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15 Vintage Cleaning Tips That Are Still Brilliant Today

When it comes to cleaning, Grandma still knows best. Here are some of the best tried-and-true vintage cleaning tips we’re still using today.

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VinegarNew Africa/Shutterstock

Grab Some Vinegar

Skip the expensive store-bought surface cleaners and make one of our favorite homemade cleaning solutions using vinegar. Just mix one part distilled white vinegar, two parts water and a squeeze of lemon juice. This homemade cleaner works around the kitchen, bathroom and on floors. You can also add a little baking soda to help whiten grout and sinks, just rinse with water after scrubbing.

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Cleaning ceiling fanMindy w.m. Chung/Shutterstock

Work Top to Bottom

Here’s an age-old cleaning hack: work from top to bottom. This common cleaning mistake is especially important for fighting off dust since (thanks to gravity) it falls downward. Start dusting up high from your ceiling fan down to your table surfaces. Even if it’s tempting to prioritize, make sure you always clean the floor last with this homemade floor cleaner.

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ClothslineAnna-Mari West/Shutterstock

Embrace Air Drying

Save some money and use fresh air to your advantage when drying laundry. Plus, your clothing will smell fresh and clean without the use of chemicals in dryer sheets. For the winter months, make an indoor instant drying rack. Indoor drying racks also give off added moisture to the dry indoor air. What a win-win!

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Two plantsNew Africa/Shutterstock

Let Plants Share the Workload

Let your houseplants do some of the work for you. Plants like lavender and mint are great for banishing odors. They also help purify the air in your home. If you’re just starting to develop a green thumb, these easy houseplants are low-maintenance.

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Lemon and olive oilOnlyZoia/Shutterstock

Make Wood Shine

Lemons are a vintage cleaning must-have. To bring dull wood furniture back to life, combine two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice. You can use this mixture to wipe down wood tables, chairs and even wood flooring, too.

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Stained white clothesmoxumbic/Shutterstock

Fight Stains with Salt

When fighting tough laundry stains, sprinkle on some salt. Salt is absorbent and can help you soak up spilled liquids from clothing. You can also throw some salt in your washing machine to remove perspiration stains from white shirts. And, it can be used to remove any lime buildup in the sink or shower.

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BoraxAlexander Oganezov/Shutterstock

Try Borax

Does this name look familiar? You may have seen this old-school cleaning ingredient at your grandmother’s house over the years. Borax is a powder that can be mixed with water and used to clean sinks, faucets, tile and cabinets. When doing laundry, it also works as a pre-treatment for fighting stains. Check out these other ways to use borax around the house.

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Scrapper in dirty panBk87/Shutterstock

Clean Pots with Ease

Do you have pots, pans and cutlery that are tough to clean? Try combining warm water and baking soda to make a paste-like mixture. Then, rub the cleaning solution on the pot or pan with a coarse sponge or scrubbie. Rinse with warm water, dry with a towel and enjoy the shine. Don’t worry, there are ways to clean a burnt pan, too.

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Vacuuming rugBalazs Justin/Shutterstock

Clean Rugs Naturally

Skip the chemicals and trying cleaning with baking soda. Sprinkle a liberal amount on the rug, leave it on for 15 minutes and vacuum up the baking soda, dirt and odors. Viola! A sparkling rug.

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Person wiping down the counter in their kitchenmEjLik/Shutterstock

Clean as You Go

Instead of letting chores pile up, tidy up your place daily. This cleaning trick will help you keep your home looking and smelling its best. Make a point to make your bed, pick up clutter, do your dishes and wipe down the kitchen after every use.

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plastic cleaning brushes in supermarket hanger ; close upWarut Sintapanon / EyeEm/Getty Images

Don’t Forget to Hang Your Broom

It may not seem like much, but this tip could save you some extra cash. By hanging your brooms and brushes, you can preserve and keep the bristles intact for a lot longer than if you store them on the ground. Plus, it prevents your broom from picking up unwanted germs from the ground.

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Fresh juicy lemons on a cutting board on a rustic woodenEkaterina Kondratova/Shutterstock

Refresh Your Kitchen Sink

Is your kitchen sink giving off a funky smell? Remove strange smells by placing a lemon peel on the bottom of your sink. While washing dishes, the water and soap will mix with the lemon peel to produce that wonderful lemony scent. You can also spruce up your garbage disposal with this trick, too. Just turn on your garbage disposal and throw half of a used lemon down to refresh it.

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toothbrush grout cleanerTanyaRozhnovskaya/Shutterstock

Clean those Hard-to-Reach Places

Don’t throw away your old toothbrush just yet. Reuse it for cleaning hard-to-reach crevices and windowsills in your home. Just spray your preferred cleaner of choice onto the toothbrush bristles and you’re ready to scrub away.

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Girl cleaning oven in the kitchenMediaProduction/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Deep Clean Each Season

Spring cleaning is a must, but what about the other seasons? I don’t know about you, but there always seems to be a cleaning project to work on in my household. Try dividing up major cleaning projects by season (like decluttering in the springtime and window washing during the summer). That way, you can successfully finish those pesky cleaning projects in a more manageable way.

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Remove Tarnish on Silver

Speaking of toothbrushes, toothpaste is another handy dental tool you can clean with. Scrub tarnish off silver in seconds by adding a dab of plain toothpaste onto an old toothbrush. Finish off the job by rinsing your toothbrush in warm water and letting it dry. Learn how to polish silver with any of these nifty tricks, too.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.
Christina Herbst
Christina is a Social Media Editor for Taste of Home. She enjoys trying out local restaurants and coffeehouses and adding copious amounts of garlic and cheese to any recipe she can get her hands on. In her free time, you can find her hunting down one-of-a-kind furniture pieces at thrift and vintage stores and DIYing trendy home decor crafts.