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Open House Recap: Top 10 House-Cleaning Shortcuts

Ever since I saw this list of 10 things you can stop cleaning right now — much of which involves disposing of things rather than washing them — I've been wondering how we can make housework easier without making landfills fuller. So in the Open House this weekend, I asked you guys to share your house-cleaning shortcuts.

Several users mentioned the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, which is also one of my must-have cleaning tools. The mysterious sponge manages to remove weird stains that nothing else seems to get off. But that's only the beginning! To see 10 more invaluable household hints,

  • Shadesoftrue: This user offers two great alternatives to throwing away dirty shower-curtain liners: "I use Method daily shower spray after each shower to prevent scum buildup, and I throw my clear heavy-duty vinyl shower curtain in the washing machine and it works... just make sure it's on cold."
  • Rothchild: "My secret weapon lately is the Magic Eraser. It cleans most surfaces so well (just don't use it on hardwood or painted surfaces). I never thought I would be able to wipe down the brown gunk buildup on my range, but it worked."
  • Saruuh: "Whenever I have leftover soda or beer, I pour it in the toilet. The carbonation keeps the bowl clean between cleanings."
  • Vintagesugar: "Here is a good tip for cleaning out tiny yucky spaces, like that place inside your electric toothbrush where nothing fits: Pour in a little hydrogen peroxide, which you certainly have on hand for first aid purposes. The bubbling bleach cleans out any gook and can be rinsed out."
  • Bettyg53: "I use lemons and salt to clean cutting boards then do the same to scrub down the kitchen sink. Slice up leftover lemon and throw down the garbage disposal."
  • Terriann: "Low lighting and candles will make your place look fabulous in the evening even if it's not immaculate. Tealight holders and plain unscented tealight candles are cheap and, when placed all over the room, they really make your home twinkle. Line them up on the dining room table for a simple elegant centerpiece too."
  • Lara16: "I buy cheap washcloths at Target and use them during the week to clean up counters, floors, dry my hands, etc. I use them for everything. I then throw them in the washer along with my regular towels, and they are ready to be used again."
  • BloodyFuFu: "I've recently started using a solution of dish soap, water, and a very small amount of bleach to clean just about everything. I have a spray bottle full of it and I use is on the tubs, the counter, the stove, even the carpet for little spots. It does away with having a ton of specialized cleaners and, depending on the soap you use, can smell pretty good too."
  • Ella1978: "If you have a stain on your floor (not wood) or your counter that you cannot get out, Clorox makes this product, a Liquid Gel Cleaner. It's blue-ish green, clear bottle ... let it sit on a wine stain or Kool-Aid stain on your counter for a few minutes, wipe, it's gone! It's great."
  • Cocoa: "Slice up a lemon and put it in a microwave safe bowl. Add water and microwave for about five minutes. All the mess will come off with ease, and it smells great afterwards."
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