Everyday Cleaning Tips & Tricks

Cleaning is often the most time consuming job in housekeeping; when stuck on a specific spot or stain, people become frustrated very quickly. So, how do you combat your stains in a timely manner? Well, besides having the right cleaning supplies on hand, here are some of the tricks we’ve picked up along the way and a few sent in by friends to help you until you need us!

PLEASE NOTE: These are tips only. Please follow directions when using cleaners or test products and techniques in a small area first. We do not guarantee that these will work. 



Cloudy Drinking Glasses: Soak them for an hour or longer in slightly warm white vinegar. Then, use a nylon-net or plastic dish scrubber to remove film. If the glass is still cloudy, it may be etching damage (tiny scratches that occur in the dishwasher) which is permanent.
Deodorize dishes, pans, cutting boards, or utensils with pungent odors by adding 1/4 cup of lemon juice to your dishwater.
Dishwashers: To clean mineral deposits from the inside of your dishwasher, pour in a container of Tang® Drink Mix and run the dishwasher empty.
Garbage Disposals: Put orange peels down the disposal and run it with hot water to help remove odors.
Microwave: To easily remove grease and any cooked-on mess, place a sponge completely soaked in water in the microwave. Cook on high heat for 2 minutes, then allow it to sit without opening the microwave door for 5 minutes. The filth is now ready to be wiped right off.
Sour Sponge: Soak the sponge in lemon juice and rinse it out. To help disinfect your sponge, soak it in bleach, run it through your dishwasher or wet it and microwave on high for 1 minute.
Stainless Steel Sinks: Bar Keepers Friend, Baking soda or club soda will clean and shine stainless steel sinks easily. Spots can be removed with vinegar. Have rust spots? Try lighter fluid (away from any flames!)
Stains in Plastic Storage Containers: Rub a baking soda paste (baking soda and water) into the stain. You can then rinse with vinegar and wash normally. To avoid stains in the first place, spray the container with cooking spray before putting things in it that stain, e.g., spaghetti sauce.
Stuck-On Food in Pots, Pans, and Crockpots: Fill the pan with water and place a fabric softener sheet in the water. Allow the pan to soak overnight. The food will wipe right out!
Stovetops: To prevent grease and grime from sticking to your stove top, making it easy to clean, rub it down on occasion with car wax.
Tarnished Silverware: Line a cake pan with aluminum foil. Fill with water and add 1 Tblsp. of baking soda per 2 cups of water. Heat to 150 degrees. Lay silverware in pan, touching aluminum foil. Watch the stains disappear!

Carpet Stains: Baby wipes can be miracle-workers on carpet stains, they remove almost anything when used immediately! Otherwise, ask us for special spotters for your needs.
Carpet Smells: Sprinkle baking soda on spot overnight; then vacuum. If that doesn't work, use a carpet deodorizer.
Heel Scuff Marks: Use a clean pencil eraser for easy removal.
Permanent Marker on Carpet: Dab a washcloth soaked in rubbing alcohol onto the marker stain. Do not rub it - just blot it - rotating the cloth to a clean spot every time.
Pet Urine on Carpet: First, blot with paper towels. Then, with warm, soapy water and a clean cloth, blot the area clean; rinse with clean water; blot until dry. Next, spray with an enzyme based carpet spotter then blot until dry. Once the area is totally dry (at least 24 hours), sprinkle entire carpet with baking soda or rug deodorizer; vacuum after a few hours.

White Heat Marks and Water Rings on Wood Furniture: If the wood has a good finish (don't try on bare wood), mix equal parts of baking soda and regular white, non-gel toothpaste. Lightly dampen corner of a clean, soft white cloth with water and dip into the paste. With circular motion gently buff the marks for a few minutes. Wipe area clean, and buff to a shine. Follow with furniture polish. (If rings remain after buffing for five minutes or so, they may have penetrated the wood; you might have to refinish the piece). Another method is to rub real mayonnaise onto the stain, allow to sit overnight, then wipe with a dry towel.

Ant Repellant: To keep ants out of the house, find where the ants are entering the house and spray ant spray two (2) feet in either direction. If that doesn’t work, try sprinkling a "barrier" of cinnamon or ground pepper to block their way - the spices are too hot for the ants to cross.
Blind Cleaning: Spray a Swiffer® duster with a dusting spray and run the long ends across each blind.
Blood Stains: Soak the stain in hydrogen peroxide; wash (don't dry) and repeat if necessary. (Works especially well on carpets and clothes.)
Candle Wax: First scrape away excess wax from carpeting or other fabric. Then, place a paper bag or wax paper (used for baking) over the wax and run a warm iron over it. Continue moving the bag or towels around so you are always using a clean section. If a little grease stain remains on carpet, sprinkle with baking soda and allow it to set overnight; then vacuum. If colored wax leaves a stain on carpet, blot with spot remover or carpet cleaner or call Dome Cleaning, Inc..
Chimney: To keep your chimney clean, throw a handful of salt on the fire once a month or use a CLR log.
Coffee Grinder: Grind a cup or so of rice in a coffee grinder to clean the grinder and to sharpen its blades.
Crayon on Walls or Washable Wallpaper: Spray WD-40® on a paper towel or clean cloth and then gently wipe. If the WD-40® leaves a residue, gently wipe off with a sponge soaked in soapy water; rinse clean and blot dry. If the mark is stubborn, sprinkle a little baking soda on a damp sponge and gently rub in a circular motion. You can also use a hair dryer - it heats the wax and wipes away instantly. If the color remains, wet a cloth with a little bit of bleach, and wipe.
Dusting: Start from the top down to eliminate having to redust the bottom areas!
Freshen Laundry Basket: Place a fabric softener sheet or sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of your laundry basket (remember to change it regularly.)
George Foreman Grills: After removing the cooked food from the grill, place a paper towel soaked in water on each of the 2 cooking surfaces. Unplug the appliance, allow it to sit for 5-30 minutes (while you eat); then use the paper towels to effortlessly wipe off the grease and food particles.
Ink Stains: Put rubbing alcohol or spray regular (non-aerosol) hairspray and gently work it into the stain; then wash in cold water.
Mothball Substitute: Put your leftover soap slivers in a plastic bag with holes. Place the bag in with clothes before packing them away. The scent protects the clothes from moth harm, and they'll smell great when you pull them out.
Stickers, Decals, and Glue: To remove these items from furniture, glass, plastic, etc., saturate with vegetable oil (or use peanut butter), and rub off.
Window Cleaning: Clean and dry windows outside in one direction, then inside in the other direction. If you see a streak, you will know which side is the offender.

Odors: Place an opened box of baking soda or an open container of activated charcoal in a hidden area to help absorb odors.
Fireplace Soot Odor: In the spring, when your fireplace will be out of commission for a while, clean out the ashes; then fill the fireplace with crumpled newspapers (non-glossy pages – they’ll absorb the smell better). Leave the newspapers for a couple of days; then discard.
Smelly Cooking Hands: Simply rub your hands over a stainless steel utensil under running water. This works especially well for garlic, onion, or fish smells.
Smelly Shoes: Simply fill a sachet (or a sock!) with cat litter, baking soda, or tea leaves and tie the end closed; place the filled sachets in the shoes when you're not wearing them. Also, rotate what shoes you wear to allow them to dry completely before you wear them again.