My Secret Household Tips / by Kate Brightbill

When I got married almost 8 years ago, I didn't know how to make pancakes, I shrunk nearly all our clothes in warm water washes, and stains... well, if something spilled on us, that article of clothing would never ever be the same. Domestically handicapped (very) young, married girl. Fast forward to now: I have two little girls who love getting messy... extremely messy. I am one mama who wants my children to enjoy their childhood and not always be worried about what might get on their clothing. Clothing just does not matter as much as celebrating joys of being kids while they're kids.

I've learned quite a few tricks along the way to get the clothes, the house, and the kids clean after the beauties and messes of "life" happen:


1. Lemons are the superfruit in cleaning. They make everything smell just a bit brighter! If you have a disposal in your kitchen, follow the smelly food with a lemon rind and it'll smell fresh and citric instead! It's also a wonderful glass cleaner to get the hard streaks and residue off your dishes. 

2. Growing up, every single time anything spilled on a carpet, we were trained to immediately run to get a white rag and Club Soda. There was nothing that couldn't be cleaned off rugs with a bit of club soda. Dab on the stains that may spread if you try rubbing. The spot will be wet after, so get a dry towel to rest over it until it dries so that dirty kid feet don't track their day through it. (I'm directly quoting my mom here, thanks mom!)

3. So maybe you think your little one has gone to use the restroom for a bit, but they've actually gotten a hold of a permanent marker. Your bathroom is covered in graffiti.. what do you do? Nail polish remover. It's like wiping a little spill off the counter. The easiest cleanup ever!

4. So now what do we do about those tough stains on clothing? The  1.5 year old ate tomato soup and uhoh, it's everywhere. Your answer? Dishwasher soap. Dishwasher soap in liquid or pod form can be used to rub into those stains and cut through all the discoloration and GREASE stains too! Credit for this one goes to my mother-in-law. She can get anything out of my kids' clothes! Make a little paste with water and the soap, then rub gently on the spots. Let it sit, then rinse. Repeat as much as you need, but it generally gets right out... seriously.

5. I cannot handle the smell of a gross sponge. It's the worst! Sometimes I get a new-ish sponge and it gets left wet in the sink (not pointing fingers here, but it's not me that does that!). What a waste right? Nope. Just stick that smelly sponge in the dishwasher with your dishes, and it'll come out looking and smelling fresh and clean! 

And a few bonus tips for ya:

6. Hairspray  is your solution for ink removal. Just my kids or do all like to take pens to their clothing and sheets?

7. Tea bags clean hardwood floors and leave them looking shiny and bright!

8. Pot stains and grime are best scrubbed after filling them with soapy hot water and setting them to boil for five minutes! Once you let them cool, they're 100 times easier to clean (that's not a legit stat, just my own observation).

9. Stick dirty sneakers in the washer. Let them air dry and they'll be good as new most times! 

10. If you've run out of nail polish remover and you need to remove the polish from your nails STAT, use polish and wipe. It somehow works the same way and removes the polish easily! Amazing.

I'd love to know all your tricks and tips, so feel free to leave a comment with your suggestions!

XOXO, Kate

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