Apartment Therapy’s 20 Best Cleaning Shortcuts of 2018

published Dec 26, 2018
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There aren’t many people who can honestly say cleaning a home is high on the list of preferred ways to spend time. So let us give you a special gift as we head into the new year: A list of 20 cleaning shortcuts everyone should know. There are no gimmicks here—just genius hacks that’ll keep your home sparkling all year long.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Dish soap will unclog a stopped toilet

If you find yourself in a pinch without a plunger, this tip might literally save your butt. Read more about how it works: Why You’ll Want to Pour Dish Soap in Your Toilet Bowl

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A spin in the wash will clean a grimy laundry detergent cap

Sticky fingers be gone—just throw that plastic cap in with the rest of your laundry. Read more about how: One Dirty Thing You Should Wash with Your Regular Laundry

(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Food coloring will help uncover pesky toilet leaks

Here’s something you never thought you’d hear: Taking your baking supplies into the bathroom could save you hundreds of dollars over the course of the year. Find out how: The $500 Reason You Should Put Food Coloring in Your Toilet

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

White vinegar will make your dishes cleaner

If your glasses are perpetually cloudy, this trick will save you from having to hand wash everything after each cycle. Read more about how it works: You Should Put a Bowl of Vinegar in Your Dishwasher—Here’s Why

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Baking soda and vinegar will make your sheets more luxurious

With this tip, even the cheapest sheets can feel like the expensive ones you so covet. Read more about how it works: This $3 Hack Makes Cheap Sheets Feel Like a Million Bucks

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

A paper towel tube will make your vacuum more versatile

Whether you lost the attachments (guilty!) or have some serious nooks and crannies in your house, this tip can help. Find out how: You Should Vacuum With a Paper Towel Tube—Here’s Why

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

A cup of rice will deodorize your closet

If your closet smells (it’s not you; it’s your clothes), sniff out this trick. Read more about how it works: Why You Should Leave a Cup of Rice in Your Closet

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

A salt shaker will make baking soda easier to use

There are few things you can’t clean with baking soda, assuming you don’t spill it every time you go to use it. This trick can help solve that problem. Find out how: Why You Should Put Baking Soda in a Salt Shaker

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Ice cubes will keep your carpet looking like new

Rearranging? Moving? This trick costs nothing and saves your rugs from premature demise. Read more about how it works: Why You Should Let Ice Cubes Melt on Your Rugs and Carpet

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Mesh produce bags will clean even the dirtiest pots and pans

Ouch—you burned dinner. Even if the food can’t be saved, thanks to this hack, your pot can. Find out how: One Good Reason Not to Throw Out Those Mesh Produce Bags

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Chalk will help tackle oil stains

If you regularly wind up with oil splatters on your shirt, this common school supply can save your dirty duds. Read more about how it works: If You Ever Spill While Cooking, You Should Stash Some Chalk in Your Kitchen

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Used dryer sheets will clean up stubborn messes

Who doesn’t send a cloud of flour flying whenever they open the bag? An old dryer sheet will tackle that mess in no time. Find out how, plus get 25 more clever uses for dryer sheets: Why You Should Keep Your Used Dryer Sheets

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Silica gel packs will keep dry goods and pet food fresh

Got a moisture problem? Not if you have spare Silica gel packs. Read more about how it works, plus learn about than a dozen additional uses for these little packets: Why You Should Never Throw Away Silica Gel Packs

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

An ice cube will remove gum from fabric and clothing

You know what really blows? A big wad of gum stuck to your favorite couch. Find out how to fix the problem, plus get more ice cube hacks: 7 Powerful Things You Can Do With Just an Ice Cube

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

A rubber glove will take pet hair and lint off your furniture

You can’t stop the shed, but you can keep your couch clean with this trick. Read more about how it works: You Should Keep a Rubber Glove Under Your Couch Cushions—Here’s Why

(Image credit: Cat Meschia)

Coffee grounds will clean pots and pans

Save some elbow grease—this trick makes washing dishes a breeze. Find out how, plus get more ideas for old coffee grounds: Why You Should Save Your Spent Coffee Grounds

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Empty tissue boxes will keep your laundry room cleaner

This trick is nothing to sneeze at; it’s the best way to corral all that lint. Read more about how it works: One Smart Reason to Keep Your Empty Tissue Boxes

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A soap-dispensing brush will keep your shower clean

Skip the marathon cleaning sesh—a quick wipe-down after each shower is even more effective. Find out how: One Smart Reason to Keep a Dish Brush in Your Shower

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Flour will keep a stainless steel sink shiny

Your sink is gross, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Find out how flour can keep all of your stainless steel appliances clean: Why You Should Pour Flour in Your Sink

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Mesh laundry bags will keep small items contained in the dishwasher

Bottle parts, caps, straws… why are these things so hard to wash? Find out how a small laundry bag can make this task a little easier: One Smart Way to Use a Mesh Laundry Bag in Your Kitchen