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Are you a ‘neat geek’? Test your grime IQ

Everyone longs for a spotless home — but some cleaning methods can cause more harm than good. Here, Prevention gets down to the nitty-gritty to expose the safest, fastest ways to kill germs and clear grime. How much do you know?
/ Source: Prevention

Who doesn't want a spotless, sweet-smelling house?

Everyone does. But when you hear that the wrong cleaning methods can cause allergies or asthma, or even spread disease-causing toxins through your home, suddenly a little mess doesn't seem so bad.

So we quizzed leading immunologists, microbiologists and cleaning experts to find the healthiest ways to tidy up. What we found surprised us: The safest ways to clean can also be the quickest. Even better: It's OK to leave behind a little grime! Scroll down to find out how much you know about the best ways to tidy up ...

Looking for a natural solution for dirt? Reach for these gentle products the next time messes happen.

For stains: Use baking soda. Sprinkle it on the stain until completely covered; spray with water. When baking soda is absorbed, wipe clean with a cloth.

For mold, bacteria and grease: Use vinegar. Fill a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar. Saturate the affected area and then simply let the vinegar evaporate.

For soot, wax and oil: Use washing soda (sodium carbonate) on stone or glass. A cousin to baking soda, it can be found in the detergent aisle. Make a thick paste with 1/4 cup of soda and water. Cover stain and let it set for an hour; scrub.