The 8 Most Talked-About Cleaning Techniques of 2022

published Nov 25, 2022
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From how to make the most of diapers to a clever way to use onions, the cleaning tips that have been shared on AT sure got people talking this year. 

Whether there were stories about grandparents who’ve passed down Depression-era cleaning hacks, or others about budget solutions for dirty floors and surfaces, you all had lots to say about keeping a home looking and feeling fresh. And it’s no wonder — sometimes the best way to de-stress these days is to embrace cleanliness. (Or am I alone in wiping down counters when life gets to be too much?)

Everyone has to clean at some point, and tips and tricks are always welcome. Some ideas that have been featured over the course of 2022 are a little unconventional, some are super simple, and others are approved by generations of housekeeping experts. But the best part is that they all work. These are the eight to remember as a new year gets underway.

Clean Windows with Onions

Are your windows looking grimy? Put away the Windex and cut open an onion. This old housekeeping trick uses half an onion to scrub away dirt on your windows, and promises to work faster and more efficiently than any store-bought solution. Don’t worry, you can finish the job with cleaning spray to wipe away the onion smell, too.

Use Cloth Diapers as Rags

Usually old washcloths get downgraded to cleaning rag status, but there’s a better option. Cloth diapers are super absorbent, which makes them the perfect “rag” for wiping up countertop spills, cleaning mirrors, and even staining furniture. Plus, they’re more sustainable than reaching for another paper towel.

Clean as You Go

This Julia Child-approved tip is a divisive one, and there’s a good chance that if you live with a partner or roommates, there are differing opinions within your own home. But Child believed it made it easier to cook and led to less confusion in the kitchen if you simply clean the dishes as you use them. Grab as many dishes as you need, but soak each one afterward. Then, spray down the counter, and keep things tidy as you follow a fanciful French recipe from one of Child’s cookbooks. 

Knock Out Cleaning on Weekdays

For most people, cleaning isn’t at the top of their favorite weekend activities list. That’s why this cleaning hack is clutch. Instead of spending your Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon dusting and vacuuming, go into turbo mode Friday as soon as you log off for the day. Knock out your cleaning tasks before the first happy hour cocktail is poured and you’ll have the rest of the weekend to enjoy. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Use an Old Towel to Clean Your Floors

There’s no need to buy a fancy mop if you have an old kitchen towel and a broom. Simply wet the towel in soapy water, lay it flat on the floor, and push it around with the broom. It functions just like a mop, but without having to buy yet another cleaning tool.

Blue Your Whites

Dingy white towels are the bane of any spa-like bathroom — they always seem to end up more yellow than white after a few washes. Luckily, there’s a little blue bottle that could hold the trick to brighter whites. Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing is a liquid blue dye that, when diluted, gives your whites a bluish tone that balances the warmth of white towels gone warm. It doesn’t remove stains, but the blue tint counteracts yellows and, according to one AT writer, it works wonders.

Scrub the Sink with Comet… Every Day

A dirty sink is one of those things that can totally throw off an otherwise clean kitchen. Your counters are sparkling but if that sink isn’t… ew. But this cleaning habit stops that eyesore in its tracks. It takes just a minute, but using Comet to scrub the sink each night after dinner leaves it sparkling clean and ready for the next morning. 

Keep a Miracle Spray on Hand

Scuffs on a suitcase? Coffee on a countertop? Grease on the oven? One miracle spray can tackle it all using a handful of ingredients including water, vinegar, dishwashing liquid, and washing soda. Add an essential oil, pour it into a spray bottle, and use it for everything. You’ll get bonus points if you add a label on the bottle, too.