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5 Cleaning Hacks For Your Home

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5 Cleaning Hacks For Your Home

There’s nothing better than coming home to a clean house. The problem is that someone has to clean it and usually, that person is you. If you’re currently between maids, never fear. Cleaning is not as hard as it looks if you take the right approach.

Use these five cleaning hacks for sprucing up your place in no time, no frilly apron required.

Wax Your Stovetop

Your stove top is one of those areas that gets dirty quickly. If you leave stains on it too long, they tend to set. Before you know it, you’re spending your Saturday attacking the kitchen with a scrubber.

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One of the best kitchen hacks out there actually uses an ingredient you’d normally find in the garage. Start by cleaning your stove. Remove the stains and any debris. Remove any excess water. Then, apply a thin layer of car wax to your stove top. Use a soft rag to wipe off the excess.

The car wax won’t stop you from spilling your soup. But it will make any spills you do have lift off easily. No scrubbing required.

Buff Leather Furniture with Shoe Polish

People buy leather furniture for practical reasons because it is durable, comfortable and stylish. Yet, there’s something about a leather sofa that reminds you that you are home. If that good old leather couch is starting to look a bit… old, then the obvious thing to do is throw a blanket it on it and pretend it doesn’t exist. But you can actually remove the scratches from your beloved sofa with little effort. There’s no need to send it out to a furniture repair specialist. All you need to fix cosmetic surface marks is some shoe polish.

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To get started, find shoe polish in the appropriate shade and grab a clean cloth. Apply the shoe polish to the affected area using the applicator. Buff the polish in a circular motion. Keep everyone off the furniture for an hour while the polish sets in. Then, buff off any leftover product.

After you’ve done this, you’ll want to follow a few steps to make the results last. Apply some leather cleaner on a clean rag and apply it to the scratched area. Wipe off any extra cleaner before adding the leather protectant. Let the protectant dry overnight. Blast it with heat from a blow dryer for 30 seconds the next morning so that it seals.

Clean Your Mattress with Vodka

Your mattress is one of those things that really needs to be cleaned. But the logistics of doing so sounds complicated. You might live in a small apartment complex, without much room to work. Sure, you can remove the mattress cover and send it through the wash. But that only gets the mattress cover clean. It does not even scratch the surface of what lies beneath.

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It turns out that cleaning your mattress is relatively easy. There’s no hoisting or shouting “pivot” required.

Grab a spray bottle and pour some vodka into it. If you have essential oils, add a few drops of your favorite one to the bottle and blend. Then, spray your mattress with the vodka. Give it plenty of time to air dry. The vodka will kill the bacteria living in your mattress which will prevent odors and disinfect the mattress all at once.

Remove Water Rings with Your Hair Dryer

It does not matter how many coasters you lay down. There is always that one person who disregards the house rules and puts their glass down on your beautiful wood table. But there’s no need to cry out in despair. Removing the water ring does not require you to shine, sand or even strip the wood. All you need to remove that stain is a hair dryer.

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Plug your hair dryer in and turn the setting to a medium heat. Then, hold the dryer about two inches away from the water stain. When you turn the dryer on, use a soft cloth to help you buff the mark off the table. It might take a while, up to 20 minutes, but keep buffing until the stain is gone.

Eliminate Soap Scum with a Dryer Sheet

Cleaning the bathroom is relatively straight forward until you encounter all those weird stains. Black mold and hard water stains are a pain and require serious chemicals. But soap scum? You can use something lavender scented to remove that stain.

If you can’t find the right bathroom cleaner or you want to avoid chemicals, you can use a dryer sheet to remove soap scum buildup. Sprinkle a few drops of water onto dryer sheet, preferably one that’s fresh from the dryer, and get to scrubbing.

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Living without a maid isn’t as hard as it sounds. Use these five clever cleaning hacks and take back your Saturdays!

Featured photo credit: eyeliam via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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