Every time I stepped into my grandma’s home, I knew I could count on two things — a spotless kitchen and a fresh batch of no-bake cookies waiting on the shiny countertop.
In fact, the whole house was always kept nice and tidy, with a place for everything and everything in its place. As someone who’s usually on the messier side, I find myself inspired when I think back on her house and roll up my sleeves to take a crack at my own. Luckily, she and others have passed down their tips and tricks for making the chores as quick, easy, and effective as possible.
Chances are you don’t even have to make a run to the store for cleaning products before you get started, but can rely on what you already have as they so often did in the past to help stretch their pennies further.
Take a look to see some of the best tips from back in the day and let us know if we missed anything your grandma always did.
And don’t forget to SHARE with your loved ones!
[H/T: Heloise, National Trust Charity]
Thumbnail sources: Wikimedia Commons 1, 2, Flickr, Imgur
1. Make Your Own Window Cleaner
In the past, before products became more readily available, cleaning windows meant combining roughly 12-16 ounces of water, 1/2 cup of white or apple cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol. You can add drops of food coloring if you’d like to make it look more like a traditional cleanser, and a few drops of essential oil for a nice scent.
Our grandmas also knew that using a newspaper instead of paper towels can help with streaks and flecks of lint being left behind.
2. Remove Coffee Stains From Clothes
Your grandma probably told you the first step is rinsing the item with cold water ASAP. Next, rub some mild liquid dish soap onto the area and rinse away, then soak the stain with vinegar diluted with water and toss in the laundry as normal.
3. Wipe Away Lingering Microwave Smells
Obviously these weren’t always around back in the day, but when they became popular you can bet our grandmas found the quickest way to keep them clean and odor-free.
Grab the biggest microwave-safe bowl you can fit inside, fill with a cup of water and add a dash of cinnamon or a few drops of lemon or vanilla extract, then allow to heat until boiling. Wait for it to cool back down again and then wipe down the inside, leaving the door open for awhile to let it air out all the way.
4. Get Candle Wax Off The Carpet
Getting gunk off of fabric was harder back in the day before products emerged, but for this pesky problem folks would cover the wax with a metal pan and set a large ice cube on top. Once the wax is frozen completely solid, break it up with a hammer and simply pick up the pieces. Dry cleaning solvent can be used to get any remnants.
5. Cut Out Mildew From Your Curtain
My grandma taught me to avoid annoying mildew buildup by trimming off the bottom seam on your curtain or liner so that the water doesn’t linger inside the tub. You can also toss it in the washer with a towel and the normal amount of soap to get rid of any grime.
6. Erase Crayon From The Wall
Moms have been cleaning up their little Picasso’s artwork for years by scrubbing with dry cleaning solvent, though this should be avoided on antique or otherwise sensitive wallpapers.
7. Polish Wood Without Chemicals
An old-fashioned and natural option is to combine one part lemon juice to three parts olive oil to give your wooden furniture a beautiful shine.
8. Get Rid Of Stains On Pots And Pans
This one sounds odd, but folks from the past would add baking soda to warm water and use a crust of bread as a sponge to scrub away any stubborn spots on pots and pans. It also works for utensils!
9. Make Your Counters Sparkle
Instead of reaching for sprays or wipes, past generations would wipe the surface with a grapefruit sliced in half, then sprinkle plenty of salt on top and rinse away with hot water and a sponge.
10. Refresh The Dishwasher
When these handy machines became standard in homes, folks learned that pouring a gallon of white vinegar in the bottom of the machine and allowing it to sit for about an hour, then running through a cycle without any soap, helped curb any lingering smells or bacteria.
11. Eliminate Carpet Dust
I remember watching my grandma pour plenty of dried tea leaves over the entire rug or carpet, then waiting 15 minutes before clearing them away with a vacuum to get rid off all the dust and stale odors.
Another easy method during the winter months was dragging musty rugs over fresh snow for a quick clean up.
Did we miss any cleaning tips you remember from your grandmother? Let us know below and be sure to SHARE with your friends!