more about: cleaning

Recap: The Real Simple + Quirky Invention Challenge

Hundreds of creative minds rose to the test of our Real Simple + Quirky Invention Challenge. Of the over 600 submissions, Kristin van Ogtrop and the Quirky team came together on Thursday, April 24, to crown three new inventors (and a fourth potential) for their brilliant new spring cleaning creations. The products: Robson Splane: Flip Mop A Swiffer-esque mop with […]

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How to Remove Snow and Salt Stains

Now that snow season is finally over (knock on wood!), it’s time to tackle those brownish stains on your carpets and rugs caused by Old Man Winter—specially, the calcium chloride in salty melted ice. First, thoroughly vacuum up what you can. Next, neutralize the stain with a vinegar solution, and blot with a towel from the edge of the stain […]

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The “Oh Well” Method

[Note: A version of this article first appeared in the April 2014 issue of Real Simple.] Cleaning your house, if you really want it done well, is a full-time job. You could literally spend every waking hour of the day making something better, sparklier, less stained, dust-free. Yes, things fall apart, as Yeats famously explained, but things also develop a […]

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Home Tips 101

Have your home ec skills gotten a little rusty over the years? Never fear—The Today Show did a beginners’ crash course on tips and tricks to know around your house, featuring Real Simple‘s associate home editor Steph Sisco. See how to hem pants, fold a fitted sheet, and more in this video: Need a slower demo on folding a fitted sheet? See ours here.

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How to Use a Pastry Bag Without Making a Mess

Decorating cookies and cakes is a lot of fun… and time consuming… and a headache to clean up after, especially if you’re using a pastry or piping bag. Fortunately, this genius why-didn’t-I-think-of-that method from YouTuber KarensCookies at least keeps the mess part of the production to a minimum: Of course, if you have a baking project that doesn’t require a […]

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How to Mince Garlic Without it Sticking

Mincing garlic without a special kitchen tool can get messy—and sticky. Those tiny bits of garlic can stick to your knife, chopping board, your fingers and even your hair (don’t ask, it’s a long story). But there is an easier way to get the consistency you want without having to constantly un-stick garlic from you knife. First, take a bulb […]

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A Natural Way to Clean a Drain

As cathartic as one big spring cleaning can be, there is nothing fun about unclogging a drain (or shelling out money for a pro to do it for you). Instead, do a quick monthly maintenance flushing of your drains to avoid big, bad buildup altogether. For a natural flush, pour ½ cup of baking soda into your bathroom or kitchen drain, followed by ½ […]

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How to Remove Water Stains From Wood

If Junior put a mug of hot chocolate on the coffee table or a well-meaning guest forgot to use a coaster, don’t panic just yet.

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Calling All Inventors

Do you have an idea for a product that will simplify—or maybe even revolutionize—spring cleaning? We’re teaming up with Quirky, the brand behind Spotter and Pivot Power, for an Invention Challenge that could bring your brilliant creation to life. We want to hear your genius idea (whether it be a doodle, a formula, or even just a concept) for a problem solver that makes […]

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A Natural Way to Clean Garden Tools

Now’s the time to begin prepping for gardening weather. To clean your rusty tools naturally, try black tea. That’s right: Black tea is strong enough to help scour dirty trowels, shears, and the like. Simply brew a few pots and allow time to cool. Next, pour the tea into a bucket and soak the tools for a few hours. Then, […]

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