15 Vintage Cleaning Tips That Are Still Brilliant Today
When it comes to cleaning, Grandma still knows best. Here are some of the best tried-and-true vintage cleaning tips we’re still using today.
Grab Some Vinegar
Skip the expensive store-bought surface cleaners and make one of our favorite homemade cleaning solutions using vinegar. Just mix one part distilled white vinegar, two parts water and a squeeze of lemon juice. This homemade cleaner works around the kitchen, bathroom and on floors. You can also add a little baking soda to help whiten grout and sinks, just rinse with water after scrubbing.
Work Top to Bottom
Here’s an age-old cleaning hack: work from top to bottom. This common cleaning mistake is especially important for fighting off dust since (thanks to gravity) it falls downward. Start dusting up high from your ceiling fan down to your table surfaces. Even if it’s tempting to prioritize, make sure you always clean the floor last.
Embrace Air Drying
Save some money and use fresh air to your advantage when drying laundry. Plus, your clothing will smell fresh and clean without the use of chemicals in dryer sheets. For the winter months, make an indoor instant drying rack. Indoor drying racks also give off added moisture to the dry indoor air. What a win-win!
Let Plants Share the Workload
Let your houseplants do some of the work for you. Plants like lavender and mint are great for banishing odors. They also help purify the air in your home. If you’re just starting to develop a green thumb, these easy houseplants are low-maintenance.
Make Wood Shine
Lemons are a vintage cleaning must-have (in fact, there are 20 ways to clean with them!). To bring dull wood furniture back to life, combine two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice. You can use this mixture to wipe down wood tables, chairs and even wood flooring, too.
Fight Stains with Salt
When fighting tough laundry stains, sprinkle on some salt. Salt is absorbent and can help you soak up spilled liquids from clothing. You can also throw some salt in your washing machine to remove perspiration stains from white shirts. And, it can be used to remove any lime buildup in the sink or shower.
Does this name look familiar? You may have seen this old-school cleaning ingredient at your grandmother’s house over the years. Borax is a powder that can be mixed with water and used to clean sinks, faucets, tile and cabinets. When doing laundry, it also works as a pre-treatment for fighting stains. Check out these other ways to use borax around the house.
Clean Pots with Ease
Do you have pots, pans and cutlery that are tough to clean? Try combining warm water and baking soda to make a paste-like mixture. Then, rub the cleaning solution on the pot or pan with a coarse sponge or scrubbie. Rinse with warm water, dry with a towel and enjoy the shine. Don’t worry, there are ways to clean a burnt pan, too.
Clean Rugs Naturally
Skip the chemicals and trying cleaning with baking soda. Sprinkle a liberal amount on the rug, leave it on for 15 minutes and vacuum up the baking soda, dirt and odors. Viola! A sparkling rug.
Clean as You Go
Instead of letting chores pile up, tidy up your place daily. This cleaning trick will help you keep your home looking and smelling its best. Make a point to make your bed, pick up clutter, do your dishes and wipe down the kitchen after every use.
Don’t Forget to Hang Your Broom
It may not seem like much, but this tip could save you some extra cash. By hanging your brooms and brushes, you can preserve and keep the bristles intact for a lot longer than if you store them on the ground. Plus, it prevents your broom from picking up unwanted germs from the ground.
Refresh Your Kitchen Sink
Is your kitchen sink giving off a funky smell? Remove strange smells by placing a lemon peel on the bottom of your sink. While washing dishes, the water and soap will mix with the lemon peel to produce that wonderful lemony scent. You can also spruce up your garbage disposal with this trick, too. Just turn on your garbage disposal and throw half of a used lemon down to refresh it.
Clean those Hard-to-Reach Places
Don’t throw away your old toothbrush just yet. Reuse it for cleaning hard-to-reach crevices and windowsills in your home. Just spray your preferred cleaner of choice onto the toothbrush bristles and you’re ready to scrub away.
Deep Clean Each Season
Spring cleaning is a must, but what about the other seasons? I don’t know about you, but there always seems to be a cleaning project to work on in my household. Try dividing up major cleaning projects by season (like decluttering in the springtime and window washing during the summer). That way, you can successfully finish those pesky cleaning projects in a more manageable way.
Remove Tarnish on Silver
Speaking of toothbrushes, toothpaste is another handy dental tool you can clean with. Scrub tarnish off silver in seconds by adding a dab of plain toothpaste onto an old toothbrush. Finish off the job by rinsing your toothbrush in warm water and letting it dry. Learn how to polish silver with any of these nifty tricks, too.