Introduction: Cleaning Techniques That Save/Time/ Money and a Miracle Odor Destroyer!

Picture of Cleaning Techniques That Save/Time/ Money and a Miracle Odor Destroyer!


How many of us enjoy a quiet Sunday spending the entire day doing our own thing? How many of us would cherish an opportunity to do just that? This tutorial might be the answer you are looking for. Here are some ideas to help you get more benefits from your hard labour and help your products work better for you. Organizing your cleaning schedule can be very beneficial in helping you to do the things you enjoy so much . . . . a little more often.


Step 1: Organizing Your Time

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Here is a list of things you might consider doing.  Find short cuts to what you are already doing. 

•Pick one fifteen minute or half hour thing you can do two or three days a week during the week.
•Crock pot cooking has helped me a lot.
•Do a load of laundry in the evenings and fold the clothes while watching TV.
•Clean the refrigerator before you buy groceries. Maybe the night before.
•Clean rooms that are not used very much during the week.
•When cooking during the week cook extra for 1or 2 meals on the weekend and put it in the freezer.
•Have family members spend 15 minutes picking up the house every night during the week and reward them for their efforts.
•Make a grocery list and buy groceries after work during the week.

 It really helps to be organized and committed.

Step 2: Cleaning Shortcuts Kitchen

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  • Oven racks come clean very nicely when you place them in a heavy black garbage bag. Take it out side and and spray them with what ever cleaner you use. Put them in the sun for several hours. Using gloves remove them from the bag and wipe with newspaper or paper towels. Put them in the dishwasher with no soap and run it through the heavy cycle. I have had great success doing this.
  • When washing the floors use vinegar or very very little soap. It is soap build up that makes things stick to the floor causing them to get dirty quicker and more difficult to clean. Wash the floors a little more frequently.
  • Place a few trash bags in the bottom of the trash can before you put the liner in. You have a trash bag right there when you need it.
  • Use an oil base cleaning soap for greasy areas for best results. Put it on full strength and let it set while you clean other areas of the kitchen. Then go back and rinse it with a clean wet cloth. This method works nice on stove fronts and on the top of the refrigerator.
  • Clean windows and mirrors with window cleaner, a squeegee, a wet and dry cloth. If you do not like to use a squeegee use a wet cloth to clean it and then buff it dry. This method reduces the streaks.
  • Vacuum the floors rather than sweeping. Sweeping leaves dust bunnies floating around. If you don't have a vacuum that will work, I recommend a dust mop.
  • The best time to clean the refrigerator is when it is time to buy groceries. A quick wipe the night before saves time.
  • If shale is on your fixtures, coat them with vinegar and let them set while you do something else and then go back and rinse them. For shale on pans coat them with vinegar, let set and then put them in the dish washer. 
  • Keep your sponges sanitized by washing them in the dish washer.



Step 3: Bathroom

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  • Soap scum is caused mostly by using bar soap.  Switch to a body wash and reduce clean up time.
  • Hang up towels hooks to reduce towel laundry.
  • Buy fabric shower curtain liners instead of plastic to avoid mold and mildew which is very harmful to your health.  They are much easier to clean and they last longer saving you money.
  • For mold, wipe bleach on areas that have mold.  Leave it on while you clean the rest of the bathroom and then go back and rinse it.  If it is not black it is gone. 
  • Wipe mirrors with a damp cloth that is sprayed with window cleaner.  Buff to a nice shine.  This methods reduces film and streaks. 
  • Use vinegar on shale build up.  It needs to soak on the fixture for a while but it works.   

Step 4: Laundry Room

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Laundry Room
  • Soak whites in the washer with stain remover and laundry soap for 30 minutes on the soak cycle and rinse.  Then wash them on the normal cycle add bleach if desired.  This keeps your whites white!
  • Rinse your jeans on the medium spin cycle to reduce wrinkles. 
  • Vinegar is a great static reducer in the rinse cycle. 
  • Baking soda boost your laundry soap performance. 
  • Peroxide removes blood stains.
  • Wash your bathroom rugs in the washer but don't dry them in the dryer.  Lay them on top of the dryer to dry.  This makes them last a lot longer. 
  • It is drying your clothes that wear them out, not washing them.  For your nicer clothing hang on hangers to air dry.  You can lay them on top of the dryer to dry if you like. 
  • Washing the laundry at a laundry mat can cause us to overlook a load.  Take magnets to mark the washer and dryers you are using.  It really helps. 

Step 5: Dusting

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I have always paid close attention to dust in my house. It is actually the dust that makes the home feel dirty. People with allergies suffer most when dust is in the home. Dusting is one thing that takes time to do. It is also one thing that makes a noticeable difference in the home. By reducing the decorations and clutter, dusting is hardly any effort at all.

I recommend changing the air filters on heat pumps 1x monthly. This reduces the dust particles in the home as well as prolongs the life of the heat pump. Dusting appliances like the refrigerator, stove. washer and dryer will prolong their life as well. If you have been remodeling I suggest cleaning the duct work because when you remodel dust can be a real problem. My neighbor recently experienced this problem and I suggested she call and have the duct work cleaned. It is actually fairly reasonable in cost.

If you have an area of the home that tends to get overlooked alternate your cleaning habits.  One week start upstairs and the next week start down stairs.  This helps keep the cleaning balanced. Rotate your cleaning priorities.  Pay close attention to dusting one week and the next pay close attention to windows and so on.  In a couple of months you should be caught up on areas that have been neglected. 

If you want to tackle a big job skip cleaning the guest room or other areas that can be overlooked for a week or two. 


Step 6: The Miracle Odor Destroyer

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Getting the odor out of my mother-in-law's home was so challenging. She apparently had some bathroom accidents in the hall on the wood floor. I tried everything to remove the odor. I used odor blocker, shellac, pet enzyme deodorizer, Pine-sol, and bleach to name a few. Nothing would work. I am very sensitive to odors and it was too much for me. I was about to sand, stain block and refinish the floor, when my sister suggested again that I try baking soda and peroxide. I wished that I had listened to her to begin with, it would have saved me time and a whole lot of money. This is what I did.

Step 7: Supplies

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1 Bottle Peroxide with a sprayer
Large bag Baking Soda ( Sam's has it in a very large bag priced reasonably.)
Several old towels or cleaning cloths

Step 8: Clean and Mop

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Clean and mop the floor.

  • Sprinkle plenty of baking soda on the problem area.
  • Generously spray peroxide over the baking soda.
  • If it is in an area where people are walking cover it with a towel and let it set for 24-48 hours.


  • I repeated this process for about 3 days applying and re-applying the solution. I cleaned the floor in-between the applications and mopped it. Then I re- applied the solutions.


  • If you are cleaning the carpet, throw a towel over the stain and step on it working out any moisture. You can do this even if an accident occurred a few hours before.
  • Then sprinkle the area with baking soda.
  • Spray generously with peroxide and let it set for 24/48 hours as directed.
  • Repeat the process if necessary.


  • It worked! I was so excited! The whole house finally smelled clean. 


  • Please note: I used this method on old wooden floors and was not concerned about staining. Always test small areas using the same techniques you would on the entire problem area before doing this without testing. This method did not harm my floor.



Step 9: Amazing Results

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The results were amazing! I have not smelled that odor again. It actually surprised me when I sanded the floors. I was expecting to smell it again while I was sanding but did not notice any odor.

I use this solution for a lot of things.

People this works!
I have used it on yellowed pillows, a stained mattress, blood stains in carpet, colored drink  stains, pet bedding and of course odors.

Here is a picture of tennis shoes cleaned with this solution. I did very little scrubbing to achieve these results. I simply sprinkled the soda over the top portion of the shoe and sprayed it with peroxide, and lightly used a tooth brush to rub it in. Pictured are the results.

As you can see the results are convincing. This is just one example of how well it cleans, not to mention deodorizes.
If you have carpet that has pet stains, it may take a few applications. Sometimes if an area has had much abuse this method might not work, after all nothing is perfect. But it well worth trying before replacing the carpet. The best method is to clean it up as soon as possible. At least if you don't have time place an old towel over the top of the mess and step on it to remove most of the moisture. This will prevent it from soaking into the carpet further and getting between the carpet and pad.



joffler (author)2011-12-19

Vinegar and baking soda are excellent cleaners. I bought a child's desk from a seller on craigslist offering for $10. I was a nice honey color in the photo. When I arrived to pick it up, I realized why. It was originally a light, sunny yellow but was honey-colored due to tar deposits from heavy cigarette use in the home. It STUNK!!! Driving it home in the back of my pick-up did nothing to help. When I got home, I got out my trusty vinegar, poured some in a bowl and gave it a vinegar bath with some old rags. In some areas, the tar stain came off easily, in others, a little elbow grease was required. But, still, in an hour, I was satisfied it was clean enough but it still had some smell. I poured vinegar in old bowls and set them in the drawers and left them there for a couple days til the weekend came around. When I was ready to get back to that project, the smell was entirely gone! Stripping and sanding the desk gave off nothing but a wooden smell. I refinished it and it turned out beautiful! We got about 4 years use out of it before we decided to sell it in a garage sale--for $40!

sunshiine (author)joffler2011-12-19

Thanks so much for your input! It is a great miracle cleaner and deodorizer! I enjoyed reading your comment! Have a splendorous day! Sunshiine

idk much (author)2014-12-24

I need to try this. My doggiekid has made some messes. The odor needs to go not my dog

22tpring (author)2012-02-19

For all the suggestions of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda together, I've had the same results with just using a spray bottle of peroxide. The ONLY caution I have is do not use peroxide for stains on whites - turns them a pretty yellow, forever. I have 4 cats (litter mates) and one has an issue with peeing on areas (he's very insecure) and even pooing right outside the box for various psycho-kitty reasons. We love him just the same and peroxide in a bottle comes to the rescue every time. Even male cat PEE my friends! Now with some peepee applications, he can be challenging (on our very expensive california king mattress) but I literally POURED bottle upon bottle of quart sized peroxide onto the bed because we had nothing to lose at that actually worked! We did flip and pour for several days and we do live in the desert (so evaporation was much quicker than in greener parts of the country) but it worked! And every time he does some peeing, I pulled out of the peroxide.
I use a combination of spray bottle peroxide, activated carbon (I bought it in bulk) and silica sand for catboxes to keep their smells under control (it is hard because BOTH my males are very proud of their poo and refuse to cover it when they do their business in the catbox).

robbim (author)22tpring2013-10-15

I do cat rescue-and just a little tip for you...there is a product called "Comfort Zone" and another called "Feliway" (both available at most pet care stores, and even Walmart) which comes in a plug-in diffuser form. It is a pheromone that calms cats when they are stressed and it is just amazing how well it works to ELIMINATE the peeing problem. The males that do not cover their feces may need a little reminder training. When you catch them after doing their business, gently take a paw and 'teach' them to cover their business. It doesn't happen overnight, you will have to do it several times, but eventually they will get the message (along with the pheromone therapy). Good Luck! I've bee very successful with this for years!

sunshiine (author)robbim2013-10-15

Thanks for sharing! Do you happen to know of something that works for dogs marking their territory?

jaxboy (author)sunshiine2014-06-09

The reason dogs mark their territory is because they are worried about another dog encroaching on it. A sure-fire way to eliminate the spraying is to neuter your dog, as the reason for the spraying is to eliminate competition for his chance of procreation. Another way, if you are breeding your dog, is to install obstructions to other dogs coming too close to his territory. You can eliminate other dogs coming into your yard by getting a motion-controlled sprinkler (I saw this on "The dog whisperer", and no, I don't know where you can get them) and a motion-controlled noise-maker. You can, however, make them yourself. Go online and get a 5 volt motion sensor (about $3-4), and a 5 volt 2-relay board (also about $3-4), and from the same source. Then get an electric water valve for a washing machine ($10-15 new, much less used. You could also get one from a recycler for a couple of dollars if you remove it yourself from an old washing machine he has. Cut off as much of the wires to it as you can reach and keep them.). Connect the motion sensor to the input of the relay board. You will need a 5 volt wall wart for the motion sensor and the relay board ( about $3-5 new, $1-2 at Goodwill, probably free from your junk box). Connect 110 volts to the relay contacts of one of the relays. Connect a pair of wires from the relay to the wires of one of the electric water valve, or connect the wires on the valve directly to the relay, if you can run the water hose to the electronic package you are constructing. In any case, ensure there are no exposed wire connections, and the electronics are securely water-tight. A little plastic box with sealant on the holes for the wires would be ideal. Run a water hose in to and out from the water valve, and plug in the 110 volt cord. Place the sprinkler so that it covers the largest area near the house, and turn on the water. You probably will want to put a switch into one of the 110 volt wires, so you can turn it off when you want to go in the yard. The valves are double, so you could either make a separate motion control box, or just connect the 2 valves together so that they both come on at the same time, if you want a second sprinkler to come on. The effective coverage of the motion sensor is up to about 30 feet, I believe. The same source as the electronics above carries 5 volt buzzers (5 for about $5). If you want everything to come on at the same time, get a 4-relay board instead for a few bucks more, then run the 5 volt wall wart through one of the relays and out to the buzzers, which are tapped into a wire running from the relay output. I hope this was helpful.

sunshiine (author)22tpring2012-02-20

Thanks for sharing!

crystif (author)2014-04-29

Don't know if you know, but vinegar & baking soda is FANTASTIC for white socks with black, dirt stains on the bottoms. I walk around all day with just my socks, & they get filthy (obviously). I just unfold all of my dirty socks (because I fold my socks prior to putting them in the hamper to reduce strays), & put them in the bath tub. Then, add cool water until socks are covered. Add about a half gallon of vinegar, and about 2 cups of baking soda. Let them soak for about 30 minutes, drain tub, quick, light rinse. Put them in a bucket or hamper, & put them into the washing machine. I always add vinegar & soda to the washing machine also just to make sure. (I have a tendancy to over do things).

sunshiine (author)crystif2014-04-29

Thanks so much for sharing your techniques! I hope your day shines!


Botanikas (author)2011-05-16

Nice instructable, i have very same problem with odor in my country house. What % peroxide you use? Because i heard you can find 3%, 6%, 12% and so on.

sunshiine (author)Botanikas2011-05-16

I use 3% proxide. If someone here would know if one could use a strong % please do let us know. It might be nice to try the stronger solution for really serious pet odors. Thanks for asking a great question.

john mantova (author)sunshiine2014-04-13

Yep you cab but read my longer message first Cheers

john mantova (author)2014-04-13

Peroxide ts sold here as Vol, numbers i.e.1 vol up to about 40 vol from hair=dressers supplies. BUT TEST AREAS FIRST AS IT WILL BLEACH in the higher strengths/ I had a friend whose wife ordered a new carpet. but decide to shampoo the carpet so that the carpet fitters didn't think badly about her housekeeping. We sold various environmentally safer products. One of which was Peroxide based. Raiding hubby's samples she loaded the shampooer with the neat product. Shampooed the carpet last thing at night while we were working an out of town patch. She came down next morning early to check drynes before the kids got up. She found a lovely clean sweet smelling light grey carpet. She was delighted and very surprised. Why ? Because the carpet was originally very dark brown.. She was so pleased she cancelled the new carpet. O.K. for her but be careful. when you have done the patch test ( over night at least ) put about 30 mil ( depending on strength to start with) into a litre spray bottle and top up with water until almost full then ad 3 or 4 drops of washing up liquid . quick shake and you are ready/ This will clean body fats from showers and shower curtains . and baths etc. Worktops, bread boards, cutting boards, cookers you name it. Blood and other body fluids in mattresses responds very well to hair shampoo and a soft tooth brush. Or try the mixture I just described. I tgink this is what is called a synergised material. Strong drain cleaner 98 % Sulphuric acid use with extreme care thick industrial strength rubber or vinyl gloves goggles . Pour acid into water with no plug iv hole. The acid will shoot straight for the drain and start eating through the blockage. It well neutralise as it clears the debris. Biodegradable stuff is what is left as it goes down the drain sorry so long but felt warnings important. kohn

crazycloud (author)2011-06-02

I use white vinegar to get rid of urine smell from carpet, walls etc. in rentals. One house was so bad I used a garden sprayer and sprayed the walls and floors before I could even start other work.

sunshiine (author)crazycloud2011-06-02

Thanks for commenting. Yes, my grandson told me he knew someone who used it because they had a fire in the house. They placed saucers around the house with vinegar and after a week the smell was gone.

housepony43 (author)sunshiine2014-03-20

I purchased a dresser that had been in a fire with a horrible smoke smell. I read in a quilt magazine that to get the smell of smoke out of a quilt to put it in a garbage bag with a few bars of Zest soap. I did the same thing - put bars of Zest in each of the dresser drawers. Took a week or so but no more odors.

sunshiine (author)housepony432014-03-21

Thank you for sharing this! I will have to give it a try. I have never heard of this technique before. I hope your spring shines!


jbaer85 (author)2014-03-02

I am looking for a instructable to make my own vacuum attachment for cleaning ceiling fans, dryer lint trap, etc. I searched but I could not find anything similar, I also could not find where to post a comment unless to a specific person. Do you know if anyone has made an Instructable for this? I greatly appreciate any help

sunshiine (author)jbaer852014-03-02

Sorry, I have not seen anything like that either. I did a quick search and did not find anything. I am not sure what type of vacuum you have but if I were to make an attachment I would purchase a Sears round brush attachment which is not very expensive ( 10- 12 dollars) or contact the company that makes yours and ask if they have an attachment, or use pvc pipe to convert a Sears or other brand to fit. I normally clean my lint filter every time I use my dryer and I clean my ceiling fans weekly, not so much the light fixture but the fan blades. I use a damp cloth and oil them if needed. It has served me well to do that. As far as the dryer lint filter I don't know why a person couldn't remove the layer of lint and just rinse it under water and dry it with a towel. I hope this is helpful and I answered your question if not please let me know. I am happy to share what I can
Thank you for commenting and do have a splendorous week!

rowinghome (author)2013-11-27

Great tips and enjoy all the ideas that follow. My one tip that I use because I use to work in hospital. Straight peroxide will take blood stains out of just about anything. Be sure to place old cloth underneath material so there is no "bleed through". (no pun intended)

sunshiine (author)2012-06-16

Thanks for commenting!

22tpring (author)2012-02-19

Where are my manners, I LOVED your household tips, some I have never heard of before and others reinforced the reason I was doing them (without really thinking about the methodology). THANKS :)

sunshiine (author)22tpring2012-02-20

Thank you for commenting! Have a great day!

green tea (author)2011-11-27

Thank you so much for this article! I'm so excited, I can't wait to start using baing soda to clean things! I have a question tho, I have a blood stain on one of the seats in my car. Would I let the solution sit for some time, or would I soak up any excess moisture with a towel, and then clean it with a wet cloth?

sunshiine (author)green tea2011-11-27

I have had best results using peroxide for removing blood stains. I suggest testing an area that won't be noticeable if it has a reaction to the fabric first. I have used peroxide on carpets before but there are so many variables to consider. Here is a place to start: . If that don't work then try baking soda.  Again always test an area.  Thanks for commenting!  Hope this helps! Have a beautiful day!

sunshiine (author)2011-10-11

I hear you about that! My brother bought one a while back and we thought it would work in the washer but it was cheesy. You have to pay the extra bucks for a good one but it pays off in the long run. Thanks for sharing! Have a splendorous day!

cdonté (author)2011-10-11

Regarding plastic shower curtain liners: I love the clear ones but hate the visibility of the soap scum build up. So I spent a little more money and bought an extremely thick clear one (about $25.00) that is sturdy enough that i can toss it in the washing machine on low cycle with some bleach and soap! No need to dry (the spin cycle takes care of that) and there you go! Clean liner! Before my splurge i had been replacing my liner every 4 months or so. Now i have had the same one for almost 2 years! :)

Silver Diva (author)2011-06-02

Your sister has a beautiful country home! ::::jealous ;=|::::

sunshiine (author)Silver Diva2011-06-02

She does! It is so nice going there, I never want to leave. Thanks for your comment.

tinker234 (author)2011-05-31

wow love the method i

sunshiine (author)tinker2342011-05-31


tinker234 (author)sunshiine2011-05-31

your welcome

sunshiine (author)2011-05-31

Yes, I was going to add that but I had entered it in the contest and did not think I should shange it. Thanks so much for sharing this!

mary candy (author)2011-05-17

I liked the tips.
Is your cat fat or pregnant ..
by the way it is very sweet.

sunshiine (author)mary candy2011-05-17

Thanks, neither she is a he! And it is my sister cat. The dog is also. My sister lives in the country and it is so peaceful and wonderful there. I love visiting her.

mary candy (author)sunshiine2011-05-17

well than he is a little fat lol but cute!

sunshiine (author)mary candy2011-05-17

Thanks, she spoils her animals. It took a long time for him to warm up to me. I took this picture for that reason. It was like haha I got ya!

pecospearl (author)2011-05-16

I learned so much from this instructable. You inspire me to try your method of cleaning so I have more time for me!

sunshiine (author)pecospearl2011-05-16

Glad it was beneficial! Happy cleaning.

About This Instructable




Bio: I am married with two children. Spring, summer, and fall are my very favorite times of the year. I love the sunshine thus the reason ... More »
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