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Lab-Tested Tricks To Speed-Clean Any Room

Whether you have a minute or an hour, master the art of tidying up with these genius tips and product picks from the GH Cleaning Lab

Carolyn Forte

If you’ve got 1 MINUTE

De-scuff floors. Marks on laminate and wood can leave even the cleanest floors looking shabby.

LAB trick Wet your finger, dip it in baking soda and gently buff the scuff, then wipe clean. Rub out light marks with a clean tennis ball or even a sock-covered foot.

Unclog showerheads. Crusted-on lime scale is unsightly and makes for a wimpy shower.

LAB trick For chrome (not bronze or nickel) fixtures, dip a brush in white vinegar and scrub deposits from the holes. For heavy buildup, let vinegar set for 30 minutes; scrub again.

Dust windows. Grime clinging to frames, tracks and sills will turn to mud if you don’t remove it before you tackle the glass.

LAB trick Open the window and use your vacuum’s softdusting brush to clean the outside sill and tracks. Close the window and vacuum the inside sill and frame.

If you’ve got 5 MINUTES

Sanitize softstuff.

Upholstery, cushions, throw pillows and stuffed toys can be difficult to clean thoroughly.

LAB TRICK Vacuum items or toss them in the dryer for a few minutes without heat to remove dust, then spritz with a spray sanitizer formulated to kill germs on fabrics. Our pros like

Tide’s new spray, EPA-registered to kill 99.9% of bacteria on fabrics in five minutes while freshening and eliminating odors.




Revive dirty doormats.

Beyond doffing shoes at the door, having a mat at every entryway is a must for keeping dirt off carpets and floors. But if you’ve been cleaning just the tops, they may not be doing their job.

LAB TRICK Give each mat a refresh by vacuuming the faceup side, then flipping it and doing the back. You’ll push any trapped dirt out onto the floor so it’ll be easier to suck up.

Seal stone counters. Regularly applying a barrier coating to marble and granite countertops helps keep them pristine and protected from everyday wear and tear.

LAB TRICK It doesn’t get any simpler than

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August 2019