25 Tips to Tackle the Grossest Places (& Nastiest Things!) in Your Home

25 Tips to Tackle the Grossest Places (& Nastiest Things!) in Your Home

Julia Brenner
Apr 9, 2014
(Image credit: Kathryn Wright)

Stains, smells, mold or pests got you down? I think we’ve all got something going on that we're not too excited about. I, for one, am about ready to consciously uncouple with my bathroom grout, and then there’s the toilet ring that’s been taunting me for months. But spring is here and I’m ready to take another crack at the grosser parts of my home. Who’s with me? Our mantra is white vinegar.

Fun fact: This post is actually inspired by a recent life mash-up. I happened to hear the very funny and informative Jolie Kerr interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air about her new cleaning tutorial book, ahem, My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag...and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha, the very same day I yelled an obscenity at the ring of rust in my toilet after trying numerous cleaners to no avail. How’s that for kismet?

If you missed any of these the first time around, here they are again! And please add your favorite trusty methods for tackling the dirty and lowdown…problems in your home, that is.


  1. How to Clean Grout Like You Mean It. Tess has rounded up some fantastic tips from experts around the web on tackling that darn grout.
  2. We Tried It: Miracle Grout Pen Test Before & After.
  3. For toilet rings: Zud Heavy Duty Cleanser Powder
  4. Also for toilet rings: Removing Toilet Ring Stain with Pumice Stone


  1. Maxwell keepin' it real in How To Make (Fart) Hydrogen Sulphide Gas Smells Go Away. You’ll laugh, you’ll nod, you’ll run out and buy a ton of matches.
  2. Rethink the Stink: 5 Odor Removing Remedies No Home Should be Without. I love that they’re all non-toxic, too.
  3. How to Get Rid of Industrial Strength Smells. This is a one-stop-shop for pet urine, smoke, and moldy-dampness. It's a good thing.
  4. A Natural Way to Remove Odors and Humidity


  1. How to Clean Every Type of Stain (even blood!)
  2. Removing Pet Stains and Odors. This is a great article from the Humane Society on tackling pet stains, with some helpful do’s and don’ts. I didn't realize that vinegar does nothing to neutralize odors from a pet’s perspective, and that neutralizing cleaners won’t work unless you've rinsed all traces of any old cleaners from the area. ** For those of you with cats having inappropriate peeing issues, I highly recommend Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract Cat Litter. We’ve been using it with our (neutered) peer for a year and it works.
  3. And this one goes out to all you parents out there: How To Get Pee Stains Out Of A Mattress!
  4. Quick tip for a gentle, non-toxic stain remover for rugs and textiles: Club Soda + Salt = Non-Toxic Stain Remover
  5. Excellent method for cleaning stains out of Microfiber furniture: How to Clean Microfiber Furniture


  1. How to Green Clean Grease from Kitchen Surfaces
  2. How To Clean Your Dishwasher. (I recently did this and it worked great.)
  3. Clean Your Garbage Disposal with Vinegar Ice Cubes
  4. How to Clean the Stovetop Naturally


  1. Do It Yourself: Remove Mold from Wood. Taken from a highly informative website which tackles everything mold-related.
  2. How To Green Clean the Mold in Your Shower
  3. Kill Mold Overnight with a Simple Clove Oil & Water Spray
  4. How to Combat and Prevent Mold
  5. The Three Main Ways to Test for Black Mold


  1. How to Get Rid of Bedbugs. Claire wrote a very helpful and detailed how-to on eradicating bed bugs.
  2. Here are Our Best Posts on Natural Non-Toxic Bug and Pest Control.
  3. A more humane method for ridding your home of mice: Smart House Mouse Trap: Humane Catch & Release Trap. There is also a super simple DIY version via Instructables.
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