1. What’s the best way to get rid of mildew stains in the bathroom?
Use a specially formulated mildew remover in the areas where mildew tends to form—under the sink, around the window frames and sills, where the tub and shower meet the floor and on shower walls and doors. For hard-to-reach corners and tiny crevices, saturate a cotton ball and insert it into the mildewed area for about 15 to 20 minutes; then remove and rinse. Note: be sure to wear gloves while cleaning and keep the bathroom well ventilated.
Keep in mind that mildew can be stubborn, so all-purpose cleaners seldom work. Antibacterial Scrubbing Bubbles® XXI Bathroom Cleaner
easily removes soap scum, hard-water stains and dirt, controls mold and mildew growth, and won’t scratch surfaces.
To help prevent future mildew growth, try keeping the bathroom humidity level down by turning on a fan when you shower or opening a window, and keep your bathroom brightly lit (mildew thrives in dark, moist environments!). Always wipe down wet areas immediately and thoroughly and hang up damp towels and clothing to dry.
2. How do I get rid of toilet bowl rings?
Rings in toilet bowls form as a result of accumulated mineral deposits from hard water (like limescale), grime, rust and more. To clean, wear protective gloves and use a long-handled brush with an abrasive pad to loosen the dirt and grime. Stains like these are best tackled by using a toilet brush-and-cleaner combo specifically made for the chore—one like Scrubbing Bubbles® Fresh Brush® 2-in-1 Toilet Cleaning System
. The brush’s scrubbing pad is saturated with a cleaning formula designed to work on difficult stains, plus it’s disposable (no wet, germy brush to store). The curved handle also makes it effortless to reach under the rim.
3. How do I get rid of those stains (hard water, rust, grime) and clean soap scum in my bathroom?
The white and brown spots around your bathtub, shower, sink or bathroom fixtures are probably from a combination of sources: limescale deposits formed by hard water, soap scum buildup which occurs when minerals in the water react with soap and body oils, rust from drips. If so, normal cleaners won’t work. Instead, look for one that is acid based, like Scrubbing Bubbles® Orange Action™ Soap Scum Remover
. Spray on the cleaner and let it stand for a few minutes. Wipe clean with a wet cloth or sponge and rinse thoroughly with water. Note: be sure to steer clear of abrasive cleaners that can scratch porcelain and leave it dull looking.
Also, it’s best to try to clean these stains fairly frequently before too much of a buildup occurs. If they are allowed to sit for long periods of time, they could become hard to remove or even permanent.
4. What causes clogs in kitchen drainpipes and how can I avoid them?
Many kitchen drain clogs are caused by the gradual accumulation of grease and other waste items on the inside walls of drainpipes. Over time, this buildup slows down the normal flow of water through the pipe and can eventually block it.
To help avoid clogs in kitchen drains, never pour cooking oil or grease down the drain. Instead, let the oil or grease cool and then wrap it in old newspapers or place in a sealed container before discarding it in the trash. If you have a garbage disposal, try to run it regularly—that’ll help, too.
For a stubborn kitchen drain clog, it’s also smart to use a clog remover such as Drano® Kitchen Crystals Clog Remover
(if no garbage disposal) or Drano® Dual Force™ Foam
(if garbage disposal present) that cuts through grease and other tough kitchen clogs.
5. How do I unclog a clogged toilet?
If your toilet becomes stopped up and starts to overflow, don’t flush it! First, turn off the water by using the knob behind the toilet. If the bowl is full, wait for the water to go down to a level that won’t overflow; sometimes, a stopped-up toilet will drain by itself if given time. If it doesn’t, place a plunger in the toilet, pressing the cup firmly over the drain opening. Without lifting it, firmly push the plunger down several times. This helps increase the water pressure and usually releases the clog.
6. What’s the best way to remove the manufacturer’s label from glass?
Labels applied with water-based glue should come off easily if you soak the glass in hot water. Or try smearing peanut butter over the spot; the oil in the peanut butter will help dissolve the adhesive. This trick works well on picture frames, too.
7. How do I clean food stains off the plastic dishes used in microwaves?
Plastic microwave dishes can be washed in your dishwasher. (First check the dishwasher’s manual to determine which rack you should place them on.) You can also wash the dishes by hand using a mild detergent and a plastic scrub pad. Just don’t use abrasives like metal mesh scouring pads or scouring powder, which can scratch the plastic.
For stains that are especially hard to remove, try soaking the dish in a solution of one Tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one cup of water. Soak for a few minutes, soap and rinse very thoroughly and dry the dish well before using.
8. How do I clean the buildup of detergent and grime in a dishwasher?
Turn on the dishwasher after you have emptied it. When the dishwasher fills with water, during the first cycle, place vinegar or citrus crystals (available at drugstores) in the detergent bucket. Then let the dishwasher run through its full cycle. Note: be sure to check your dishwasher’s manual first to determine if this is okay for your model.
9. How do I clean a garbage disposal?
If used properly, a garbage disposal is its own best cleaner. Every so often, though, it’s good to rinse it to get rid of any lingering debris. Fill the sink with two or three inches of cold water and then turn on the disposal. Then, run a few citrus peels or ice cubes through the disposal to help eliminate any lingering food odors.
10. How do I remove candle wax from a wood table?
To remove the wax without damaging the finish on your table, put an ice cube or ice pack on the wax spot to harden it. Then using an old credit card or a smooth plastic ruler (not a knife!), carefully scrape it off.
11. How do I get grass stains out of clothes?
First, make sure that the garment label does not read “dry clean only.” If it does, take it to a dry cleaner as soon as you can, before the stain begins to “set.” If the label reads “colorfast washable” and the stain is fresh, pretreat the stain with a stain remover like Shout® Triple-Acting Laundry Stain Remover
, the Shout® Advanced Ultra Gel Brush
; all are formulated with stain-fighting ingredients that quickly act to remove tough stains. Start by rubbing the stain remover into the fabric to penetrate the stain; wait 1 to 5 minutes and then wash the garment with detergent in the warmest water recommended on its label. Built-in brushes (like the one that comes with the Shout® Advanced Ultra Gel Brush
) make treating the stain easier.
Note: if you are using Shout® Advanced Ultra Gel
to remove the stain, don’t pretreat bright, khaki or fluorescent colors for more than a few minutes before laundering or the color may be affected. If you noticed the stain after the item went through the dryer, try a more concentrated stain remover such as Shout® Advanced Gel
. Just spray it directly on the set-in stain and then re-launder with detergent in the warmest water recommended on the garment label. If your garment is bleachable, you can re-launder with detergent and bleach. Check out the Shout® Stain Solver
for a whole array of solutions for other stains.
12. How do I keep glass windows from streaking while I’m cleaning them?
Glass can streak for several reasons: if you’re using the wrong cleaner or cloth, or even if you are cleaning on the wrong day! To get a streak-free shine, start by spraying the glass surface with Windex® Original Glass Cleaner
and then wiping it off with untreated or recycled paper towels. Don’t use extra-absorbent paper towels—they tend to leave lint and film on glass or mirrored surfaces—and avoid any cleaning cloths that contain fabric softener. It’s best not to clean glass on very hot or cold days because the cleaning product may evaporate or freeze before you have the time to wipe it off and cause streaking. Also avoid cleaning glass when the sun is shining directly on it as the direct heat will evaporate the sprays even faster. Tip: Dry windows on the outside in one direction and inside in a different direction. If you see a streak, you can easily tell whether this is inside or out.
13. What should I use to get rid of smoke odors in the air (cigarettes, cooking, etc.)?
To get rid of those annoying smoke or cooking odors and give your home a clean smell, use air sanitizers, like those from the Glade® Tough Odor Solutions Collection
. They’re specially formulated with Odor Fighter Technology to fight even the toughest odors, while leaving a refreshing scent so your home smells fresh and clean.
14. How do I get rid of strong odors in my fridge?
Start by getting rid of the possible culprits—sour milk, rotting fruits and vegetables, burnt or moldy food, strong-smelling cheeses and improperly wrapped foods. Clean up any spills on the exterior of your fridge with Antibacterial fantastik® All Purpose Cleaner Heavy Duty
. Clean removable parts such as bins and shelves with hot water and soap. When you’re done cleaning, thoroughly rinse and dry all surfaces.
After cleaning, many people like to place an open box of baking soda or an open canister of freshly ground coffee in the fridge to help absorb any remaining food odors. To remove heavy-duty odors, some people swear by a shallow pan of activated charcoal (available at appliance stores, pet stores or in the housewares section of department stores). Spread a few ounces of the powder on shallow pans in an empty fridge or freezer and run on a low setting for a few days until odors are absorbed.