Free Cleaning Tips

Aaaccckkk! I Hate Cleaning!

If you hate cleaning, you are not alone. It is much more fun to be out and about, playing with friends or just enjoying some relaxation time. While cleaning is a “necessary evil” for many people, there are things you can do to make your cleaning time shorter and more productive.

The cleaning tips on can help you make quick work of whatever cleaning you have to do. You’ll find cleaning tips on everything from polishing your copper using ketchup (yes, ketchup!) to hiding scratches in your hardwood floors to getting rid of that red wine stain.

Don’t worry; all the cleaning tips on are free, and more are added all the time. Check back often for the latest and greatest cleaning tips. is part of the tips network, where you can find all sorts of ideas for making your life easier, more productive, and more thrifty.

Cleaning Tips for the Kitchen


For more effective dishwashing, add a few tablespoons of vinegar along with the dishwashing detergent when washing dishes. The vinegar cuts the grease and leaves dishes sparkling.

To clean up spills in your oven, sprinkle the spills immediately with salt. When the oven has cooled, brush away the burnt-on food with a damp sponge.

To disinfect smelly sponges, wash sponge thoroughly, then microwave it while it is wet, for a short period. When you see steam from the sponge, the bacteria in the sponge will be dead. Remove carefully, it will be hot! Wash the sponge thoroughly before use. **Make sure the sponge has no metal components!**

To remove hard-water and lime build-up in a teapot or kettle, pour in two cups of vinegar and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, then rinse well.

To remove mineral deposits in a tea pot or burnt spots on a coffee pot, put some ice cubes, cut-up lemon, and salt with a tad water and swish around and let sit overnight.

To whiten an old stained sink , poor a half cup of salt in it and then scrub it with a lemon. Let it stand for a few minutes and rinse.

To remove skid marks on linoleum rub the spot with toothpaste before washing the floor.

To keep your plastic containers from getting stained from tomato based foods, rub the inside with vegetable oil before placing the food in the container.

Kitchen surfaces: Mix in spray bottle, 1 part ammonia to 3 parts water. Or try diluted bleach solution in a spray bottle. It will remove stains AND disinfect.

Removing kitchen and food odors: Soak pure vanilla on a cotton ball and place in a saucer. Put the saucer in the car or refrigerator to remove odors. Keep cotton ball out of reach of children as it contains some alcohol.

Odor producing mold and bacteria in garbage cans: sprinkle 1/2 cup Borax in the bottom of the garbage can.

Cleaning coffee maker: Pour straight vinegar into it as if you are making the coffee, no filter is need. Turn coffee maker on as if you were making a pot of coffee. Repeat this with a new batch of vinegar until it runs clear of calcium deposits.

Cleaning Tips for the Bathroom

Bars of soap too small to use effectively can be pressed into the sides of new bars softened by recent use.

Shower curtains can be renovated by being washed, on gentle cycle, with a pint of white vinegar.

If you have more than one bath to clean, keep separate cleaning supplies in each bathroom, that way you can clean the bath at a moments notice.

To clean tubs and showers use a product that contains phosphoric acid, their is no scrubbing involved.

Buildup on shower doors: Wipe with lemon oil. Removes buildup and keeps doors protected longer from future buildup.

Removing mildew from shower or bath: 3 parts bleach and 1 part water — put in spray bottle. Spray on mildew areas and it will virtually disappear.

Cleaning Tips for the Laundry Room

To remove perspiration stains in clothing, soak in warm vinegar and water.

Microwaves can be used to emergency disinfect clothes, such as a child’s cap that another kid has put on, as long as they have absolutely NO metal in the zippers, buttons, rivets etc. ALWAYS place a cup of cold water next to the article to absorb the heat and microwave on high until the water is steaming.

Removing mildew stains from clothes: Begin by brushing of mold outdoors so you don’t scatter mildew spores in the house. On washable fabrics, pretreat by rubbing detergent into the dampened stain. Then, launder the items in hot water, detergent and chlorine bleach, if it is safe for the fabric. If the stain remains, sponge it with hydrogen peroxide, rinse and launder. If the item isn’t bleach-safe, soak it in an oxygen bleach that is safe for colors, then wash it. Take non-washable fabrics to the dry cleaner and tell them what the stain is.

Urine Stains:For washable fabrics that can be bleached… pre-soak them in cold water for at least thirty minutes. Launder these fabrics in hot water using detergent and chlorine bleach according to the directions on the bleach container. For washable, non-bleachable items, sponge the stained area with a solution of equal parts of household ammonia and water then launder the item in warm water and detergent. Rinse it well. For non-washable items, sponge just the stained area with clear water to which a few drops of ammonia have been added. Then, sponge with clear water only.

Gray Dingies: One cause of the gray dingies is overloading the washing machine. When you do this, the clothes cannot move freely, resulting in poor washing and unremovable soil. To estimate the right-sized load, place dry, unfolded clothes in the washer loosely until it is about three-quarters full. Another cause is using non-phosphate detergents, particularly the granular type. If you`re using a non-phosphate detergent, use the hottest water possible and dissolve the detergent in the water before adding the clothes. If you have hard water, you might want to add about a third to a half cup of packaged water softener along with the detergent.

Miscellaneous Cleaning Tips

Use crumpled up black and white newspaper dipped in vinegar to wash windows. Dip paper in vinegar and wipe the glass until almost dry, then shine with dry newspaper or cloth.

Children’s stickers can be removed from wood by applying white vinegar to the sticker, letting it soak and then scraping off. Clean those dirty, dusty, mini-blinds in your house in a snap! Fill the bathtub with warm, soapy water and let the blinds soak. If they are white blinds add a little bleach to get rid of any stains. Remove spilled nail polish from wood furniture: Don’t wipe it up! The solvents in nail polish soften most finishes, and wiping may take off the finish. Instead, let the polish dry completely; then gently scrape it off with a credit card. Wax the surface, using superfine steel wool.

Use cooking or salad oil for lubricating non-essential mechanical things like hinges, tools etc. A light coat of oil will keep tools from rusting and you don’t need to buy expensive and toxic chemicals like WD-40 etc.

To get hard water deposits off of your fixtures try some diluted muriatic acid (available at pool stores or hardware stores), but don’t store it near chlorine- they can combine and become explosive!

Consider investing in a small rug cleaner to use for quick cleanups of pet stains and kid spills.

If you have a busy schedule (and who doesn’t?), and hate to clean, (and who doesn’t?), make a schedule of what needs cleaning when and who will do it. If you have too much to do, consider hiring someone to come in once a month and do the chores you can’t get to.

Run your sponges through your dishwasher every few days, and dispose of them every few weeks. They breed bacteria because they do not get the opportunity to dry out in between uses.

If you live in a two story house, keep a second vacuum cleaner upstairs; who likes to lug those things up and down stairs? Having 2 makes it easier to whip off some vacuuming when the mood strikes.

Wash your child’s toys after an illness to prevent reinfection or infection of another child.

When washing windows, wipe the windows with newspaper, it won’t leave streaks.

Don’t buy special cleaners to get out baby formula stains, use a little isopropyl alcohol on the stain, then a regular stain remover. Works like a charm.

Cleaning ceramic tile: Regular rubbing alcohol works wonders for a ceramic floor. Just pour straight on and rub around with mop until it drys. Make sure children are not in the area during this process and have good ventilation in room.

Removing Crayon from walls: use damp sponge and colgate toothpaste. Rub carefully.

Removing scuff marks, pen, and pencil from walls: use a dry cloth and rubbing alcohol.

Cleaning your carpet: Preparing for carpet cleaning? First sweep your carpet with a broom, this loosens up all the ground in dirt. Then vacuum. After that you might notice a big difference in the way your carpet looks. For wiping out stains, you can use a solution of 2 parts water one part ammonia in a spray bottle. Spray stain and wipe. For a dry cleaner use a mixture of 2 cups cornmeal and 1 cup borax. Sprinkle on carpet and let sit for one hour then vacuum. To remove pet odors, sprinkle carpet with baking soda and let sit for one hour, then vacuum. Make your own furniture polish: Yucky but works, take a slab of spam and rub it on your wood — wipe with pantyhose. Or, make a concoction of: 1 tsp olive oil, juice of a lemon, 1 tsp whisky or brandy, 1 tsp water. Mix together and rub on furniture with cloth, buff for a deep shine.

Cleaning a Keyboard: On a weekly basis, carefully vacuum the keys with the round brush attachment of your vacuum. Never spray keyboard directly, spray the a cleaning cloth with all-purpose cleaning solution and wipe it with it.

Home oil spills: Paint thinner is best for this type of spill. Pour on spill and it will dissolve oil.

Garbage Disposal: If you’ve got a lemon that’s a little past its prime, cut it in quarters and run it through your sink disposal to freshen your drain.

Use an alcohol(isopropyl)/water solution for cleaning mirrors. 1 part alcohol to 4 parts water. Cleans with no streaks. Coffee filters make great glass cleaning cloths.

Dirty neck rings around shirt or blouse collars can be removed by putting shampoo on them. Rub the shampoo in like you were washing your hair. Shampoo is specifically made to remove body oils. A cheap bottle of shampoo kept by the washing machine is handy for all kinds of stains in clothing. Don’t forget this trick when you are traveling.

For removing ink stains: Ball point pen stains can be removed by using hair spray – let the hair spray dry and wash the item. Table salt will absorb ink when it is spilled – pour salt on the wet ink and continue to add salt until there is no more “wet ink”. Then vacuum or wash. Other types of ink can be removed using rubbing alcohol.

How to Clean an Oil Painting

zhannas cleaning

Oil paintings are not made out of nothing; rather, these are products of your precious talent and hard work. Thus, you should capitalize on it by treasuring it well so that your grand children will see your work of art in time. Cleaning oil paintings is different from the way you clean your other artworks. An important principle you must follow is not to allow water run on its surface. Never let this happen if you do not want your artwork to be gone in an instant. Soap or any other incompatible solution for cleaning may create a cloudy appearance when in contact with the painting.

Provided in this article are ways you can follow on how to clean an oil painting.

  1. Assess your oil painting’s age first. Those that are made in the year 1940s are covered with varnish to protect them from a harmful environment. As time passes by, it slowly deteriorates producing a yellow curst like appearance. If this happens, do not panic! Simply buy a solvent (emulsion) at your nearest hardware, poured in a cotton ball and gently apply first to the sides of the canvass. Be careful not to immediately apply the emulsion directly to your painting because it can harshly damage your item. Do this step in a well ventilated area since the solution has a very strong odor.
  2. Next, remove all hard particles (dust, pet hair and smoke) that have built up over time. Keep in mind that you are only allowed to do this step if your painting is from the 1950s and older. You may use a magnifying glass to clearly visualize for cracks, avoid brushing them to prevent further split of the canvass. The painting may be brushed using a paint brush, toothbrush or any soft bristled brushes. If you see that the portion is sticky, do not attempt to brush further.
  3. If you have paintings made in the 21st century, simply use a vacuum to remove dust particles. Attach the micro parts of your vacuum to have an effective cleaning of the artwork. Never allow the mouth of you r vacuum touch the surface of the painting then use a circular motion. This step will help you pick up little and minute dust particles that have soot in the surface.
  4. Cleaning the sticky surface of the painting would be quite difficult. Use a cloth dampened with water and dishwashing soap. Be cautious in doing this step in order not to damage the canvass. When you feel like the cloth is hard to control, you may have the mixture dipped in a cotton tipped applicator. Lightly wet the surface but never scrub nor wipe the painting. Remember that too much water with soap can damage your precious works. Stop doing this step if you think that the painting has already lightened too much.
  5. You may check your family’s home magazines for some additional tips which may help you clean the canvass. Some would say that cleaning should be habitually done, but always remember that the painting is very delicate and you might just end up damaging it.

Kid’s Bedrooms

Removing Stickers

  • If you remove as much of the sticker as possible, you can remove the rest with a little Ben Gay ointment and a blow dryer set on the low heat setting. Also works on carpet
  • Other products that have been known to remove stickers include WD-40, Oops brand latex paint remover, De-Solve, fingernail polish remover, rubbing alcohol and even peanut butter!

Cleaning Stuffed Animals

  • Puts kids’ stuffed animals inside a pillow case, tie a knot in it and wash them in the washing machine.
  • You can also freshen the animals by placing them in a paper sack with baking soda and shaking them up good.
  • If the animal is stuffed with natural fibers it should not be immersed in water, but can be wiped off with a soapy cloth, followed by a clean wet cloth.
  • Make sure the animal doesn’t have torn seams before you put it in the washing machine.
  • Look for plastic parts before tossing a stuffed animal in the dryer.
  • Make sure the animal doesn’t have a “sound box” or other mechanical parts before you put them in the washing machine and dryer.

Helping Kids Stay Uncluttered

  • Put away half of your kids’ toys and switch them around every few months. They’ll have plenty to play with and their room will stay cleaner.
  • Label boxes, baskets, milk crates, plastic tubs – anything they might store toys in – to teach them how to sort toys and keep them off the floor. Let the kids decorate the containers they use so they will be personal and fun.
  • Set a short period of time each day or each week that kids have to straighten up their room. Make a game out of it with a timer and give rewards to all kids for jobs well done. It will become a good habit and they’ll have fun.
  • Get the kids to go through their toys periodically and pick out some things that they don’t play with anymore. Pack them up and take them somewhere where there are kids who don’t have enough toys.
  • Put bookshelves in every available place where the kids can stack their toys, books, etc. Anything to keep the floor clean.
  • Teach kids good cleaning habits by being neat and tidy yourself. Hanging up clothes and putting things away after you use them sets a good example.
  • Assign specific chores to kids and set a limit on when the chore has to be done.
  • Put hooks and pegs on the backs of room door and on the insides of closet doors for quick hangups when the kids come in.
  • Let the kids do some “adult” clean up jobs. Sometimes loading the dishwasher or helping mom clean up after a baking session is fun, especially for smaller children and it teaches good habits.
  • Let kids listen to whatever they want to while they are cleaning. A little noise will be worth a clean room!
  • Assign each child a towel and make sure they hang it up every day. This saves unnecessary washing.


Free Tips from Zhannas Cleaning Service
Wood Floors

It’s always a good idea to check with a flooring specialist for information on cleaning wood floors because certain treated flooring requires specific cleaning methods. However, one general wood-floor cleaner is a solution of 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar in 1 gallon of warm water. Use a soft cloth with most of the moisture squeezed. Get on your hands and knees and wipe the floor without getting it wet. Then buff with a soft dry cloth to bring out the luster.

Vinyl Floors

Sweep and damp mop using a gallon of water and a dash of dishwashing detergent, regularly to keep abrasive soil off the surface. Scrub as needed with a white nylon backed sponge to loosen stubborn, ground in soil. Nothing cleans as well as doing it on your hands and knees when you have time. Even no-wax floors eventually need waxing, this will help to prevent further deterioration.


Zhannas Cleaning Service Organizing Tips

  • Add another shelf between the present one and the ceiling if you can and store things like seasonal shoes you don’t need to get to often.
  • Use the door – add hooks for belts, ties or shoe organizers.
  • Keep shorter items such as shirts on one end of the closet to give more floor space.
  • If space permits, add a bar beneath the present bar for shirts or folded slacks.
  • Purchase the hanging plastic bags with small compartments for jewelry, stockings or other items that tend to get cluttered.
  • Hang clothes by style (shirts, skirts, etc.) and color. They’ll be much easier to find and to coordinate into outfits.
  • Use shelf organizers to keep things neat up top.

Zhannas Cleaning Service Fight  With Closet Clutter

  • Get rid of clothes you haven’t worn in over a year.
  • Take clothes you can’t decide about and “put them away” for six months. If you haven’t missed them, get rid of them.
  • Put a small drawer unit in the closet to add more storage space. It can be an inexpensive one, even one of the sturdy cardboard type, since no one sees it.
  • Store out of season clothes in another location.
  • Take a rainy afternoon to try on those clothes you can’t seem to get rid of. Once you see them on, you’ll be better able to decide about them.
  • Try to get over the sentimental attachment to things you’ll never use. Your Aunt Mary isn’t going to know you threw out the shirt she gave you ten years ago that you’ve never worn.

Keeping Dry – Zhannas Cleaning Service Do It

  • Take clothes out of dry cleaner bags. Changes in humidity can cause yellowing.
  • Put a light in the closet and leave it on for short periods of time in humid weather. Leaving it on too long can cause discoloration. Use a low-wattage bulb (40 or 60 watts.)
  • Let clothes air out before re-hanging. Moisture from your body gets trapped in them when they get back in the closet and may cause mold growth.

Recommendation From Zhannas Cleaning Service Protecting Clothes

  • Don’t let cedar chips touch your clothes as they may cause yellowing.
  • Invest in good clothes hangers. Wire hangers leave marks on the clothes and don’t give good support.
  • Keep your shoes well-polished. They look better and last longer. Once every few months take them to have them professionally polished.
  • Rotate shoes if possible. Shoes worn every day wear out much quicker.
  • Let clothes air out before re-hanging them in the closet. This will keep them clean and fresh longer and save on dry-cleaning bills.

Kitchen Cleaning Tips

Coffee Stains

To remove a coffee stain from fabric or a rug, try one of these methods:

  • Dip a white cloth into a beaten egg yolk and rub the yolk into the stain. Then rinse with clear water.
  • Work denatured alcohol into the stain, then rinse with water.
  • Apply a solution of 1/2 teaspoon mild detergent in a pint of water. Blot with a white towel. If the stain remains, apply a 50-50 solution of water and white vinegar and blot.

Cleaning Kitchen Counter tops

Use a mild dish washing liquid for plastic lamination and rinse well after wards to prevent residue from getting on food.

Cleaning Vinyl Floors

Mop with a mild detergent and wait awhile to allow it to penetrate the ground-in dirt.

Cleaning Safety Tip

Don’t mix cleaning products like ammonia and bleach. They can be toxic.

Cleaning with Automatic-Dishwasher Detergent.

Automatic-dishwasher detergent works well on refrigerators, stoves, floors, walls and glass.

  • Dissolve 1/4 cup in one gallon of very hot water.
  • Wipe with a dry cloth afterward.
  • Wear rubber gloves and test first to make sure that what you’re cleaning is colorfast.


  • Use the bartender’s method for speedy stemware washing. Holding the base, pump the glass vigorously in very hot sudsy water, then quickly put it in hot clear water (cooler water may shatter it) Dry upside down on a cotton towel.
  • For extra-shiny, streakless glasses, add a little vinegar or borax to the final rinse water.
  • If glasses have hard-water stains, rub them with a scouring pad dipped in vinegar.
  • Never use hot water, harsh soaps, ammonia or washing soda on silver or gold-rimmed glasses.
  • A well-lathered shaving brush cleans deeply etched or hobnailed glass especially well.
  • If eggs have dried on your patterned glass tableware, rub off the residue with a slice of lemon.

Storing Leftovers

When storing leftovers in the refrigerator, use old butter tubs and cottage cheese containers. When its time to clean out the refrigerator you can discard the entire container. You won’t have a spilled mess in the garbage can or a sink full of dirty dishes.

Garbage Disposal Tips

  • If you’ve ever switched on the garbage disposal instead of the kitchen light, mark the switch with a dab of red nail polish – anything to stop that grating noise.
  • If your dishwasher drains through your garbage disposal, switch it on when the hot soapy water is running through is so it gets a good cleaning.

Stainless Steel

To remove water spots on stainless steel, rub area with a clean, soft cloth dampened with white vinegar. Then wipe dry to avoid spots.

Heel Marks

Use a pencil eraser on black heel marks.

Dishwasher Soap Film

Run a cup of white vinegar through the entire dishwashing cycle in an empty dishwasher to remove all soap film.

Refrigerator Odors

  • A little vanilla poured on a piece of cotton and placed in the refrigerator will eliminate odors.
  • After cleaning the refrigerator add a dash of lemon extract to the rinse water for a fresh scent.

Stuck on Food

For stuck on food on a casserole dish, try adding 2 tablespoons of baking soda and boiling water to cover the stuck on food. Let sit for a while. The dish will be much easier to clean.

Handy Tie

Drop the twist tie in the bottom of any can or basket before you put the liner in. When you’re ready to empty it, the tie is handy.

Clean Windows from Zhannas Cleaning

Wash windows on a cloudy, but not rainy day. Working in direct sunlight causes streaks because the cleaning solution dries before you can wipe it off. This is the best time to vacuum the frames and sills. Cool, clear water is the choice of most professional window washers. If windows are very dirty you can add 3 to 5 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water. Use horizontal strokes on the inside and vertical on the outside so you know which side the streaks are on. for drying windows, a wad of crumpled newspaper works just as well as expensive paper towels. Wear rubber gloves to keep your hands free of ink.