Tackle the tough spots on your countertops, floors, and pots with surprising everyday items (like salt and ketchup):
ZAP STONE COUNTER STAINS WITH HYDROGEN PEROXIDE
You can remove most coffee or juice stains with a little hydrogen peroxide in water, plus a few drops of ammonia, according to kitchen designer Florence Perchuk. For everydaywear and tear of your stone countertops, buff away small scratches with superfine dry steel wool called “grade 0000.”
USE BAKING SODA TO MOP UP TILE
To clean tile floors or a backsplash, Marty Hoffman of Hoffman Brothers Floors suggests mixing baking soda and water together as a homemade cleaner. Pour half a cup of baking soda into two gallons of water, then scrub with a string mop or sponge.
To clean a cast-iron pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil and place on medium heat. Once the pan is heated, pour in 3 tablespoons of salt. Next, using a tong to hold a paper towel, scour until clean. Finally, rinse and coat with vegetable oil to cure. Done!
SHINE FLOORS WITH WHITE VINEGAR
For wood floors, contractor Stephen Fanuka says, “You want to get a nice clean shine on a wood floor? Get yourself a bucket and mix nine parts warm water to one part white vinegar. This is a cheap trick i learned from an 80-year-old cleaning lady who used to make my wood floors look dazzling.”
WIPE AWAY WALL SPLATTERS
There are basically two kinds of stains on painted walls – oil and waterborne. Benjamin Moore’s Carl Minchew suggests taking a wet cloth or paper towel to the waterborne ones – wine, Jell-O, ketchup, mustard, even smashed mosquitos. For oily stains – cooking grease or crayon – try using a little mild dishwashing soap mixed with water, and then rinsing with water.
It’s not just for french fries. To remove tarnish from copper and brass fixtures, pots, and pans, give ketchup a shot. Dab some onto a soft cloth and gently rub. Finish by rinsing with warm water.
If your hand doesn’t fit down a narrow vase, then fill it halfway with water and drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets to do the dirty work for you.