9 Tough DIY House Cleaning Projects Made Simple
Get the tough stuff done right the first time
February 15, 2019

It's time to roll up your sleeves and dig into the tough cleaning projects you've been putting off. But unless you're cleaning properly, you can actually make a bigger mess that may require time-consuming and costly cleanup.

With a good cleaning product and proper know-how, you can make short work of those messy spills, stains and buildup, even on the big cleaning items in your home. That's where Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner's powerful degreasing and deodorizing formula comes in - check out a series of 9 DIY House Cleaning Projects Made Simple!

1. OVEN

Grease splatter on the oven door, dropped chunks of food at the base, grease-stained racks and other messes that come about from a hard day's work in the kitchen are no fun for anyone. Some ovens come with an auto cleaning function, but even if yours does, letting your oven run at an extremely hot temperature for hours on is rarely an ideal setup at home.

How to Clean: Remove the oven racks for easier access and clean separately. For grease and baked-on food, pre-spray the entire oven – including the oven door - with warm water or wipe with a damp cloth before cleaning. Then spray the entire oven, including the door, with full-strength Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner (spot test a small, hidden area before use). It easily cuts through grease and grimy accumulations to help get your oven clean.

Let the cleaning solution soak for up to 5 minutes to penetrate the baked-on grease, then scrub with a stiff nylon brush or non-abrasive pad. Rinse by wiping the surface of the oven with a warm damp microfiber or cloth. Wipe or air dry, and replace the cleaned oven racks. For stove tops, follow this tip.



2. BATHROOM GROUT

Restoring dingy tile grout to like-new brightness doesn't require harsh chemicals like bleach, ammonia or vinegar, which can damage your grout and actually create more problems than they solve. Even a steel bristle scrub brush can work against you, scratching and damaging surfaces. This will invite stains and dullness, and lead to diminished appeal of your flooring. Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner's non-toxic formula reaches deep into the tiny pores of your grout between tiles, eliminating soils at the source without damaging the grout itself.

How to Clean: Mix 1 oz. Simple Green to 1 cup of water in a spray bottle, and spray the area down. Allow a few seconds for it to penetrate the pores of your grout. Use a toothbrush or soft-bristle brush to scrub the dirty grout areas. For heavy-duty grout cleaning jobs, you can use a homemade 3:1 paste mix of baking soda and Simple Green to pull deeply-embedded soils to the surface. Apply directly to the grout, and allow 10 to 15 minutes for the mixture to penetrate. Then rinse with clean water, and wipe away any remaining residue with a clean, non-abrasive cloth.



3. DESCALE SHOWERHEAD

If your shower head is clogged by mineral deposits from hard water, and won't flow as expected, don't replace it – restore it. A common cleaning practice is to fill a plastic bag with vinegar and soak the shower head, but vinegar's corrosive qualities may cause damage to the surface. Simple Green Lime Scale Remover contains corrosion inhibitors to help protect your shower head while cleaning. It's specially formulated to effectively dissolve and remove scale, soap scum, water spots and mineral deposits.

Before cleaning your shower head, consult the manufacturer's instructions for information specific to the model you own, and protect your eyes from splash, spray or drip with glasses or goggles.

How to Clean: First remove the shower head by twisting the head counterclockwise to loosen and remove it from the nozzle. If you have difficulty, wrap a soft cloth around the connecting nut for protection and use a wrench to loosen the showerhead.

If possible, remove the filter screen. Rinse the filter screen while gently scrubbing it with a toothbrush or stiff, non-metallic brush. Then spray Simple Green Lime Scale Remover onto the surface of the showerhead, or apply with a damp sponge or cloth. Use your brush to dislodge mineral deposits and lime scale buildup, taking care not to scrub the soft rubber too vigorously. Use a toothpick or safety pin to poke out additional deposits in the small holes on the surface.

Then you should reassemble and reinstall the shower head, and run the shower for two minutes to test flow and flush out any remaining cleaning product.



4. SHOWER CURTAIN LINER

A shower curtain liner dotted with soap scum can make your skin crawl. Instead of throwing away or recycling your dirty shower curtain liner, use Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner to get it clean and extend its usability for months or even years to come.

How to Clean: For deep cleaning, separate the shower curtain liner from the shower curtain, and remove any hooks or rings. Place the liner in the washing machine with ¼ cup Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner, and add two towels to provide extra scrubbing on your liner. Wash on warm water cycle, then re-hang the curtain liner immediately, and dry the towels as normal.



5. MATTRESS STAINS

Between dead skin cells, spills, accidents and more, your mattress can get downright gross. Stains on the surface of your mattress can be unsightly and smelly if left untreated. Rather than spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a new mattress every few years, you can freshen and deodorize your mattress by cleaning it with Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner. Spot cleaning issue? No problem. Larger stains? Simple Green has you covered - plus it can be added to a carpet cleaning machine for a deep clean. And don't forget to flip and rotate your mattress periodically!

How to Clean: Mix 1 oz. of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner per 1 cup of warm water (a 1:8 ratio) in an empty spray bottle. Then lightly spray the solution onto the stain. Take care not to oversaturate the mattress, as this can result in mold or mildew growth. Allow 1-2 minutes for the solution to penetrate the soil, without letting it dry, then gently rub and blot with a damp cloth. Let the mattress air dry before covering.



6. CARPET STAINS

Your carpet gets quite a bit of foot traffic on any given day, so not just any carpet cleaning product will do the job. From tracked-in mud, dirt and dust, pet stains and odors, spilled food and drinks, Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner can spot-clean carpet stains or even work in a carpet cleaning machine for deep cleaning carpet fibers. Plus, it's non-toxic and biodegradable - safer for your home & family.

How to Clean: For spots, remove any mess and blot up any liquid from the carpet, then dampen the stain with clean warm water. Spray a solution of 1 oz. Simple Green and 1 cup water onto the stain, and gently rub and blot with a clean damp towel or absorbent cloth. Then allow the area to dry completely before resuming foot traffic. If you're unsure about how Simple Green will affect a surface, be sure to spot test before cleaning.

For larger areas or use in a carpet cleaning machine, visit this tip.



7. WALLS

Maintain that freshly-painted look on your walls by keeping them clean and free of dust, fingerprints, stains and smudges with a non-abrasive cleaning solution that won't discolor or diminish your paint. Whether your walls are coated with latex or oil-based paint, using Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner on a regular cleaning schedule can keep dirt off painted walls and keep them looking great for years to come.

How to Clean: Dust all surfaces to be cleaned, then dilute 1 ounce of Simple Green to 4 cups water. Spot test a small, hidden area before use. Spray the Simple Green solution directly onto the area, and allow the product to soak for a minute or so on heavy soils such as scuff marks or crayon. Then wipe down wall surface completely, and use a damp, clean non-abrasive cloth to remove dirt & grime. Finally, dry the wall completely, and use a clean, non-abrasive cloth to wipe down oil-based gloss or semi-gloss walls for a streak-free surface. (This step is not necessary on latex.)



8. DISHWASHER

Your dishwasher simplifies the daily routine of cleaning mountains of dirty dishes and cookware. But to prevent mineral deposits and hard water stains, as well as musty odors from accumulated grease, food debris and soap scum remain in full working order, it needs a thorough cleaning once or twice a year. Additionally, most new-model dishwashers have a manual-clean filter that needs to be regularly cleaned out to avoid drainage problems and foul odors.

To avoid skin irritation or splash-back into your eyes, wear protective gloves and eye protection when cleaning. Consult your machine's manual for any special tips or warranty statements before starting.

How to Clean: Remove the bottom dish rack from the machine, and clear out any food residue or other obstacles caught in the dishwasher drain, to improve drainage flow and increase cleaning efficiency. If possible, remove the filter system (look for a center cylinder to unscrew for removal), and spray thoroughly with Simple Green Lime Scale Remover. Then use a stiff, non-metallic brush to dislodge any bits of food, greasy buildup and other material. Rinse thoroughly and replace.

To clean the interior, spray Simple Green Lime Scale Remover on the walls, dish rack, spray arm and drain. Let the product sit for 3 minutes to work into hard water deposits, then scrub the entire surface with a wet, non-abrasive scrubbing pad. Lift the spray arm off its base, scrub thoroughly with your brush, and unclog any plugged holes using a toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly before reinstalling. Then run a full rinse cycle on your empty dishwasher, followed by a full cold wash cycle. If necessary, repeat this step.



9. FIREPLACE

The ashes left behind in your fireplace tend to be very fine, which can easily become airborne, potentially creating breathing hazards inside your house. Proper care is important to prevent struggling with the thick black build-up inside your fireplace, spreading ash throughout your living room and sending dust and soot throughout your home.

Additionally, if you don't have a top-sealing chimney damper on your chimney flue, there's a possibility of bird nests in your flue. This can result in a number of dangerous parasites and bacteria entering your home.

How to Clean: If cleaning a gas fireplace, make sure the gas is off. Protect the surrounding area by covering any nearby furniture and carpet with trash bags or old sheets. Keep a trashcan lined with two bags nearby, to dispose of the ash, soot and debris. Check the flue for bird nests and other damage or debris that need to be addressed prior to cleaning. Remove the andirons and grate and take them outdoors. Spray them down with Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner and use a medium-bristle brush to remove any buildup or stuck-on carbon deposits. Rinse thoroughly with water.

Clear debris from the firebox. This is the area where the fire actually takes place. Using a fireplace shovel, remove ashes and any remaining wood and place in the trash can. Use a small brush or fireplace brush to gently sweep the inside of the chimney and firebox. Use a broom or vacuum to remove the loose dust and ash.

Creosote deposits accumulate from the wood burning in your fireplace. Prevent odorous build-up of creosote in the chimney by spraying it thoroughly with Simple Green, as high as you're able to safely reach. Use the foaming feature on a Simple Green spray bottle to help the cleaner remain on the surface longer. Don't worry if the Simple Green runs down onto the brick below – that will help in the following step.

Next, spray the walls inside your firebox with Simple Green, and use a stiff bristled brush to loosen soot. Then rinse thoroughly with water. Spray the fireplace screens and doors with Simple Green, and use a medium bristled brush to scrub away any visible buildup on the screen. Then rinse and air dry or dry with paper towel, and absorb any excess soot, cleaner or water with paper towel or rags. Replace andirons and grate.



Learn more about Simple Green products
  • Popular Categories
Sign Up For Tips, Coupons & More