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5 Simple DIY Cleaning Tricks That Work Fast

These DIY cleaning tricks use inexpensive pantry staples to get the most notorious mess magnets in your home gleaming — in minutes!

Outsmart baseboard grunge fast with a scrub-free spray.

Decorative ridges in wood baseboards hold on to dust and dirt, but there is a simple way to lift the gunk away, promises green cleaning expert Micaela Preston (MindfulMomma.com). “Simply combine 1/4 cup of olive oil and 2 Tbs. of lemon juice, and spray onto the baseboard, then give it a quick swipe with a cloth.”

The lemon’s acids dislodge stuck-on grime, while the olive oil traps it, leaving a clean, sparkling finish behind.

Enjoy gleaming tiles with a mineral spritz.

Lifting soap scum from your bathtub and glass shower door is easier than you think, assures Becky Rapinchuk, author of The Organically Clean Home (Buy on Amazon, $15.99).

“Simply mix 1/4 cup of Borax and 2 cups of hot water in a spray bottle, spritz around your bathroom, and let sit for 15 minutes.” After that, all you need is a damp sponge to erase the scum. Credit goes to a chemical reaction that turns Borax into a bleaching agent when mixed with hot water.

Erase fridge drips with a dishwashing secret.

There’s a simple trick to nixing crumbs and drippings at the bottom of the fridge: Spray a 50/50 mix of water and dish soap (it’s perfectly formulated to break up the gunk) on the spot, pour a little warm water over it and let soak 5 minutes. Then just wipe with a cloth.

Banish grime from window tracks with a paintbrush.

To clean windowsills, all you need is a paintbrush and vinegar, assures Noemi Varga, host of the YouTube channel “Simple Living with Scandish Home.”

Just glide the brush in the tracks to dislodge bigger particles, then soak a rag in white vinegar and stuff it into the bottom of the track; let sit 20 minutes. “The vinegar breaks down dust, making it easy to wipe away.”

Clean oven grates instantly with a quick coconut soak.

Removing the gunk from oven grates doesn’t require elbow grease, promises Varga. “Simply coat each grate with coconut oil and let it soak in for about 30 minutes.” Then just use a toothbrush to rub on baking soda, and the dirt will come right off. “The coconut oil dissolves cooking grease while the baking soda is a mild abrasive that removes stuck-on foods.”

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This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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