The Top 5 Cleaning Tricks We Learned in 2022

Yes, there is a right way to clean your mattress.

Top 5 Cleaning Tricks We Learned in 2023 RealSimple, ceiling fan

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Some of the best cleaning methods are tried and true, but that doesn’t mean we can’t uncover more along the way. At Real Simple, we pride ourselves on learning and sharing new cleaning tips all year long. Here are some of the best cleaning tricks we learned in 2022—and definitely plan to take with us into 2023.

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The Right Way to Clean a Mattress

Despite using our mattresses every day, most of us neglect to clean them. In actuality, we should be cleaning our mattresses every six months to prevent the buildup of dirt, dust, and dead skin. The process is simple. First, throw all your bedding in the wash. Then vacuum off any dust or debris. Spot-treat any stains with a mixture of equal parts cool water and hydrogen peroxide. Sprinkle baking soda on the mattress and let it sit for an hour to neutralize odors. Vacuum up the baking soda, and then flip the mattress and repeat on the other side.

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The Streak-Free Way to Clean a TV

If the picture quality is lacking—it might just be you haven't cleaned your TV screen in months (um, years?). Prolong your TV’s lifespan with a once-a-week cleaning. For flat plasma, LCD, LED and OLED TV Screens, make sure your TV is powered off. Then dust the screen gently with a microfiber cloth. Spray a screen-safe cleaner onto a soft cloth (never directly onto the TV) and wipe in a back-and-forth motion. Let it air-dry completely before turning the TV back on.

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How to Clean Smoke and Soot off Fireplace Doors

To prevent the permanent discoloration of your fireplace doors, accumulated soot should be removed regularly. Mix one cup of distilled white vinegar, one tablespoon household ammonia, and three cups of water in a spray bottle. Make sure the room is well ventilated while you’re cleaning with ammonia. Spray the solution onto the glass doors. Let it sit for 30 seconds before wiping with a cloth or squeegee. Buff dry with a microfiber cloth. If the soot is especially heavy, spray the glass with the solution and then dip a sponge in dry baking soda. Scrub the glass with the sponge in a small area. Wipe away loose soot and buff with a microfiber cloth.

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The Best Way to Clean Our Cleaning Appliances

As counterintuitive as cleaning your vacuum or dishwasher may sound, failing to clean these cleaning appliances can actually hinder their performance. It’s recommended to clean your dishwasher every few months, or once you notice an odor, mineral deposits on dishes, or mold. Fortunately, dishwashers are easy to clean with some vinegar, baking soda, and scrubbing. Similarly, take some time to clear out the hair and clogs caught in your vacuum so it's ready to catch all the dirt and messes you'll throw its way in 2023.

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The Trick to a Dust-Free Ceiling Fan

At Real Simple, we've been using the "pillowcase hack" to clean our ceiling fans for years—place a pillowcase around the dusty ceiling fan blade, then slide the pillowcase along the blade so all the dust winds up inside the pillowcase (not on the floor). But when we did a deep-dive into ceiling fan cleaning, we also learned the importance of drying the fan thoroughly after cleaning. Moisture is a dust magnet, but dry ceiling fan blades won't attract more dust.

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