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Stain Removal

Household Tips

Bust the Dust

Clean out your Closets

Sticky Residues


Microwaves and Ovens

Cleaning Gutters






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General Cleaning Hints and Tips

With Tips on Household Cleaning, Furniture - Clothes - Carpets - - Pests - removal of Stains and Sticky Residues - Chewing Gum - Ovens and Microwaves - Odors - A Gleaming Bowl - Musical Instruments - Cleaning Gutters - Make your own Shower Spray and more

Kill Ninety-nine Percent of Bacteria. A recently published scientific study indicated that to effectively clean & deodorise any surface (countertops, cutting boards, toothbrushes, even fruit & veggies) keep two spray bottles – 1 with hydrogen peroxide and one with white vinegar (hydrogen peroxide cannot be mixed as it loses its efficacy and also needs to be kept in a dark/coloured bottle)

Spray one then the other over it (doesn’t matter which one first) and wipe. The study indicated that this combination kills 99% of all known bacteria and is 10 times more effective that either one used alone. -- Lyndis Zirbel (Down Under)

Cleaning Large Areas: Walls and Hard Floors.
Use an ordinary broom, a bucket full of cleaning solution and an old towel to make light work of washing large areas. Unless the surfaces are really dirty or greasy, you can use washing-up liquid in warm water with a few sloshes of vinegar added. Dip the broom into the bucket of solution, let the excess drain off, and then start at the top of the wall and work downwards. When you have finished one section, use the old towel to dry off the wall,

If the cleaning solution is not too dirty, you can use it to clean the kitchen or bathroom floor, and use the towel again to dry the floor. I wash the floor with the broom, and then (with bare feet) walk the towel around the floor to mop up the excess solution. Then just rinse the broom and bucket, and fling the towel in the washing machine with your coloureds. Voila! You now have a clean wall, a clean floor and a clean broom with relatively little effort -- Penelope Joan Downs

How to remove Sticky Residue from Glass If there is residue left on the glass jar after you remove the label, and that residue remains after soaking in hot soapy water, use charcoal lighter on a paper towel and rub. It will disappear in an instant! L. Stevens More on Sticky Residues


Washing Dark Clothes: My tip for washing dark clothes to stop them from fading is wash them in conditioner only, it works very well and I have been doing this for years. -- Janet Chapman

Chewing Gum on Clothes. I once used a can of pressured air (the kind for cleaning keyboards) for getting chewing gum out. If you hold it upside down whilst spraying then the stuff that comes out will instantly freeze chewing gum - allowing you to pick it straight off. Much quicker than putting it in the freezer and waiting for hours - not very economical I admit, but it is a quicker way. Vicky, United Kingdom. -- Vicky Wood

Gum on Clothing. Unlike freezing and scraping the gum off (which can thin or destroy an item of clothing), a method which takes little strength and should not damage the item of clothing is simply this:
Take a small amount of white wine vinegar and heat until warm. Take an old toothbrush and begin to rub the gum and surrounding material with the vinegar. The gum will start to soften and come away from the material. This process may require some patience but the gum will come off with no damage to the material. The item of clothing should then be washed. I have not tried this with gum in the hair! -- Regards, Amaia UK

Blood Stains. Another way to remove blood stains from clothes is hydrogen peroxide. Put some on a cotton ball and dab at the stain till gone! Works great!! Love your site!! -- Sharon~AZ

Streaky Mirror.  Ever have a problem with a streaky mirror? Try using furniture polish, pledge or the like. Works better than glass cleaner and will leave an  invisible shield that will repel dust and dirt. -- Jason Valliquette  23 Jan 2006

Soap Scum on Shower Curtains. I used Bathroom Vim to spray Plastic - Vinyl Shower Curtains then dumped some Vim also in the Washing Machine, did not use any other soap. They came out looking like New. Sincerely, -- Maureen McKillican. --

Dryer Sheets. I have discovered that instead of wasting paper towels or putting more lint and crud back into your washing machine, You can use your "used" dryer sheets as washing machine lint and crud remover that collects around the opening of your washer! I don't know if anyone else has offered this advice or not.....I felt compelled to submit it though......TAMMY

Window Cleaner. I transfer Windowlene (the pink stuff) into an empty squeezable ketchup bottle. It’s makes life much easier when cleaning your windows. It’s easier to get onto your cloth without spilling it everywhere. I accidentally knocked an open bottle of Windowlene on to the carpet whilst cleaning my sons bedroom window and I’ve used an empty ketchup bottle ever since. Kind regards, -- vicky wood

Streaky Windows and Mirrors. Never can get the lint and streaks off windows and mirrors? Use the pockets from jeans. cut out and wash pockets then use your normal window cleaner stick your hand in the pocket and use one side to wipe, turn pocket around and dry up with this side. Also don't use dryer sheets with the pockets or other cleaning towels you may use. It will leave a residue on what ever you clean. The pockets work great for TV. and computer screens too, or ironically use USED dryer sheets for dusting TV and computer screens. -- J Musson

Blood and Grease
1. To remove blood from clothes, soak in strong COLD salt solution, as soon as possible after the stain happens. For mild stains on white cloth, sunshine is a very good harmless bleach.
2. To get rid of grease (e.g. chicken fat) stains from clothes, dab on eucalyptus oil just before washing. The eucalyptus binds with the other fat and is volatile so disappears with hot water. Heavy staining might take a few applications.
Your site is riveting, I've enjoyed it very much.  Best wishes, Kate 
23 May 2006

Cleaning Hint. Use liquid laundry detergent half cup to 20 ounces water put in spray bottle good to use in bathroom & soap scum 'sink & clean toilet' also can add teaspoon alcahol to the cleaner to disinfect. healthier for your lungs. Mrs Jackie Lester -- 3 Sep 2006

The Absolute Best All Purpose Cleaner.Engine degreaser. It comes in a huge 5 gallon bottle that can be purchased at wal-mart , k-mart, target, or automotive part store for about $5. It removes adhesives, cleans carpets, furniture, clothing, walls, bathrooms...EVERYTHING. It sounds like it would be a very harsh astringent, but it actually isn't. I use it all the time and have for years. -- Joey October 2006

Cleaning Crayon off Walls Tip. For removing crayon off walls or doors simply heat on a low setting with a hairdryer and simply wipe of with a wet slightly soaped cloth. -- Natalie Wyness. Aberdeen, Scotland. 6 Dec 2006

Oven tip. If you are only using one tray in the oven, remove the other(s) so that any grease on them doesn't get burned on even more. -- June Gill 20 Dec 2006

Cleaning Tips
I have a few tips you might use on your site.

1. Carpet Stains from pets, kids, etc.... - Spray - n - Wash...just spray it on the stain and either use paper towels to gently rub or I use a small carpet cleaner and they come right up and there isn't a smell left either. My husband is in the Army and it even works when he tracks in mud and dirt from his combat boots.

2. Flat top stoves... - Rubbing Alcohol....I could never get it clean enough or keep streak marks off of it since it'sblack and one day I tried Alcohol. Works wonders! -- Tera E. Bellemare Jun 15 2007

Streaky Windows and Mirrors. Never can get the lint and streaks off windows and mirrors? Use the pockets from jeans. cut out and wash pockets then use your normal window cleaner stick your hand in the pocket and use one side to wipe, turn pocket around and dry up with this side. Also don't use dryer sheets with the pockets or other cleaning towels you may use. It will leave a residue on what ever you clean. The pockets work great for t.v. and computer screens too, or ironically use USED dryer sheets for dusting tv and computer screens.~~ j musson   Oct 2005

Microwave Ovens -- Don't like the smell of pop corn, or bacon in the microwave? Got a filthy oven with splattered lasagne or chili. Clean it the easy way. Cut a lemon into quarters. Put in a 2 cup Pyrex jug. Put one cup of water in and put on high for 5 minutes. The steam and lemon melt away dirt. Just wipe dry with cloth or paper towel. Your oven is now spotless and NO ODOURS!-- Lorraine Smardon Ontario Canada 18 Dec 2002

Pitch Removal from Clothes  Apply nail polish remover directly on the pitch on fabric, and then apply any dish detergent, rub thoroughly and rinse out pitch along with the detergent. There may be a fading problem with some fabrics although I have not experienced any. I have used this method on cotton,wool and synthetics without any problem. The advantage of nail polish remover over paint thinner is odor is gone with the initial rinseout. -- Sharlene and Wayne Farley 

Grease in Garments, Carpets etc.  Use aerosol brake cleaner.....its like dry cleaning fluid ~~ Linda Louf 08/07/2004

Clean your Jewellery  I find that the least expensive and best way to shine up your jewellery is with a Toothbrush and plain toothpaste. It is slightly abrasive, but not enough to do any damage and boy oh boy will your gems sparkle!  Sincerely   Niina    09/07/2005

Marks on Walls.  For pencil and pen marks on walls ...just dip a cloth in milk and rub the mark. This always works for me...Vanessa --  5 May 2005

Novel Cleaner: To remove ink or oily grimy spots from cloths carpet etc spray with "cleaner for dry erase surfaces" (used on white boards) then gently rub the spot out. Anon


Odour -Smoke. Hi I heard a tip when wanting to deodorise my caravan from smoke odour, pour cheap coffee into open containers and leave for a couple of days the odour is soaked up and replaced by the smell of coffee. -- PAULINE 26/10/09

This is for anyone that has a problem with pet stains and odors - even skunk. "Nature's Miracle" is fantastic!! It can be bought at Pet Smart. It is to be used full strength. It's rather expensive, but it does the trick. We have a dog and it has been great for the occasional accident so don't know how well it would work on cat pee. But, it did work on removing the skunk odor from our deck and shrubs that got sprayed one night. It's really terrific stuff!! --  Mary Frankenfield

Cleaning Carpets

Carpet Spot Cleaner. To clean spots on rugs and carpets, use window cleaner. It works as well as the spray-on carpet cleaners and if you buy the store brand (I use Wal Mart), you can get it for as little as $0.97 for a full quart bottle. -- Jean Calderon, 

Carpet Stains   Don't remember where on the web I got this solution but it has worked everytime. I was originally searching for something to remove old red wine stains from carpet but have used it on other stains and it has worked just as good. dishwashing liquid (i use palmolive) and peroxide. The stains actually just disappear. It's great. I've never used a precise measurement of either. I would be careful on dark carpets. From what I understand the peroxide can have a bleaching effect. My carpets are beige so it hasn't been an issue.  -- Belinda Enamorado

Cleaning Wine on Carpets. Pour salt over wine spills on carpets absorbs in seconds then just hoover up.dave -- David Jones 1/11/09

Stainless Steel Appliances Hello, Thought people out there would like to know a tip about cleaning stainless steel appliance doors etc.  The folks at the Sears store use "baby oil" to get the finger prints and marks off the doors. I was nervous to try it but it works like a charm. I used a small amount on a napkin and wiped the fingerprints away. It also took off the glue from the tape that was used in shipping.  K. MacPherson 9 Jul 2002

Musical Instruments

You can clean out trumpets and brass instruments with warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly. Lubricate the valves with valve oil afterwards. - Scott Edmunds.

To clean inside your guitar fill it with uncooked rice, give it a good shake, and then let it all fall out. - Bob Peterson.

Musty Instrument Cases: Damp Rid is wonderful for removing must. Damp Rid is designed to be used in the container it comes in, but this may be too big for the instrument case--you may have to improvise. Once you've shut the Damp Rid in the case, you should probably leave it there undisturbed for several weeks. If you open the case to take a peek to see how it's working, you will allow the case to fill back up with humid air & the Damp Rid will have to pull all of that new moisture out of the air. Be careful not to bump the case--as the Damp Rid absorbs moisture out of the air, it dissolves, leaving an orange liquid in the container. Jeanne

Always clean wind instruments such as clarinets after you play with them. To clean a clarinet properly use a knitting needle to push a small piece of flannelette sheet through it. - James Wyatt - Bedford - England.

Clean your Guitar Strings with WD40 - Did you know that you can clean and extend the life of your guitar strings with the magic fluid - Alex Winder NYC

The Bare Bowl Method

What's the best way to remove stubborn stains from toilets? -- Read on......

Apply Mineral Oil over your Shower Doors and Tile Surface. That delays the mineral build-up in future use. -- Cameo

Marks inside Cups and Mugs are caused by the metal cutlery abrading the glazing coating the service. Try an old fashioned remedy from an old fashioned man - toothpaste! (Betcha it works!) -- Alan -English Bob

The whitening toothpaste usually contains alumina which is an abrasive.  I suppose that if it safe on the teeth it has to be O.K. on cups etc -- Ed

Clean your dishwasher. I run vinegar through my dishwasher once a month and this prevents hard deposits from getting a head start.  -- Good Luck, Patti   Seizetheday

Eyeglasses and Vodka. Nothing makes them shine as much as a few drops on a soft clean cloth. Use for cleaning small china ornaments. -- Eadie Milton

Red Candle Wax Stain. Some red candles dripped on my crocheted table cloth and this is what I did... The hot iron trick took the wax off but left the red dye, This is how I got it out... A while ago I discovered OXI CLEAN in a powder form. After rubbing the stain with some stuff called Zout let that sit for a while I soaked it in Oxi It took 3 times of pre-soaking it in my wash machine pre-soak cycle using as hot of water it could take, but it is all out. I think if I would have let it soak over night it would have been gone by morning. I have used this Oxi Clean on several difficult stains and it has worked every time. -- Nancy Yaeger

Use olive oil or other cooking oil to clean hands dirtied by engine oil -- Jean Edmunds.

Tips on Stuff: To spot clean carpets or upholstery, go to an auto discount store and get Lifter 1 in a spray can and just follow the directions. You'll be amazed!!!!!!!!! -- I've learned a lot of neat things while on this planet for 68 years. Try them, what do you have to lose? -- (Irene M. Ward)

Tips on Stuff. When doing laundry, never use a water softener in the washer. It only builds up on the clothes and puts a layer of slime onto the washer walls. Use Calgon in the wash or 20 mule team borax. It's cheaper and cleaner and softens the water without adding a nasty film to everything. Besides, the fabric softener makes the clothes less fire resistant. To clean out the washer if the walls are scummy, use the hottest water and ammonia and put through a couple of cycles without soap or(of course) clothes. -- I've learned a lot of neat things while on this planet for 68 years. Try them, what do you have to lose? --  (Irene M. Ward)

smelly clothes after being left in the washing machine.   If you leave the clothes in the washer for a day or more, especially in warm weather, they will smell bad. Rewashing with 1/2 cup of ammonia gets the smell out better than laundry detergent does. -- (Judy Vega)

Tumble drying Down Clothing.  Instead of sneakers, use a can of new tennis balls. --  (Susan Carter)

Removing "pills" from clothing. When "pills" develop on clothing (small wads of lint) use a rough piece of steel wool, run it over the material and the "pills" disappear. Very easy to do. Will not harm material. -- Gertrude M Seifert,

Wash jeans inside out.  The first wash should be without detergent. – Vanessa Echols

Cleaning Leather. Small spots of dirt on glossy leather can be removed with a damp sponge. Scuff marks can be removed with a shoe polish of the correct