Summertime (and COVID-19 restrictions) means warmer days, no school and—kids with more time in and around the house. Don’t spend your summer scrubbing! Just try these hacks to keep on top of things when everyone is home more. And, of course, follow CDC guidelines for proper disinfection to avoid the spread of Coronavirus.
1. Get your sheets dry the first time and save time, energy and sanity.
One of those things that'll make you say, "Why didn't I think of that?" is the Wad-Free. This little device helps prevent the dreaded rolled & wadded up mess of half-dried sheets that leads to multiple cycles in the dryer and inevitably wastes energy and your valuable time. Just clip the corners of your sheet into the Wad-Free before you wash & dry, and you'll be on your way to fresh bedding in no time. Get a 2-pack on Amazon for $18.99.
2. Slime to Clean Crumbs
Have your kids become obsessed with slime? If you’ve been making a homemade version for your fam over the past year, you know that the stuff is seriously sticky. And, it turns out that it’s not just fun to play with, you can also clean with it! You can use slime to pick up tiny crumbs or dust from keyboards, counters and more.
3. Chore Baskets
Whether you’re trying to get your kids to do their chores or just want to make cleaning easier for yourself, Joyful Homemaking has an amazing idea. Create your very own chore baskets with plastic shower caddies—one basket for each room with a list of items that go in each basket. This makes replacing your cleaning supplies as easy as pie.
4. Cleaning Outdoor Toys
Keeping then out of the house is one way to minimize messes. When it comes to keeping your little one’s outdoor toys clean, you’ve got a couple of options. You can always go with a power washer for fast and easy cleaning. If you don’t have one of those, you can also use a car cleaning kit, which is great for stubborn dirt and grime, to get all of the nooks and crannies.
5. Mesh Baskets in Every Room
Need to clean up in a jiff? Using creative storage solutions is an absolute must. Make sure you have a mesh basket in each room to throw everything in before housekeeping or a surprise visit from grandparents. When the basket is full, it’s time to put everything away. When you're on the hunt for a special item and can’t find it, it’s time to dump out the basket, find your treasure and put everything away. Buy some here.
6. WD-40 on Dried Crayon
This cleaning hack is going to revolutionize laundry! If you’ve got little artists in the family, you know that their beautiful creations mean big messes. If your kid loves crayons, but you don’t get the colorful wax out of her clothes on the first wash, don’t fret. Spray WD-40 on the stain once the clothes come out of the dryer, give a little scrub and you’ll be all set. Also, make sure to use this hack outside to help diffuse the fumes.
7. Pipe Cleaners to Clean Straws
Sippy cups are an absolute must for kids, but cleaning them is next to impossible—until now. An easy way to clean the straw of your little one’s sippy cup is by using a pipe cleaner. The tiny hairs of the pipe cleaner create the perfect mini scrubbing action inside the straw.
8. Socks in a Mesh Bag
If you’ve ever washed socks, you know keeping track of all of them is a challenge. But, don’t forget that you can always put them in a handy mesh bag. That way the socks can be washed and dried, and when you’re ready to put them away, you can be sure that none of them have escaped.
9. Get Sparkling Stove Burners
Do you love to bake and cook? Want to clean your burners without scrubbing furiously? All you have to do is remove the burners, place each one in a plastic bag and add ammonia. Leave them overnight, remove in the morning and rinse. But, be careful! Ammonia is strong and using too much won’t dissolve the baked-on grime. You can let them soak outside this time of year. And make sure never to use ammonia at the same time as bleach or bleach-based product: the combo can be highly toxic.
10. Coffee Filters for Screens
We know parenting in 2021 includes lots of screens. But, how do you keep those screens clean and free from smudges i.e. sticky ice cream fingers? One simple cleaning hack is to use coffee filters. Simply rub the filters over the screen like a regular duster, and voila! You have a sparkly clean screen ready for your family to use.
11. Lemons for Cutting Board
Cutting boards are a great place for germs to thrive—but there's no need to freak. Try slicing a lemon in half and scrubbing your cutting board with the raw lemony goodness. The citric acid helps kill germs, and of course, this kitchen hack will leave your home with a magical fresh scent.
12. Clean Dusty Fans with a Pillowcase
Instead of using paper towels or a Swiffer (dust will get everywhere), use an old pillowcase. The dust will be captured inside! See how to do it at Happy Homemaker.
13. Cream of Tartar to Clean Grease
If you've got a layer of grease that just won't budge, try Life as I Pin It's genius idea of mixing cream of tartar with water instead of a cleaning solution. Want to know more about her secret "scrubber?" Head over to Life as I Pin It for more details.
14. Lint Roller to Pick Up Glitter
You love art projects, but you don't love the mess from art projects. Tackle the glittery stuff with a lint roller—your floors will thank you.
15. Baby Wipes on EVERYTHING
You can dust plants, condition leather, clean art supplies, wipe down the entire kitchen ... oh, and wipe little bottoms, too. They're also a safe way to get the kiddos inspired to help. They're so much closer to those baseboards!
16. Water + Vinegar = Magic Potion
Anyone else use white vinegar for cleaning? Trust us, it works! Two parts warm water, one part vinegar and wipe your way to bright and shiny mirrors, TVs, windows and more. Check out more of our non-toxic cleaning solutions here.
17. Use Dryer Sheets to Dust the Baseboards
Give your baseboards a once over with a dryer sheet—not only will you get rid of the dust, but you'll also be giving them a protective layer against future build up.
18. Use Baby Powder on Grease Stains
Got grease? Sprinkle the spot with baby powder, wait 10 minutes and come back. Brush away the powder—the stain will be gone. Psst! Chalk works too!
19. Clean Plastic Toys in the Washing Machine with a Mesh Bag
Whether covered in sticky residue from your own kid or if you're giving a secondhand set a fresh start, plastic blocks clean right up when sent through the wash. Be sure to add items like towels or sheets to prevent banging during the cycle.
20. Clean the Humidifier with a Bottle Brush
Even if your kids have graduated to sippy cups, hold on to the bottle brush. It's perfect for cleaning hard-to-reach places in your humidifier.
21. Use Your Dishwasher for More than Dishes
You can wash hats, toys, sports gear, pacifiers, kids...just kidding! About the kid part, that is.
22. Use Toothpaste to Get Crayon Off the Walls
Your artist-in-residence can't resist a big, white, clean canvas (a.k.a. your hallway). Get rid of crayon masterpieces with a little non-gel toothpaste and a little elbow grease.
23. Use Plants as Air Purifiers
Clear the air while living green, literally. Certain indoor houseplants act as super air purifiers: Aloe Vera, Boston Ferns, Ficus trees, Peace Lily and more.
24. Use Plastic Placemats to Clean Up Food Messes
And you thought they were just for educational purposes.
— Natasha Davis with Gabby Cullen