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20 Easy Home Cleaning Hacks That Will Save You Money

20 Easy Home Cleaning Hacks That Will Save You Money

1. Cleaning Carpet Stains

Combine 2 parts water with 1 part white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the stain, cover the area with a damp rag, use the steam setting and iron over the damp rag.

carpet
    Source: Flickr, Dong Jun (CC)

    2. Tile Grout Cleaner

    Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner With Bleach, a scrub brush and minimal manual labor for pristine grout. Via DIYCozyHome

    grout
      Credit: Flickr, Kurt Nordstrom (CC)

      3. Ceiling Fan Duster

      Place an old pillow case on the fan blade and wipe. The dust stays trapped in the pillow case which can then be shaken outside and thrown in the laundry. Via Diply

      ceiling-fan
        Credit: Flickr, Kevin Galens (CC)

        4. Removing Marker & Ink Marks From Wood

        Just take some plain white toothpaste, put it on a rag and scrub the marks away.

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        ink-wood
          Credit: Flickr, Kin Dombrowski (CC)

          5. Save Worn Leather Furniture

          Leather furniture can look like new after a good buff with shoe polish. To clean other upholstery, check out these tips.

          couch
            Credit: Flickr, Sebastiaan ter Burg (CC)

            6. Clean Dish Sponge & Microwave In One

            Placing your damp sponge in the microwave for two minutes on high will kill any bacteria living on it.  Plus, the steam will loosen the grime in your microwave making it much easier to clean.

            microwave
              Credit: Flickr, Daniel Lobo (CC)

              7. The Three Minute Fridge Clean

              To get your filthy old fridge spic and span in under five minutes go here.

              fridge
                Credit: Flickr, Michelle Tribe (CC)

                8. Salt Scrub Cleanser

                You can clean all sorts of things with a coarse salt scrub, including your cast iron skillet, coffee pots, glass bottles and more. Via DIYready

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                salt
                  Credit: Flickr, MDV (CC)

                  9. Hydrogen Peroxide

                  Hydrogen peroxide is the cheapest cleaner out there and can be used on almost everything. It’s a disinfectant, a mold killer and stain remover. Keep some in a spray bottle as your multi-purpose cleaner.

                  peroxide
                    Credit: Flickr, Trenten Kelley (CC)

                    10. Vinegar & Baking Soda

                    Like hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar and baking soda are multi-purpose cleaners. They can be combined to gently scrub tubs and sinks and are excellent stain removers. A mix of vinegar and water in the microwave for 10 minutes will steam up and soften everything in there so it can later be wiped clean with a wet sponge and mildly abrasive baking soda. White vinegar also cuts through soap scum.

                    sink
                      Credit: Flickr, Regan76 (CC)

                      11. De-greasing With Ammonia

                      Greasy or caked on stove burners can be cleaned without any scrubbing by simply sealing them overnight in a bag with 1/4 cup ammonia. The fumes do the work so you don’t need to soak anything. Just be sure not to mix it with bleach, and thoroughly wipe down the burners before putting them back on the stove.

                      stove
                        Credit, Flickr, Allen (CC)

                        12. Citrus For Sinks

                        You can clean your sink with fresh lemons. You can also disinfect and remove smells from your garbage disposal by running it with any variation of citrus fruit inside (lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit).

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                        citrus
                          Credit: Flickr, Liz West (CC)

                          13. Washing Machine Drain Pump

                          Keep your machine running like new by cleaning your drain pump following with these simple instructions.

                          washing-machine
                            Credit: Flickr, Apionid (CC)

                            14. Mildew Stains

                            Mildew stains can be cleaned over night by simply placing a bleach-soaked cotton ball or rag over them.

                            bleach
                              Credit: Flickr, Fredsharples (CC)

                              15. Cleaning Switch Plates

                              Rather than spraying solutions on switch plates and risking electrical issues, wipe them down with a wet rag with some dishwashing liquid on it. The dish soap will clean the oil residue left by dirty fingers. This technique can be used on any surface that is frequently touched by hands.

                              switchplate
                                Credit: Flickr, Mike (CC)

                                16. Clean Windows

                                Use a mix of white vinegar and hot water instead of expensive commercial window cleaners. Don’t wash your windows in direct sunlight as this causes streaks by drying too fast.

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                                windows
                                  Credit: Flickr, Kdingo (CC)

                                  17. Clean Blinds

                                  A little dish soap and hot water will clean your blinds very nicely.

                                  blinds
                                    Credit: Flickr, Anders Adermark (CC)

                                    18. Remove Musty Closet Smells

                                    Use lidded plastic containers like deli bowls. Cut slits or punch a few holes in the lid and fill the container with white vinegar. Place the bowl inside the closet and leave overnight.

                                    closet
                                      Credit: Flickr, Lara604 (CC)

                                      19. Scrub Your Bathtub

                                      Mix a paste of one cup baking soda, one teaspoon of liquid soap (like dish soap), a few drops of an anti-bacterial essential oil like rosemary, eucalyptus or tea tree and just enough water to make the paste.

                                      bathtub
                                        Credit: Flickr, Psyduck (CC)

                                        20. Packing Tape & Lint Rollers

                                        Use packing tape or a lint roller to pick up crumbs, dust, and remove animal hair off of surfaces quickly and easily.

                                        lint-roller
                                          Credit: Flickr, Laurie Chipps (CC)

                                          Featured photo credit: July 30-10 Cleaning / Judith Doyle via flic.kr

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                                          Chris Barry

                                          freelance writer

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                                          Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                                          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                          Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                                          You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                                          Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                                          1. Work on the small tasks.

                                          When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                                          Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                                          2. Take a break from your work desk.

                                          Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                                          Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                                          3. Upgrade yourself

                                          Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                                          The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                                          4. Talk to a friend.

                                          Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                                          Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                                          5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                                          If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                                          Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                                          Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                                          6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                                          If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                                          Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                                          Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                                          7. Read a book (or blog).

                                          The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                                          Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                                          Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                                          8. Have a quick nap.

                                          If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                                          9. Remember why you are doing this.

                                          Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                                          What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                                          10. Find some competition.

                                          Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                                          Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                                          11. Go exercise.

                                          Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                                          Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                                          As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                                          Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                                          12. Take a good break.

                                          Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                                          Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                                          Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                                          Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                                          More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                                          Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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