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Genius Cleaning Tips

Have you picked up the August issue of Real Simple yet? No? Well, hop to it because we’re featured in it!

Real Simple recently asked us about some of our favorite cleaning tricks to share with their readers, and we went crazy with ideas! Pick up an issue or visit our press page to check them out, and read below for some more of our go-to cleaning tricks.

Refresh Low-Pile Carpet

Low-pile carpet looks amazing when new, but after a few months, it can start to look shabby in high-traffic areas. For a quick pick-me up, try sweeping your low-pile carpet or rug with a clean broom. The broom bristles serve to separate those tight rug fibers, so with a few swift back-and-forth sweeps, the pile ‘perks up’, and things look fresh again. Sweeping your rug also gathers up hair, dislodges dirt, and fluffs the pile, so stand by after for a quick vacuum, and enjoy fresh carpet again!

Refresh Microfiber

Microfiber furniture is known for its soft, velvety texture, but what do you do when that softness starts to harden from wear and tear? I use a tiny cleaning brush to pick things up, no water required, just sweep the brush in a uniform direction along the fabric, and viola, it perks right up!

Clean Candle Holders

If you’re like me, you buy candles for the pretty glass jars they come in. But when you’re purchasing that beautiful glass cup with a candle, are you thinking about how you’ll take the wax off once the candle is said and done? When your candle is burned down and you need to remove the wax, soak it in hot water for a few minutes. When you remove the item from the water, the wax will be soft and peel right off.

Rinse the Plants

One or two times a year, give your plants a shower, literally. Plants gather dust throughout the year, and it’s great to wipe leaves down with a damp cloth as you water, but a couple of times each year, give your plants a deep clean. Gather them together in your kitchen sink or shower and rinse them down with room temperature water, using the spray feature on your faucet, if you have one. This will take off all the dust, and also give your plants a healthy watering.

Q-Tip Cleaning

Q-tips are my favorite magical tool for cleaning crevices, corners and well, just about anything tiny. Just dip them in whatever cleaning solution you’re using and take it with you around the house. I use them to clean the crevices of electronics, around buttons and light-switches, and to grab mold from around faucets. The options are endless…

Don't Forget the Walls

Your walls can get dirty, too. So often we forget about them and leave them to gather dust and cobwebs all year long. Instead, whenever you’re sweeping, take a quick minute to run a swiffer pad or microfiber cloth over your walls, baseboards, and ledges to pick up any settled dust. This quick wall sweep should be enough to keep your walls clean, but once a year, it’s probably a good idea to do a deep clean as well.

Remove Sticker Residue

It’s never fun to bring home a purchase only to find that a price tag left behind a sticky residue when you peeled it off. No worries, you likely have nail polish remover on hand, so use that to get rid of any gummy stuff left behind. Soak a cotton ball and liberally apply it to a spot of sticky residue, let it sit for a few seconds, and then wipe in tiny circle motions until the residue is gone. It might take a few swipes, but trust me, it does the trick.

Dust with the Wind - Whiten with the Sun!

For all you outdoor enthusiasts out there, this last tip comes from my mom, Sheila, in Vermont. Enjoy! 

The way I clean lots of really dusty things is to put them out in the wind. I clean dusty dolls and rugs, really anything that has gathered layers of dust. The wind is amazing – you should see what I’ve cleaned outdoors by leaving it on the deck, or hanging it on a tree in a stiff wind. And, the sun is really good to whiten things, like doilies or decorative things. Just wash your item, to take out heavy stains, then lay it outside on a chair or a bush, and the bright sun will just whiten it right up. – Sheila Richmond

What are your genius cleaning tricks? Share in the comments below!

Photo Credits: Marla Kabashima

Maeve Richmond is the founder and head coach of Maeve's Method, a home organization system based in New York City. She specializes in parents & kids, couples, small space solutions, space planning and decorative elements for the home. Contact her at [email protected] or @MaeveRichmond.

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