5 Cleaning Tips Everyone Should Know, According to Reddit
It's time to spruce up your cleaning routine.
Last week on AskReddit, one user posed the question: "What is a household cleaning tip that everyone should know?" So far, the question has collected dozens of responses, ranging from surprising cleaning tricks we never knew we needed, to basic cleaning skills absolutely everyone should know, to hilarious tips (including, "Don't have pets or children"). Below, we've collected five of our favorite answers to the query, and added our own explanations and complete cleaning how-tos. Whether you're learning the right way to clean a stainless steel sink or want more ideas for how to clean with white vinegar all over the house, let Reddit's best cleaning advice inform your next cleaning spree.
Always Keep White Vinegar in Your Cleaning Caddy
As one Redditor points out and our favorite homemade cleaning solutions prove, distilled white vinegar can be used to clean and disinfect almost everything around the house. "Plain white distilled vinegar is a great general cleaner, disinfectant, water softener, fabric softener, window cleaner, etc." If you don't like the chemicals or smell of dryer sheets, for example, you can swap in a splash of vinegar to soften and deodorize your laundry.
Another trick Redditors swear by: using it to quick-clean your microwave. Here's our proven method: Fill a bowl with water, then add a few tablespoons of white vinegar and a few lemon slices. Place a wooden toothpick in the bowl to prevent it from exploding when it boils. Turn the microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, then keep the door shut for 15 minutes and let the steam work its magic. The steam will loosen splatters and dried spills, making them easier to wipe away.
Dryer Sheets Do More Than Soften Towels
Have a box of dryer sheets in your laundry room? They can do more than just soften and scent your bed sheets. "Used dryer sheets work well to clean up lint, dirt, and liquid laundry soap off of the washer and dryer," Redditor sage1982 writes. Another Redditor responds with a tip of their own: "They clear the dust off tv screens too!" Instead of reaching for a paper towel to wipe down your washer or tv screen, let used dryer sheets find a new purpose.
Over the years, Real Simple editors have collected many new uses for dryer sheets—here are some of our favorites.
Clean Your Kitchen Sink (Seriously!)
"Clean your kitchen sink!" one Reddit user urges. "Once you start routinely cleaning it with the correct cleaner, you'll realize how gross it looks when it's been a bit since it was cleaned." And if you've ever gone a couple weeks between sink cleanings, then you know how true this is. The Redditor recommends Bar Keepers Friend as the best product to clean and shine a stainless steel sink, but you can also use the baking soda already in your pantry and get a similar result. Follow our complete guide for how to clean a stainless steel sink without harsh chemicals.
Use a Lemon to Shine Metals
"Lemon and limes, or any fruit high in citric acid, are fantastic at cleaning tarnished metal," one Reddit user writes. We agree, and to up the scrubbing power when polishing copper, sprinkle salt on the cut side of the lemon before you start cleaning. But as another Redditor warns: Just avoid using acidic substances (like lemons, limes, or vinegar) on marble or granite countertops.
Learn to Dust the Right Way
"Any tips on dusting?" HereForExcel asks, "I bought dusters, but feel I'm just moving dust from one object to one below it." Another Redditor reveals the trick to dusting the right way: "Keep moving it down to the floor, then sweep or vacuum it." Real Simple editors like to refer to this technique as "cleaning from top to bottom." Remember, always dust before you sweep or vacuum.