Your top 3 cleaning tips as chosen by me.

A few weeks ago I asked you to give me your favourite cleaning tips and 220 of you did exactly that.

Tip after tip after tip. By tip number 175 I could have killed you all. No offence of course, but it’s completely true. I even had my methods planned out.

I read each and every one of your tips and I tried a lot of them. I hate cleaning, but love experimenting, so this worked to my advantage. And don’t think I didn’t think of that when I originally wrote the post. Whatever motivates you, right?

Actually, like I’ve mentioned before, cleaning is fun, it’s the tidying and putting away that’s a pain. In a perfect world anything that’s in the wrong spot would either a) slowly migrate to it’s actual home on its own or b) slowly start to disintegrate until it eventually just disappears. The same wish applies to back fat.

So, after reading everyone’s tips I came up with the 3 I liked best. I chose the 3 I chose because they were simple, seemed very effective and I had an immediate “That’s brilliant!” reaction to them.

If I didn’t choose your tip don’t be insulted, it just means I probably already knew the tip and use it myself. So actually you’re very, very clever.


The first tip comes from Sylvie who said to balance your toilet brush on the seat of the toilet after cleaning it and then put the lid down to hold the brush there. It drips dry so you don’t drip dirty toilet water over your toilet seat and it prevents the toilet brush holder from getting that skanky puddle of toilet water in the bottom of it.


The second tip comes from Dianne who said she doesn’t just  use an old toothbrush to clean around her taps, she uses an electric toothbrush.  Brilliant!  We’ve probably all used old toothbrushes to clean with but I never even thought of using an electric one.

I have the world’s most difficult bathroom taps to clean.  My old kitchen ones weren’t much better.  There’s so little space between the back of the tap and the wall that it’s almost impossible to get in there, but a tiny little electric toothbrush head would be perfect.  Plus of course, I’ll finally be prompted to use the electric toothbrush I bought 4 years ago.

The final tip came from both Tanya and Paula.

This final tip knocked my socks off. Literally.  As you’ll see in a moment.

They both said they used a paste they learned about on Pinterest.  It’s a mixture of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and Dawn dish detergent.  This concoction is supposed to be a WONDER cleaner.  Most people seem to use it for the yellow underarm stains on white tee shirts.




(how great is Paula’s son’s tee shirt by the way?)




I had to try it immediately. I had heard of these sorts of mixtures before but didn’t really put much faith in them for some reason.  Oh wait. I know why.  Because the Internet lies.



What you see above are my dirty, dirty socks. If the fella had been here I would have used HIS dirty socks because then I could blame the grossness on the man (which comes in SO handy). But alas, I am the gross one and there’s no one else to pawn the dirt off on.

I wanted to set a control group, so I soaked one sock in my personal favourite Oxiclean, and applied the paste of Baking Soda, Hydrogen Peroxide and Dawn dish detergent to the other.  I really didn’t pay much attention to measurements, even though there are several actual recipes on Pinterest.  I just scooped out some baking soda, squirted in some Dawn and added Hydrogen Peroxide until I got a runny paste.  I let them both soak for one hour. After soaking I rubbed each of them vigorously for about 2 minutes each and then threw them in the washing machine.




Admittedly it’s hard to tell from the picture, but the Pinterest Paste absolutely worked better. It took less scrubbing by hand and came out whiter after washing. BUT, it’s only slightly better than Oxiclean. But it is better.

Thanks to everyone for sending in their tips and now that you’re all armed with 3 REALLY great cleaning tips, I hope you have a great weekend, completely ignoring everything that needs to be cleaned.

Read a book, watch a movie, plant a garden, learn to skateboard. Let’s leave cleaning for another day.



  1. Pati says:

    Missed your original call for tips, so I’ll add my 2 cents here.
    Get a tea colored counter and a limestone colored car. (Of course the car color is dependent on where you live.) ;)
    Thanks for the tips. I’ve spent too much time today reading your posts after first coming across your flicker photos through Pinterest.

  2. I’ve been online on-line in excess of Three hours recently, however certainly not uncovered any kind of attention-grabbing post similar to your own property. It is wonderful worthy of plenty of personally. Personally, when most online marketers as well as people made very good subject material while you did, the online world would have been a many more practical than ever.

  3. Mahlady says:

    I wonder if this would work on garden feet…

  4. Mafia Princess says:

    I used my X husband’s toothbrush to clean the toilet prior to his moving out toilet was clean and I felt happy …………dumped me for a younger model……………..happy kissys!

  5. JebberJay says:

    I’m with Tigersmom. Karen? Hello? We are missing you out here in ethernet land.

  6. Tigersmom says:

    Karen, its Monday and you’re not here.

    Should I be worried?

  7. Kris says:

    Love the tips – now if someone could give me a fool-proof recipe for cleaning the white grout on my white tiles in the bathroom, I would be eternally (well, at least while I live here) grateful!

    • Marion says:

      Try using rinse aid liquid for the dishwasher – just put it on the tiles and brush it in – with any kind of small brush (toothbrush, …) then wipe it of with any wet cloth. It really helps, I tried it myself!

  8. Olga says:

    I actually tried that whitening concussion before and even though it works good, I was to lazy to mix it all the time when I needed. Then I tried “Mr. Clean with Febreze Freshness Disinfecting Bath Cleaner” on my dirty whites, and that stuff is indeed magic, I clean everything with it, toilets, bathrooms, kitchen, bathtub, shoes and so on…However, I think everyone else discovered how wonderful that spray is, and now I actually have to hunt it down because not every store have it available.

  9. Traci says:

    Oxyclean breaks down to hydrogen peroxide and washing soda (like stronger baking soda) when it hits water so basically the miracle mix is oxyclean and soap. Looks like the soap makes the difference (I wondered about that when I saw the recipe on the internets and assumed it lied too). Maybe for a quicker mix (and to use up the oxy you have) just mix the oxy and dawn? You should redo the experiment like that!

    P.s. for lots of good diy cleaning stuff with actual scientific explanations as to why they will or will not work you should look at (I am not affiliated with the site at all, just find it has good info and think you would appreciate its awesomeness!). It’s where I learned about the oxyclean thing.

  10. Janet says:

    Hmm…wonder if my hubby would notice if I used his electric toothbrush for cleaning the taps?

    • gabrielle says:

      Hmm… and I wonder if the hubster will notice the pile of his things, scooped from var. locations throughout home and yard, waiting on the stairs for him to take up?

      fyi, the answer is NO.

  11. Stephbo says:

    The paste is awesome. I tend to get a dark deodorant buildup, not just yellow stains, and it completely took them out.

  12. Crystal says:

    Oi Karen – (you no doubt already know this but) Pinterest paste ALSO gets rid of skunkiness should your dog (chicken?!) ever have the misfortune of being sprayed.

  13. Kari says:

    Awesome tips!

  14. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    These are all great suggestions..Thanks ladies..Now I want a Pink Freud t-shirt..yep..

  15. Bee-Naz says:

    I’ve seen the pinterest paste and thought of it as a cost effective alternative to the Oxiclean I love so much. However, I did some reading about it and some people mentioned the peroxide would act as a bleach? Anyone have thoughts on this?

    I have off white dining chair covers. And couches. I like being able to get stains out but don’t want to leave bleach marks, y’know?

    Also, I became and Oxiclean JUNKIE when the man had an entire full glass of red wine spilled all over his jean shorts and orange t-shirt. They sat in the laundry hamper for a week while I mulled over how to “fix it” . A friend suggested I try Oxiclean. I gave them a 10 minute soak. Threw them in the wash. No sign of the HUGE red wine stains!

    • Grammy says:

      I’m pretty sue the OXI in OxiClean is peroxide — which bleaches. I might be wrong, but I think that’s where the name comes from. It isn’t like chlorine bleach, but it bleaches nonetheless.

      • Grammy says:

        That’s supposed to be “pretty SURE”.

        • Bee-Naz says:

          I knew what you meant :)

          And yes, I read that as well BUT… still was scared to risk it. I’m a scaredy cat. And too cheap to have to spend money on replacement covers. LOL

    • LuAnn Agustin says:

      The Hydrogen Peroxide in Oxiclean is the same as in color safe bleaches. Does NOT bleach out like chloride bleaches. It is safe on colors and off-whites. I work at a laundrymat and use it regularly.

    • Melissa D says:

      There is no “fixing” jeans shorts.

      Saving the tee, though: well done! :)

  16. Cathy Reeves says:

    People! people !people! When was the last time you said to your partner or yourself the following: “after I’m done with this dirty, nasty, gnarly flu I think I’ll use this toothbrush to clean my house ”

    Please drag your butts down to the dollar store, buy a gross of the dang things for a buck and use new ones!!

  17. SuzyMcQ says:

    Couldn’t one also use the electric toothbrush to scrub the peroxide, baking soda and peroxide mixture onto stained clothing? I am not, however, advocating the use of the aforementioned toilet brush? And, now while I think of it, why are two out of three tips brush-related?

  18. Barbie says:

    Wow! did you mark each sock? How did you know which was the oxiclean and pinterest one? One had a hole in it? lol

  19. Amie says:

    Trying pinterest paste in husbot’s undershirts this weekend! And an electric toothbrush (also husbot’s) on grout lines with pinterest paste.

    • Grammy says:

      You are going to tell him you used his toothbrush, right? Or are his undershirts so bad that you’re thinking of sending him on his way anyway?

  20. AbracaDebra says:

    It is so good to get tried and true recipes for stain removal Karen! I grew up living in mortal fear of mixing household chemicals to remove stains! Having been told early on of the horrors of mixing ammonia and bleach I made a personal pledge not to mix anything, just to be on the safe side! Now I own a massive collection of stain removal products which haven’t proven terribly successful! Hopefully this concoction will get the stain out of the dress I wore when I ate an entire bowl of Firebrand chili! Sure I got my name on the restaurant wall for downing that hot stuff but I will really miss that dress if I can’t remove the evidence!

  21. Hope says:

    Karen after such a life changing post :
    Be prepared for the call from the Nobel Peace Prize Committee – that’s all I can say!

  22. Jennifer says:

    The Pinterest recipe is the same recipe recommended by vets to clean skunk spray off your pet. Which I’ve had to do, and it does work (albeit it takes a few washes; it’s skunk after all.)

    • gabrielle says:

      Yes, what you said about skunk spray. I suspect that over time, either the soda or the peroxide gets stale. Solution: keep cleaning with the stuff, so your ingredients are fresh!

    • Tracey says:

      YES! Dawn is great for getting rid of skunk smell because the skunk’s spray is oil-based. My daughter just missed being sprayed once, but her clothes managed to capture some of the smell from the air. She didn’t want to throw them out if they could be salvaged, so I washed them with laundry detergent, a generous amount of Dawn, baking soda and vinegar all added to the wash – I was most hopeful about the Dawn, but I wasn’t taking any chances! Came out with not a trace of smell!

  23. Carolyne Darimont says:

    Does it have to be Dawn, or will any dish detergent work?

    • Susan says:

      I’ve used Dawn and then other ones that I had and the Dawn seems to work best. I keep one of those $1 bottles of Dawn over the washer just for this purpose.

      And the tip originally came from Jillee at One Good Thing By Jillee…I’ve used it for years. And love to see proper credit given.

      • Karen says:

        HI Susan, sorry I always try to give credit where credit is due and source back as far as I can with trying to find the originator of a post, but when people copy the recipe and put it up like in this case it’s very difficult to find the original source. And in fact, chances are One Good Thing by Jillee found it from someone/where else too! Regardless it’s a great tip and thanks to Jillie for popularizing it. ~ karen!

    • Grammy says:

      Dawn is what they use to clean that thick, gooey black stuff from birds and other wildlife that are caught in oils spills. Apparently it’s degreasing ability is superior.

  24. Laura K says:

    We’ve been using the Peroxide / baking soda / Dawn laundry paste for several years now. It works great on pretty much any stains, especially any grease stains (add just a little extra Dawn for really tough grease stains). Love the electric toothbrush idea, I will be trying that one this weekend!

  25. Tigersmom says:

    I’ve used Dawn straight to get out grease stains. I’m going to have to try the paste though because my sons socks have a serious case of the dingys.

    And I love Pinterest, but I swear that some of the things posted there are just to see what they can get people to try.

    I prefer the putting things away to the actual cleaning part. Must be why my tip (baby wipes) was more for how to AVOID real cleaning.

  26. jainegayer says:

    I have always hated putting that brush back in the container with yucky toilet water still on it.
    Thank you, Karen and Sylvie for sharing that great tip.

  27. Debbie W. says:

    I used tip number 1, as well! And sorry but here is another one that I came across… on the internet of course… using the bathroom Scrubbing Bubbles on my kitchen floor grout. Holy crap it worked wonders – without any scrubbing!! Sprayed it on, left it came back and wiped it off. Then I used it on the grimy, sticky, dusty residue that seems to accumulate in your kitchen, and holy crap I sprayed it on and wiped it right off!! I’m definitely going to try the pit stain paste!!

  28. Stephanie Harley says:

    This makes me excited to wash my daughter’s soccer socks! Note to self: get hobby.

  29. debra says:

    I am totally psyched by Sylvie’s drip-dry toilet brush tip!
    Between that and “Pink Freud,” I’m thinking this will be a very good day. Thanks, Karen.

  30. Sally A says:

    Now I’M wondering how you knew which sock was which. Sorry, I had to correct that sentence, it was bothering me. :o)

  31. Sally A says:

    Great tips! I too am now wondering also how you knew which was which sock. I guess I didn’t wonder before because I assumed (probably correctly) that you had that covered. You are pretty clever after all. :o)

    Thank you Gio for the vinegar and toilet paper tip! I’m all about less effort. Now if I could just learn to like the smell of vinegar…ick.

    And Sylvie, is that your back yard? Looks so pretty! Where do you live?

    Thanks for the pics Karen! Fun to put faces to the names!

  32. Sue says:

    Am I the only one wondering how you knew it was the Pinterest sock that came out whiter, assuming you put them both in the wash at the same time? Did you use a safety pin on one and not the other?

    Had to ask…. Cuz it’s the OCD in me wondering in my sleepless night!

    • The Advicist says:

      No, you’re not the only one, that was my first question too!

      Although you’re much cleverer than I, thinking to use a safety pin. My solution was to sew a bit of coloured thread in one sock. Your idea is much quicker, and so obvious!

  33. Gio says:

    As an alternative to using a toothbrush (electric or not) to clean around taps, I like to put toilet paper around it, soak the TP with white vinegar letting it sit for a while. It cleans up like a charm and no effort brushing needs to be made ;)

    • J says:

      We do the same thing but with paper towels. We drape them around the bottoms of the faucets and also on/around the drain stopper to get that residue. Works amazingly and is so easy. :)

  34. Grammy says:

    Gee, with great tips like these, I’ll have time to plant a garden with my grandson, read some, and still do a little cleaning. The Internet is sometimes my best friend.

  35. Debbie says:

    Its the electric tooth brush used in cleaning the faucets. Then there is grout lines and window crevice’s. I will be thinking of places this will work well all weekend.

  36. Bobbi says:

    I immediately used the toilet brush tip…..why didn’t we all think of that ? So logical. And it works so well. but don’t leave it overnight if you pee in the dark…could be a bristly situation.

  37. Carolyn says:

    What can you use to get the stink out of your bath room tub and sink drain. I have uses baking soda and vinager. Helps for a couple days. But the smell comes back. This is a bath room that get’s used everyday,

    Thank You Karen

    • kelli says:

      Carolyn if it’s IN your drain, rather than the tub or sink itself, it might actually be a sewer/septic issue, which you may need to have checked. You may need to have them ‘snaked.’ Of course Karen has a great method for this too, tho I’m not sure you want to crawl up on top of your ROOF to doi it. :)

    • Maria says:

      Carolyn, there shouldn’t be any smell coming up through the drains, as the ‘u’ shaped traps are filled with water to prevent that. Something is truly amiss somewhere. Hope the fix is in, and it’s painless for you.

  38. SeaDee says:

    Maria, somehow that’s the way I read it initially, to put the toilet brush UNDER the seat. I tried it immediately and a-ha! Love it. Off to test the Pinterest Paste. Thanks internet!

  39. Call Me Patty says:

    I’m still reeling over the possibility of disintegrating and disappearing back fat…….

  40. Maria says:

    I’ve used the 1st two forever. The first one “…balance your toilet brush on the seat of the toilet after cleaning it and then put the lid down to hold the brush there.” When doing it that way, I found that the lid actually touched the brush (yeeeeegh), so I fixed that by putting the brush UNDER the seat to hold/balance the brush, and left the lid up. Doing this overnight ensures that its drip dried by morning. No mess. And assured a yeeeeeeghless lid.

    I had not seen your request for tips, but mine would have been: Hire someone. I can’t afford it, but that’s my best tip that I wish I could afford ::sigh::

    • ~gloria says:

      I see how this overnight thing would work well to get a thorough drip-dry. However. I would be the one who would sleep walk into the bathroom to take a piddle in the dark and sit on the brush, thus eliciting a reaction that would wake not only my husband but most of the neighbors as well.

    • silvie says:

      yep – I actually put the brush btwn the rim and the seat to drip.

  41. J9 says:

    Huh. Well, I do hate that skanky puddle…

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