Grandma's Tried and True Cleaning Tips

Floor Care

A mixture of white vinegar and water, about a cup to a bucket, cuts the dirt and leaves a shine on hardwood floors.

Pest Control

Wash counters, cabinets and floors with equal parts of white vinegar and water to deter ants and other crawling critters.

Stains and Spots

  • Red Wine: Poor white wine on spot to neutralize color. Extract with a rinse solution.

  • Kool-aid: You will need a white, damp towel for this, a hot steam iron and white vinegar. This cleaning process is called heat transfer. Using the iron, mist white vinegar on the stain then place the damp towel on top. Place the steam iron (set for steam) on top of towel and let it sit for 15 - 30 seconds. If the stain has not set-in, you will see it transfer into the towel. Repeat until gone. Your fiber color will not be damaged.

  • Blood on Furniture: Use hydrogen peroxide to remove blood from clothing or furniture. Rub gently and then blot dry with a clean towel.

  • Blood Stains in General: Cornstarch can remove bloodstains. Rinse the stain in cold water, then rub in moistened cornstarch. Allow to air dry.

  • Removing Candle Wax from Walls: Candle wax can be removed from walls or other surfaces with an iron and facial tissue. Set the tissue over the wax and gently iron. When the wax seeps through or the tissue begins to brown, apply a new tissue.

  • Removing Gum: Gum can be removed using ice to harden then scrape with a dull knife to remove.

  • Magic Marker Stains: Hair spray will remove magic-marker ink from surfaces.

Kitchen Filters

Remove the grease-trap filter and let it soak 10 minutes in a sink full of hot water and 2 tablespoons of dish soap. Rinse with steaming hot water. Dry and put back.

Refrigerator and Freezer

Pull out the fridge and freezer and scrub underneath with a mild detergent and warm water. Vacuum off the condenser coils in the back or bottom of each appliance. Keeping the coils clean makes them run smoother and last longer.

Shine appliances with rubbing alcohol or club soda. They clean and polish at the same time.

Windows and light fixtures

Wash windows with a solution of 1 cup white vinegar to 2 quarts water.

Wash fixtures with the same solution, but wash them in a plastic bucket so you don't break or chip them.

Odor Control

Deodorize carpets by sprinkling 1/4 inch of backing soda on them, then vacuuming.

The Bathroom

Remove the waterline marks in the toilet bowl by pouring 2 cups of white vinegar and soaking overnight. In the morning, flush.

Dusting Tip

Use paintbrushes to dust cracks and hard to reach places in telephones, stereos, etc.

Keeping on Top of Things

Spend some time each day tidying the house, attacking the clutter and wiping the toilet and the sink. And when next spring comes, you might not have so much to do.

Make a Schedule

Set aside a regular short period of time each week for the family to straighten up the house. It teaches good habits for the kids and gives the family a project to do together. Everyone will feel better when the job is done and will look forward to things being neat and organized.

More Cleaning Tips


Information provided in these cleaning tips is of a general nature and may not be appropriate in all situations. Consequently the author makes no representation of warranty as to the completeness, correctness, or utility of the information contained in the cleaning tips as it may apply to a specific situation. Therefore, readers are encouraged to consult with ProSTAR industries for specific information and guidance.