24 Housekeeping Hacks We Can Learn From Grandma

by Oct 20, 2021Cleaning

Best cleaning secrets from grandma

It’s almost Mother’s Day, so it’s fitting that today’s blog post is about mothers! And while we love and appreciate our own mothers, today’s post is not about them. Today we are talking about the mothers of our mothers. That’s right, it’s about Grandma today! πŸ™‚

My grandmother went through the great depression that I am sure many of your grandmothers did. And while this experience taught her to be frugal and inventive, it certainly did not lower her standards! She kept the house clean and tidy, kept her kids fed homemade meals and did it all on an extremely limited budget. She was a force to be reckoned with, like all the women who grew up in that challenging time!

Although modern technology and resources have made many household chores easier, we can still learn a lot from how Grandma used to do things. So today I want to share 24 brilliant household tips that come straight from our grandmothers. These tips make it easy to keep a clean and tidy house that Grandma would be proud of, and they save you money and resources in the process!

24 cleaning hacks we can learn from grandma

Best cleaning secrets from grandma

1. Deep Clean With The Seasons

Many of our grandmothers used to plan major cleaning projects synchronized with the seasons. This is a great way to distribute more demanding cleaning tasks throughout the year! Here is a basic overview you can follow to deep clean with the seasons:

  • In the spring, clean the rugs deeply and get rid of clutter.
  • In the summer, clean the outside of your house, including windows.
  • For fall, wash the inside of your windows and change your oven filter to prepare for colder weather.
  • And in the winter, vacuum your mattresses (and turn them over if appropriate) and clean clothes you do not wear out of your closets.

Crispy sheets with less ironing

Grandma had a super simple way to get bedding crispy without having to iron an entire sheet, and you can do that! After washing your sheets, remove them from the dryer before they are completely dry and fold them to a manageable small size. Run your iron over the top layer of the folded sheet (but do not iron the fold itself). Your sheets look fresh and smooth in seconds!

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Best cleaning secrets from grandma

3. Stock A Rag Bin

Being frugal was another nature for our grandmothers, and they never let good stuff go to waste. They would keep old clothes and bedding and cut them into rags. Clothes like these are good to use for all kinds of cleaning tasks and they are much better for the environment than using paper towels. So instead of throwing your old clothes out, you can use it to fill up a trash can with cleaning cloths.

4. Coloring of bedding with tea

If you have tried everything to remove stains from napkins. a tablecloth, or even a paper napkin, you do not need to throw it out. Back in the day, many women “tea-colored” these things to make the stains disappear. Add 4 or 5 black tea bags to a bucket of warm water and let them soak for 10 minutes. Then remove the tea bags, add your stained item, and swish it around a bit. Let it sit in the tea until it reaches a shade that best suits the stain. (Tea creates a nice brownish hue.) Let it dry to set tea, then wash in cold water when needed.

Best cleaning secrets from grandma

5. Wax furniture with skopolish

School varnish makes a fantastic wax for your wooden furniture, and makes it look rich. You can also use shoe polish to cover shards and scratches on wooden furniture!

6. Wipe windows in direction

When drying freshly washed windows, use vertical lines on one side of the window and horizontal lines on the other. If any streaks are left behind, you can see at a glance whether they are on the inside or outside the window!

Best cleaning secrets from grandma

7. Remove spilled light wax

To remove light wax from wood floors or furniture, hold a bag of ice cubes against wax for a few minutes. Once the wax has hardened, it will be easy to scrape off or chip away.

8. Wash walls from the bottom up

With some cleaning tasks, it makes the most sense to work from top to bottom, but not when it comes to washing your walls. Working from the bottom up and moving up is the best way to avoid dripping, and dripping can leave your walls streaked.

Best cleaning secrets from grandma

9. Cut mushrooms in half

Our grandmothers are always new to how they make things last, and the easiest way to do that is to split things up. If you cut a new kitchen sponge in half, you get twice as much use for it as you normally would! And a smaller fungus dries much faster than a larger one, so it can also help prevent bacterial growth.

10. Damage control for wasted fat

If you have spilled grease on a wooden floor, immediately pour cold water on it. The cold water causes the fat to solidify before it penetrates the wood and leave a stain.

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Best cleaning secrets from grandma

11. Gloss silver with toothpaste

If time has slipped away from you and you need a quick way to shine your silver, do not panic. Rub a bit of toothpaste (paste, not gel) on your silver, rinse it clean, then wipe it with a soft cloth. Beautiful!

12. Lightly apply a pillow case

Grandma knew all the best tricks for making beds, including this trick for putting on a pillowcase. Turn the pillowcase inside and out and place your arms inside. Then grab the corners of one end of the pillow and pull it towards you while sliding the pillowcase down on it. How easy is it?

Best cleaning secrets from grandma

13. Use flour sack towels

You can save yourself a lot of money by switching from kitchen roll to flour bags. They are good for drying dishes because they do not leave fluff. Melp bags of towels also hold up well for repeated laundering, and they dry really quickly. (Just make sure you use nothing or your homemade rinse aid when washing them, otherwise it will affect their absorbency.)

14. Use wax on your vents

Apply a small amount of car wax to the ventilation openings around your house to prevent dust from building up on them. Anything that reduces the amount of dust I have to do is one thing worth doing in my book.

Best cleaning secrets from grandma

15. Refresh the air naturally

Use 100% vanilla extract to make your house smell great without unnatural chemicals. You can put a few drops on cotton pallets and hide them in plants or under furniture. Or visit the link below to get the β€œrecipe” for one of my favorite simmering potpourri!

Related: My favorite frothy Potpourri recipes

16. Food stuck

There is an easy way to remove jammed food that does not require hours of soaking. Bring a pot of water to a boil on your stove, then hold the messy dish over the pot for a few seconds. The steam treatment will loosen the jammed things and you will be able to easily scrape it off.

Best cleaning secrets from grandma

17. Have a weekly wash time

Have a “wash day” once a week instead of washing different clothes every day. It simplifies things a lot and you never have to wonder if a particular item is in the washer, dryer or waiting to be folded.

18. Remove stains and odors from hands

Handling certain foods can leave stains or odors on your hands. Remove stains and odors that rub tomato juice or sauce on your hands! You can also rub your hands together with table salt for the same effect.

Best cleaning secrets from grandma

19. Have a baking day

It seems that our grandmothers always used to have a cake or homemade cookies ready to offer the guests. That’s because many of them had a weekly “bake day!” Thanks to our modern freezers, you can even make a monthly baking day, where you prepare several batches of cakes or pastries and then freeze extra material for later. Having a baking day is a great way to keep homemade treats available for company (or for an after-dinner treat!)

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20. Avoid mildew shower curtain

The next time you get a new shower curtain, cut 2 β€³ or so of the material off the bottom. This is the part of the curtain that sticks to the side of your tub, and this is where mildew loves to grow. By removing the material, you can prevent mildew from forming in the first place to make cleaning your tub easier on the line.

Best cleaning secrets from grandma

21. Use Crisco To Silence Squeaks

Do you have a squeaky door or a closet hinge that has bothered you? Smear it up with a little bit of Crisco! It’s a simple solution and you’ll be wondering why you did not do it before!

22. Refresh your mattress with sunshine

Grandma knew that few things cleanse and deodorize as effectively as good old sunshine and fresh air. It’s a great way to freshen up your mattress when the weather warms up in the spring. Just pull your mattress out into the yard on a sunny day and leave it there for a few hours. It helps to kill dust mites, dry out moisture and leave the mattress fresh and clean!

Best cleaning secrets from grandma

23. Practice a gram of prevention

When it comes to keeping the house clean, it’s like Grandma always used to say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If you can prevent major clutter from happening, you do not have much to clean! So vacuum your shower after each use, put blankets in doorways to keep dirt out, vacuum areas with heavy traffic often to prevent dirt from getting into the fibers. These small chores will make it less likely that you will have to spend hours and hours on a larger project later!

Best cleaning secrets from grandma

24. Continue, do not overtake

Grandma had a list of little chores that she would perform each day. Not only did it keep her house neat and tidy if anyone was passing by, but it also made it easier to keep the house clean in general. You can follow in her footsteps by choosing a few things to do each day, like making the bed, washing up at the end of the day and sweeping the kitchen floor. (If you just want to pick a tip from this list to try, this is what will make the biggest difference!) πŸ™‚

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