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Friday, 3 September 2010

More secret household cleaners (you already own) 2

Revive canvases
Cut the crust off a piece of white bread, squish the bread into a doughy ball and use it to gently dab the surface of paintings (but not valuable or antique works). Once the ball is covered with dirt and grime, start again with a new slice. Use a pastry brush (or another soft-bristled brush) to clear off any crumbs.

De-grime shades
Take a hands-on approach to your mini blinds and venetians. Just slip on a pair of white cotton gloves, dip fingers into a solution of equal parts white vinegar and warm tap water, then run your fingers across both sides of each slat. Rinse gloves as necessary in a bowl of clean water.

Go green
Keep air pure with houseplants. Research from NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America suggests that palms, English ivy, ferns, mums and similar plants remove up to 87 percent of indoor pollutants.

Shake it
To wash a narrow vase, pour in 2 tablespoons of dry rice and ½ cup warm water, cover with the palm of your hand, shake vigorously, then rinse.

Air dry
Give chandeliers a quick cleaning with a blow-dryer (set on low) or a feather duster. For tougher jobs, fill a spray bottle with one part vodka to five parts water, spritz on fixtures and blow-dry.

Practice your swing
Wrap a microfiber cloth over the bristles of a regular broom or around the end of a golf club, secure it with a rubber band and use to get rid of cobwebs or dust in hard-to-reach places.

Erase every trace
Did your child use the painted walls as a canvas? Mist them with hairspray and wipe immediately to remove colored marker. For crayon, scrub with a toothpaste-covered toothbrush, or gently massage with baking soda and a damp microfiber cloth.

Raid the fridge
Shine brass using a dab of Worcestershire sauce or ketchup. Squeeze the condiment onto a cloth, rub the item, then rinse with water and dry with a towel.

Scour scuffs
Use a new tennis ball to wipe scuff marks off tile, vinyl, woodwork—even painted walls. It won’t harm the surface.

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