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10 Ways to Clean Floors, Furniture and Glassware with Bathroom Stuff

You can clean floors with stuff from your bathroom.
You can clean floors with stuff from your bathroom.
Kraig Scarbinsky/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Let's face it -- accidents happen. At some point, we'll all spill barbecue sauce on our clean white shirt, knock a glass of wine over at dinner or find that the dog left a "present" on the carpet. Luckily, there are simple ways to clean these unforeseen accidents with products that you probably already have sitting in your bathroom.

Here are our top 10 ways to clean floors, furniture and glassware with stuff right in your bathroom. Clean everything from your piano to your wicker chair with products like toothpaste, shaving cream and nail polish. When you have the right tools to solve a problem quickly and efficiently, it doesn't seem so catastrophic.

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Scuff-marked floors are caused by shoes traipsing across the surface and chairs sliding around and grinding onto vinyl or linoleum. Many floors in college dorm rooms are so caked in scuff marks it is a mystery what color the floor was originally. Household cleaners and cloths aren't always strong enough to remove the marks, but they'll sure make them sparkle!

Here's something that actually works: toothpaste removes scuff marks on vinyl or linoleum floors. Rub the paste into the mark and wipe with a damp cloth. A little baking soda added to the toothpaste can provide scrubbing power. Use white toothpaste instead of gel, unless you want sparkly blue floors.

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Pet ownership comes with a price. Dogs and cats don't value a clean carpet as much as their owners do. Puppies can take over a house as their own personal toilet bowl, marking their territory wherever they go. They don't discriminate either -- tile, linoleum, hard woods or even carpet flooring are all fair game.

Don't fill your house with chemicals that could harm the new family addition. Shaving cream makes a great emergency spot cleaner for removing pet stains from carpeting. Work it into the stain, then rinse and blot thoroughly. Be sure to use the foam kind rather than the gel.

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Water marks can appear on vinyl furniture when water, or another liquid, has seeped through and taken up permanent residence deep within the fibers. They also happen when a beverage glass "sweats" and moisture forms a puddle at the bottom.

Remove water spots or other marks from vinyl furniture by rubbing them with non-gel toothpaste on a damp cloth. If the mark doesn't come clean on the first try, apply toothpaste again and leave it on longer this time. After a couple applications, the spot should be gone completely.

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Wood furniture with intricate molding and carved designs can be beautiful accent pieces in bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms. However, these pieces can also seem intimidating to clean in any home. Small grooves are a perfect place for dirt and dust to hide.

Make the job easier by using a cotton swab to deep-clean the small spaces. Additionally, a swab dipped in furniture polish is a great tool for shining and protecting your beautiful furniture.

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A small scratch can appear on a glass table if the dog puts its claws on it or another piece of glass runs across it. Sometimes, trying to rub out that small scratch can turn it into a big crack. So how do you cover it up?

Don't put a tablecloth or a strategically placed vase on your glass table to hide a tiny imperfection. Instead, rub a small amount of toothpaste onto the area. Let it dry and then wipe clean with a soft, dry cloth.

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Like a house or a car, pianos are an investment. They should be handled with care and maintained as you would a car, since they can cost about the same amount of money. When it's out of tune, tune it. When it looks grimy, clean it!

Is your old piano known for not only bright melodies but also for dingy keys? Squeeze a little toothpaste on a soft toothbrush, scrub the keys gently, and then wipe clean with a damp cloth. Try to keep the toothpaste from getting in between the keys. If that happens, scrape off the paste with a piece of paper lodged between the keys.

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When cleaning any fabric, it is important to keep it as dry as possible. Even though you may think water will lift and remove a stain, it actually seeps into certain fabrics and makes a bigger, more noticeable stain! Try not to spill anything that contains acidic acids on your furniture because it will ruin the color.

However accidents do happen. Shaving cream makes an excellent upholstery cleaner in a pinch. It sticks to all the tricky parts, such as chair legs or backs. Just spray on a small amount, and work it into the fabric with your fingers or a soft brush. Sponge off the excess, and blot the area to encourage drying.

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It must be a rule that all beach houses in America be decorated with wicker furniture. Wicker baskets and furniture made out of these hard-woven fibers are popular because of their strength and durability. Today, plastics are sometimes in place of traditional natural material like rattan.

The thin strips of wood in wicker furniture can easily snap apart. Jagged cane on a wicker chair can snag hosiery and other garments. One solution is applying clear nail polish to those nasty ends. When the polish dries, it will cap the jagged wood with a smooth covering.

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Glass can be scratched and damaged by many different surfaces, like fingernails and other pieces of glass. Even loose dust in the air can land on the glass in your camera lens or on your cell phone face and scratch the surface.

You can rub out tiny scratches on your glassware by using a dab of toothpaste. First, wipe down the glass with a cloth, so the surface is clean. Then, completely coat the scratch with the toothpaste and gently scrape off the excess. Let the toothpaste dry before wiping it off with a cloth.

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Vases can make or break a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Invest in a beautiful glass vase so the "I'm sorry I was a pig" flowers from your boyfriend can stand proudly on your kitchen table. But if he's often apologizing, that glass vase might start to become stained with use!

Clean those stains by dropping 2 antacid tablets in the vase with water. Let sit, swish liquid around, and rinse. As the effervescent tablets dissolve, the bubbles released scrub away at the stain and absorb it. Let something else do the dirty work for a change.

Adapted from "Amazing Uses for Household Products: Toothpaste" © 2009 Publications International, Ltd.

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