10 Easy Tricks Every Clean Person Swears By

Cleaning. It’s not exactly our top pick for how we like to spend our free time, but hey, it has to get done. And, no matter how much of a pro you consider yourself, we bet there are some items sitting in your apartment right now that have never even been touched — let alone tidied up.
Seriously, how exactly do you even clean a mattress? Or get red wine out of a rug? Or rid your microwave of the perma-gunk lining its interior? Well, in the spirit of getting our places sparkling clean for the summer months ahead, we’ve tapped expert Carolyn Childers over at Handy to give us the lowdown on everything from how to get to those annoying, hard-to-reach corners to more obvious things like getting stainless-steel appliances squeaky clean. Ahead are 10 cleaning hacks you need to know, because, well, Windex doesn't work on everything.
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This month, we're asking you to toss out everything you thought you knew about spring cleaning and give every corner of your life a refresh. The inspiration for a happier, clutter-free you is right this way.
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Grease Stains On Fabric
One really simple way to get rid of a grease stain, such as a fingerprint on the wall or some cooking oil on your clothes, is to rub some chalk over the area (or alternatively, some baby powder) and allow it to absorb the stain for 30 minutes before brushing off. If this doesn’t completely remove the grease, rub in some more chalk before putting the item in the laundry. It will come out as good as new — or pretty damn close.
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Water Stains On Wood
It’s easy to forget to use a coaster on wooden tables, but ring stains left by water can leave permanent marks. The good news? The damage can be reversed if dealt with quickly enough. Use a hairdryer to dry out the mark BEFORE it has the time to completely dry and set in.
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Fingerprints On Stainless Steel
Metal surfaces may look cool, but somehow no matter how hard you clean them, you just can’t get rid of those greasy fingerprints. This is the time to fight oil with oil. The best way to get metal looking its shiny best is to take a cloth and buff the surface with baby oil for a smooth finish without a blemish in sight!
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Mattresses
Mattresses are notoriously difficult to clean, but there is one really easy way to freshen them up, and it involves an item you more than likely have in your kitchen cupboard. Take some baking soda and sprinkle a cupful all over your mattress. Then, leave it to do its work for two hours before simply vacuuming it off! You can even add a few drops of essential oil — such as relaxing lavender — if you're interested in a fragrant touch.
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Scuff Marks On Leather Couches
Leather couches are not the cheapest things to replace, so the last thing you want to do when yours acquires some scratches is fork out for a brand-new one. To mask normal wear and tear, just apply a good-quality wax shoe polish with a clean rag and watch as your couch is restored to its former glory.
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Dust From Hard-To-Reach Corners
Unless you’re 7 feet tall, getting rid of dust hiding in the ceiling corners and light fixtures is not the easiest of tasks. Unfortunately, that’s exactly where it likes to hang out. To get rid of it, take a mop handle and use a rubber band to secure a sports sock to the end, inside out — the inside is similar to microfiber. Play the MacGyver theme song in your head as you wipe away the bunnies.
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Carpet Stains
If you have some really tough stains on your upholstery or carpet, a little heat can activate the cleaner and make it more effective. Apply stain remover or cleaning fluid on the affected area, cover with a towel or cloth, and iron over it to see some great results.
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Glass Surfaces
Windex may be your best friend when it comes to cleaning glass, but it can often leave streaks if you aren’t careful. One way to avoid this? Use an absorbent cotton cloth instead of paper towels, then use a clean, dry cotton towel to buff away any remaining marks. Another effective and natural cleaning method: Spray on a homemade solution made up of 1 part water and 1 part vinegar, and wipe off with newspaper.
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Microwave
No one wants to spend their time scrubbing out the microwave. So, why not let it do the hard work itself? Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a microwaveable bowl filled with water, before placing the two halves in as well. Place the bowl inside and microwave for three minutes. Not only is lemon naturally antibacterial, but it will help cut through the grease. Once you take out the bowl, simply wipe the inside clean with one easy swipe.
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Pet Hair In Carpet
We may love our furry little friends, but we don’t love the fur they shed all over our carpets. Even the strongest vacuum cleaner doesn’t seem to completely hoover up the hairs. A great way to get rid of them is to take a window squeegee and pull it back and forth across the carpet. The rubber will attract the loose hair into clumps, which you can then pick up and throw in the trash. It's like magic!
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