5 Brilliant Cleaning Tips We Learned from Grandmas This Year

published Dec 12, 2022
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We love a good TikTok hack as much as the next person, but sometimes grandma knows best. Sometimes that kitchen-cleaning routine your mom taught you (and her mom taught her) is the same one you’re passing down to your own children. And sometimes there isn’t any better method for dusting than the one your grandmother showed you. 

Here are five of the year’s very best tips that have been passed down through the generations. 

1. Use dust-repellant spray.

Dusting is tedious and it has to be done so frequently. But contributor Marlen Komar’s Polish grandmother has a way to lengthen the time between dusting sessions: Use a dust-repellant spray. Here’s the best part: You can make a super-effective one yourself out of vinegar, olive oil, and soap. 

2. Use a damp cloth to dust.

Another smart dusting tip from our elders? Use a damp cloth to dust. This advice comes from contributor Rochelle Bilow’s aunt, Gail Bilow, who is also a grandmother. She says using a damp cloth helps trap dust rather than simply flinging it around the room.

3. Clean ceiling fans with a pillow case.

Social media favorite (and grandma) Brunch With Babs has a tried-and-true hack for cleaning ceiling fans: Use an empty pillow case to clean ceiling fan blades. This allows you to catch dust rather than scatter it all over the furniture and floor beneath.

4. De-stink drains with baking soda and vinegar.

Foul-smelling drains can really make a kitchen feel gross. Naomi DeMutch, another New York grandmother, uses something you probably already have in your kitchen to refresh drains: white vinegar. Get rid of the stinky drains by spooning baking soda into the sink and chasing it down with a glug of white vinegar. 

5. Break the “rules” to keep things manageable.

Grandmothers also know what they can let slide. The grandmothers quoted in this piece have learned that they can’t do it all — and they don’t have to! For instance, you don’t need to iron everything; instead, let prompt removal from the dryer and/or hanging clothes do the “ironing” for you. You can also be content with washing your windows just once or twice a year and sweeping your kitchen as needed (instead of every night).