Cleaning is never fun, but having a few tricks up your sleeve can at least make it easier! To save you time during your next cleaning session, here are some simple hacks you can start using.
1. Get Rid of Hard Water Marks with Vinegar
Do you live in an area with hard water? If so, your cups, silverware, and shower heads are probably covered in stains. The good news is that vinegar is a cheap and quick solution. This is because of calcium, which is the cause of hard water, reacts with acidic substances such as vinegar.
For cups and silverware, allow them to soak in vinegar for a few seconds before wiping them down. You’ll be amazed at how easily the hard water stains are removed.
To clean shower heads using the same method, remove the head and place it in a mixture of water and vinegar. If the head is fixed, you can tie a plastic bag with vinegar around it to soak. After a short time and a little bit of scrubbing it’ll look as good as new.
Warning: Don’t use this method on iron fixtures, as vinegar can damage this type of metal.
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2. Vacuum in Tight Crevices Using a Toilet Roll
Most vacuum cleaners come with a crevice tool for getting into tight nooks and crannies. The problem is these tools are made from rigid plastic, so are often too big to get into the smallest crevices. And, if you’re anything like me, vacuum attachments often go missing anyway! An easy solution is to use an empty toilet roll as a moldable attachment. Hold the roll around the hose with one hand and use the other to shape it as required. This tip is particularly useful for cleaning tight spots such as window tracks. Click here.
3. Run Your Dustpan Under Water to Get Dust to Stick
Sweeping dirt using a dustpan and brush can be a frustrating experience, as a lot of the dust escapes before you can empty it into a bin. A quick solution is to run the dustpan under a tap before you use it. Dust will then stick while you’re sweeping. Once finished, wipe the pan with a dry paper towel.
4. Unblock a Drain with Baking Soda, Vinegar, and Water
If you have a drain that always seems to be blocked, buying expensive products to clear it can start to add up. The good news is there’s a cheaper way to unclog drains. This method won’t work on severe blockages but is worth trying before spending money on store-bought products.
Start by pouring a kettle of boiling water down the drain, then immediately follow it with half a cup of baking soda. After a few minutes, this will start loosening grime and whatever else is blocking the drain. Next, mix vinegar with hot water in a one-to-one ratio and pour it down too. Leave this mixture to work its magic for around ten minutes before pouring a final pot of hot water down the drain.
5. Sweep up Pet Hair with a Rubber Glove
One of the fastest ways to get rid of pet hair on upholstery is with a damp rubber glove. The glove attracts hair via static electricity, so you just need to run it over fabric to pick up large clumps. You can also use this trick to get hair off clothes or car seats.
If you have a particularly hairy pet, I recommend investing in a vacuum with a turbo brush. These can remove hair much faster than a glove, with the added benefit of getting rid of pet dander that can cause allergic reactions.
6. Bring Extra Shine to Hardwood Floors with Tea
Tea is more than a warming drink—it can also be used to provide a quick makeover to hard floors. This is because tannins in the tea lightly stain the floor, which helps to bring out natural tones and cover scratches.
All you’ll need for this tip is some black tea bags and boiling water. It’s also a good idea to vacuum the floor first to get rid of any debris. Once boiled, let the tea bags brew for around ten minutes before removing them. Allow the water to cool, then use a soft cloth to apply the mixture to your floor. Make sure you brush with the grain and ring out the cloth before you use it. You don’t want excess water sitting on the floor—just a mildly damp cloth will do. Pay particular attention to scratches or marks, as the tea can help to cover these.
Note: It’s a good idea to test this method on a small patch of floor to check that you like the way it looks.
7. Remove Stubborn Smells from Upholstery with Baking Soda
Baking soda has near-magical properties when it comes to removing stains and smells. It can, for example, remove stubborn odors from upholstered furniture.
Start by vacuuming the sofa to get rid of debris, hair, and dust. Then sprinkle baking soda over the fabric and allow it to sit for an hour or two (or overnight if possible). Once the smell has been absorbed, use your vacuum to remove the baking soda. You’ll find this removes most odors without any scrubbing or expensive products required.
And there you go! Using these seven out-of-the-box cleaning hacks will certainly help you the next time you do an overhaul on your home.