Modern home appliances make our lives so much easier. They tackle dreaded household chores, saving us time and effort. There are lots of ways to use them, however, that you may not have thought of before. Here are 13 little-known tricks for getting more than your money’s worth from your appliances.
13 Appliance Tips & Hacks for Household Chores
1. Regularly Clean Toys
Regularly clean your children’s toys. Use your dishwasher to wash teething rings, small plastic toys, mouth guards, and even baseball caps. Place items on the top rack and run the dishwasher as usual with detergent (without any dirty dishes). Put smaller items in a small mesh laundry bag so that they don’t move around.
2. Clean Ceiling Fixtures
At least once or twice a year, remove and clean your glass ceiling fixtures and light covers in an empty dishwasher. Light fixtures can be a magnet for dust and cleaning them will help your lighting shine bright in all its glory. Run the dishwasher on the normal cycle.
3. Eliminate Wrinkles
To smooth out wrinkled clothes or linens left too long in the dryer, toss a damp, lint-free cloth in with them. Run the load on the lowest setting for 10 to 15 minutes. Newer dryers also feature a steam setting that removes wrinkles and refreshes clothing between wears.
4. Reduce Germs in the Kitchen
Disinfect sponges and dishcloths. Kitchen sponges and dishcloths contain billions of germs. Clean and disinfect them daily by zapping them on high in the microwave for two minutes to kill germs. Disinfecting these items periodically as opposed to throwing them away can help you cut down on waste in the kitchen.
5. Clean Upholstery
Freshen up your curtains. Vacuum heavy drapes with the upholstery attachment. Use the dusting brush attachment for lighter drapes. Wash sheer curtains in the washing machine on the delicate cycle, then hang them up while they’re damp to prevent wrinkles.
6. Remove Wax from Fabric & Carpet
To get the most out of your flooring and fabrics around your home, they require cleaning. To get rid of wax on a tablecloth, place it in your freezer until the wax is hard. Then put a flat paper bag over the wax and another under the fabric. Iron the top bag with a medium-hot iron until all the wax transfers to the bag. To remove wax from a carpet or rug, place an ice pack on the spot until the wax hardens. Shatter the wax and vacuum up the chips.
7. Clean Baseboards
Along with fans, vents, and underneath furniture, baseboards are not as frequently cleaned as other more common home surfaces but cleaning them can make a big difference in how your home feels. Dusting baseboards can be a backbreaking chore. Use your vacuum cleaner and the dusting brush attachment to avoid having to bend down. Do the same to clean chair and table legs.
8. Organize Your Refrigerator
Use the built-in features of your refrigerator to organize food by category. Designate certain shelves or areas for leftovers, preferably front and center, so you don’t forget they’re in there. Use special-purpose bins for their intended use: crispers for vegetables, deli trays for deli meats and cheeses, cold storage trays for meats. Newer models also feature convertible cooling zones to keep food fresh.
9. Dust Blinds
Extend the blinds fully and turn the slats to the closed position. Use the dusting brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to clean the slats from top to bottom. Then open and re-close the slats in the opposite direction and repeat the process.
10. Clean Your Microwave & Range
The best time to clean your microwave is immediately after using it. Thanks to residual steam, all you have to do is wipe it out with a paper towel or damp sponge. To clean old messes, microwave two cups of water on high for five minutes. The steam will soften cooked-on spills, which you can wipe off with a paper towel or cloth. Your gas/electric range needs regular cleaning as well, especially if you use it frequently.
11. Exterminate Dust Mites
Dust mites live off human and animal dander and other household dust particles and can lower your home’s air quality. They thrive in sofas, carpets, and bedding. Use the upholstery attachment to vacuum your mattress and upholstered furniture regularly to minimize dust mites. Be sure to empty the canister in an outdoor trashcan.
12. Groom Your Pet
After you’ve groomed your dog or cat, use the dusting brush attachment to clean up after. It’s an easy way to collect shedding fur, especially from carpeted areas or upholstery.
13. Remove Grime in Shower
Wash plastic shower curtain liners in the washing machine with hot water and detergent on the regular cycle. Throw in a small bath towel to help “scrub” mildew and soap scum off the liner. Then rehang the liner and let it air-dry. Regularly clean your bathtub and light candles to keep your bathroom smelling fresh.