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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 September 20, 2018

                              How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                              How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                              Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                              If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                              1. Breathe

                              The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                              • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                              • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                              • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                              Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                              2. Loosen up

                              After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                              Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                              3. Chew slowly

                              Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                              Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                              Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                              4. Let go

                              Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                              The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                              It’s not. Promise.

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                              Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                              Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                              21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                              5. Enjoy the journey

                              Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                              Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                              6. Look at the big picture

                              The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                              Will this matter to me…

                              • Next week?
                              • Next month?
                              • Next year?
                              • In 10 years?

                              Hint: No, it won’t.

                              I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                              Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                              7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                              You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                              Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                              8. Practice patience every day

                              Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                              • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                              • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                              • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                              Final thoughts

                              Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                              Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                              Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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