BBC America had a television show that took you into some of the dirtiest and most disgusting homes you will ever see. The two hosts, Kim Woodburn and Aggie MacKenzie work together to show the families living in these homes where the problem spots are and just what bacteria and germs they are exposing themselves to. Then, they make the families clean and come up with a plan to keep the house from deteriorating in the future. The show aired for two seasons and is still a fan favorite in reruns and the occasional marathon. The helpful cleaning experts dispensed lots of advice during their two year run, and some of their best tips are on the show’s website, here. Here are my thoughts on just a few.
Tip 1: Get drinking glasses and wine glasses shiny by soaking them in vinegar.
Sometimes when you send your glassware through the dishwasher it comes out with a cloudy film on it. The cloudiness is caused by too much detergent of hard mineral deposits from your water. Sometimes, this cloudy residue is impossible to avoid so you have to come up with a way to correct it. Soak your glassware in warm white vinegar for about an hour and then rub them dry with a clean dishtowel or paper towel. The vinegar will dissolve the offending residue and then you can wipe it away with the towel. Some people may be concerned about a vinegary smell or taste to the glassware afterward, but the vinegar residue evaporates and is unnoticeable later.
Tip 2: Keep your toilet free of clogs and odors by adding baking soda.
The toilet is one part of your home that you absolutely need to keep clean because the potential for odor and germ exposure is so great. Of course you can use baking soda pastes as scouring agents to get rid of toilet bowl stains just as you do with grout cleaning , but you can also use baking soda as a preventative cleaning agent in the toilet. Just sprinkle approximately one cup of baking soda into the toilet tank and let it sit overnight before you flush. The baking soda will both break up potential clogs and keep your toilet odor free. This is an inexpensive and environmentally friendly substitute for toilet bowl tablets. The folks at “How Clean is Your House” say to perform this trick once per week, but other cleaning experts say once per month. You should add baking soda to your toilet as often as you think is necessary to keep odors and clogs away.
Tip 3: Clean your showerhead by soaking it in a bag full of vinegar.
Vinegar is a very versatile cleaning agent to have in your home because it can be applied to so many different situations. You probably will notice that overtime, the holes in your showerhead start to get clogged and residue builds up all over the showerhead. A god way to clean it with minimal effort is to fill a plastic bag with vinegar and attach it to the showerhead with a rubber band so that the shower head is soaking in the vinegar. Let the showerhead soak overnight and then remove the bag. Some gentle scrubbing with a scrub brush in the morning will leave your showerhead looking like new again.
Tip 4: Use lemon juice as a rust stain remover.
You may think that a piece of clothing or upholstery is ruined if you get a rust stain or a hard to get out fruit stain on it, but that is not true. The ascorbic acid in lemon juice works as a reducing agent and dissolves stains such as these. Another school of thought is that lemon juice is an organic substance that contains oils. Many staining substances may be soluble in oils or organic substances and not water so the lemon juice is an effective stain remover. Be careful though because lemon juice itself can cause stains so if you use lemon juice to treat a stain, make sure to rinse the garment quickly so that the stain remover does not leave behind a stain of its own.
Tip 5: Use WD-40 to remove crayon marks from walls.
If you have children, chances are that you have some crayon marks on at least one of the painted walls in your home. If this is true, then you need to make a trip to the garage for a can of WD-40. I know it sounds crazy, but this trick really works. All you need to do is to spray a little bit of WD-40 onto a towel or cloth and then use that cloth to wipe away the crayon marks from your wall. Do not spray the WD-40 directly on the wall because that will be far too messy. The WD-40 is oily and will leave behind a residue on the wall that needs to be washed away immediately with soapy water.