Cleaning. Not a word that most people say without a sigh, or an eye roll. Adults are spending between 10 and 30 minutes on average every day cleaning up in the family home.
That’s 3 and a half hours every week, or nearly 200 hours per year. Let’s face it – we all want that time back. That’s where cleaning hacks come in.
There’s are loads of useful cleaning tips and tricks which will slash that cleaning time, leaving you free to enjoy yourself.
Here’s 10 of the best.
1. Gunk in the Microwave
Over time, muck and gunk builds up on the inside of every microwave.
Cleaning it immediately after each use, before the mess dries out and becomes harder to shift, is the really easy method. But when you’re hungry, we know it’s easy to eat first and put the cleaning off to another day.
So, what to do if you’re facing a microwave that hasn’t seen a sponge for a while?
Place a bowl of water topped up with a few tablespoons of vinegar or citrus juice (lemons, limes, etc) inside the oven. Juice is generally preferable, as it smells nicer. Switch on the microwave, bring the water to the boil – keep watch in case it bubbles over – and wait for steam to fill the oven.
Switch it off and let it stand for 10 minutes or so, then wipe it down with a clean damp cloth. The gunk should come right off.
2. Limescale on Taps and Shower Heads
If you live in an area with hard water, limescale builds up fast on your taps, shower heads, and surfaces.
Chemically, limescale is known as calcium carbonate, and it’s an alkaline substance. Tie a bag full of vinegar around taps and shower heads, and the acid will react with the alkaline ‘base’ to create various salts (depending on the impurities in the limescale), plus water.
When you wipe down the heads with a clean damp cloth, any remaining marks should come right off.
For surfaces, add a little vinegar to warm water and scrub, let it rest for a few minutes, then have another go with a damp cloth to wipe it down.
3. Removing Stains
Stains are irritating. Sometimes, no matter how much you wash and scrub, they just don’t fade. Don’t reach for the chemicals. Try these methods first.
Pouring boiling water over a stain often removes it with no extra effort.
Wear gloves and take care while pouring, stretching the fabric a little to let the water run straight through. Check that the fabric can take it first though.
You don’t want to be pouring boiling water onto delicate materials without making sure they won’t shrink or stretch!
Baking soda is a key ally when fighting stains, and it sits at the root of many well-known house cleaning hacks. Mix 4 tablespoons soda with 1 cup of water to make a general stain remover. It really helps to take the hard work out of cleaning.
The solution can be used on kitchen surfaces, clothes, greasy pans and much more.
4. Food Burnt to Pans
When pans get burn marks on them, these are a challenge to remove. While a harsh metal scourer is fine to clean up some pans, others require a more gentle touch. Otherwise, you risk damaging the stick-proof surfaces.
One solution is to make up a baking soda paste. Put a few tablespoons of baking soda in a container and drip water into it, stirring gently, until you have a thick paste. Open the windows now.
Add a splash vinegar to the pan, and gently heat. That’s what the open windows are for! Then remove the pan from the heat and add a teaspoon of the paste. Stir quickly. It’ll fizz up, so you might want to do this last step over the sink.
Hopefully, you can now wipe or scrub off the last burnt remnants.
5. Lint Roll Lampshades
Dusting lampshades never seem to get you very far.
Use a lint roller instead to collect up all the dust, tapping it out frequently into the bin.
Presto. One clean lampshade.
6. Oily Marks
Coca-Cola and other high-sugar drinks are great at removing grease. You’ve probably seen the classic demonstration of how it can remove rust and dirt from a penny, for example.
Use it to polish down certain metals – but be careful as it will corrode others such as iron. So it’s perhaps best used to remove greasy marks stuck to dark-colored clothes. But wash these thoroughly afterward to prevent stickiness.
7. Clean from Top to Bottom
‘Cleaning from top to bottom’ is not just a figure of speech. Follow its advice.
As you work downwards, you’ll inevitably knock dust and dirt to the floor.
The last step is to vacuum all that dirt up. Work the other way around, and you’ll end up with a dirty floor, and have to double up on your work.
8. Dust Trouble? Check Your HVAC
If you’ve noticed your home is particularly dusty, check out your HVAC air filters.
If they’re packed with dust already, that’s the reason dust is settling elsewhere.
A weekly check of these will save you a lot of dusting time!
9. Keep A Dishwasher Clean
Contrary to popular belief, many dishwashers aren’t built to remove bits of food, sauces, and so on. You should really think of them more as a sterilizing device than a cleaning machine.
Rinsing your crockery quickly in the sink before lobbing them in the dishwasher will help to ensure gleaming results every time.
10. Toothbrush for Tiles
Tiles are often quite easy to clean – warm water and a cloth often does the trick.
For stubborn marks, use a (spare!) toothbrush. The extra friction will get most marks up, without the risk of marking your floor a scour might have.
Cleaning Hacks in the Home
We hope these cleaning hacks will help you keep your home pristine.
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Got any more cleaning tips for us? We want to save time too! So let us know your thoughts.