15 Awesome Cleaning Hacks!

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1. Laundry Bag In The Dishwasher

We recently talked about just how handy laundry bags are when it comes to washing delicate items like lingerie in the washing machine. Did you know that this wonderful little bag also works wonders in the dishwasher? We all have those items which we precariously place into the dishwasher and that inevitably end up near the drain at the bottom of the dishwasher. Put a stop to this by simply placing all small items into a laundry bag! Place it on the top rack and run the load through as normal.

And for all the Moms out there, this is also a great way to wash children’s toys as it both cleans and sanitizes.

2. Chalk For Greasy Fingerprints on Walls

To remove greasy fingerprints and other oily stains from your walls, all you need is a stick of white chalk, a cloth, and a little water. Just cover the stains with white chalk, wait a few minutes, and then wipe the chalk away with a damp cloth. Voila, stains be gone!

You can also use cornstarch or baby powder instead of chalk, but I find it’s easier to apply with chalk, and it’s fun to color on the walls every now and then.

3. Aluminum Foil Dryer Balls

If you want a cheap and effective alternative to dryer sheets try tossing in a couple of aluminum foil balls in your next load. To do this take about 2 feet worth of aluminum foil, ball it up until it’s the size of a tennis ball and then just pop it in the dryer. Dryer balls are known to fight static cling and replace dryer sheets. And being that these ones are aluminum foil, they won’t leave any scent behind.

4. Save Silica Gel Packs

This isn’t so much a hack as it is just a good piece of advice for people who come across these every so often. Those little silica gel packs you find in various products—don’t throw these things away (and, according to the little package they come in, you should never eat what’s inside!).

What’s actually inside are little beads of silica gel which are awesome at drying things out by absorbing surrounding moisture. You can toss them in a travel bag to dry it out, or, one of my favorite tips, add silica gel packets to your jewelry box to keep silver pieces corrosion and tarnish free!

5. Shower Curtain Rod Bottle Holder

This is a hack Chad really wanted to try here at our home because, the truth is, the cabinet under our kitchen sink is a bit of a disaster and finding stuff is always a chore. So we bought a shower curtain rod (around $10) and installed it inside the cabinet under the sink. The end result was a unique storage solution for our spray bottles and microfiber cloths!

6. Dry Toilet Brush Under Toilet Lid

This was a hack that I’ve yanked from our very popular 3 minute toilet cleaning tutorial. When you’ve finished scrubbing the toilet and you have this drippy toilet brush, instead of placing it in the holder wet, leave the brush under the toilet seat to drip dry. I absolutely love this tip.

7. Dry Gloves & Boots With Rice

For those of you who actually experience precipitation where you live, you’re all too familiar with the ickiness of wet boots and gloves. So, when you have the wet boot or glove blues, all you need to do is place a sachet of plain rice into the shoe or glove, which absorbs moisture quickly and will help promote faster drying.

8. Pick up Pet Hair with a Squeegee

If you have cats or dogs, then pet hair is at the top of your cleaning issues list. I’ve heard this one from several of our community members before and my goodness—it works like a charm! Take a squeegee and simply rub it in short strokes along any hair-laden area, specifically carpet or upholstery, and watch to your horror as that squeegee yanks up 50 pounds of pet hair!

9. Speed up Drying Time with a Dry Towel

Here’s a quick and easy way to reduce the amount of time it takes to dry a load of wet laundry. All you have to do is put a clean, dry towel into your dryer, along with your wet clothes/towels. The dry towel will actually absorb some of the excess moisture making for a quicker more efficient dry time.

10. Bathroom Deodorizer in Your Toilet Roll

If you want your bathroom to smell fan-freakin-tastic—but don’t want to have any artificial scents in there—all you need to do is grab your favorite essential oils and add a few drops to the inner roll core. That way, your bathroom will have a pleasant scent which will be fairly low maintenance and gentle.

11. Fight Garbage Odors with Newspaper

I love this for two reasons. First, I hate, with a capital H, smelly, leaky garbage. I mean, nothing grosses me out more. So, if you’re not a fan of those nasty garbage fumes and drops of garbage juice just crumple up some newspaper and place it in the bottom of the garbage can. You can do this for the kitchen and even for your bigger garbage bins. The newspaper helps absorb odors and leaks. Amazing!

12. Hangar Tag Trick

I did this in one of our recent videos, and some of you caught onto it. For those that didn’t, here’s the best way to hang your clothing so that it doesn’t fall down. Slip the garment tag through the top of the hanger hook and then place the shoulders on your hanger as usual. Now, your clothing will stay put! If your clothing comes with a ribbon you can use that as a hanging aide, and you can also criss-cross ribbon straps to help avoid items from falling off the hangers.

13. Quickly Clean a Blender

I love my blender to bits and pieces, and use it every single morning for my smoothie, which involves kale, spinach, berries, chia, flax, coconut milk and a bunch of other colorful, sticky and seedy ingredients. Needless to say, it gets pretty nasty each morning and can be quite a pain to clean—especially where time is limited. So, to easily clean it up, just fill it with warm water and a drop of dish soap, then turn it on and blend for a few seconds and then rinse thoroughly. So easy! It seems like common sense, I know, but I’ve been doing it the traditional way for years until I came across this tip.

14. Remove Clothing Pilling with Razor

If you get those tiny fabric balls on your clothing, you are a victim of pilling. The good news is, there is an easy way to get rid of them. You can use a dull razor blade to ‘shave’ off the tiny clusters and have a wad of tape handy to easily clean the razor. Even though you’re using an old razor be careful to not ruin your clothing. If you don’t have one available, you can use a cheap pumice stone to quickly buff off the tiny balls using short strokes and then grabbing the pile of pills.

15. Corn Starch to Get Grease Stains Out of Clothing

And finally, should you get a grease stain, you know the golden rule is to act fast! Blot up as much oil as you can with a paper towel by pressing down on the stain several times, and then color over the stain with plain white chalk or sprinkle some corn starch on the stain. The corn starch will absorb the oil on contact and you’ll see it start to form into a crust after a few minutes. Gently brush off the crust (being careful not to reset the stain) and then pre-treat with laundry detergent and launder the item as usual.

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.

32 COMMENTS

  1. I love to cook that grease it unavoidable to my clothes and it’s a bit annoying every time I do my laundry. Cornstarch’s idea was new to me but I’m eager to try it.

  2. I look forward to everything you post, print & media. Can you post a foto of that shower rod bottle holder under a sink? I just can’t get the picture in my head.

  3. Melissa you have literally changed my life! I have always had a very busy life and struggled with house cleaning. For me it’s always been very overwhelming and my house has been super messy and gross for years which made me sad and super stressed out and caused many fights with my husband which is never fun. But you have given me the tools I need to make cleaning simple and you’ve given me a new perspective. I can have visitors now and not feel embarrassed to invite them into my home! That is huge! I watch you every morning now for a little pick-me-up and motivation. You and Chad and baby Riley are adorable! Thank you for being you!

  4. for cat and dog hair I use a damp towel and sort of scooch around the carpet in my slippers or socks (that works too ) and the cat and dog hairs clump together and just gather them up or vacuum them up it works on upholstery too or if your playing with your cat you can use the cat brush mitten thats out now and use that too on the dog/cat and your carpet

  5. I wish I had had access to your website 50 years ago when I was newly married. I LOVE it as I am not a natural housewife. You inspire me and making my own cleaners is fun – they also work!!
    Thank you

  6. In this list you said to speed up clothes drying time by placing a towel in the dryer with the clothes. However, in your laundry section, you said clothes should not be mixed with towels, which I don’t do anyhow. Is the key word here, “dry”? Thanks

  7. Love all the great tips and tricks. I always use your videos to motivate me to clean when I really don’t feel like it. The videos you produce make it look fun and easy….. I like easy. Thank you!

  8. You are the queen of clean and the kids and I enjoy watching you as much as Hanna and Kaylee lol

    We recently bought some peppermint oil for a hair treatment and were wondering if you knew any life hacks/cleaning hacks we could use the oil for?

  9. hello Melissa! I am addicted to your videos. However, i tried to find an effective way to erase watermarks on a fabric sofa- mine is brand new I cleaned the stain and a water mark was left! Help! Next week is my wedding and have some guests staying in my apartment!
    Keep up posting videos I could watch you for hours

  10. Hi Melissa,

    I really enjoy your videos and helpful cleaning suggestions. What’s the best way to clean baking pans and pots? I can’t seem to completely get rid of oily residue, even in the dish washer.

    Also, do you have any suggestions on improving cleaning efficiency? I am very slow with any cleaning task so to clean my whole 2k sq. Ft. house would take more than a whole day, which is painful because I don’t want to waste so much time on cleaning and would rather spend it doing something fun with my family.

    Thank you!

    Marsha Z
    Central NJ

  11. Thank you for all these great tips, they are so handy! The bathroom deodoriser is such a good idea! Why have I never though of this before? And I never knew that newspaper could soak up gross bin smells – so clever. I’ve also just bought a blender and cleaning it is such a hassle, but your way sounds genius! Thanks again, I am so pleased I stumbled across your blog!

  12. Hi Melissa I am getting darker spots on dark clothing when I wash them in my front loader! How do I prevent these spots? They are not spotted before washing something happens in the wash. I’ve tried turning my dark tshirts wrong side out but I still get spots on my shirts! Ugh!

  13. Thanks for the videos that you’ve posted on this site. It’s really helpful to know how to work smarter not harder…:) I also have to say that when we took a peek inside of your dishwasher I realized that I have that same dishwasher as well. Can’t wait for you and Chad doing a live stream this coming Sunday to hear what other viewers have been asking you guys!

  14. Hi im shabi I so happy to see your video after seeing u r videos I feel great relief from odor and stain in wall thank u . And I need to know how to clean water bottles

  15. Hi Melissa,
    Just started watching and your cleaning techniques are wonderful. Due to surgery, I will be unable to clean my house for a few months and need to find some help. I have asked around and no one can recommend anyone. Any thoughts or suggestions? I am a bit neurotic about keeping my house clean!
    Thanks, Peggy

  16. Hi Melissa really live this. I’m hooked. By the way I have a problem cleanng my granite chocolate colored bathroom floor tiles ( a mouthful) laugh out loud. I’ve tried using all floor cleaners available here in my country. Haven’t tried acids coz I’ve read that they’re not good with granite. Thanks so much.

  17. Silica gel packs are great for basement stored items. I use plastic containers for my Christmas decorations and toss in a few silica packs to keep the items dry and the musty smell away!

  18. Hello,
    Thank you i have many things to learn from you 🙂 i am cleaning my room my laundry very often but it depends on the time .bye Dia

  19. Hi, i love your videos, I need some help to clean the fabric shows curtain, it is all black at the very bottom.
    Thanks for your reply

  20. Love your videos and tips!! I tried signup up to join the website, but there was no place hit to enter after I filled out the information. Please let me know what I can do. I really love all your tips!!

  21. Melissa, I love your videos. They always help me motivate to get moving on cleaning projects. I am wondering who the artist is that made the piece in the shadow box on the dining room set. I know it’s now a cleaning question but I really like it and can’t seem to find a clue googling the description. I’d really appreciate some direction and if it was a personal purchase by yourself, I like your taste.

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