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17 Cleaning Tricks for Hard-to-Clean Household Objects

These easy tricks eliminate and prevent messes in the most inconvenient, hard to clean places, from the inside of your toaster to your purse lining.

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Woman in red suit holding purseVICTORIA-CHUDINOVA/SHUTTERSTOCK

The inside of your purse

Push a lint roller ($5) along the bottom of an empty purse to pick up dirt, loose change and more. These are some of the germiest items in your home.

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Large candle with a burning flame at christmastime; Shutterstock ID 405987730POLARPX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Sticky candles

Place a grimy candle inside a stocking and roll it around. The nonabrasive nylon will clean the wax surface without sticking to it. By the way, you can make a sand candle right at home.

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Hand reaching out to open window blindsDMITRIY KIRYUSHCHENKOV/SHUTTERSTOCK

Grungy window blinds

Dip a sock into a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. Put it on your hand inside out and use it to clean both sides of window blinds at the same time. You’ll want to try these window cleaning tips from the pros.

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Led TV on TV stand with black wall; Shutterstock ID 381753865JTAI/SHUTTERSTOCK

Dingy TV screens

Swipe a coffee filter ($11 for 200) across dusty and staticky computer monitors and plasma TV screens to remove buildup. Make sure you know these genius cleaning tips housecleaners use.

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Water tap with sink in modern kitchen.; Shutterstock ID 558969325TORSAK THAMMACHOTE/SHUTTERSTOCK

A stinky kitchen

Toss orange and lemon peels into the garbage disposal and grind it up for a few minutes to give your kitchen an amazing fresh citrus smell with no work at all. Get more info for cleaning your garbage disposal the right way.

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Old sponge in sinkCORRECT PICTURES/SHUTTERSTOCK

Kitchen sink clutter

Clamp a binder clip onto the short end of your sponge. Stand the clip upright on its side to keep the sponge clean, dry and mold-free. Once it does get dirty, learn the only right way to clean a sponge.

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The dog is lying on the carpet; Shutterstock ID 130220186MIROSLAVA LEVINA/SHUTTERSTOCK

Pet hair horrors

Drag a window squeegee ($20) across a carpet to remove pet hair. The rubberized blade will quickly lift fur from rug fibers. To avoid a sneezing fit, find out the best vacuums for dog and cat hairs.

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wooden closet with clothes hanging on rail, wardrobe interior design; Shutterstock ID 1012695814ALL ABOUT SPACE/SHUTTERSTOCK

Dusty clothes

Cut a hole in the center of a cloth napkin and place it over a hanger to keep dust from settling on nice dresses and leather jackets.

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Toilet Flushing Water close up; Shutterstock ID 276637328TORTOON/SHUTTERSTOCK

That ring around your toilet

Let an Alka-Seltzer tablet sit in the bowl for 20 minutes, and then flush. The citric acid will eliminate rings and stains. Here are some ways you might be cleaning your bathroom wrong.

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Different types of glasses for wine on wooden table. Still life concept.; Shutterstock ID 605362292ALEXANDR KARPOVICH/SHUTTERSTOCK

Prevent glasses from breaking in the dishwasher

Stretch a rubber band around a wineglass and over the spokes of the dishwasher rack to keep the glass from moving around and breaking during the wash cycle. Here are some more common dishwasher loading mistakes.

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Large iron watering can, watering plants; Shutterstock ID 644300779ILPO88/SHUTTERSTOCK

Fill buckets or watering can without making a mess

If you have a bucket or a large watering container that won’t fit under the faucet, place a dustpan with a hollow handle beneath the stream of water to redirect it into the larger vessel on the floor in front of the sink. Avoid these other cleaning mistakes that make your home dirtier.

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Coffee grindernaito29/Shutterstock

A soiled coffee grinder

If you use this tool to crush spices as well as coffee beans, process a handful of Cheerios in the appliance for 30 seconds. This will remove any smells from the machine before you brew your next cup. Check out these other easy ways to clean your trickiest kitchen appliances.

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Woman folding clothes into chest of drawers closeup; Shutterstock ID 403894045AFRICA STUDIO/SHUTTERSTOCK

Messy drawers

Try vertical stacking: Place folded shirts vertically into drawers to make it easy to see and reach what you need. Check out these genius organization tips from Marie Kondo.

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Ceiling fan, indoors; Shutterstock ID 267625301AFRICA STUDIO/SHUTTERSTOCK

Ceiling fans

Want to clean the blades of your ceiling fan without raining dust down on your furniture? Take a pillowcase and slide it over each blade. Press down and slide the pillowcase back off; it’ll take all the dust with it.

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Toast popping out of toasterMAGRIG/SHUTTERSTOCK

Pop-up toaster

Use a cleaning toothbrush to scrub down the coils of your pop-up toaster with clean water. Make sure it’s unplugged first, of course! Take out the crumb tray and stick a paper towel underneath the toaster so that crumbs don’t get out of control. Don’t miss these kitchen hacks you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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Memory foam mattress; Shutterstock ID 735821782IVELIN/SHUTTERSTOCK

Smelly mattress

Make sure you’re vacuuming your mattress every time you rotate it. But did you know that baking soda can banish sweaty mattress odors? Put some baking soda in a sifter and shake it over the mattress. Let it sit for a half an hour and then break out the dustbuster to vacuum it up. To make it smell extra-good, mix in a drop or two of essential oil with the baking soda before you sift. Follow these steps to spring cleaning tips to get it done fast.

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Shower curtain linersSAMUEL PLAINFIELD/SHUTTERSTOCK

Shower curtain liners (or plastic shower curtains)

Throwing your plastic curtain liner in the wash is all well and good, but that won’t banish mildew for good. TipHero recommends adding a cup of vinegar to the washing machine, and only using half the recommended amount of detergent. After that, throw the liner into the tub itself, fill the tub with enough water to cover the liner and add a cup of salt. Soak it for three hours. The salt helps the liner build up a layer of resistance against mildew. Next, learn how one editor redid her bathroom for less than $100.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest