Basic materials like salt, vinegar, and a rubber band can all help to transform our homes and keep them in the best shape possible.

Such simple hacks can save us a lot of time and may even spare us a few pennies. These solutions can often be in front of our eyes, within our very own home cupboards, waiting for us to discover them.

With the help of Bright Side, you can upgrade your home using only essential household items.

1. Use rock salt as a dehumidifier to absorb moisture.

Keeping the moisture level low in your house to around 30-60% is important for your health and comfort. Humidity levels above 80% are perfect for bacteria and fungi to grow. These mold and fungi spores circulate around the home and can be harmful to breathe, especially for people with allergies and lung diseases.

Using rock salt to collect moisture in the air can be a good step to preventing a buildup of moisture. Simply place the salt in a container with holes punctured in the bottom, big enough for water to drain through, but small enough to stop any of the salt. Place it inside another container where the water can collect, making sure that the salt doesn’t touch the water in the bottom.

2. Baking soda removes mildew.

Mildew can start to grow in damp and unventilated areas of our houses, like bathrooms, basements, and around our windows.

To remove the mildew, mix 1 cup of baking soda with water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the mildew and leave it for 5 minutes. Scrub it down with a sponge or brush and leave it to dry completely. Repeat as many times as necessary.

3. Toothpaste cleans stained porcelain sinks.

This tip can be useful when you don’t have time to run to the store for more cleaner. All you need is some regular white toothpaste (not gel) to make your bathroom sink shine. Use a damp sponge to scrub it clean.

Because toothpaste is a mild abrasive that is used to remove plaque from our teeth, it can do wonders for cleaning. Next time you drop some in your sink you can give it a quick clean right away, instead of washing it down the drain!

4. Cleaning toilet rinse holes makes for a stronger flush.

Over time our toilets can start to flush more slowly and ineffectively. If this is happening, then the holes under the rim could be blocked with minerals. Check the holes with a small mirror and use a bent coat hanger to poke the tip into the holes and remove any deposits.

5. Rubber bands stop fans from rattling.

If the screws attaching the light globe to your fan come loose, rattle, or hum, then you can keep them in place with a rubber band. Simply slip the band around the neck of the light globe, where the screws grip it. This will prevent the screws from coming loose over time and will dampen any noise.

6. Lighting a match covers bathroom smells.

After using the bathroom, lighting a match can neutralize strong odors. This can be particularly helpful if you don’t have a window or a ventilation system to diffuse the smells.

The match produces sulfur dioxide that is stronger smelling than the methyl mercaptan odors we produce after going to the toilet. The sulfur dioxide is much better smelling, and masks unwanted smells!

7. Vinegar unblocks faucets.

When a faucet starts to lose pressure or spray to one side, it may be because of dirt buildup. The aerator screen, that small mesh cover at the tip of your tap, can get blocked over time.

To clean it, all you need to do is remove the aerator and soak it in vinegar before scrubbing it with a toothbrush. Don’t forget to cover the drain hole before starting so you don’t lose anything down the drain!

8. A hole in a trashcan makes it easier to remove the bag.

Drill a small hole into the side of your trashcan so that it is easier to remove the bag when you go to change it. This will break the vacuum-like seal that can sometimes make it so hard to pull the bags out. The hole doesn’t have to be large, it just has to be big enough for the air to pass through.

Which hack will you be trying first? What smart ways do you know of for keeping your home clean?

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