The entrants in a recent Bark contest had some incredible cleaning tips, and we want to share them with you. The reigning champion of reader cleaning solutions was vinegar, and we agree—it’s versatile, it’s green and it works. But take a look at a few other DIY tricks to kick your spring cleaning up a notch.
Throw a few feet of cheap nylon netting in the dryer with your clothes and bedding. It grabs all of the pet hair. Shake it out and reuse it.
A great way to recycle dog hair is composting— I put some in my worm box.
Add a few drops of organic essential oil (lavender, peppermint, vanilla) to a cotton ball and suck it up with the vacuum. The cotton ball will give the carpet and room a nice, soothing smell with each vacuum.
When my front-load washer gets stinky from retained moisture, I add one cup of baking soda with the next load of wash. It reduces that smell, helps brighten the wash and is more environmentally safe than the major detergent brands.
I recycle shredded newspaper and office paper by soaking it for a few days. Then I form bricks, let it dry and use it for our woodburning stove. Free heat!
I take all my old shirts and tear them into different size rags—some for windows, some for floors, some for dusting. I also save grease from the deep fryer, soak the rags and light my grill or fire.
Wear rubber gloves and run your hands over the furniture. The fur comes right up.
The best way to remove dog fur from many furniture fabrics is to wet your hands and rub them along the furniture. Continue re-wetting your hands as they dry and removing the accumulated fur. It’s a snap.
When your dog pulls the stuffing out of her toy, don’t throw it away. Put it out in the yard for nesting material for birds and small animals.
Place your silverware in a dish lined with aluminum foil, shiny side up. Add two tablespoons of baking soda and one teaspoon of salt. Pour hot water over and let soak for a minimum of 30 minutes. Wipe clean.
For cleaning “gunk” from the walls and mirrors of our rental, we found that diluted white vinegar works great. —Veronica Adrover, Modesto, Calif.