5 Life-Changing Cleaning Tricks We Learned This Year
Including an easy way to clean a reusable water bottle—plus, paint colors that can make your home look cleaner.
At Real Simple, we're constantly testing out new cleaning products and methods. While some are worth trying once, others earn themselves a reoccurring role in our cleaning routines. In 2019, we discovered several new cleaning tricks worthy of incorporating into our lives, including the secret to cleaning a grimy shower curtain and the best way to clean a reusable water bottle. Plus, 2019 will forever be remembered as the year we learned which paint colors can actually make our homes look cleaner—and we'll never make these dingy-looking paint mistakes again. Want a cleaner home that requires less effort in 2020? Start by adopting these life-changing cleaning tips we learned in 2019.
The Best Way to Clean a Reusable Water Bottle
In 2019, many of us decided to ditch the disposable water bottles once and for all and commit to reusable water bottles. Which raised the question: how do we keep them clean? This year, we learned the easiest way to clean a water bottle in less than five minutes (hint: all you need is some mild dishwashing soap and a bottle brush).
Want to avoid the scrubbing? This year, we were also impressed by Bottle Bright's water bottle cleaning tablets. They're easy to use: simply fill the bottle with warm water, drop in a tablet, and wait 15 to 30 minutes before rinsing.
The real key to a clean water bottle is to commit to a quick clean every single day—procrastination could lead to mildew that requires a serious scrubbing.
How to Save a Mildewy Shower Curtain
As soap scum builds up on a shower curtain, the growth of mold and mildew follows. But this year, instead of tossing out my grimy shower curtain liner, I learned how to clean it quickly (in under 20 minutes!) using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
And to avoid wastefully tossing out plastic shower curtain liners, start by investing in a mildew-resistant option that's proven to last longer, like this $9 option we discovered in 2019. One reviewer even called this "the Cadillac of shower curtains."
Pick Paint Colors That Make Your Home Look Cleaner
Regardless of how clean or dirty your home actually is, the decor can influence how clean your home appears to be. This year, we learned that choosing the right paint color can be the difference between a room that feels effortlessly clean and one that looks a little dingy. Here are five paint colors that will miraculously make your home look cleaner.
The Trick for Always-Fresh Bath Towels
This year, we learned the secret to bath towels that never look dingy: only buy white towels. Why? You can add a little bleach to every wash cycle, so they'll stay white and mildew-free. It's a small switch, but it's sure to give your at-home bathroom luxury-hotel vibes.
Then, follow these steps to keep your towels fresh—plus how to rescue towels that have developed that dreaded mildew smell.
We Rediscovered the Natural Wonders of Cleaning Vinegar
Cleaning vinegar is nothing new, but in 2019, this old-fashioned natural cleaner made a major comeback—and we were here for it! Cleaning vinegar, which contains six percent acidity (compared to five percent found in most white vinegar), can be used on everything from floors to clothing to clogged pipes. Just avoid using vinegar on these seven objects and surfaces.