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Using wood polish spiffs up furniture

Using wood polish spiffs up furniture
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Polishing furniture made of raw wood is a no-brainer. But most wood furniture sold today is coated in a finish, so polishing it can actually make your furniture appear duller.

What to do instead: Polyurethane, urethane, shellac or varnish finishes are all made of plastic, which should be cleaned rather than polished, according to Jan M. Dougherty, author of The Lost Art of House Cleaning. She cleans her wood furniture with white vinegar and a microfibre rag.

Mixing vinegar and dish soap removes pet stains

Mixing vinegar and dish soap removes pet stains
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Vinegar is a stain remover superhero, but it’s not strong enough to remove odours and discoloration caused by pet urine or vomit. Same goes for dish soap.

What to do instead: An enzyme cleaner, on the other hand, breaks down the proteins in the stain and makes your carpet or upholstery look spotless.

Wash all clothes in cold water

Wash all clothes in cold water
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Doing your laundry is a tad more complicated than just pressing a button on the washer machine. Many find it frustrating trying to decode which colour is washed for how long and in what temperature, which is probably why most people wash everything on cold. (It’s also a money-saver.)

What to do instead: Most pieces can be washed in cold water, especially dark and bright colours or delicate fabrics, as the colder temperature works wonders in removing stains and ensuring clothes don’t shrink. But some things, like whites, should be washed on hot. And man-made fibres, knits and jeans should be washed on warm.

These handy hints tmake doing the laundry less of a hassle.

Wiping windows with newspaper leaves fewer streaks

Wiping windows with newspaper leaves fewer streaks
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Odds are, your grandparents still clean their windows with newspapers, claiming it will leave the glass shiny and streak-free. “This worked years ago when the ink came off and formed a film on the window,” Reichert says. “[It] doesn’t work any longer.” Newspapers today are made of materials that make them even less effective than paper towels.

What to do instead: Rubbing alcohol or vinegar on a microfibre cloth is a more surefire way to get spotless windows, according to Dougherty.

Here are 8 uses for rubbing alcohol you never knew about (and 2 you should avoid).

Cleaning solutions act instantly

Cleaning solutions act instantly
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You can’t expect to spray a product and instantaneously have a perfectly clean, spotless surface. That’s called magic, and there’s debate on whether it even exists.

After applying a cleaning solution, let it soak in for the allotted time. And be patient. Wiping it off too early will likely result in dirt and germs remaining, as well as a huge waste of product. And you need to add some elbow grease, too.

What to do instead: While that kitchen cleaner is great for breaking up grease on the stove, it’s not going to remove itself. You’ll need to scrub it with a sponge or rag — and a lot of pressure.

The more product you use, the better the clean

The more product you use, the better the clean
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Most people think that if using a little bit works well, then using more must work better. But that’s not the case with cleaning products. “When it comes to cleaning, less is often more,” Maker says. Applying too much product can actually backfire, leading to residue build-up and requiring more elbow grease to get it clean again.

What to do instead: In general, using a small amount of product and leaving it for a few minutes before wiping it down will usually do the trick.

Steal these genius cleaning hacks from professional house cleaners, too.

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Source: Family Handyman

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