Is it really possible to make the droll job of cleaning things quicker and easier? Are there any cleaning hacks which save you time and energy so you can go and do something more interesting instead? Well, yes, there are.
These top ten cleaning hacks of all time are ones which actually work. Give them a try and you’ll whiz through your cleaning jobs before you’ve even had the chance to say spit and polish. Most of them are pretty cost effective too, which means as well as getting the cleaning jobs over and done with, you’ll have more money to spend on having fun.
Have you ever had a breakfast-time baked bean explosion in your microwave, but had to rush off to work before you had a chance to clean it up? You come home to find the beans are all dried out and might as well have been glued to the walls of the microwave with cement. There is no budging them, or is there? Use this tried and tested hack and you’ll be bean free and have a clean microwave in no time.
Grab a microwave-proof bowl and fill it with a mix of half water and half vinegar. Put it inside and switch the microwave on high for about five minutes. When it’s pinged time over, take the bowl out and switch the electricity supply off. Wipe the inside of the microwave with a soft damp cloth or sponge. You’ll be amazed at how easily it all comes off.
Tip– Cover your beans with a lid or cling film before microwaving them.
How many times have you spent absolutely ages trying to polish smears off the glass after cleaning your windows? The more you rub the worse it gets, right? When you think you’ve managed to remove each and every smudge, you take a look from a different angle and find some more. Frustrating is not the word. But don’t give up, there is actually a simple solution.
Have a rummage in your store cupboard because what you need is some white distilled vinegar. Fill an empty spray bottle with a mix of half warm water and half vinegar, spray it on your windows and polish off with a soft, lint free cloth or squeegee. Voila! Shiny, sparkling windows without a lot of effort.
Tip – Don’t try it with balsamic or malt, they’re best kept for salads and chips.
Oven cleaning is the one cleaning job everyone detests. It’s messy, it’s hard work and as soon as you use the oven again, you’re back to square one. That’s without even mentioning oven cleaning sprays. Have you been putting off cleaning your oven because you find the fumes from commercial products are just too overwhelming? If you have, try this cleaning hack and it’ll save your sense of smell from any more caustic chemical abuse while getting the job done quickly too.
Mix six tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda with water until it forms a paste then add a good squirt or two of white vinegar. Don’t panic when it starts to fizz and froth. It’s supposed to. Use a sponge or small paint brush to coat the inside of the oven with the mix. Switch the oven on to warm up for half an hour. One hundred Celsius is hot enough. Switch the oven off and wash away all the nicely softened grease and grime with a sponge and hot water.
Tip – Do this on a takeaway night. You just won’t want to use the oven for at least a day once it’s nice and clean.
Nothing beats eating dinner or a takeaway while sitting on the sofa watching the television. Accidents can happen though. If some of your meal just happened to land on the sofa instead of in your mouth where it should have been, you’ve probably got a stain to deal with. Is there anything you can do, apart from planning to eat at the table in the future? There certainly is.
Try this easy way to shift stains from upholstered sofas or chairs. Make sure the stained patch is dry before you start. Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda over the part you want to clean. Leave it for twenty minutes then hoover it off.
Tip– Do a patch test first in a spot that’s not visible before treating any sizeable area.
Venetian blinds can be really frustrating to clean. They collect dust quicker than a magnet picks up pins. It’s incredibly tricky to get all the grime off the slats. Even using one of those multi-headed tools specially designed for the task doesn’t work very well. Nor does vacuuming them with a brush attachment shift the build up.
This is the simplest solution and the best cleaning hack for blinds ever. Prepare a bowl of warm soapy water. Grab an old sock and put your hand it. Wet the sock in the soapy water then run it over the slats of the blind. Job will be done before you know it.
Tip – If you’re ambidextrous, you can use a pair of socks and get it done even quicker.
If you’ve got a dog or cat in your house then pet hairs can be an absolute nightmare. They stick to soft furnishings, to the carpet, to your clothes and well, everywhere. You can hoover to your heart’s content, but it still doesn’t get rid of all of them. Things get even worse when it’s time for their seasonal shedding. Brushing your pet regularly to collect the hair before it falls does help to some degree, but doesn’t catch them all. So what can you do to stop yourself from starting to pull your own hair out?
There are actually several easy cleaning hacks for picking up pet hairs from various surfaces. Put on a pair of your old rubber gloves, fill a bucket with warm water and get ready to go into action. Dampen the gloves in the water then run your hands over your soft furnishing and the gloves will collect all the hairs. Rinse them in the bucket to get rid of what’s stuck then just keep doing it until you’ve got them all. As an alternative to gloves, you can use a sponge which works just as well.
Sometimes it’s better not to try and vacuum hairs from hard floors like parquet or vinyl. Even with a soft brush attachment in place, they get blown all over which sort of defeats the object. Use a dry microfibre mop. All the hairs stick to it. If you haven’t got one, tie an old t-shirt or any similar soft fabric around a normal brush head and sweep it over the floor. Works great, costs next to nothing and you can just throw it in the bin when you’re done.
Tip – Don’t rinse the hairy sponge or gloves under the sink tap or you’ll soon have another problem to deal with.
Shower units with glass doors look great, but do you get that sinking feeling every time you hear the water running? You know you’ve just spent half an hour cleaning the doors and left them spotless. When whoever is doing their ablutions has finished and exited the bathroom, guaranteed those shower doors are once again going to be covered in water spots. If you live in an area with hard water, once they dry, that means the glass is going to be so streaked with white it can become almost opaque. How annoying is that? All your hard work was for nothing.
There is a really easy cleaning hack to get on top of limescale marks on your glass shower doors. It does involve a bit of team effort though, but it’s worth it. Once you’ve got the family trained, you’ll never have to clean those doors again. Get a window squeegee and hang it in the shower stall. Oblige everyone who showers to use the squeegee to wipe down the glass when they’re finished. It’ll dry clean and clear. It might take a bit of persuading to get the family into the habit, but when they do, as the saying goes, job’s a good one.
Tip – Squeegees come in all colours and designs so you’ll even be able to find one which coordinates with the bathroom décor.
You know you give the bathroom tiles a good going over on frequent occasions. Then one day, you suddenly notice the grouting has started to get marks and stains on it. Where does it come from? Who knows, but they appear. You might even notice some areas of black mould growing on the silicone sealant around the bath or shower tray and yes, you’re right, it has to go. Scrubbing marks out of grout can be hard work, time consuming and you don’t always get the desired result. Try this cleaning hack and you’ll be, excuse the pun, absolutely buzzing. Yes, you’ll need an old electric toothbrush for this.
Make a paste from bicarbonate of soda and water in a dish. Paint the mix onto the stained grout. A small paintbrush works well for applying it. Doing one small area at a time is easier and more manageable. You’ll need a spray bottle handy filled with half warm water and half white vinegar. Spray the vinegar mix onto the soda paste. When it starts to froth, give it a few seconds then go into action with the toothbrush. Bingo! What have you got? Clean grout with not a lot of effort.
Tip – To prevent getting splatters in your eyes, wear a pair of swimming goggles or a snorkel mask.
If you’ve just gone to check how you look in the bathroom mirror and struggled to see your reflection, you have our sympathy. Bathroom mirrors are notorious for getting splattered with specks of toothpaste and all sorts of other gunk which is best not to mention. It sort of appears over night as if by magic.
If you’re in a rush to get to work and haven’t got time to get out all your regular cleaning equipment to clean the mess off, try this. Just grab a can of shaving foam and give the mirror a good squirt all over. Polish it off with toilet tissue and hey presto, you’ll soon be seeing yourself in all your morning glory.
Tip – Keep a can of cheap supermarket home brand shaving foam in the bathroom for just this purpose.
Have you ever given the kitchen a good top to toe clean and sighed with contentment thinking you’d finished, then spotted the sink? Dull stainless steel can knock all the shine of your hard work. No matter how immaculate the kitchen looks, all your efforts won’t have the same effect if you’re sink isn’t up to scratch. Yes, you’ve probably cleaned it with a top of the range commercial brand product and you’re happy it’s bacteria free, but it still doesn’t have that straight from the showroom look, does it?
Try this easy and quick cleaning hack to give you the result you’re looking for. After you’ve cleaned the sink, let it dry. Sprinkle a couple of drops of olive oil or baby oil onto a soft cloth and wipe it over the stainless steel. It’ll look as if you’ve never used it. But don’t stop there. If you’ve got a stainless steel cooker hood or stove top, give them a wipe over with oil too. Your kitchen will be gleaming as bright as the day it was fitted. Brilliant.
Tip – Use paper towels instead of a cloth then throw them in the bin when you’re done.
Even when you use cleaning hacks, cleaning is hard work, but just one of those things which needs to be done. If you’ve read this far, then you’re about to discover the very best cleaning hack of all. Get someone else to do it!