Everyone has one of those days where they trip, slip, drop something, land in something, or otherwise make a really gross mess. It’s bad enough in your own house (especially when you have to have people over and you’re trying to convince them you actually live like a human), but it’s way worse when it happens in someone else‘s house. Yikes!

So here is a collection of simple tricks for getting out of any household jam, using things you probably already have. Make your space look decent for company! Clean up that spill before your host notices! Prove yourself to be the MacGyver of cleaning stuff and impress your friends and relatives!

1.) Vinegar + baking soda = super clean diswasher

When you run your next load of dishes, place a (dishwasher safe!) cup of white vinegar on the top rack and add baking soda to the bottom rack and door. Run the dishwasher (use detergent like normal), and the combination will not only help the dishes get clean, but the dishwasher itself will be clean as well!

2.) Vinegar + baking soda = awesome

It was awesome when you made volcanoes with it as a kid, and it’s also awesome for more practical purposes. The classic acid/base reaction can be used to clean tons of things around your house, plus it’s safe and cheap.

3.) Clean Wooden or Bamboo cutting boards with lemon and salt

Lemons are your friend, too! Sprinkle wooden boards down coarse salt and run with a cut lemon. Rinse without soap and dry.

4.) Clean out a garbage disposal with vinegar ice and lemon

Mix 8 parts water and 1 part white vinegar and chopped lemon peel and freeze in an ice cube tray. When it’s frozen, drop it into the garbage disposal to clear out bits of food. The ice will sharpen the blades, the vinegar will sanitize them, and the lemons will help it smell better.

5.) Lemons for hard water stains

The acid in lemon juice dissolves the calcium that leaves the spotty hard water stains. If it’s a really tough one, you can add salt to the lemon and rub with that.

6.) Ammonia cleans an oven just by being ammonia

Make sure your oven is completely cold before trying this one, okay? Close half a cup of ammonia in a bowl in your oven overnight and the fumes will loosen the gunk so that you can simply wipe it down the next day.

7.) Ammonia for cleaning burners

Put a little ammonia and one of the removable burners in a ziplock bag and leave them overnight. The fumes from the ammonia will loosen the gunk, and you can wipe them down in the morning.

8.) Use foil to clean glass cookware

Just crumple up a piece of foil to remove baked-on crud from glass cookware. The foil will have a surface similar to steel wool, but will be easier on your hands. It’s also a good way to get some use out of foil scraps you can’t reuse.

9.) Use bread to pick up broken glass

it’s easier than using a rag because you can simply throw the whole thing out. The glass sticks easily to the bread, allowing you to pick it up and gather the small bits a brush might miss.

10.) DIY vacuum nozzle

A squirt nozzle like this affixed to a vacuum can help get into small, hard-to-reach places like keyboards and small plugs that get linty.

11.) Chalk for grease stain removal

Before throwing the clothes in the wash, rub grease stains with chalk. The chalk dust will absorb the grease, and then it will all be rinsed away in the wash.

12.) Use Play-Doh to clean up glitter

Simply press onto loose glitter to pick it up. As a bonus, you now have glittery Play-Doh.

13.) Use a squeegee to de-fuzz a carpet

It yanks the hair right out and collects it into easy-to-collect (if kinda gross) clumps.

14.) Clean makeup brushes with baby shampoo

Simply wash, rinse, and blot to see if there’s any makeup remaining. When they’re clean, hang them upside down to dry so water doesn’t collect in the handle


A lot of these use simple, cheap ingredients you probably already have. Just a reminder, though: NEVER EVER mix ammonia with anything that has or you think might have bleach in it, as this produces a poisonous gas. When using ammonia, it’s best to mix it with water only. Err on the side of caution and don’t play chemist. Any of these materials can also irritate skin and eyes, so wear gloves and try not to touch your face, too.

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