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15 Simple Cleaning Hacks Everyone Should Master

15 Simple Cleaning Hacks Everyone Should Master

The average American household spends $42 per month on household cleaning supplies. And that doesn’t include white aprons for the upstairs maid! Germs lurk everywhere inside your home, whether brought in by your pet, your own feet, or just born on the breeze that wafts through the halls of your domicile. So, do a little bit of cleaning each day to keep the miniature flora and fauna at bay.

There’s no need to spend that much money, or that much time, on keeping your home or apartment sparkly clean – so clean, in fact, that your own mother will be bowled over the next time she comes to visit, if you’ll just follow these simple, inexpensive and effective cleaning hacks:

microwave and lemons

    1. Lemonize your microwave

    When it comes to cleaning, deodorizing and sanitizing your microwave, lemon juice is your friend. Just mix water and lemon juice in a microwavable bowl, set the timer for 5 minutes, and let the citrus steam do the work. Afterward, just wipe down the inside.

    2. There’s more to grilled onions than meets the eye

    Keep your grill spic and span by rubbing half of a white onion across it when it’s heated up. It not only removes the disgusting carbon buildup, but also seasons the grill for you.

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    showerhead vinegar2

      3. Show the shower head who’s boss

      The Vinegar Institute (yes, it’s real; not a joke from Prairie Home Companion) suggests filling a baggy with white vinegar, then putting it around your shower head and tying it off tight – leave it overnight to banish soap scum and lime crust.

      gloveand pethair

        4. The pet hair scare

        Don’t worry. Just put on a rubber glove, dip it in water and rub it over upholstery to pick up dog and cat hair. Even when you can’t see it, you know it’s there.

        squeegeeandpethair

          5. And the carpet

          Use a window squeegee to collect pet hair in just minutes. Why spend hours vacuuming? Your pet allergy symptoms will dwindle significantly when you keep your carpet hairless.

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          messyroom

            6. Banish clutter!

            A cluttered room is hard to clean and is a dust magnet. Plus, all sorts of bugs and spiders love to hide in the dark nooks and crannies that clutter creates. Take advantage of spring cleaning time and box up your non-essentials and take them to a commercial self-storage unit. They’re inexpensive, accessible, and safe. If you leave stuff with your parents, they’ll eventually throw it out, and if you try to fob it off on a friend to keep in their garage, it’ll somehow mysteriously get water damaged or mice infested.

            dirtyblender

              7. Don’t bother with the blender

              Letting it soak in the sink will eventually rust the blade. Fill it with hot water and a few drops of dish detergent, and then run it for a full minute on a high speed. Empty and rinse, then go see what’s on Netflix.

              kittylitter

                8. Kitty litter to the rescue!

                Does your concrete garage floor look rather leprous lately? Clean up oil and other vehicle fluid leak stains with kitty litter. And then dump the used litter down any mole holes or other critter holes in your lawn to discourage the varmints from turning your yard into a miniature golf course.

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                silverandketchup

                  9. Catch up with your cleaning with ketchup

                  Embarrassed to get the silverware out for company? Clean it with ketchup. You can get a bottle of generic ketchup for about a dollar. It’ll last you several cleanings, although you might get a hankering for french fries.

                  bread and glass

                    10. White bread

                    Don’t let a broken bottle spread tiny shards in ever widening circles; use a piece of white bread. Just press it down on the glass shards, shake into the trash, and repeat. It’ll even pick up those microscopic needles that so love to jab the soles of your bare feet just when you think you’ve got them all cleaned up.

                    trashcan with newspaper

                      11. Avoid trashcan tragedies

                      Trash cans are chock full of disease-causing germs. To help minimize the spread of them, put some balled up newspaper in the bottom of your trash bag to soak up noxious liquids so they don’t seep out. You can also drill some holes in the bottom of your trash can to prevent suction from ripping the bag open when you pull it out. Spritz the inside and outside of your trash can with vinegar at least once a week to keep the germs and odors under control. (Thank you once again, Vinegar Institute!)

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                      bakingsodaandcarpet

                        12. Vomit cleaner

                        Baking soda is vinegar and lemon’s natural cleaning cousin. Last night’s party got a little too wild? Little Stevie brought the stomach flu home from preschool? Vomit happens, and not always in the toilet. Clean up messes from carpet by first removing as much of the solid parts as possible. You can then make a paste by mixing baking soda with water and spreading it on the stain. Let it sit overnight and then you can vacuum up the entire mess in the morning.

                        cleaning cabinets with baking soda

                          13. Cupboard De-gunker

                          Make a paste of 1 part vegetable oil and 2 parts baking soda, and using a toothbrush, scrub all of the greasy, grimey build-up from your kitchen or bathroom cupboards. Wipe clean with a damp cloth, and voila, you have grime-free cabinets.

                          dryersheets

                            14. Dryer Sheets

                            Did you know that dryer sheets can do much more than eliminate static cling from your clothes? This amazing little sheet can do everything from clean your greasy cook top, to removing soap scum rings from your bathtub. The fibers in the dryer sheet will grab almost anything, and the chemicals used to soften your clothes will also soften dirt, making it easier to clean. Wet a used dryer sheet and run it across dirty blinds, or use new dryer sheets to dust furniture – like magic, you’ll see future dust repelled.

                            pressandseal

                              15. Keeping the fridge clean

                              Everybody hates cleaning the fridge, especially when meat juice leaks all over one of the shelves. A simple way to clean up these messes quickly is to use Glad Press n’ Seal to line your fridge’s shelves. When a mess happens, just peel off the wrap and throw it away.

                              Featured photo credit: Shirley via pixabay.com

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                              Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                              10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                              10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                              There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                              One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                              In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                              Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                              1. Cat Camel Stretch

                              Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                              Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                              Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                              Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                              2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                              This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                              Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                              The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                              Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                              Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                              3. Jumping Jacks

                              Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                              Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                              4. Abductor Side Lifts

                              Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                              Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                              5. Balancing Table Pose

                              This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                              Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

                              ablab

                                6. Leg Squats

                                Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                                Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                                The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                                7. Push Ups

                                You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                                An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                                Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                                This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                                8. Bicycle Crunches

                                There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                                Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                                9. Lunges

                                Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                                Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                                This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                                10. Bicep Curls

                                You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                                Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                                Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                                Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                                Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                                These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                                You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                                Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                                More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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