The amount of cleaning that gets done around the house depends on each individual person’s time, energy, and lifestyle. In almost any case, though, cleaning is a chore that most homeowners would prefer to spend less time on. Yet certain parts of the house need regular attention, and areas like the kitchen and bathroom seem to need constant upkeep, which can make cleaning feel like an endless task.
Fortunately, the age of the internet means finding better ways to tackle tasks easy to find. This article explores several quick cleaning hacks for your kitchen and bathroom – as well as some longer-term solutions for keeping your home clean and looking great without a lot less work.
Running out of bathroom cleaner is an inconvenience, but your replacement may already be sitting in your medicine cabinet. To make your own cleaning solution, dissolve two tablets of aspirin in a glass of water and use it to clean soap scum around your sink, tub, and shower. The salicylic acid in the aspirin acts as an effective cleaning agent, so remember this hack if you run out of your store-bought cleaning solution mid-routine.
Another substitute for bathroom cleaners is cooking spray. Though it may seem odd to use oil to clean your bathroom, it’s actually incredibly effective at cleaning lime deposits off of your tub, tiles, and glass shower door. To use, simply spritz a little bit of non-stick cooking spray on the affected area and gently scrub the stain away. Make sure you remember to rinse away any excess oil with hot water after you’re done cleaning to rid of oily residue and avoid causing someone to slip when they use the tub.
Does your sink suffer from rust stains? How about mineral buildup around the drain and faucet? If your current cleaning routine isn’t doing the job, it’s time to try this hack: First, wipe down your sink with soap and water to get rid of any surface scum and looser stains. After completing this first pass, scrub the affected areas of the sink with baking powder. It’s important to use a sponge or a soft washcloth during this step to avoid scratching the finish, but you can use a toothbrush for any areas that are harder to reach. Finally, rinse off the baking soda to admire your newly clean sink.
Baking soda comes with an extra benefit: aside from being an effective, abrasive cleanser, it has odor absorbing properties. To keep your bathroom looking and smelling fresh, keep a box of baking soda in your bathroom for multiple uses. If your toilet is prone to getting clogged, try to occasionally sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda in the bowl before flushing.
If you have a severe clog, it may require some chemistry. Pour up to ½ of a cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl, followed by ½ cup of white vinegar. To avoid the potential mess of an overflowing bowl, reduce the amount of baking soda and vinegar used if you think that your toilet has a smaller volume, but make sure that you are using equal amounts of each. After the vinegar is added, you will notice some fizzing, but it should subside fairly quickly. Leave the mixture along for a few minutes, then pour a kettle of boiling water into the bowl. If the clog has been released, the toilet should flush with no problems.
If you find that your sink or bathtub takes too long to drain, this hack is for you. Depending on the function of your home’s clogged drain, it could be backed up due to food, hair, minerals, or anything that was mistakenly rinsed down. To begin clearing out your pipes, safely remove anything that’s visibly clogging it. Then, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by ½ cup of lemon juice. This solution will naturally work away any bits of food that are lodged in your pipes. After 30-60 minutes, rinse away the baking soda and lemon juice with boiling water. This hack works best with food and other organic waste – and can leave you with a clear drain for months.
Clogged showerheads can make daily bathing a frustrating ordeal. Low pressure and blocked holes in the showerhead are usually a result of minerals built up by hard water. For a quick solution, fill a plastic bag with white vinegar. Submerge the showerhead in the bag of vinegar, making sure that the entire head is in the liquid. Secure the bag of vinegar with a rubber band or twist tie, then leave the showerhead to soak for at least a few hours. Once time is up, carefully remove the bag from the showerhead and turn on the water to flush out any extra white vinegar and see how much cleaner your showerhead has become.
All of these hacks are very useful ways to tackle bathroom and kitchen problems, but many are only functional as temporary solutions. To avoid having to repeat these processes multiple times a year, you need to get to the root of the problem: your home’s water. No matter how often you decide to clean your faucets, drains, dishes, and shower doors, hard water will continue to leave water spots on glass and dishes, clog your showerhead, and cause mineral buildup to form around faucets and in your water-using appliances. Installing a water softener is a surefire way to make sure that these inconvenient issues don’t reappear for the long haul. Water softeners remove minerals like calcium and magnesium that cause buildup, leaving you with cleaner, soft water – and a lot less cleaning.