Cleaning

How to Remove Sticky, Clingy Tree Sap From Your Clothes

If you like to camp, hike, or bring home a Christmas tree during the December season, then you know the sinking, pit-in-your-stomach feeling of realizing you’ve sat in or leaned against sap. At first, it might not register. There are a lot of sticky elements in the great outdoors and not all of them are as lethal to your favorite quarter-zip fleece as sap often is. Though once you’ve become conscious of the fact that you’ve managed to get sugary tree excrement on your beloved leggings, the heart-wrenching sensation is unmatched. But what if we told you that you’d never have to experience that pain again? That you’d never have to discard another contaminated puffer jacket? Well, that is, in fact, what we’re here to say. We’ve scoured the internet for every sap-eliminating tip and trick in the book, so you have multiple methods at your disposal the next time your garments come in contact with…

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Stink Bugs Are the Worst. Here’s How To Get Rid of Them.

As I write this explainer on how to get rid of stink bugs, I shudder at all the times I came across them in my home last fall and winter—which was too many. My husband had warned me about them, but as someone who’d dealt with rats while living in New York City, how much harm could a lil stink bug do? Well. What Are Stink Bugs?
Stink bugs are the worst. Technically, they’re called the brown marmorated stink bug, but in my house, they’re called get outta here NOW. They’re big (for a bug), they’re invasive to the US, they’re everywhere, and it’s not recommended to actually squish and kill them—unless you want to understand why they’re called stink bugs. Read More >> …

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11 Cleaning Tools You’d Be Delighted to Show Off

I had a friend over the other night for drinks. A few margaritas in, he dropped a handful of cracker crumbs on the floor—and panicked a little (my friends know me well). I sprang into action: not in an argh-you’re-so annoying way, but with a little skip, practically singing out: “This is no problem at all (lalalalalala)”. If he was surprised at my lack of annoyance, he didn’t show it. I grabbed my Iris Hantverk crumb brush and pan—at the ready at all times—and got to work. My floors promptly reinstated, my friend asked to look at the little miracle worker. He proceeded to stare at it for what felt like long seconds, and said, a little emotionally, that it was the sweetest cleaning tool he had ever seen. “OMG YESSS LET ME BUY ONE FOR YOU,” I practically yelled. Two days and one expedited delivery later, he sent me a photo of what is now—his…

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The Smart Laundry Detergent Trick I Learned on TikTok

We’ve teamed up with LG STUDIO to share our top tips and tricks for laundry success, starting with the appliances. Our pick: The LG STUDIO WashTower, which has built-in technology that selects just the right cycle for your wash-and-rinse routine. And don’t forget their Styler steam closet—it’s the perfect laundry room plus-one for refreshing your favorite garments, pillows, plush toys, and more. I know I’m not the only one who secretly scrolls through TikTok when laying in bed at night. Not only are there hours upon hours of hilarious content and trendy dances that I try to copy in the bathroom mirror, but there’s also a whole lot of genuinely useful information, too. Read More >> …

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Wait, We Need to Clean Our Rugs *How* Often?

My least-favorite chores are the ones that only need to be done a few times a year, because, frankly, I always forget to do them. I’m talking about things like washing curtains, dusting the fridge coils, and yes, deep-cleaning your carpets. Can’t remember the last time you called in the pros to shampoo your rugs? You’re certainly not alone, but basically any cleaning expert will tell you that simply vacuuming your rugs isn’t enough. As the months go by, grime and bacteria inevitably accumulates deep in rugs, and even the most powerful vacuum cleaner can’t get it all out. Read More >> …

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Did You Know Your Cane Furniture Needs to be Moisturized?

Add a piece, or a set, of cane furniture to any room and the atmosphere instantly relaxes. Your proximity to the nearest beach dwindles, your vacation days increase (and inch closer), sunshine glimmers in the forecast. Barefooted-ness becomes a regular consideration. Ice cream for dinner. I’m not kidding. Have you tried it? The plants used to make woven, natural-fiber furniture take many shapes, but two of the most common materials used are rattan and cane. Often confused and used interchangeably, rattan and cane are different applications of a similar material. Rattan includes over 600 different species of solid timber vine (different from a material like bamboo, which is hollow), native to tropical forests. Cane, on the other hand, is actually a specific part of rattan, which is removed from the thorny outer skin of the plant. It’s naturally very light in color, somewhat shiny, and far less porous than other parts of rattan—making it exceptional at…

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This Is IKEA’s Most Versatile Item. No, It’s Not the Billy Bookcase.

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I’m obsessed with cleaning and organizing. Show me a home product that ticks both boxes at the same time, and I can barely keep it together with excitement. So, it’s no wonder that I’m about to gush a little about my new favorite household helper: the IKEA Råskog utility cart. I know what you’re thinking: a rolling cart is a rolling cart is a…, but no, even as first glances go, this one’s a looker. (Those curves. That gray-green!) I use mine to hold all my cleaning supplies (of which I have many) that used to previously overflow under the kitchen sink. The bottom shelves offer additional storage, so I can organize them according to priority. My most regularly used cleaners are up top; the second shelf is for gloves, cloths and brushes; and the third I keep for specialized cleaners (Brasso, Magic Erasers, you get it)….

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Are You Cleaning Your Sheets Often Enough?

If you type “How often should you…” into Google, one of the first autofill suggestions is “How often should you wash your sheets?” You might think you know the answer to this question, but the recommended time between washes actually surprises a lot of people! It got us thinking: How often should you clean other items around the house? Is there a recommended cleaning cadence for things like pillows and rugs? What about appliances like the stove and microwave? Read More >> …

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Dyson Is Having a Major Black Friday Sale—Here Are Our Top 5 Picks

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of owning a Dyson. Maybe it has something to do with inventor James Dyson’s clipped, all-knowing British accent. Maybe it’s the seemingly impossible technology (I’ve always wondered how a vacuum so slim actually sucks up anything effectively, yet it does). Read More >> …

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The 10-Second Trick to Clean Your Gunky Cheese Grater

Like a mandoline slicer or a vegetable peeler, a cheese grater is one of those kitchen tools that comes with an extra touch of danger. Sometimes, a little extra danger is a fun thing, like how one out of every 10 shishito peppers turns out to be spicy, and you don’t know which one. But in the kitchen, where I’m already contending with fire and knives, I don’t need the extra stress. I’m talking about how annoying it is to be able to clean a cheese grater without a) the shredded cheese getting stuck everywhere, making the process take way too long and b) putting my knuckles in danger. And spare a thought for your poor sponge! Read More >> …

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15 Things You Should Never, Ever Put in the Dishwasher

My motto when shopping for home goods is, “If it doesn’t go in the dishwasher (or washing machine), it doesn’t go in my house!” Washing dishes is one of my least favorite chores, so I do my absolute best to keep hand wash-only items out of my cabinets. But despite my efforts, there are still a number of kitchen essentials I end up hand-washing, typically because I didn’t read the fine print when I bought them. (Seriously, who knew box graters shouldn’t go in the dishwasher?) Read More >> …

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15 Things You Should Never, Ever Put in the Dishwasher

My motto when shopping for home goods is, “If it doesn’t go in the dishwasher (or washing machine), it doesn’t go in my house!” Washing dishes is one of my least favorite chores, so I do my absolute best to keep hand wash-only items out of my cabinets. But despite my efforts, there are still a number of kitchen essentials I end up hand-washing, typically because I didn’t read the fine print when I bought them. (Seriously, who knew box graters shouldn’t go in the dishwasher?) Read More >> …

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The One-Stop Guide to Cleaning the Oven

Welcome to Spring Clean Your Life, your one-stop shop for gotta-try-those tips & bookmark-me inspiration to spruce up your kitchen and home this season—and well beyond. Your oven is the place where gooey cheese, bubbling sauce, and steak drippings go to die. So, when it comes to cleaning up kitchen messes, the inside of the oven is probably the one people dread the most. If you’ve been following along with our Spring Clean Your Life series, you may have seen that experts recommend cleaning your oven at least twice a year. Not sure how to even begin? We’re here to help. Read More >> …

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The One-Stop Guide to Cleaning the Oven

Welcome to Spring Clean Your Life, your one-stop shop for gotta-try-those tips & bookmark-me inspiration to spruce up your kitchen and home this season—and well beyond. Your oven is the place where gooey cheese, bubbling sauce, and steak drippings go to die. So, when it comes to cleaning up kitchen messes, the inside of the oven is probably the one people dread the most. If you’ve been following along with our Spring Clean Your Life series, you may have seen that experts recommend cleaning your oven at least twice a year. Not sure how to even begin? We’re here to help. Read More >> …

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My House Doesn’t Truly Feel Clean Until I Do This

Surprising exactly no one, I really do not like cleaning. I dread those weekly marathon sessions of turning over every curio, wiping each surface, scrubbing all the dark and cobwebby crannies. I hate the odor of vinegar and bleach and window cleaner that permeates my apartment for hours and gives me a headache. I can’t stand the pruny fingers I develop after spending the better part of the day with my fists clenched around a smelly wet rag. But even though I abhor these things with a fiery passion, with equal passion I love the payoff. The feeling of finally being at rest in a spotless space after a long day of tidying is simply unparalleled. Cooking in a kitchen that’s just been scrubbed opens a new world of dinnertime possibilities. Watching TV in a freshly dusted living room makes me feel more relaxed than the TV show could by itself. Read More >> …

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Afraid of Red Wine Stains? Memorize this Handy Trick

On a recent Friday night, I ventured to a BYOB restaurant for dinner with a group. After waiting in line for 30 minutes to place our orders, we sat at a picnic table and started to uncork the bottles of wine we’d brought. I was pretty jazzed about my 2017 Les Heretiques, a natural, French Carignan, so I carefully poured healthy servings into flimsy plastic cups and set the open bottle down in the middle of the table. I took a sip and was delighted to find the red table wine was just to my taste—tannic, medium-bodied, and full of dark fruit. My cup quivered ominously. Read More >> …

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The Best Way to Clean Your Oven Might Surprise You

I confess: the one thing I have never, ever cleaned successfully is my oven rack. Has anyone? No matter what I cook, and no matter how careful I am to put pans underneath bubbling pies and roasting vegetables, the racks somehow get covered in a layer of greasy gunk and are now permanently reddish-brown. I’ve tried scrubbing them with dish soap and baking soda, but long ago gave up hope that they’d ever be silver and shiny again. Besides, I had more visible cleaning problems to tackle. Then a friend told me about a surprising cleaning tool for oven racks and stovetop grates: dryer sheets. I don’t typically stock dryer sheets, since they’ve got lots of chemicals, which I try to avoid adding to my laundry. But, sources confirmed (when I Googled it later), that dryer sheets are excellent at tackling stubborn oven buildup—and I had half a box left behind by a former roommate that…

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The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to a Clean Stove

The stove is the workhorse of the kitchen, burners dutifully heating up on command to prepare meals at all times of day, season after season. It toils for you and your family, and that hard work shows: in a splotch of tomato sauce from Monday, charred spinach from Tuesday, burnt bits of rice from Wednesday. After days of cooking, the stove can come to be a visual map for what and how you eat. After a month of cooking, it can take on a golden-brown patina of grease and grime that looks anything but appetizing. A stove should be kept clean for your physical health—bacteria builds up in those chunks of minced garlic that never made it into the pan or the bean broth that spilled over the side of the pot—but also as inspiration. A clean stove for a cook is the artist’s equivalent of a blank canvas—the possibilities are endless. A clean stove is…

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An Unexpected Trick to Keep Your Dishwasher Smelling So Fresh, So Clean

When I bought a dishwasher for my apartment two years ago, I really felt like I’d made it in life. Maybe because in Chinese households, at least the way I remember them, they don’t exist. Even when there’s one right in the kitchen, that’s not a dishwasher. It’s a storage unit at best. Case in point: this scene from Fresh Off the Boat, when the youngest son in the Huang family, during lunch at a friend’s house, learns that the machine his own family uses as a “drying rack” has another purpose. “You mean the thing we put our dishes into after we wash them in the sink?” his older brother asks in disbelief. Thus begins a small generational war in the home as the boys scheme ways to actually use the dishwasher—something their mother hoped would never happen in their lifetime. Read More >> …

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The 4 Surprising Spots You’re (Probably) Forgetting to Spring Clean

If the recent change in seasons has you reaching for the bucket and mop, you’re not alone. Seventy-seven percent of households in the U.S. engage in the annual ritual of spring cleaning, according to a recent survey conducted by the the American Cleaning Institute, the D.C.-based trade organization for the cleaning products industry. (Apparently, 8 percent of people “never spring clean.”) Read More >> …

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A Why-Didn’t-I-Think-of-That Way to Fold Fitted Sheets

I actually love folding laundry—when it’s fresh from the dryer, warm and smelling like mountain springs or a clean breeze. I burrow into my toasty pile before sorting through the socks and shirts and sheets. I listen to podcasts as I organize each article of clothing, ready to fit in my closet. It makes me feel cozy and accomplished. That is, unless I’m folding a fitted sheet. Because—despite the fact that this is not rocket science—my attempts to show those rounded corners who’s boss fail. Every. Single. Time. Read More >> …

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De-Stink Your Onion Hands With This Trick

So, say you’re chopping a whole bunch of onions. Just a hypothetical here. The tears that accompany slicing and dicing alliums are hard enough, but to add insult to injury, the harsh onion stink clings to your hands—even after a thorough washing. If you want a much faster way of getting rid of that smell, skip the soap and rub your hands with a spoon. Read More >> …

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