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Save Time Cleaning With 5 Cheap Self-Cleaners You Already Own

Make cleaning your home hassle-free.

Although cleaning your home seems like a hassle, it’s simpler than you think. Plus, using the household ingredients in your cabinet means you can avoid buying extra cleaning products. We have the natural cleaning solutions that are guaranteed to leave your home spick-and-span — no elbow grease needed.

Whiten dingy grout with lemon juice.

Rather than scrubbing your bathroom and kitchen tiles to remove grout stains, simply grab a lemon, says cleaning expert Tasha Hall ( “Mix a bit of the juice with baking powder to form a paste and spread it along your grout.” Then go to sleep and let the lemon’s citric acid work its gentle bleaching magic. In the morning, wipe away the paste with a damp cloth to reveal clean, white grout.

Get your toilet gleaming with a can of cola.

“Not only is dark cola great at getting rid of stuck-on toilet grime, it also busts lime and rust,” promises Hall, explaining that the acid in the soda breaks down the minerals that cause stains without harming the porcelain. Just pour a 20-ounce bottle of dark cola along the rim of the toilet, then leave overnight. In the morning flush and voilà — your toilet will look like new!

Deodorize your carpets with a dusting of baking soda.

Heat and humidity can cause rugs to trap odors. But that doesn’t mean you have to resort to shampoo — just give your carpets a light dusting of baking soda and leave overnight, advises Vera Peterson, president of Molly Maid. “Run over it with a quick vacuum the next morning, and your whole home will smell fresh,” she says. The baking soda neutralizes both acidic odors (like pet urine) and basic odors (like mustiness), making it one of the best ways to remove funky smells.

Lift oven rack grime with a dryer sheet bath.

Oven racks in need of TLC? Place them in the tub with enough water to cover, add a bit of dish soap and six dryer sheets; let soak overnight. The sheets’ fiber-softening agents break down the bond between grease and metal, so it wipes away easily come morning.

Descale shower fixtures with a vinegar soak.

Over time, minerals in your water build up on bathroom fixtures, leaving a scaly crust behind. The fix: “Pour a bit of white vinegar into a plastic bag and submerge the fixture, be it a faucet or a showerhead, in the solution, then tie it securely,” suggests Leanne Stapf of The Cleaning Authority. “Let it soak in the vinegar overnight, then remove the bag and the scale will be gone.”

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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