If the old adage were true, home would be where the dirty floor is. The ultimate Sisyphean task, keeping the floor clean too often amounts to sweeping yourself into a corner just to have your double-crossing feet ruin everything by tracking dust back onto the floor. But thanks to technology and a little bit of creative innovation, you can ditch your vacuum and alleviate the headache of floor cleaning, saving hours of exertion in the process.
I want to know how you tackle your most-hated chores — the most original hack posted in the comments will win an iRobot Roomba 880 — but first, I'll share some tips for waging war with dirty floors.
- Take a good long look at your broom. If it's got a foot of clumps of hair and dust at the end, it's time to throw it out. Instead, you can wipe down wood baseboards using an old dryer sheet. They pick up dirt and hair, and even prevent from forming in the future. You can use them to clean soap scum off of bathroom tiles, too.
- If you don't have the time or the energy to clean by hand, tech like the iRobot Roomba is your secret, magical weapon. This vacuum cleaning robot wages war on dirty floors, so you can focus on more important things (sleeping, eating, leaving the house, etc.).
- Vinegar works wonders. Mix it up with a little warm water and spray it on stubborn carpet stains like wine (add some liquid dish soap to the mix for especially stubborn stains). If you hate the smell, brighten up the mixture with orange peels, lemon, sage, and other herbs. Be careful though. Vinegar doesn't work on everything. Avoid using it on stone floor tiles, hardwood floors, egg spills, and obstinate stains like blood, grass, and ink.
- Broken glass? Bread will pick up the smallest of shards.
OK, so you've tackled the floor. Now, onto the rest of your home. What household chores drive you crazy, and how do you deal with them? Do you wipe down your dirty grill with an onion? Disinfect your mattress with spritzes of vodka? Whatever it is, share your most intimidating tasks in the comments along with your favorite hacks for conquering them (and if you're in need of some answers, ask your fellow commenters for solutions to your filthy problems). Whoever offers the most original hack will win an iRobot Roomba 880.
Please review our contest rules here. The winner must provide proof of age. Gawker Media will verify the winner's identity before fulfilling the prize and may be required to sign a release at Gawker's discretion. Contest ends November 12, 2014. Stay clean!
Nandita Raghuram is a freelance journalist living in Brooklyn.