Using housecleaning tricks to make the job easy

Housecleaning Tricks of the Trade

contributed by AJ

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My husband and I have rentals, and we found that it's wise to seal any new vinyl or vinyl tile floor that we lay, as soon as it is down. It protects the surface of the tile or vinyl. A wipe on sealer can even be used on an old vinyl or vinyl tile floor. We found it at a cleaning supply house. It's easy to apply, and the floors look wonderful. We apply sealer, and when it's dry we just use regular floor cleaner (I used Mop and Glo because it is so quick and handy).

We also have a lot of windows to clean. Welborne (the paint store) has a great product called Dirtex. It cleans things you would not think possible. Why is this thrifty? The church that we attended was cleaning out some apartments they had used for storage and were planning to use for someone to live in. The Pastor said the tub had something on it that defied cleaning and they were going to buy a new tub. I asked him to let me try to clean the tub. Dirtex worked like magic. A can of Dirtex is a lot less expensive than a new bathtub.

Also I've found that left over pieces of felt fabric (like you would use for crafts) is really good for dusting. For some reason, the dust seems to "cling" to the felt. It makes dusting shutter style wooden doors a lot easier.

This is an unusual idea but when I can not get a rental commode clean, I use a couple of denture cleaning tablets. I toss them in, leave them for a few hours, flush the commode, and then swish the commode with regular cleaner.

Odors can be a real hassle in rentals and who wants to have to paint or replace carpet to get rid of them. If cleaning doesn't do the trick, try putting Odorific on squares of tissue and stashing them around the house. Go back later to toss the tissues, and the odor should be gone. Odorific comes in very small bottles but it only takes a few drops. (I get mine at a vacuum cleaner outlet, and wouldn't think of being without it.) It would be wise to test a spot of carpet first, but if we have particularly difficult odors, I put some Odorific in the shampooer before cleaning the carpet.

Denture cleaning tablets can also be used when food has been allowed to sit and harden in a glass thermos. (Just be sure to wash and rinse the thermos carefully before using.)

If you have roaches encroaching, place boric acid in a disposable container, and place it where the roaches are likely to go. (But out of the reach of pets and children.) You don't have to mix it with anything, just put it out plain. You won't see another roach.

"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money please send it to

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