Random Household Tips & Advice

(OR Listen To Your Mama!)

Last week, we tackled cleaning the major areas of the home. Today's post doesn't fit under just one room, but instead, is a random collection of all-over helpful advice from various moms and grandmas... they do know best!

- Laundry Detergent: Get an extra load’s worth of soap out of an “empty” bottle of detergent by filling with water, 
  shaking once or twice, and pouring it all into wash.
- Ironing: Use only distilled water in iron to avoid mineral deposit buildup (which drastically shortens iron life). Keep 
  a cheap spray bottle of distilled water nearby as well to use when spritzing items before ironing. To clean iron, fill 
  with equal parts white vinegar and distilled water, steam up, let cool, then flush with fresh distilled water.
- Don't-Dry Items: Use a dry-erase marker to write on the washing machine lid to indicate which items need to
  be pulled from the load before it moves into the dryer.
- Greasy Stains/Spills: Sprinkle with baking soda or cornstarch to absorb then vacuum.
- Dusty Candles: Wipe down with a cloth dipped in denatured alcohol.
- Musty Linens: Add a “fridge pack” of baking soda to linen closet or cupboard.
- Air Filters: Don’t forget to check filters every couple months and replace as needed!
- Windows: Clean these on a not-too-hot, overcast day—otherwise, they'll dry too quickly and streak. Use the time-
  tested hint of wiping vertically on one side and horizontally on the other so you can tell which side streaks are on.
- Clean Vases: To clean difficult-to-reach vase interiors, use a foaming denture cleaner tablet.
- Nail Holes: I’ve seen many suggestions online for filling small nail holes with white toothpaste—just don’t. It takes 
  mere seconds to properly fill holes, come on, people.
- Vents: Be careful not to block wall air vents with furniture or appliance air vents with other items or by storing in 
  too-small-spacesboth are damaging to belongings and possible fire hazards.
- Fire Safety: Keep an eye out for exposed wires and be wary of overloading electrical outlets.


In addition to the tips above, some amazing women have graciously shared their “mom's top tips” with me! Recognize any that your mom has said over the years?

“No wet towels on the floor. Like, ever.” - Diana S. 
(nasty mildew and a comfy home for creepy crawlies)

"It's silly to worry, and a waste of good time." - Mamaw P.

There's no reason you can't reuse towels—you’re drying off a clean body.” - Sue B. 
(when hung up, two or three uses is fine...no one likes extra laundry)

“Be efficient; turn lights off as you leave a room. Also, get everyone to participate in choreshuge tasks become quick ones with help, plus, kids love taking pride in a job well done.” - Stina V.

"Get your cleaning done as early as you can." - Monica T.
(sometimes challenging to do, but once it's done you can enjoy the day!)

"There's no better way to welcome guests to your home than with a freshly baked dessert. And for the love of all things dear, pick up your empty cups!." - Kaysie K.
(I've been eyeing this cup-corraling project for a while now to help with strays)

"Take your time with your laundry, sorting into delicates, whites, and colors" - Nelle M. 
(plus, close buttons and zippersit really does help clothes last longer)

"Tidy the house before you leave for vacation, especially the kitchen, because no one wants to come back from a relaxing vacation to a dirty home."
 - Amanda B.
(this is a major practice of ours; coming back to clean sheets seems to make the vacation-end less awful!)

"Create a master list of maintenance that needs done around the house throughout the year. That way, seasonal items don't get forgotten and you've got a built-in reminder system." - Kristin A. 

"Use color-free dishwashing liquid to soak out stains in clothing. And, it sounds crazy, but hydrogen peroxide works wonders on red wine carpet spills." - Jill

Last but not least, according to my friend Bond, his mom's advice is: "Don't be a bum."

See you next week for a fun project to keep all your day-to-day routines in order!

This post is part of the Modern Simple Homemaking series.
To learn more about this series and see other posts, click the button above.


  1. These are all so brilliant! Hello, I've never even considered cleaning my iron. WUT. Mind explosion.

    1. Thanks, Amanda. Heads up though, if you do clean it, you might be disgusted by what comes out. haha

    2. Yeah.... I'm pretty sure that will be the case. Gah! I hate cleaning!

  2. Hydrogen peroxide also takes out blood even if is has been there for a long time and gone thru many washings . . learned from a nurse . .

  3. Cleaning dusty candles! I always struggle with this

    1. Me too, K! Since we moved to our new place, I've tried to limit the number I keep out to what I actually burn on a regular basis and try to keep the others in a drawer or with lids on to keep them from getting too gross.

  4. Again...wonderfully written Sarah and so many great ideas!!!

  5. The dry erase marker on the dryer is brilliant!

    1. Can't take credit for that, Laura...thank you,Pinterest. But yes, I totally agree!


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