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Smart Home

10 cleaning and laundry tips that'll make your life easier

Get your house clean with less effort using these simple tips.

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Get your house clean with a little less effort. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

You probably love a clean house, but hate the time and effort it takes to get it there. Here are 10 tips to make your house cleaner, with less guesswork and hassle.

You may be washing your bath towels too much

If you're one of those people who think you need to wash your bath towels after every use, you may be cleaning more than you need to. You actually only need to wash a towel after three or four uses, unless there are sick people involved. 

Give your mattress a deep clean without scrubbing

Your mattress could harbor around 10 million dust mites, according to The American Council on Science and Health. That can make your allergies go crazy, so a deep clean is in order. Don't worry. It doesn't need to suck huge amounts of time or money. You can get your mattress clean with just your vacuum, baking soda and some water. Give your mattress a good vacuuming, spray it with water, then sprinkle it with baking soda. When the moisture drys, vacuum a second time to remove the baking soda. 

Fix yellowed sheets with solar power

No need to scrub discolored sheets. Just hang them outside on a sunny day. The sunlight acts as a natural whitening agent. Learn more about keeping your sheets white and bright here.

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Wash your sheets on a schedule

Like your towels, your sheets need to be washed at certain intervals. Once every two weeks is a good rule of thumb, unless you have allergies or night sweats. If you have these problems, wash your sheets at least once a week

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Your fridge needs a deep clean every month.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Put your fridge on a cleaning schedule, too

Your fridge needs to be wiped down as soon as spills happen, purged of leftovers weekly, deep cleaned once a month and the water filter needs to be changed every six months. Be sure to mark your calendar to remind you of what needs to be done when.

Quickly clean your shower curtain

Did you know you can give your shower curtain a quick scrub in the washing machine? There are some rules you need to follow to keep it intact, though. Here's what you need to know to get shower curtains super clean without ruining them.

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A little magic is all you need to keep your toilet clean.

Alina Bradford/CNET

Take 2 seconds to keep your toilet clean

I hate cleaning the toilet and I bet you do, too. Luckily, I've found a way to keep your toilet bowl cleaner, longer. Check this out. All you need is a magic eraser sponge. 

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A simple net bag can save you a lot of vacuuming woes.

Alina Bradford/CNET

Prevent vacuum hose clogs

Every single time my kids vacuumed, they clogged up the hose. If you have this problem, too, there's a solution. All you need to do is secure a mesh vegetable bag over the end of the hose. It will catch items that could potentially clog the vacuum and will let smaller particles pass through.

Flash dry your dishes

There's no need to use the drying cycle on your dishwasher. It just wastes electricity. After a load, simply open the door. After a wash and rinse, the dishes are so hot they will evaporate the rinse water, releasing the steam through the open door. Your dishes will be dry in just minutes.

Banish pet smells

No matter how much you train your pets, sometimes they have accidents. Pet urine tends to stick around even after a good cleaning, but you can wipe out the stench with a mixture of 16 ounces (about 500 milliliters) warm water and 10 drops of peppermint essential oil or 2 tablespoons of peppermint extract in a spray bottle. Spray the offensive area well to end the eww.