static electricity from your television screen. Since Bounce is designed to help eliminate static cling, wipe your television screen with a used sheet of Bounce to keep dust from resettling.
Dissolves soap scum from shower doors. Clean with a used sheet of Bounce.
Freshens the air in your home. Place an individual sheet of Bounce in a drawer or hang one in the closet.
Prevents thread from tangling. Run a threaded needle through a sheet of Bounce to eliminate the static cling on the thread before sewing.
Eliminates static cling from pantyhose. Rub a damp, used sheet of Bounce over the hose.
Prevents musty suitcases. Place an individual sheet of Bounce inside empty luggage before storing.
Freshens the air in your car. Place a sheet of Bounce under the front seat.
Cleans baked-on food from a cooking pan. Put a sheet in the pan, fill with water, let sit overnight, and sponge clean. The anti-static agents apparently weaken the bond between the food and the pan while the fabric softening agents soften the baked-on food.
Eliminates odors in wastebaskets. Place a sheet of Bounce at the bottom of the wastebasket.
Collects cat hair. Rubbing the area with a sheet of Bounce will magnetically attract all the loose hairs.
Eliminates static electricity from venetian blinds. Wipe the blinds with a sheet of Bounce to prevent dust from resetting.
Deodorizes shoes or sneakers. Place a sheet of Bounce in your shoes or sneakers overnight so they'll smell great in the morning.
Cleaning Marble "MARBLE IS TRICKY, USE AT YOUR OWN RISK"
For heavier stains on marble, take three or four cakes of Ivory soap, cut them up and dissolve in hot water until you have a "slurry." Paint this on the marble and let it sit for five days or so. If the gunk starts to dry during that time, wet it down. At the end of the period, wash it all off.
To remove lighter stains, sprinkle salt on a fresh cut lemon. Rub very lightly over stain. Do not rub hard or you will ruin the polished surface. Wash off with soap and water.
More Handy Hints
Sealed envelope - Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife
under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed.
Use Empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords. It keeps them neat
and you can write on the roll to what appliance it belongs.
For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn
dish-washing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won't
Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag, dipped in
baking soda. Comes off with little effort (elbow grease that is)!
Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt BLUE)!
rubbing alcohol on paper towel.
Whenever I purchase a box of S.O.S Pads, I immediately take a pair of
scissors and cut each pad into halves. After years of having to throw
away rusted and unused and smelly pads, I finally decided that this would
be much more economical. And now a box of S.O.S pads last me
indefinitely! In fact, I have noticed that the scissors get sharpened
Blood stains on clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little hydrogen
peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. Works
every time! Now, where to put the body?
Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for
inside windows. This way you can tell which side has the streaks.
Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean. Don't wash
windows on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably
Spray a bit of perfume on the lightbulb in any room to create a lovely
light scent in each room when the light is turned on.
Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will
smell freshly washed for weeks to come. You can also do this with towels
Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least 3
hours prior to burning.
To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the
flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt
and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm!
To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or
two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a
To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area And
you will experience instant relief.
Ants, ants, ants everywhere . . . Well, they are said to never cross a
chalk line. So get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or
wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself.
Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and better still,
leaves a lovely smell to the shine.
When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to
tweezers or a needle Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, then
pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.
Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer. Clean a toilet. Drop in two
Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric
acid and effervescent action clean vitreous China.
Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet,
fill with water and drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets.
Polish jewelry. Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water andimmerse the jewelry for two minutes.
Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka
Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary).
Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer
Tablets down the drain followed by a cup of White Vinegar. Wait a few
minutes, then run the hot! water.