Surprising New Cleaning Solutions

Use everyday items to dust, polish, and conceal flaws.

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Baby Oil as Chrome Polish

Forget keeping skin soft, baby oil also polishes chrome. Apply a dab to a cotton cloth and use it to shine everything from faucets to hubcaps. You'll end up with shiny, happy surfaces from a medicine-cabinet staple. (Who actually owns chrome cleaner, anyway?)

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Broom as Long Distance Duster

To dust crown moldings, place a microfiber rag over the broom's bristles and secure with a rubber band. Then use the long handle to dust areas that your arms can't reach. No more circus acts (starring you, on a rickety, wobbly stool).

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Rice as Coffee Grinder Cleaner

Mill a handful of grains in your grinder and the fine particles will absorb stale odors and clean out residual grounds and oil. Discard the rice and wipe clean.

Toothpaste as CD Cleaner

To restore a damaged CD, apply a dot of non-gel formulat toothpaste to a cotton cloth and rub in a straight line from the center of the CD outward, covering any scratches. Rinse off the toothpaste with water.

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Masking Tape as Scuff Preventor

Keep baseboards free of skid marks when you vacuum. Cover the edges of the vacuum head with masking tape so they won't leave dark smudges when you inevitably bump into the walls. There will be no more black marks on your cleaning record.

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Fork as Carpet Fluffer

Use the tines to gently fluff plush carpet fibers back to their original height, removing dents left by heavy furniture. Now, that's a real fork lift.

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