How to clean grout, showers doors & more
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Down & Dirty1 of 10
By Andie Huber
When it comes to spring cleaning, most of us know about the basic strategies: Go through your closet, give away what doesn't fit or hasn't been worn in ages. But what about those easily overlooked jobs that are just too daunting to tackle? From leaf-filled rain gutters to water-stained shower doors, Glo has your guide to de-griming even the toughest spots.
Moldy Front Loader2 of 10
A washing machine is supposed to get clothes clean, so when it reeks of mold, you're in trouble. To fix, first check to make sure there is nothing trapped or blocking the drain holes in your machine. Then use an anti-mildew soap and a small brush, like an old toothbrush, to scrub away any mold that you can see. Set the washer on hot, run a bleach cycle through the machine and follow up with a rinse cycle to wash away any lasting residue. To maintain, wipe down the glass and drain area after every wash with a paper towel.
Clogged Dryer Vents3 of 10
Not only do clogged vents slow down drying time, they're also a potential fire hazard, so they should be cleaned at least once a year. Of course, a professional can help if you're not the DIY type, but cleaning vents is surprisingly straightforward. First, disconnect the plug and vacuum out the interior of the vent (if the unit is gas-powered, make sure to shut off the gas as well). Use soapy water to wash the inside of the tube and continue this process through to the exterior access vent outside of your home. Reattach all the parts, plug in the unit and you're good to go.
Blocked Rain Gutters4 of 10
The only way to clean gutters is to get on a ladder. If heights aren't your thing, you can hire an expert—costs start around $50. If you're handy and have access to a sturdy ladder (look for one that has a flared base for extra stability), then once you are up there, use a garden trowel to scoop up any debris and then use a hose to rinse down the inside to wash away any small pieces you may have missed. While you are up there, check for leaks and make any necessary repairs.
Grass-Filled Mower5 of 10
For anyone who mows the grass, experiencing a clogged or inefficient mower can be frustrating. Get in the habit of hosing down the undercarriage of the lawnmower after every use—preventing dirt and grass clippings from hardening and creating problems later in the summer. Already stuck with a caked-on mess? Turn the mower on its side and use a spackle knife to help chip away the hardened dirt and grass.
Stained Porcelain6 of 10
Start off mildly by spraying white vinegar directly onto the stain. Scrub with a brush and see if the stain lifts. If that doesn't work, try a half cup of dry bleach powder and let it sit for a couple hours. Still didn't work? Try cutting off a bit of a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and letting it sit in the unit (with water) overnight. If the stains still won't budge, try a product called the Pumie Scouring Stick. Scrub gently where the area is stained as it may leave your porcelain more vulnerable to future stains.
Dingy Windows & Screens7 of 10
Twice a year, mix together a bucket full of mild dish soap and water. Remove all your window screens (label them if you have various sized windows to quickly know where to return them). Rinse them off with a garden hose or in the bathtub and scrub them down, on both sides, rinsing with clean water and repeating. While the screens are off, tackle the window glass, using newspaper rather than paper towels—it won't leave streaks or lint behind.
Mucky Shower Doors8 of 10
Glass shower doors (and the frame that surrounds them) can harbor mold, mildew and hard water stains. To remove soap scum from the doors, scrub them with a wet dryer sheet. Scrub the metal frame with an anti-bacterial cleaner before spraying Rain X (the same stuff used on car windows) onto the glass to prevent soap scum and hard water stains from building up between cleanings.
Dull Wood Floors9 of 10
That hazy glow on hardwood floors is from dirt and wax buildup. The goal is to remove the residue without harming your floors. Unfortunately, the process can be time-consuming. With a canister vacuum or dry mop, dust your floors, then wet mop the floor with a solution of one-quarter cup of vinegar and one quart of water. To avoid warping and damaging floors, don't let excess water stay on the wood. Finally, take a dry cloth (an old T-shirt works well) and buff the floors by hand—working in a circular motion until your floors look shiny and brand new.
Grimy Grout10 of 10
Oxygen bleach (found in products like Ajax) is a non-toxic, fumeless cleaning agent that uses oxygen ions to kill bacteria and brighten whites, similar to regular chlorine bleach. Completely saturate the grout with the cleaning agent and after 30 minutes to an hour, scrub the lines with (you guessed it) an old toothbrush.
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