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10 ingeniously weird cleaning hacks with common household items

cleaning hacks with ketchup

Vinegar, lemon, baking soda … you know a thousand things weird cleaning hacks and eco-friendly cleaning products you can make to clean your house.

Like Coke. Ketchup. Mayo. Mouthwash. Intrigued? Keep reading.

Ketchup: Condiment or toilet cleaner? Actually … both!

Apologies … thinking about ketchup as a toilet bowl cleaner may forever change the way you look at that squirt-bottle of sweet-and-sour tomato-y goodness, but ketchup does make a great all-natural toilet cleaner!

HACK: If you’re ever stuck without a toilet bowl cleaner and you must give your toilet a scrub, just squirt about a quarter-cup of ketchup in the toilet bowl and use your scrubber as usual.

Olive oil buff: Shine your stainless steel

Now we’re cooking! Ok, not really. Stainless steel gets kinda dull over time and those commercial stainless steel wipes are a) super-expensive and b) maybe a bit suspect if you’re dedicated to eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaning products.

HACK: So here’s an easy, cheaper, and healthier fix: Pour a bit of olive oil into a soft cloth and buff out your stainless steel surfaces to give them new life.

Coke: Pour some Cola on (my grout)

Ok, this sounds weird but trust us. Grout is awful to clean, but it looks so bad when your white grout looks the same colour as your beige tiles. Or black tiles (that would be really bad).

HACK: Take a can of Coke and pour that bad boy over your floor tiles, letting it sink into the grout lines. Let it soak for a few minutes, and then sponge it up to reveal your grout’s original colour!

Coffee filters: Streak-free window wipers

Mmmmmm… coffee … so good. Chances are, you brew a pot every day and buy your filters in bulk so here’s another use for them! The go-to for streak-free windows used to be newspapers but those are pretty much a relic of the past nowadays. Coffee filters, on the other hand, are available everywhere and do just as good a job.

HACK: Use your usual window cleaner and rub your glass clean with a coffee filter and voila! Clear glass.

Mouthwash: Refresh your washing machine

Is your washing machine smelling a little funky? It happens. Stuff builds up in small places and front-loaders in particular tend to start smelling musty over time. First, you have to wipe down the rubber gasket edges around the door.

HACK: Then, run your washer through a cleaning cycle using mouthwash instead of detergent. If your washer detects weight and won’t start a cycle without items, find a few old towels to use as your “mouthwash” load.

Rubbing alcohol: Quick-dry hardwood floor cleaner

The best thing about rubbing alcohol is its quick-dry effect, which makes it perfect for cleaning solutions, especially for floors. Because there’s nothing worse than mopping yourself into a corner and then standing around waiting for the floor to dry so you don’t leave footprints in your freshly-cleaned floor.

HACK: Grab a spray bottle and add equal parts of water, white vinegar and rubbing alcohol to make this effective floor cleaner. You can add a few drops of your favourite essential oil in there, too.

Dryer sheets: DIY Magic Erasers for stuck-on food

You left pan on the hot element while you ate and now you’re staring at a blackened, crusty mess. It might feel easier to just throw the pan away and run to your fave kitchen shop to replace it but don’t do it – this hack will save you the cost of gas and the new pan.

HACK: Fill the pan with hot soapy water and toss a dryer sheet there. Let it sit for an hour or so, and then wash that guck come right off. And take the pan off the element next time ;

White chalk: Chalk-away grease stains

Love cooking bacon … hate the grease splatter. Grease is the death of many a shirt but that need not be the case any longer. Grab a box of white chalk at the dollar store and tuck in your laundry room because chalk absorbs grease!

HACK: Before you run your grease-stained shirt through the laundry, rub the stain with the white chalk and then wash as usual. As with any stain, once you heat-dry the item, the stain is set for good so make sure to chalk it up before you wash.

Classic mayo: Label-gunk removal

Yes, a fantastic condiment for your chicken club sandwich, but also a handy label remover! When stickers and labels don’t peel off in one smooth take, you’re left with some white bits and some gluey bits and a whole lotta frustration. Especially if the store placed the label in just the worst spot and now the only thing you can see is your failure to get it all off.

HACK: Sure, Goo Gone can work but that’s just an extra expense. Instead, smear some mayo on the label and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Then you just wipe the mayo–and the label–off with a wet rag.


BONUS HACK: Another great mayo hack? Bob Villa says mayo can also be used to wipe away rust stains on porcelain tubs and sinks. Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

Sandwich bag: Get your full-flow shower back

Remember when Jerry and Kramer’s apartment complex went through the low-flow phase? Not good. But over time, even the most robust shower heads lose their oomph and you end up getting less flow. That’s because the limescale builds up and blocks the jet passages. But ever wondered how to clean a shower head?

HACK: Fill a sandwich bag with white vinegar and a few tablespoons of baking soda. Tie it around your shower head and let it sit overnight. In the morning, remove the bag and spend a few extra minutes in the shower enjoying the full flow of every jet passage.

That’s it! Try these out and let us know what you think, or if you have any cool tricks you can share (we’re always up for new ideas and cleaning adventures)! And hey, if your best trick is surfing our Black November Sale deals for home cleaning services, more power to you!



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