- Good Housekeeping | Cleaning Guide | Tue, Feb 25, 2014 2:18 PM EST | Comments
You may be tempted to sub in another cleaner, but watch out for these mistakes.
When you run out of a certain product, there's often another one that can get the job done. For example, you can use a few drops of hydrogen peroxide on your laundry as a stain remover, and baking soda works great as a sink and faucet cleanser. But there are several cleaning swaps that you should never, ever make.
1. All-purpose cleaner for glass cleaner
What could be the harm in this swap? Well, using an all-purpose cleaner on windows or mirrors will leave them with soapy streaks. A smart alternative would be to use something that is billed as a multi-surface cleaner.
2. Hand dish soap for automatic dishwasher detergent
We bet you're thinking: Who would be that silly? Well, it's happened. Make this exchange and you'll wind up with mountains of suds all over your kitchen floor that just won't quit. If this happens, here's what to do to break down the foam.
Related: 10 Really Dirty Things You're Fo...Read More »
- Hgtv Family Of Sites | Cleaning Guide | Wed, Feb 26, 2014 5:18 AM EST | CommentsI take great pride in my ability to create a luxurious guest room, but I've got an Achilles heel. Anytime a friend or family member decides to spend the night at the last minute, I immediately panic about the tub. Now I clean on the regular, but I have to admit -- I get hard water stains and ring-around-the-tub just like everyone else. I've done some digging and come up with a few foolproof ways to clean a tub fast -- using stuff you can find in your kitchen. So the next time your cousin has a third glass of wine, you can make the tub sparkle before she's changed into your yoga pants.
Citrus & Sugar: If you're in a pinch, you can cut a grapefruit, orange or lemon in half, dip the flat side in sugar and scrub your tub clean. This method requires a little elbow grease and is best for a simple surface cleaning. Be sure to rinse your tub really well when you're done. An added bonus: your bathroom will smell great.
Vineg...Read More »
- Good Housekeeping | Cleaning Guide | Wed, Feb 26, 2014 12:08 PM EST | Comments
This kitchen cleaning staple isn't just for the dishes.
Your dishwasher has been holding out on you. Sure, "dishes" are in the name, but this machine can clean so much more.
1. Kitchen exhaust filter
Avoid getting messy, gunky oil buildup on your filter by cleaning it in the dishwasher once a month or as often as your range hood manufacturer recommends. The high temperature combined with a good detergent should be sufficient to cut through tough grease without any effort on your part. Check out our dishwasher detergent reviews if you're looking for a new detergent or want to see how your current one scored.
2. Dish sponges
Bacteria and mold love a moist environment, and your dish sponge is a perfect setting for them to thrive. We've found that using the "heated dry" setting is an effective way to kill most of the germs. (Psst! Here are even more ways to get your sponge clean.)
3. Plastic toys...Read More »
This should wipe out germs from that last play date fast. Warning: Don't place any toys with electronic component in the dishwasher. You might get
- Martha Stewart | Cleaning Guide | Thu, Feb 27, 2014 10:16 AM EST | Comments
While some items will always need professional attention, many fabrics can be freshened at home. Once you know which clothes and stains are good candidates, you can take care of them yourself without much effort or expense, in the comfort of your own laundry room.
Which Clothes Can Be Washed?
Chances are you can launder more of your wardrobe than you think. Reading a garment's care label -- not only for the method of cleaning, but also for the fabric content -- is key to determining whether you can wash an item at home.
The Truth About "Dry-Clean Only"...Read More »
Clothing manufacturers are required to recommend at least one cleaning method on their products' care labels. When a tag reads "dry-clean only," it doesn't necessarily mean that the item can't be hand-washed, especially if it's made of natural fibers, says Steve Boorstein, a former dry cleaner who now shares his clothing-care tips in books and on DVDs. But professional dry cleaning can
- Good Housekeeping | Cleaning Guide | Thu, Feb 27, 2014 12:34 PM EST | Comments
A clean bed means more than washing your sheets and pillowcases.
If you haven't thought about cleaning your mattress lately, think about this: You probably spend at least six or seven hours there every night. That's a long time to be somewhere that's not as clean as it could be. Follow these tips every few months and you'll rest easier knowing your bed is extra fresh.
1. Ditch dust
The easiest way to tackle dust is to use the upholstery tool on your vacuum cleaner to go over the top and sides of the mattress and as much of the box spring as you can access. Press firmly on the tool to draw out dust beneath the fabric's surface. Then use the crevice tool to get into the quilting, along the edge welting, and where any pillow top is attached. If you have a garment steamer, go over the mattress with the steamer before you vacuum to help kill and remove dust mites lurking near the surface.
2. Zap stains...Read More »
If pets sleep on your