Who taught you how to clean your home? Speaking personally, it was our grandmother who had us on our hands and knees, scrubbing her floors practically right around the time we started crawling! While we didn’t love acting as her defacto maid, we sure learned a lot from that time. It’s an experience that we look back on often, and one that recently got us thinking– did you (i.e. our readers) learn any tried and true cleaning tips from your own families?
So, we asked you a simple question on Facebook: “What is your favorite cleaning tip that your grandparents/parents passed down to you?” Lucky for us, many of you brought forth some truly informative answers!
These are just a handful of the positively genius family cleaning tips that you all were kind enough to share with us. If we didn’t select yours this time around, that doesn’t mean we didn’t love your idea. Make sure to comment on our next “Ask the Audience” question on Facebook and yours could be featured next!
Clean your grimy kettle like a pro
Reader Janine Pace shared this effortless kettle-cleaning method with us:
Put 2 lemon eighths into your kettle and boil this removes dark stains and build up from the bottom, repeating for stubborn marks, rinse fill with only water and boil … empty refill and you’re done.
Stop your baby’s dinnertime mess in its tracks
You know who really knows how to feed babies efficiently? Our lovely reader Doris Holley.
I put my daughter’s highchair in a box at feeding time to collect all of the debris that fell from the tray! Easy cleanup.
Trade in your pricey, noxious cleaning supplies for everyday items
When Eleanor Bohanon Ellis married, she got some money-conscious advice from a well-wisher.
All you need in the way of cleaning supplies is a big jug of vinegar, dish soap, bleach, and laundry powder. Advice given to me at my wedding shower, in 1968.
Gently remove the tarnish from your beloved brass pieces
Reader Riki Malan gifts us with this effective brass-shining concoction.
For brass ornaments mix: A bowl of hot tap water with two teaspoons dishwashing liquid and 3 tablespoons of Tartaric acid. Just dip brass ornaments in and take out, rinse and polish with a dry cloth.
Bring some consistency to your cleaning routine
May we all adopt reader Dawn Pickering Cramer’s piece of cleaning-related common sense.
My personal advice… Put everything away each night… No dishes left in the sink… So in the morning, you don’t have a mess…never leave anything on the floor so in case of an emergency like an earthquake you won’t trip and fall on anything!
Re-think the direction in which you clean
We’re embarrassed to admit that, prior to reading Brittany Kassandra’s comment, we had never even heard of cleaning from “top to bottom.” Here’s how she explains the technique:
I was always taught clean from the top down, so dust and dirt don’t resurface.
Save your burnt cooking tools with baking soda
We love that reader Andrea Frey uses cheap and healthy baking soda for buffing away burn marks.
If you have burnt something in a pot or skillet add water and baking soda put back stove on simmer. This will loosen whatever is on the bottom. Then wash with soap and water. To clean a coffee pot use ice cubes and salt. Swirl to remove residue and rinse.
Or cream of tartar
Micki Argilan writes that cream of tartar works well to remove burn marks, too!
Use cream of tartar to get out burned food from a pot or pan. Add cream of tartar, fill with water, bring to a boil. Turn it off and let cool completely down.
Make sure your littlest ones help with the grunt work
Our grandmother would have approved of reader Kathy Rusek’s cleaning techniques!
Have your kids wash the baseboards as soon as they are old enough to hold a rag in their hands. It saves on your back.
When in doubt, reach for the WD40
According to Jennie Goodwin, WD40 is pretty much soap residue’s worst nightmare.
WD40 for cleaning scum on glass shower doors. (and it works like a champ).
Get sparkling windows the natural way
Anne Bischoff reveals that the secret to crystal clear windows is your morning paper.
Newspaper and white vinegar to clean windows. No streaks.
Make small improvements all of the time…even if your room looks like this
Kathleen Hohman’s secret to a tidy home? Discipline.
Never go through a room without doing something to improve it. Even if it is just straightening up.
Before you call a plumber, try this drain unclogging hack
It sounds to us like reader Joni Petroski has averted many a plumbing crisis in her day…
Cup of baking soda, a cup of vinegar, pour into any clogged drain, flush with boiling water, still do that
Don’t forget the elbow grease
We admire Carmela Evans’ old-school approach to attaining clean floor zen.
Wash the floors on your hands and knees and then wipe, then dry as you go along! A mop just pushes the dirt around.
And, finally, how to give your houseplants some love
Kathy Rusek tells us both the easy and the hard way to get your houseplants’ leaves to shine.
One of my least favorite chores was cleaning the houseplant leaves with vegetable oil. Now, I put them in the kitchen sink and hose them down with the sprayer. They don’t have the sheen like Mom’s did, but it gets the dust off them.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on these family-tested cleaning techniques. Have you ever tried any of these before? If so, which one works best? Do you have any family cleaning tips of your own that you would like to share?