Every home has that one spot (or two, or three) that, despite your very best efforts, just refuses to get clean. Whether it's your
ancient pre-war apartment's smelly sink or your brand-new condo's dust-loving shelves, it can be downright frustrating to lose the match to dirt and grime on your home court.
Before you throw in the towel — or rag — give these tried-and-true hacks a go. From banishing allergens and odors from your mattress using baking soda to zapping dust from hard-to-reach surfaces using a
Swiffer Dusters Extender, these inventive hacks are guaranteed to even out the score. Game point, you.
Banish Sink Stink Ever torn apart your kitchen in search of what's causing that funky smell only to find it's — blech — coming from the sink? You're not alone. This is an indication that too much food is getting trapped in the drain. To banish the stench and clear out any unsightly gunk? Pour a cup of baking soda down your drain and let it sit for about an hour. Then, boil two cups of light vinegar and dump it down the drain to break down any built-up food.
All The Way Up
Whether you're vertically challenged or not, face it: High shelves, hard-to-reach vents, and ceiling fans aren't
topping your weekly tidying list. In fact, they're probably the last place you'd think to clean at all.
To bust dust and dirt that's above eye level, use an extendable duster — like the
Swiffer Dusters Extender
— to get the job done. Simply work the tool around high-up areas to trap and lock particles like a pro.
Ctrl-Alt-Clean From your laptop to handheld remotes and controllers (looking at you, gamers), everyday electronics accumulate more germs and grime than you'd probably like to know. To banish the funky buildup, fold a thick piece of paper and slide the sharp edges through seams and openings that you'd otherwise miss. Then, dab a pointed cotton swab in rubbing alcohol to clean around keys and buttons.
Freshen Up Funky Lunch Containers Face it — your go-to lunch container takes a pretty regular beating. (Remember that time you left chili in there for a week?) But before you toss your collection and spend your hard-earned cash on a brand-new batch, give this nifty trick a try. To vanquish lingering odors trapped in reusable tubs and jars, add hotdogs' favorite condiment (i.e. mustard) and an equal part hot water, shake the container thoroughly, and then rinse. With a little luck, your container will be as fresh as new.
Put Dust & Dirt To Bed Here's a wake-up call: Mattresses need a little TLC, too. To remove dust mites, allergens, and odors that have built up over the years, try reaching for a rather unexpected cleaning supply. Strip down your mattress — removing any bedsheets, mattress pads, and mattress covers — and then sprinkle baking soda evenly across the surface of the bare mattress using a sifter. Let it sit for about 30 minutes (or up to overnight), and then use a clean vacuum attachment to remove the baking soda. You'll sleep so much better knowing all that dust and dirt is out of the way.