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Old School Cleaning Tricks That Still Work Today

These 10 cleaning tricks still stand the test of time.

When it comes to cleaning advice, grandma's probably got it covered. She knows every cleaning trick in the book, and some of them she still uses today. These old school cleaning hacks are classic for a reason, because they work fast and use simple ingredients you already have at home.

Here are 10 classic cleaning tricks that still work today.

Polish silverware with washing soda

Polished fork, spoon, and knife set
Clean silverware.

When your cutlery gets old and tarnished, it's probably covered in bacteria. For instances when the dishwasher won't wash it away, try soaking your silverware in washing soda.

  1. Start by lining a big bowl with aluminum foil and placing the silverware inside.

  2. Pour a cup of washing soda and add enough hot water to cover the cutlery.

  3. When the water stops bubbling, remove the silverware and polish it.


Remove shower head buildup with vinegar

Close up view of shower head in bathroom
Close up of shower head.

Bacteria buildup on your shower head can happen overtime. The good thing is that it can easily be removed using vinegar.

  1. Add a few cups of vinegar to a resealable bag.

  2. Secure the bag around the shower head with a rubber band and let it sit for a few hours. The acid in the vinegar will breakdown the bacteria.

  3. When done, remove the bag, and run the water while using a toothbrush or scrubber to remove any extra grime.


Clean rust with Coke

Pouring coke into glass
Pouring coke.

Coke is well known for being a multipurpose rust cleaner. The carbonated beverage loosens up rust and makes it easier for you to wipe surfaces.

To remove rust from rusted tools and hardware:

  1. Soak your tools in a bowl of coke overnight.

  2. The next morning, use a microfiber cloth to wipe off the rust.

  1. Pour a full can of Coke around the rim to fully coat the bowl.

  2. Let the liquid sit for at least an hour.

  3. Scrub with a toilet brush and flush when done.


Whiten clothes with lemon juice

Freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemons
Freshly squeezed lemons.

It's hard to keep your clothing looking extra clean, even after it's been through the washing machine. Over time, white linens and towels can start to look a little yellow. To whiten your whites use lemon juice.

  1. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a gallon of hot water.

  2. Place the linens into the hot water and let it soak for a few hours.

  3. When done, rinse the items out by hand or put them in the washer. Hang dry.


Remove wine stains with salt

Party with people holding up wine glasses to cheers
Wine glass cheer.

Wine stains happen, and when they do you don't always need an expensive cleaner to get the stain out. When wine is spilt it's always best to treat the stain as soon as possible before it dries.

  1. Sprinkle the stain with salt and let it sit for a few hours.

  2. When dry, brush the salt and wash the garment.


Remove mold with tea tree oil

Tea tree essential oil
Tea tree oil.

Mold is one of those things you need to be extra aware of. Some are even associated with cancers, so it's important to watch out for it on your windowsills, walls, or bathroom surfaces. The trick to removing mold is by using tea tree oil.

  1. Mix roughly 10 drops of tea tree essential oil with a cup of water.

  2. Spray the tea tree oil mixture onto the mold and lit it sit for a few hours. The longer it sits, the more it kills.

  3. When done, wipe the surface with a microfiber cloth.

Pro Tip:

  • Spray another layer of the mixture onto the surface to prevent future mold from returning.


Clean windows with vinegar

Lady cleaning home windows with a cloth
Woman cleaning her windows.

Skip the store-bought window cleaners, and try cleaning those dirty windows with vinegar.

  1. Combine equal parts hot water with distilled white vinegar into a spray bottle.

  2. Add a few drops of essential oil to enhance the smell.

  3. Spray the windows and wipe with a microfiber cloth.


Wipe countertops with tea towels

Two tea towels handing on a towel rack
Tea towels hanging on rack.

Instead of using paper towels to clean up every kitchen or bathroom mess, use a tea towel instead. Paper towels are wasteful and can get expensive.

Use the tea towel to wipe down any countertop messes, dishes, glasses or appliances. When done, throw them into the washer with a regular load.


Polish wood with lemon juice

Wooden framed bed
Bed with wooden frame.

Wood surfaces need cleaning too, but instead of a pricey store-bought wood polish try making your own with lemon juice. The lemon and oil combined will make your furniture gleam again.

  1. Mix 1 part lemon juice with 3 parts olive oil .

  2. Scrub with a microfiber cloth.


Deodorize shoes with baking soda

White tennis shoes
White shoes.

It happens to the best of us: you decided to wear flats on a hot summer day, and now your shoes are a swampy cesspool. Try deodorize your shoes with baking soda.

  1. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of baking soda in each shoe and let them sit overnight.

  2. The baking soda will absorb foul odors and excess moisture

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