12 Clever Hacks to Make Cleaning a Snap

With “spring cleaning” season around the corner, we searched Newspapers.com™ to find time-tested cleaning hacks that make the job easier! Here are 12 of our favorite tips and tricks we discovered in old newspapers!

Spring cleaning image, 1930 09 Apr 1930, Wed Daily Mail (Hull, Humberside, England) Newspapers.com

1. Use a vacuum to clean books (1939)

Tip: Use a vacuum to clean books (1939) 06 Oct 1939, Fri The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) Newspapers.com

“Use the vacuum cleaner on your books. Go over edges and bindings with the cleaner attachment or a hand model. This is the best method for cleaning books, as anything except the lightest touch with a dust cloth rubs dust into the edges of the pages.”

2. Use a brick when waxing floors (1950)

Tip: Use a brick when waxing floors 20 Jan 1950, Fri The Lexington Herald (Lexington, Kentucky) Newspapers.com

“Wrap a brick in your polishing cloth next time you wax floors! Thanks to the weight of the brick, you won’t have to press down half so hard!”

3. Clean with nylon stockings (1967)

Tip: Use nylon stocking for cleaning and polishing 08 Mar 1967, Wed Nanaimo Daily News (Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada) Newspapers.com

“Old nylon stockings are great for cleaning and polishing mirrors and windows.”

4. Or use newspapers to clean (1937)

Tip: Use newspapers when cleaning (1937) 12 Apr 1937, Mon Western Mail (Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales) Newspapers.com

“Use wads of newspaper to clean the grease off the kitchen range or the top of the stove. A crumpled pad of newspaper can also be used to give a final polish to windows, mirrors, pictures, &c.”

5. Dust with a paint brush (1949)

Tip: Dust with a paint brush (1949) 10 Jan 1949, Mon Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona) Newspapers.com

“You’ll find dusting carved furniture, picture frames, etc. easy if you’ll use a soft, dry paint brush instead of a cloth.”

6. Use steam to make washing bathroom walls easier (1952)

Tip: Make washing bathroom walls easier 08 Aug 1952, Fri The Ottawa Citizen (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) Newspapers.com

“Before washing bathroom walls, fill the tub with steaming hot water, go out, and shut the door for a half-hour. Then wash the walls with soapy water and the job will be much easier than usual. The steam loosens the dirt.”

7. Stop water from running down your arm (1950)

Tip: Stop water from running down your arm 15 Jul 1950, Sat The Lexington Herald (Lexington, Kentucky) Newspapers.com

“Easy way to keep water from trickling down your arms on ‘reach-up’ washing jobs! Wear rubber gloves … fold back cuffs … and stuff with absorbent cotton ‘sponge,’ as shown!”

8. Use a sponge mop to get pet hair off rugs (1960)

Tip: Use a sponge mop to get pet hair off rugs (1960) 20 Oct 1960, Thu The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) Newspapers.com

“A sponge mop squeezed nearly dry will roll up dog hairs on your rugs so that it is a quick and simple matter for the vacuum to pick them up.”

9. Unclog shower heads with vinegar (1948)

Tip: Unclog shower heads with vinegar 17 Jun 1948, Thu Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona) Newspapers.com

“Soak your shower spray overnight in vinegar if hard water deposits are clogging it up. Then, next day, you can easily re-open the closed holes with a toothpick!”

10. Clean smudges off walls with stale bread (1929)

Tips: Clean walls with stale bread 25 Mar 1929, Mon Lancaster New Era (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) Newspapers.com

“There is nothing better than stale bread for removing dirty smudges from papered or painted walls.”

11. Use the sprinkler to clean houseplants (1967)

Tip: Use the sprinklers to clean houseplants 09 Jun 1967, Fri St. Joseph Gazette (St. Joseph, Missouri) Newspapers.com

“When the leaves of my house plants get dirty, instead of wiping them off (which is a tiresome job) I put them in the yard and turn the sprinkler on ’em. They are cleaned quickly and look very fresh. Also they get a little needed sunshine.”

12. Organize your cleaning supplies (1966)

Tip: Organize your cleaning supplies 14 Jun 1966, Tue The Muscatine Journal (Muscatine, Iowa) Newspapers.com

“Put a small shoebag underneath the kitchen sink to hold cleaning rags, brushes, rubber gloves, etc.”

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2 thoughts on “12 Clever Hacks to Make Cleaning a Snap

  1. Too bad this site is ran almost entirely by AI now. 🙁 The AI is very scary now and the best scientists all say we will soon be pets to machines.

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