15 Old School Housekeeping Hacks

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • September 05, 2018

Old School Cleaning and Housekeeping Hacks That Will Blow Your Mind

Often, the best solution for a mess, clog, stain, scratch, order, and so on… is something you have laying around the house but would have never thought to use.  

Below we’ve compiled a list of our favorite “old school cleaning and housekeeping” tips and tricks. These hacks have been passed down through our families for years, and if you ask us, they work pretty well! (Better than most chemical cleaning products in most cases!)

So whether you’re struggling to find a cleaning product that can get the job done, you’re trying to eliminate chemicals from your home, or you just want to see one of these hacks in action–give ‘em a try.

1. Dirty and dull looking jewelry?

Surprisingly, toothpaste can be used to spiff up anything in your jewelry box. A toothbrush and a dab of white paste can work wonders on your dull pieces of silver, gold, or gemstone jewels. After applying the paste, dip a clean cloth in warm water and completely wipe away the paste. Your treasures will be left looking sparkling new!

2. Fruit flies in your kitchen?

When fruit flies flock to your kitchen’s fruit bowl, they can really test your patience. Trap them! Mix a teaspoon of sugar and a half cup of apple cider vinegar or wine in a small bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic cling wrap and poke a few holes in the top. Wait about an hour or so and you’ll no longer have a fruit fly problem.

Got other pests? Download our free pest encyclopedia to identify what type of pest you have and how to get rid of it!

3. Old leather furniture?

The secret to getting your leather furniture back to it’s shiny luster? EVOO! That’s right, extra virgin olive oil is a great leather conditioner that’s been know to bring scratched, dried out, and worn leather back to its original glory. You can also use shoe polish to hide small scratches on leather!

4. Spotted and scummy shower door?

Clean your shower glass door with lemon pledge (multi-surface cleaner) to keep the doors appearance looking clean. Pledge will prevent water stains and soap scum from building up on the door.

5. Ring around bathtub?

A ring of soap scum, hard water minerals, and skin cells around your bathtub are no match for this hack. Cut a grapefruit in half and sprinkle it with salt. Use the citrus tool to scrub the tub and watch as build up disappears in no time.

6. Scratched wood floors?

Go over small scratches in your hardwood floors surface with a similarly colored crayon. Then use a hair blow dryer to soften the wax even further into the scratch. Wait a minute and then buff the area with a microfiber cloth. Adios scratches!  

7. Residue build-up on iron?

Overtime, residue builds up on your iron which might not seem like a problem until it’s transferred to your favorite shirt ruining it. Sprinkle salt over a sheet of aluminum foil. Turn your iron on to it’s hottest setting (without steam) and run it over the salt for a few seconds to remove all of the gunk.

8. Musty smelling vacuum?

(Even if your vacuum doesn’t smell!) Place a cotton ball with a few drops of essential oil inside the filter compartment of your vacuum. Each time you vacuum it will leave a lasting and clean scent all over your home. Also try adding a handful of cloves or a few cinnamon sticks (great for fall!) to your vacuum bag for the same effect.

9. Liquid spills?

White flour comes in handy when cleaning up spills of all sizes and types. Cover the spill with flour, allow it time to absorb most of the liquid, and then sweep up the prominence. The clean up process will be effortless and might even save you some bucks on paper towels! There will be no more crying over spilt milk with this cool hack!

10. Clogged drain?

Clogged drains happen when dirt, skin flakes, and hair bind to soap scum on the walls of drain pipes. After some time, that gunk accumulates and reduces water flow–annoying, yes! (and also attractive to many types of bugs) Instead of dumping an entire container of harsh, expensive drain cleaner down and hoping for the best. Try using an Alka-Seltzer tablet instead. The citric acid in the tablet is powerful enough to loosen the grime in your drain and restore regular water flow.

11. Stinky refrigerator?

Is your refrigerator the source of a nasty smell stinking up your kitchen? Place a bit of crumpled up newspaper in the drawers and corners of your fridge to soak up any lingering odors (i.e onion, garlic, fish, moldy fruits and vegetables, etc.). People will also throw a container of baking soda in their refrigerator to absorb funky smells.

12. Burnt pots and pans?

Cooking can be fun…that is until you have to scrub the pots and pans you used clean. Let’s face it, some jobs require more than the rough side of a sponge. Try repurposing abrasive materials like eggshells and coffee grinds to help you get those burnt and greasy pots and pans looking good as new.

13. Filthy sponges?

The more and more we use our dish sponges, the grosser they get. From old food to bacteria and mildew build up, it’s sickening to think we use them to “clean” our dishes. Let your sponge soak overnight in a container of warm salty water. It will keep it clean, sanitized, and free of bacteria.

14. Wood furniture warn?

Polish up your old, worn out wood furniture pieces with beer! Yes–beer! Mix together a quart of beer, one tablespoon of sugar and two tablespoons of beeswax in a small pot, bring to a boil, and then cool. Apply the mixture to your wood furnishing and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes. Use a soft microfiber cloth to buff away the mixture and reveal beautiful looking hardwood furniture.

15. Cloudy mirrors and windows?

Mirrors and windows soil quite easily. Take a crack at this hack next time you notice your home’s windows and mirrors have a cloudy or spotty appearance. Brew three bags of black tea in two cups of water. Allow the tea mixture to cool and then spray window or mirror surfaces. The tannic acids in the tea will dissolve dirt and have your transparent or reflective surfaces sparkling! We have more window maintenance tips here if you’re interested.

By now we’re sure you’re dying to give one or two of these tricks a whirl! Go for it!

But if you do come across any areas of your home that you can’t seem to get as clean as you’d like, check out our indoor home restoration service page to see if it’s something we can help out with. Tough stains and carpet critters (yep, we said carpet critters!) don’t stand a chance against the Killingsworth team.

Oh! And don’t forget. If these hacks work for you, show them to your children! Let’s keep passing these nifty tricks from generation to generation!  

What'd You Think?

Comments are closed.