33 Magic Household Cleaning Tips

cleaningHouzzers from around the world share their tips for transforming housework into child’s play

Household chores are a fact of life — no matter how we tackle them, there’s no getting around them. Sometimes we divide them up among family members and try to turn them into a game; at other times, we simply integrate them into our weekly routine. Either way, we’re eager to make them as easy as possible, and we want our tactics to be both cheap and effective.

Because 33 opinions are better than just one, we’ve asked the global Houzz community for household cleaning tips that will transform the novices among us into veritable pros. From herbs for deterring insects in Australia to green tea for banishing bad smells in Japan, these magic tips have one thing in common: They’ve been tested and approved by the best experts around — you!

To-Dos: Your February Home Checklist

february to dosGet busy indoors this month with some time spent cooking, improving air quality and prepping for spring

Outsmart winter weather by making your home inside a clean, cozy and healthy haven. Put a pot of soup on the stove, plan a trip or get a jump-start on spring cleaning with a whole-house refresh, from the air you breathe to the floors underfoot. And since this is a leap year, you’ll have an extra day this month to get it all done.

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10 Ways to Spice Up Your Dining Room

dining thumbGet this gathering spot ready for guests with a few ambience-enhancing tweaks

With the holidays coming, you might be starting to think about hosting a gathering or two. If so, make sure your dining room is company-ready by making a few tweaks ahead of time. From simple additions (a throw on every chair) to bigger changes (new lighting), here are 10 ways to make your dining room the place to be.

How to Remove Water Rings From Wood Tables

wood table thumbYou may be surprised by some of these ideas for removing cloudy white water marks from wood surfaces

Even the most wonderful guests can sometimes be clueless about using coasters beneath a glass. This usually results in the dreaded ring marks and other stains on wooden tabletops. With the entertaining season in full swing, here are a few ideas to help make sure the only things left behind after a great party are the memories.

How to Clean and Care for Your Mattress

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 9.23.13 AMSee what the experts recommend to protect your mattress from dust, moisture and stains

Americans sleep an average of 7.7 hours a day, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor. That’s a lot of mattress time. And the caliber of that sleep depends a lot on your mattress — mainly its quality and how well you take care of it. Once you’ve bought the right mattress, you’ll want to know how to properly maintain it. “Taking proper care of your mattress will help you to protect your investment and promote better sleep,” says Lin Enilk, a representative of the American Sleep Association. Here’s what experts say about cleaning and caring for your mattress.

10 Ways to Dress Up Your Kitchen Island

kitchen isalnd thumbGive this key feature a style overhaul with new paint, trim or other decorative details

The kitchen island or peninsula is often the home’s hub, where family and friends gather to help with the cooking (or just the eating). This central position makes it an important design feature and a great place to add personality to your kitchen. Re-dressing the island can provide a dramatic face-lift on any budget. Here are 10 of my favorite ideas you can use to give the heart of the house a little love.

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