You know how a lot of people unwind after a long day with a glass of wine and a good book? Or a cup of coffee and some down time with friends? When I want to chill out, I reorganize my spice drawer. Or alphabetize my books. Or reorganize my closet by color.

So when it comes time for spring cleaning, I’m all aflutter. Give me any excuse to throw out something and I’m all over it. And cleaning? I love that too. That’s why these spring cleaning tips have me downright excited. Here are a few tips to get your spring cleaning juices flowing.

1. Ring around the toilet

Icky stained toilet got you down? Don’t like having abrasive cleaners in the house? Have I got the solution for you. Dump in a packet of Kool-Aid, rub it around with a toilet bowl brush, and let it sit overnight. In the morning, flush and the stains will be gone. You can also try the same thing with a can of soda or some Alka-Seltzer tablets. Seriously, they all work. Try it.

2. Ketchup 101

My kids dip everything in ketchup. French fries, chicken nuggets and even salmon. Yup, ketchup is a miracle worker when it comes to getting my kids to eat their protein and even eat their veggies. (My son has been known to dip his carrots and cucumbers in ketchup too). Did you know it can also help you remove stains from your pots and pans? Just pour some ketchup on the rough spots, rub it in with an abrasive sponge, and voila! — the stain will begin to disappear.

3. Clothing spots and stains

Here are a couple tricks you can try to get tough stains out of clothes before throwing them out:

4. Permanent marker

Have you ever tried to get permanent marker off your walls or cabinets? Rubbing alcohol works wonders on that too! It’s a trick I’ve used time and time again when my 2-year-old gets her hands on a Sharpie (with the expeditious help of her 6-year-old brother, of course). Just soak a cotton ball or paper towel in some alcohol, and rub on the marker until it begins to lighten. Repeat the process until the offending mark disappears!

5. Gross garbage disposal

Can’t figure out how to really clean your garbage disposal? Just pour some baking soda down there with a little bit of water and dish soap. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub with a new toilet bowl brush (I actually have one that I keep under my sink expressly for this purpose.) Once you’re done, run the water and turn on the garbage disposal until it runs clean. For a fresh scent and to help keep the disposal clean, try cutting up a lemon and dropping it down there once a week

5 unexpected spring cleaning tips
Tackle household stains, smells and general grossness with these handy tricks.