Posts Tagged ‘ spring cleaning ’

Magic Tricks with the Magic Eraser

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

While working on 23 Clean Discoveries, our April issue’s ultimate spring-cleaning guide, I polled Parents staffers about their favorite tidy-up tools. By a landslide the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser was crowned everyone’s not-so-secret weapon. It may be an old standby for removing crayon murals from walls, but we discovered 17 other genius ways to put it to work. Test our editors’ and readers’ tricks: just wet the foam with water, wring it out, and get scrubbing!


  1. Shine shoes in a pinch, when you don’t have polish. (Julie Taraska, Shop Parents Editor)
  2. Lift food dye and paint from quartz countertops—that’s no mean feat! (Lisa Milbrand, Contributing Editor)
  3. Lightly buff hardwood floors to remove permanent marker without stripping the finish. (Gail O’Connor, Senior Editor)
  4. Rub-off shoe marks on floorboards and stairs in five minutes. (Karen Snyder Duke, Associate Editor)
  5. Remove dirt and fingerprints that collect around light switches. (Dana Points, Editor-in-Chief)
  6. Polish kitchen cabinet doors. (Chandra Turner, Executive Editor)
  7. Keep a white-topped stove in pristine condition. (Jessica Hartshorn, Senior Lifestyle Editor)
  8. Dissolve soap scum from textured, non-slip surfaces like bathtubs. (Laura Fenton, Lifestyle Director)
  9. Touch-up computer keyboards and electrical cords. (Amy Roberts, Contributing Writer)
  10. Scrub stains, spills, and scuffs from hard-to-clean tile floors. (Maryn Liles, Associate Editor)
  11. Get rid of adhesive gunk leftover from price tags, stickers, labels, and tape. (Rheanna O’Neil Bellomo, Editorial Assistant)
  12. Cut 1-inch strips for your toilet tank to keep it fresh and remove hard water stains without scrubbing—just don’t flush them! (Syndi Shoff via Facebook)
  13. Wipe away marks on vinyl siding (and campers!) that the power-washer can’t. (Marcia Workman via Facebook)
  14. Buff the plastic and painted parts of your car to mask small dings and scratches. (Keri Evangelista via Facebook)
  15. Take ink out of leather couches and car seats. (Erin Ford Weiss via Facebook)
  16. Swipe along shutter-style blinds and shades. (Ami McBride via Facebook)
  17. Get grime off the fish tank and its accessories—gently and chemical-free! (Melissa Rodriguez via Facebook)

For more help with spring cleaning, check out our room-by-room guides:

Download the Easy Chore Chart to get your kids in on the cleaning action.

All ideas submitted have been edited and condensed. 

Image: Gloved hand cleaning crayon via Shutterstock


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23 Spring Cleaning Secrets Revealed

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

A recent Parents poll shows most moms spend 15 hours or more each week sponging, scrubbing, sweeping, and vacuuming. To help slash that time, we enlisted the help of our editors, as well as cleaning experts, to deliver clever tricks and products for every room in your home.

In December, I sent 22 editors home with more than 30 of the latest and greatest cleaning supplies on the market. I assigned everyone a mission and they each went home to dutifully vacuum pet hair from carpeting, scour bathroom grout, steam hardwood and tile floors, wash windows, and scrub stoves—hey, we’re not above manual labor! Every sponge, brush, vacuum, and scum-busting solution was put to the test and if our real moms and dads weren’t impressed, we cut it from our list.

To see which products shined, check out our room-by-room guide to spring cleaning:

Your Kitchen
The room that’s the heart of the home is also its most mess-prone. Food prep plus eating is a recipe for sticky counters, gritty floors, and crud everywhere else. Here’s how to cut kitchen cleaning time in half:

Your Living Room and Bedroom
These spaces have a lot in common: soft, comfy furniture, plush carpeting, and personal clutter. They also share the cleaning challenges of upholstery stains, dirty carpeting, and dust. Use our tips for tricky messes:

Your Bathroom
Make the place where your family gets clean spotless. Tackle soap scum, mildew, stained grout, and more:

Find The Best Vacuum for You
We tested the latest vacuums to find the right tools for your home’s carpet, tile, and wood. Find out which is right for your family:


Household Chores During Pregnancy: Safe or Not?
Household Chores During Pregnancy: Safe or Not?
Household Chores During Pregnancy: Safe or Not?


Which family space do you need the most help keeping tidy? Let us know in the comments!

Image: Dad and daughter vacuuming by Stephanie Rausser

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