Discover 15 Things You've Been Cleaning Wrong Your Entire Life

1. Cutting boards

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via Pillsbury
Dish soap doesn't quite cut it when it comes to cutting boards. Wooden cutting boards, especially, can trap food debris in their nicks and cuts, so it's important to do a thorough job. Halve a lemon and grab some kosher salt to rub along the board to dislodge the particles. Then, wash with soap and water.

2. Cookie sheets

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via One Good Thing By Jillee
Scrubbing with dish soap isn't going to remove all the baked-on grossness. Make up a mixture of 1/4 cup baking soda and enough hydrogen peroxide to make a nice paste and then rub it all over your cookie sheets and baking pans. Let it sit for a few hours and then rinse off. Like new!
3. Shower head
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via A Real-Life Housewife
A quick spray and a wipe-down won't de-clog your shower head or really clean it. Here's how to really clean it: pour white vinegar in a plastic bag and secure it around your shower head for an hour. Wipe it clean with a wet cloth and it'll be good as new.

4. Mattress

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via Life in Ryans'
Mattresses are a tough one to clean, but they don't have to be! First, vacuum your mattress to get rid of any crumbs. Then, sprinkle baking soda to cover the entire top of the mattress. Let it sit for a few hours and then vacuum the baking soda away. That's it!

5. Cheese grater

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via Rachel vs. Ramen
I can't count the number of sponges I've shredded while trying to clean my cheese grater. There is a better way! Right after you've shredded your cheese, grab a potato and start shredding. The oxalic acid of the potato will quickly get that gunk and residue right off. And you'll have shredded potatoes for hash browns!

6. Microwave

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via DIY Maniacs
Stop wasting energy scrubbing away at the nuked-on bits of food in your microwave. Instead, fill a bowl with water and vinegar and microwave on high for at least two minutes. Your microwave will get delightfully steamy and all you'll have to do is wipe away the grime.
7. Toys
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via Brady Lou Project Guru
Individually hand-washing your kids' toys is such a pain - but there is a better way. Round up all the hard plastic toys in the house and run them through the dishwasher (just make sure they won't melt).

8. Coffee maker

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via the kitchn
When your coffee starts to taste funky, it's time to give it a thorough clean. Here's how: fill your water chamber with half water, half vinegar. Then run a half-brew cycle (no coffee grounds) and let it sit for an hour. An hour later, finish the brew cycle. Empty your coffee pot and then run a fresh water cycle and repeat a few times until you can no longer smell the vinegar.

9. Blinds

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via Keep Home Simple
Growing up, we had a blinds attachment on our vacuum, but it was so ineffective and took a ridiculous amount of time to use. This trick involves dipping an old sock in a mixture of vinegar and water and wiping down each individual blind slat. So easy! And to dry your blinds, just grab the old sock's mate to dry them off.

10. Cast iron pans

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via the kitchn
Believe it or not, some people are still cleaning their cast iron with soap and water. No! What you should really be doing is scrubbing with a mixture of coarse salt and water to get rid of stubborn food residue. Then, thoroughly dry and apply a light coat of oil before storing. It's as easy as that.
11. Paintings
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via The Brick House
This seems like a tricky one, but you don't have to let your paintings get dusty! Instead, rub half of a bagel over your painting to pick up all the dust and grossness.

12. Blender

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via Pretty Prudent
Have you been taking the blender apart to clean it? Be a little lazy instead. Rinse out your blender, and then fill it with hot water. Squirt in a little dish soap and give it a whirl, and then rinse. Your blender should be clean as ever!

13. Toothbrush

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via Livestrong / Pohian Khouw / Demand Media
A surprising number of us don't clean our toothbrushes regularly. Not only do you have to replace your toothbrush every three months or so, but you should regularly be cleaning it! Grab a clean cup and fill it with white vinegar and stick your toothbrush inside. Let it sit for a few hours and your toothbrush will be less disgusting.

14. Toaster

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via A Real-Life Housewife
If all you do to clean your toaster is give it a few shakes upside down, you're doing it wrong. The outside of your toaster needs some TLC. So grab some cream of tartar, some water, and get scrubbing so your toaster starts looking fantastic again. (And for the inside? Some models have pull-out drawers so you can remove crumbs easily.)
15. Oven
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via Enlightened Consciousness
Do you spend hours upon hours scrubbing your oven clean? Stop it! Instead, make a paste using water and baking soda and spread it all around the inside of your oven. Let it sit overnight, then take a wet rag to wipe out as much of the baking soda mixture as possible. Next, spray some vinegar on the inside of your oven and wipe down with a wet rag. Then turn your oven on low for about 20 minutes to let it dry.