The 8 Best Cleaning Hacks of 2021

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Cleaning probably doesn't top your "favorite things to do" list, but it's unfortunately got to get done. To help make the most out of a dirty job, we've compiled some of the best DIY cleaning hacks we've seen this year. Most of the hacks below require super easy-to-find or all-natural ingredients, while a few take ​very​ creative approaches to cleaning life's messiest messes. Get ready to tackle your household chores with ease.

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1. Clean Your Dishwasher Filter

Most of us run our dishwashers ​a lot,​ which means we're likely dealing with slimy build-up, mildew, or gross smells. This dishwasher filter cleaning hack doesn't take very long and only requires two items: dish soap and a scrub brush. We recommend doing this once per month to keep your dishwasher — and your dishes — spotless.

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2. Refresh Your Microwave

For this super easy, beautiful-smelling, microwave-cleaning hack, you'll only need 1/2 cup water, a rag, 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar (our go-to cleaning elixir!), and one whole lemon (its acidic juice cuts right through hard-to-clean grease and the smell is super fresh).

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You'll mix the water and vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl and then give the lemon a good squeeze so its juices combine with the mixture. Remove the tray in your microwave, place the bowl inside, and microwave for three minutes. As the microwave heats up the liquid, the steam will work its magic, lifting grease, stuck-on food, and stains. Once done, wipe it all down — inside and out — and voilà!

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3. Wash (and Brighten!) Your Pillows

We bet this is something most people don't even think about — but cleaning your pillows is incredibly important (two words: dust mites). Every three months or so, you'll want to pop them in the washing machine with five drops of quality lavender essential oil (for a fresh, sleep-inducing scent), 1/2 cup of washing soda (to lift any yellow stains), and a full load's worth of detergent. Then, dry the pillows on low heat.

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4. Clean Your Blender, The Easy Way

Are you ready to have your mind blown? Because what we're about to tell you is incredible, if not insanely obvious. You know how when you make smoothies, your blender gets full of gunky chunks and residue? If you don't have a dishwasher, you might struggle to get the device clean afterward. Not anymore!

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This brilliant (and again, OBVIOUS) hack comes from TikTok genius @princessporcupine425, who posted a video demonstrating the super easy way they clean gritty blenders. Wait for it ... They pour some water and dish soap into it, then turn it on. Done and ​done​. Bet you didn't think of that one. We didn't either!

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5. Remove Hair Dye Stains With Household Products

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Do you dye your hair every once in a while only to contend with a smattering of hair dye stains on your favorite fabrics, your towels, and your bathroom walls? Sadly, it happens, even when you try to be as careful as possible. The good news? We discovered a hair dye cleaning hack this year.

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One DIY-knowledgeable TikTok user, @southernescape, shared a few hacks for stripping hair dye stains. After trying a bevy of products to remove the pink hair dye on their bathroom counter, they concluded that a few items work pretty well — and most of us have them on hand already. Bleach is your best bet, but if you don't have that, try alcohol, Listerine (shocking, right?), or toilet bowl cleaner. The most important thing is the amount of time you keep the product on the dye.

6. Clean Your Hard-to-Reach Mirrors and Windows

If cleaning your mirrors and windows feels like a chore (we get it!), then this Swiffer hack via TikTok user @maizmommy will change your life, especially when it comes to cleaning hard-to-reach windows. You'll need a Swiffer Sweeper, glass cleaner, and a microfiber cloth. You'll attach your cloth to the Swiffer Sweeper and push the cloth into the little grooves. "It's fine to have some [cloth] overhang because that will stay dry for a second pass," says @maizimmy.

Spray whatever surface you're cleaning with glass cleaner (being careful not to get it on surrounding objects) and then go to town. It's so simple, but so genius.

7. Deep-Clean Your Faucet

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You probably wipe down your faucets from time to time, making sure they're not covered in toothpaste or other grime, right? But have you ever considered cleaning the part of the faucet you probably don't look at — you know, where the water comes out?

TikTok for the win, yet again! This cleaning hack comes from TikTok user @vanesamaro91. First, she pours vinegar into a plastic baggy. Next, she wraps it around the head of the faucet and uses a rubber band to secure it. You'll want to make sure the head of the faucet is submerged in the vinegar. Why vinegar? All-purpose cleaners don't always cut through the mineral grime that lives on faucets. Vinegar does! Let the baggy sit for 25 minutes and then take a peek. You should see deposits floating in the bag, which can then be removed so you can scrub and rinse the faucet.

8. Clean Your Wooden Spoons

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Your wooden spoons get lots of love. From being coated in cheesy goo after a big pasta meal to being covered with soup slop, you probably don't want to pop them into the dishwasher or hand-wash them right away.

This hack by TikToker @miss.clean.with.me is visually ​very gross,​ but it's also very rewarding. Take your wooden spoons and place them into a thick, clear glass. Next, fill the glass with boiling water. Stir the water with your spoon and watch all the remnants become dislodged. You're welcome.

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