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9 tips to speed cleaning

By Kathryn Weber
Tribune Media Services

Some people love to clean and glory in gleaming porcelain, burnished wood and sparkling glass. For most of us, though, cleaning is a time-eater and anything but fun. Try these speed-cleaning tips to ease the pain and improve your results:

1 No more smelly sponges: A sour sponge makes your whole kitchen smell and is riddled with bacteria. Buy a wire sponge caddy to store sponges odor-free. Plastic sponge holders don’t let enough air circulate, and sponges never lie flat.

2 Rescue grease-stained clothes: Did a stick of lip balm go into the wash and stain your clothes? Use Carbona’s Laundry Devil No. 5 for grease to remove the evidence. carbona.com

3 Keep baseboards clean: The anti-static properties of a dryer sheet will help keep dust and animal hair from accumulating on your baseboards.

4 Organization is key: Use bread bag clips to mark electrical cords. Upended hairspray caps can fill in the space between drawer organizers and corral tiny items like swabs, bobby pins, medicine tubes and flossers.

5 Keep the fridge fresh: Line vegetable crisper drawers with newspaper, then top with old place mats. The paper will absorb odors and the place mat will keep produce dry and can be tossed in the wash.

6 Freshen stale linens: To refresh your linen closet, take a canning jar and punch holes in the lid, fill it half way with baking soda and add 10 drops of essential oil, such as lavender or eucalyptus. Your closets will smell fresh and clean.

7 Consider baby oil a miracle worker: To make stainless and chrome gleam, add a small drop of baby oil to a microfiber cloth and polish until shiny. Use a drop of baby oil on a straight pin to unkink knotted necklace chains, and use it in a pinch to silence squeaky door hinges.

8 Tackle pet hair with sweeper: Windshield sweepers have fibers with frayed ends that can reach in and pull up pet hairs that resist vacuuming. Use on carpets in your house and car, and on upholstery.

9 Mop your windows: To clean tall windows, fasten a microfiber cloth to the head of a cleaning-pad mop (such as a Swiffer). Spray lightly with a quality window cleaning spray, then mop your windows until they shine.

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