Creative cleaning solutions

Cleaning your bathroom is boring, but experiments aren’t. Sometimes just trying something new and creative can make cleaning interesting. I’m not saying cleaning is going to be fun, but when it comes between studying and cleaning — I don’t think my bathroom is cleaner than during finals. There are a few things you could try to help you in your procrastinating-cleaning adventures.

As kids we demanded white bread for our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but who knew this could be used to help you clean? White bread is great for cleaning the dust off an oil painting. Simply dab a slice over the surface to get rid of dirt and grime.

So you’re living off Kraft dinner, and everyone knows that you need ketchup with your KD. However, you can use your ketchup stock to remove tarnish from copper and brass cookware. If you have some pots and pans that are looking a little tarnished, you can rub them with a ketchup-covered cloth and they should go back to their normal colour in a few minutes. Then you just need to rinse your cookware under warm water and dry with a towel.

No one enjoys cleaning toilets, but put it off long enough and those stains aren’t going anywhere. But there may be hope for your stubborn toilet stains! Dropping a couple denture cleaning tablets into your toilet and allowing it to sit overnight just may be the boost your toilet needs; flush and reveal a brighter bowl. This same method can be used to clean old tea cups.

You come home from a reading week trip only to find that your roommate never wiped out an exploded pizza pop from before the break. You could try and use brute strength to clean up the mess, but to make it easier on yourself all you need is a bowl of water. Simply place a bowl of water in the microwave and let it run for a while and the steam from the water loosens the nastiness from the walls. Not loving the smell of pizza that remains? Add a little lemon to the bowl for a fresh scent!

Your favourite shirt is starting to get sweat stains. It’s hard to let go, and you’re not sure if you should just throw it out and not bother donating it to the local thrift store. But what if you could bring new life to this old shirt? It’s worth a shot if it’s one of your favourites. Try mixing baking soda and water into a thick paste and paint it on the pit stains. Let this mixture dry for a half hour and then scrape it off. Rinse and repeat if necessary. If this doesn’t help, it may be time to toss it.

Tea is splendid-tasting but it is also great for garden tools. After scouring your rusty garden gear, brew a few strong pots of black tea and allow them to cool. Pour the tea into a bucket and allow your tools to soak for a few hours. While wearing gloves, wipe each one with a cloth to reveal your brand-new garden tools.

Grease is trouble — it’s often hard to get out, but if you just pour cornstarch onto grease spots, cleaning your carpets couldn’t be easier. After spot-treating the grease spill with cornstarch let your little piles sit for 15 to 30 minutes and you should reveal cleaner carpets with each swipe of your vacuum.

Vases and thin-necked bottles are often hard to clean. By filling the vessel three quarters of the way with warm water and adding a tablespoon of uncooked rice, you can shake and rinse them clean. I’ve also stuck a phone in a cup of rice after it fell in a puddle of water to absorb the moisture and found it worked after sitting in there for a couple days. The science is admittedly a little hazy but if you’re in a tough spot, it’s sometimes worth a shot.
Permanent marker on floors or solid-surface countertops can appear to be a lost cause. Rubbing alcohol will allow you to erase these stains. Pour rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball and apply it to the marks. If you have pen marks on your couch, you can spray hair spray on these and rub them away.
Club soda can shine up a scuffed stainless steel sink. Buff your sink with a club soda-soaked cloth and then wipe dry with a clean cloth. You could also try this on other stainless steel appliances like your fridge or microwave, to make them look like new again.
After all this cleaning, your hands may be a little dirty, so mix a thick paste of oatmeal and water and scrub your hands with it. Rinse well and you’re hands are sure to beautiful once again. Happy cleaning.