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Creative Cleaning

Common household chores have inspired many innovative tools and products. That's why Real Simple magazine asked its readers to share their favorite cleaning tools, as part of a regular feature called "Your Words."

The magazine received a mix of surprising and practical answers when it comes to getting rid of dirt and dust.

On Thursday's The Early Show, Real Simple's Kris Connell shares some of the recommendations and comments from the magazine's May issue.

Paintbrushes:
"Paintbrushes of all sizes are great for dusting hard-to-reach places, like the space underneath and between radio buttons and knobs, the crevices in remote controls, windowpane borders, light fixtures , and decorative wood etchings. The bonus is that my kids love using them this way." (Nancy Leppla, Fairfield, Conn.)

Panty Hose:
"I put my hand into a pair of panty hose to clean the dust off candles and lampshades." (Laurel Coote, Torrance, Calif.)

Fabric Softener Sheets:
"I use Bounce fabric softener sheets in the laundry, to wipe soap scum off shower doors, and to eliminate static from TV and computer screens. I've also heard that when left on the table during an outdoor picnic, they're an effective mosquito repellent." (Maureen Burns, Palatine, Ill.)

Cardboard Box:
"I keep a cardboard box nearby every time I clean. I make sure to find at least three items that I have not used in the past six months and throw them in. I donate the contents to charity." (Kari K. Lee, Valdosta, Ga.)

Denture Cleanser:
"Polident denture cleanser is a great tool for cleaning glass vases and sconces that house floating candles. I fill the item with warm water and drop in one five-minute tablet for every eight ounces of water. I let the item soak for however long it takes to break down the residue, then I rinse it with warm water and dry it." (Katie Frazier, Sacramento, Calif.)

Tennis Ball:
"I use a tennis ball to rub scuff marks off the floor. It solves the problem in seconds." (Katie Zack, Tampa, Fla.)

Duct Tape (the do-it-all adhesive):
"I have a dark carpet that hides dirt and stains but shows every piece of sock fuzz and lint. I make small rolls of duct tape, sticky-side out, my kids put them on their hands and feet, and they make a game out of collecting the fuzz. Instead of having to run the vacuum, they get to play." (Angela Carroll, McKee, Ky.)

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