Updated: Apr 13, 2020
At San Diego's finest, we asked our team of a professional cleaner to give the best cleaning advice we’ve ever shared. From a surprising way to clean with bread to the cleaning products found right in your pantry, here are the cleaning tips you’ll want to remember for years to come.
1. Always Clean From Top to Bottom
The best way to clean a room is from top to bottom (while working your way out of the room). Always clean from top to bottom so dirt falls downward and you don’t have to reclean, and tackle floors from the farthest end of a room, working your way toward the door. Just imagine that you’re talking to a crazy party guest and you need to back away slowly without getting trapped in a corner. That’s how it is with dirt.
2. Vodka Is An Incredible Cleaning Agent (Yes, Really)
Some of our most memorable cleaning tips have been about the harsh chemical–free cleaning solutions hiding right in your pantry—including vodka. Vodka is proven to eliminate germs and odors and can be mixed into many homemade cleaning recipes. Pro tip: Use any brand, as long as it’s not flavored.
3. Clean With Bread
Believe it or not, a slice of white bread is a wonderful cleaning tool. For a DIY duster, take a slice of white bread (yes, really) and press it onto the brick wall in your place. The bread absorbs dust and dirt without leaving lint behind like a paper towel or rag would. Genius! Over the years, we’ve also recommended using a slice of white bread to pick up small bits of broken glass. 4. Dust Your Fan With a Pillowcase
How do you clean a ceiling fan without dumping dust onto your furniture or floor? Place a pillowcase over a fan blade and pull it toward you to collect the dust. The debris will stay contained inside the pillowcase rather than drifting onto the floor.
5. DIY Pet Fur Remover
As pet owners, one trick for collecting pet fur has stuck with us over the years: Using a damp rubber glove, run your hand over a sofa cushion to collect fur.
6. Let the Sun Act as a Stain Remover
Forget the bleach the next time your plastic food containers get pasta sauce stains. Set reusable plastic containers in direct sunlight. Prolonged exposure will make the stain disappear.
7. The Lil Chizler
A favorite among us for many years, the Lil Chizler is a small tool created to help apply decals, but we’ve used it to do everything from scraping dirty pots and pans to cleaning up gunk around the kitchen sink. 8. The Invention of the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
We may be dating ourselves, but it wasn’t until a couple years ago that the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser hit the cleaning scene—and changed everything. Now, this cleaning tool is used for many tough cleaning tasks, including scrubbing a grimy shower curtain.
9. Wash Makeup Brushes with Legos
Apply a dab of dish soap to makeup-brush bristles and sweep them over a Lego baseboard under warm running water. The pegs agitate caked-on makeup so the brush eventually rinses clean.
10. Another Use for Baby Wipes
Best way to clean baseboards: Instead of microfiber cloths, use baby wipes to clean baseboards. They’re non-toxic, making this a perfect task for children. Plus, the wipes lack heavy cleaners, meaning they’re gentle enough for painted woodwork.
11. Keep Shower Cleaning Supplies Handy
“I keep a dish wand filled with equal parts dish soap and vinegar in the shower so I can scrub while I’m in there. Works like a charm!”
12. A Natural Solution to Protein Stains
You don’t need bleach to get rid of protein stains, like blood, sweat, and tears. (OK, maybe tears are not a big laundry issue.) One natural option: Toss stained socks, tees, and undies into a big pot of water with a few lemon slices and bring to a boil for a few minutes.
13. A Trick for Removing Price Stickers
“To remove sticky residue from price tags on glass, I put a bit of creamy peanut butter on a piece of paper towel and rub it in a circular motion until the glue is lifted. Rinse with soap and water or use glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth,” recommends our expert cleaner.
14. For When You Forget to Use a Coaster
“If I forget to put a coaster on my wooden bedside table and water rings form, I use a hairdryer to help remove the moisture absorbed by the table. I finish with olive oil for shine.”
15. When You Accidentally Leave Clothes in the Washer
Even if clothes are freshly washed, if you forget to take them out of the washing machine, they’ll quickly develop that dreaded mildew smell. Rewash the load with 1 cup white vinegar (and no detergent) to kill the mildew odor.
16. Use a Squeegee Outside the Shower
If you have a rug that’s been busy collecting hair and pet fur, run a dry squeegee over it. The plastic squeegee creates electromagnetic energy that helps attract the fur.
17. Removing Crayon Marks on Walls
“I’m a kindergarten teacher, and sometimes my students ‘accidentally’ draw on the classroom walls. To remove their masterpieces: Wet a rag, smear toothpaste on it, and use it to scrub the wall clean. It really works. The next time your little one draws an uncommissioned work of art, you’ll know what to do.
18. Deodorize a Garbage Disposal
Over the years, we’ve recommended a couple of methods for deodorizing garbage disposal that really work. Try putting ice cubes made out of vinegar down the disposal, turn it on, then flush with cool water. Alternatively, place an orange or lemon peel down the disposal to give it a fresh citrus scent.
19. Clean Up Glitter Spills
Once glitter gets into your house, it’s almost impossible to get rid of it. The next time glitter spills or you need to clean up after a craft project, grab a lint roller. The sticky sheets will quickly collect every last sparkle.
20. The Foggy Mirror Fix
To prevent your bathroom mirror from fogging up, wipe it with shaving cream, then remove with a clean cloth. The residue will resist moisture, helping keep your mirror clear.