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With more of your family working and learning from home, it may seem as though everything from the floors to the microwave is getting grimy faster. From professional housekeepers and school janitors, here are some tips and tricks for keeping your home clean and fresh without spending a lot of time or money:

  • Dust with your dryer. Blankets, pillows, drapes and other household textiles get dusty because they absorb moisture and act as a landing pad for dust from ceiling fans and air vents. If they are not machine-washable, toss them in the dryer on the air-fluff setting (no heat) for 20 minutes with a damp towel to remove dust and pet hair.
  • Erase scuff marks. Clean off shoe scuff marks from vinyl flooring with a clean, dry tennis ball. A light rub and heel marks are easily erased.
  • Clean ceiling fans. These fans are a blessing when the weather is hot, but the idea of cleaning them can be daunting. Wrap a dryer sheet around a clean painting roller and secure the ends with rubber bands. Then attach an extension handle to the roller and dust away.
  • Steam clean the microwave. Remove baked on food particles and spatter without a lot of elbow grease by putting a bowl of hot water inside the microwave and setting it for 5 minutes. The steam will loosen the grime and make it easy to wipe off with a cloth.
  • Keep that coffee maker clean. Often-used coffee makers can be a hotbed for bacteria and gunk. Once a month, fill the coffee maker’s reservoir with four tablespoons of white vinegar mixed with water. Run it through, then run it once more with only water to get rid of any vinegar smell.
  • Use a dryer sheet to clean cookie sheets. Grime stuck to your cookie sheets or frying pan? Put it in the sink with dish soap, warm water, and a dryer sheet, and leave for an hour or two. Rinse and the mess goes down the drain.
  • Wax paper those fixtures. Keep kitchen and bath fixtures shining. After washing them down, polish them with a sheet of wax paper, The wax repels water, keeping those taps and faucets looking cleaner longer.