These Unusual Cleaning and Storage Ideas Are Downright Genius

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Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Squeaky is all about the borderline genius hacks and ideas that keep literally every inch of your space pristine.

Our grandparent's had the right idea about keeping things clean and organized without a lot of fuss, using items they already had around their homes. These cleaning and storage ideas may seem a little unorthodox but are downright genius ... and inexpensive too!

Here are some super easy ways to clean and store things that you may not have known about!

1. Give brass back its luster using ketchup.

If you've got brass items like drawer pulls, cabinet knobs, or other pieces that have lost their luster, just put them in a saucepan and cover with ketchup or hot sauce. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat until the brass shines like new. Rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.

2. Mix lemon and baking soda to lift tomato stains from countertops.

Getting those pesky tomato sauce stains off your countertop is easier than you think! Simply wet the stain with lemon juice, let it sit for 30 minutes, then sprinkle with baking soda. Use the abrasive side of a kitchen sponge to scrub the discolored area and remove the stain. (This method is for non-marble countertops only!)

3. Use salt and vegetable oil to clean cast-iron skillets.

If you have rusty cast-iron skillets, don't toss them in the garbage! You can easily revive them by pouring vegetable oil into the pan, then adding salt. Use a scrub brush or the abrasive side of a sponge to scrub the salt and oil mixture into any rusty areas. Keep it up until all of the rust has been removed. Once you are finished, wipe out the mixture using a clean cloth. No rinsing necessary!

4. Add baking soda to dishwashing liquid to clean greasy dishes.

Got super greasy dishes? Add two tablespoons of baking soda to your dishwashing liquid to help lift grease.

5. Combine ice cubes and baking soda to clean a disposal.

Degrease your garbage disposal by adding a few ice cubes along with 1/4 cup of baking soda. The ice will congeal the grease, while the baking soda will help to send it down the drain. To flush out residue, run hot water through the disposal.

6. Store bay leaves in flour and rice to keep critters away.

Weevils, rice weevils, and other bugs can get into paper or cardboard containers like rice, flour, cereal, and crackers through even the tiniest cracks. Keep them away by putting a few dried bay leaves within the containers.

7. Use rice and white peppercorns to keep moisture out of salt and pepper shakers during the summer.

Salt and pepper shakers tend to clog in humid weather. Keep the moisture out of salt by adding a few grains of uncooked rice. To keep moisture from clogging your pepper shaker, add a few white peppercorns.

8. Sprinkle sugar in olive oil to prolong its shelf life.

If you don't use large amounts of olive oil, you can prolong its shelf life by adding a dash of sugar to the bottle.

9. Place dried prunes or orange peels in brown sugar to keep it fresh longer.

Keep brown sugar from turning into a brick by placing a few dried prunes or orange peels in the container. Then place the sealed container in the freezer.

10. Polish silver with banana peels.

Use the inside of a banana peel to shine and polish your precious silver pieces. Just massage the inside of the banana peel all over the silver and watch it come to life!

11. Add vinegar to mop water to remove soap traces.

By adding a few drops of distilled white vinegar to your mop water, you can help remove soap traces while mopping.

12. Clean fixtures using fabric sheets.

Bathroom fixtures can get spotted pretty quickly, but you can shine them easily with fabric softener sheets. Just keep them handy and wipe off fixtures quickly as needed.


Jessica owns two blogs, Mom 4 Real and Pour Me a Cocktail. She has been sharing easy cleaning tips, recipes and ideas with her readers for over 7 years. She has been featured on the Rachel Ray Show, TODAY Parenting, MSN, Country Woman Magazine and more.

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