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From the Magazine

5 Easy Deep-Cleaning Shortcuts to Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays


With guests due to arrive for the holidays any day now, our window for getting any heavy cleaning done is getting increasingly smaller. Luckily, you don’t have to put a ton of effort in to get a sparkling abode — fast. Experts Leslie Reichert, author of The Joy of Green Cleaning ($14.95, Amazon) and Sarah Flowers of Green Cleaning Hacks share deep-cleaning shortcuts that are as easy as they are inexpensive!  

Erase Fireplace Grime With a Salt Mix

No need to scour your fireplace to give it a “facelift,” promises Flowers. To lift dirt quickly, simply combine 1 Tbs. of dish soap and 1 tsp. of coarse salt until it forms a paste, then apply it to the fireplace’s surface. Let the paste sit for 10 minutes and give it a quick swipe with a damp cloth. Says Flowers, “Fireplace bricks have pores that trap grime, and this potion lifts it right off.”

Get Glass Gleaming With a Damp Cloth

Surprise: Store-bought glass cleaners actually create an electric charge that attracts more dust, reveals Reichert. The cost-free alternative? “Just spray a cloth with water and wipe down mirrors.” Good old H2O repels dust on surfaces from granite to stainless steel, and of course, glass too.

Wipe Dirt From Blinds With a Sock 

Tired of wrangling blinds in order to dust them? Simply grab a couple of orphaned socks and place them on each end of a pair of kitchen tongs, securing them with rubber bands. Spray the socks with a bit of cleaner, then clamp onto each blind slat, wiping from one end to the other. The tongs will allow you reach stubborn crevices, ensuring your blinds are fully dust-free.

Degunk Your Bathroom with a Lemon 

Let Mother Nature clean your bathroom for you, urges Reichert. Just slice a lemon in half and dip it into a bowl of coarse salt, as if you were rimming a margarita glass. “Wipe down your sink with it,” she says. “The lemon’s acids lift grime while the salt acts as a scrub.”

Freshen Bedding With a Simple Spritz

Guests staying overnight? Make them feel even cozier with a simple spritz: “Fill an 8 ounce spray bottle with witch hazel and 10 drops of your favorite essential oil, and spritz bed sheets,” says Reichert, who learned this trick from fine hotels. “The witch hazel smooths wrinkled sheets, and the oil gives them a dreamy scent.”

This story originally appeared in our print magazine. 

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