Most people learn how to clean by example, so it’s a no-brainer the family matriarch would lead these lessons. In fact, she’s probably the first person you’d call when you need to zap a chocolate stain out of a white blouse. And while most of the time you should take notes, there are a couple of tricks it’s time to retire for the sake of your home.
1. Don’t use hairspray to zap curtain static
Even though for years people have said the same stuff that keeps flyways at bay will keep your drapes from clinging too, but warning, that it’s sticky and will leave your fabric feeling tacky.
2. Don’t wipe down windows with newspaper
Even though Forte admits some people swear by this easy way to use up your recycling, the truth is the ink could smear and stain your windowsill. Not to mention paper won’t absorb soil on your windows, like microfiber cloths (which are designed to hold onto grease and dirt) do.
3. Don’t store linens with wax paper
If grandma told you to create a wax paper barrier between sheets, pillowcases and other folded fabrics to prevent color from transferring, consider yourself warned: The wax could melt onto linens, especially if you store them in a hot attic or closet. Instead, use sheets of acid-free tissue paper.
4. Don’t use salt to prevent color fading
Even though you might have heard soaking clothes in salt water will keep them from fading over time, our Cleaning team has tested this and found it doesn’t work. Probably if your fabric color runs, the item probably wasn’t finished properly.
5. Do dust ceiling fan blades with a pillowcase
Instead of using a rag or a feather duster, which will just scatter particles all over you room, the closed end of a pillowcase helps keep dust and debris inside of the bag and prevents extra clean-up. You can thank grandma big time for this one.
6. Do use peanut butter to get gum out of hair
The next time your kid gets a wad of Bubblicious stuck in her hair, don’t reach for the scissors. Just let this lunchtime staple soak into it for a few minutes. The fat and oil in this spread should break down the gum and make it easy to remove.
7. Do freshen up floors with baking soda
Even with so many products on the market, this natural deodorizer is still one of the best floor cleaners, (you were right, grandma!) thanks to it’s effective, but gentle abrasiveness. Just mix it with a bit of water, scrub the surface clean, then rinse and let dry.
8. Do shine silverware with toothpaste
We love a cleaning trick that involves something we already have on hand — especially during the crazy holidays, which grandma knows all too well. Just use an rag or old toothbrush to rub the paste into your silver, then rinse and let dry.
9.Do remove sticky adhesives with oil
The next time your child puts temporary tattoos up and down their arms or gets tar on their s at the seashore, put a little olive oil on a soft cloth. All you have to do is gently rub the spot and the adhesive should come right now — no harsh solvent necessary.
10. Do wash walls from top to bottom
Even though your instincts might tug at you to start near the bottom to prevent serious dripping, the dirty water will run down and cover up all of your hard work. That’s why grandma always says to start near the ceiling and move towards the floor. Genius.