Unfortunately, household chores are a part of life and each area of your home will need a good clean every now and then. If you take a few minutes out of each day to perform a quick clean, it will save you from frantically cleaning whenever expected (or unexpected) guests come round. Light maintenance can go a long way in reducing the amount of harsh scrubbing you need to do when performing a deeper clean.
Be aware that use of inappropriate and unduly harsh cleaning materials can ruin the surface of many of the materials, fixtures and fittings in your home. You should always take time to read labels on cleaning products and only use them in accordance with instructions. If you need further information, seek advice at your local store or conduct a quick search on the internet – it’s very likely that someone else has had the same questions as you at some stage.
Below are some handy cleaning tips that you can integrate into your weekly routine to save time, costs and effort when cleaning:
Kitchen & Laundry
- Concerned about pesky insects and critters in your pantry? Scatter a handful of bay leaves around the shelves to deter these unwelcome visitors.
- If you want your dishes to come out sparkling clean, mix a bit of vinegar in with your washing detergent – this is an extremely simple and inexpensive addition that makes a world of difference.
- Taps, shower heads and spouts should be cleaned regularly using a non-abrasive cleanser. If leaks are detected around these fittings, a plumber should be engaged to repair them immediately.
- Try to avoid scraping and banging metal utensils in the kitchen sink or laundry trough, as doing so will gradually scratch and dull the surfaces, and make them more susceptible to stains.
- Borax acts as a deodoriser for shoes that may have developed an unpleasant odour over time. Soak your sneakers in a bucket of water with a few tablespoons of borax and then hang them on the line to dry. This is a great idea for regularly warn shoes such as work boots or kids’ sports shoes. Once washed, if your once sparkling white shoes are left with a yellow tinge, wrap the shoe in dampened toilet paper and watch as the yellow is absorbed by the paper, leaving your shoes looking brand new.
- Having trouble getting a pesky ink stain out of your favourite shirt? Try spraying it with hairspray and then wash it as normal. Alternatively, you can spray the hairspray directly onto the ink, wait approximately 30 seconds and wipe the ink away with a damp cloth. The alcohol in the hairspray removes the ink, so ensure you don’t use an alcohol-free product. Try repeating the process with rubbing alcohol if your household hairspray doesn’t do the trick.
- A little-known fact is that green tea is a great dehumidifying agent and deodorant. You can wrap well dried, used green tea leaves in a small piece of old stocking or gauze and place it in your shoe closet. You must ensure the leaves are 100% dry – this can be achieved by placing them in the sun or in the microwave for a few seconds.
- While your old toothbrush probably isn’t in the best condition to clean your teeth anymore, it can come in handy to clean other things, such as bathtub drains or grout.
- Removing soap scum, dirt and limescale can be easier said than done. Try using a mixture of dishwashing liquid, ammonia and vinegar to break down stubborn bacteria. It’s important to ensure that you don’t use this solution on marble, as the vinegar will break down the surface of limestone!
- You can also keep a heavy-duty bathroom soap scum remover in the shower to spray the screen every few days, which will help it stay clean and clear. This will also help to avoid harsh and tiring scrubbing when it comes time to clean your shower.
- Avoid stepping into your bath or shower with shoes on, as grit on shoes will scratch the surfaces.
- Vinegar is also a great tool to use in your toilet. One or two glasses of vinegar go a long way in producing a sparkling clean toilet.
- Ensure that you do not use abrasive cleaning products on baths, basins, toilets etc. as these will damage, dull or stain the surfaces. Instead, use mild household cleaners and plenty of water. Using products that are labelled for use in your bathroom or shower will achieve the best results possible.
Doors, Floors & Windows
- Cleaning the doors in your house may not be a priority and may often go overlooked. However, it’s important that tracks, rollers, glass and frames are cleaned every now and again. Door locks, latches and hinges should also be wiped down regularly. Occasionally, check to see if the screws on your locks and hinges require tightening, particularly if they are subject to heavy use.
- Only use recommended cleansers for cleaning floor and wall tiles. You should not use strong abrasive cleaners.
- To ensure your windows are sparkling clean, incorporate some natural solutions into your cleaning routine. Not only are these items readily available, but you may already have them lying around your home, which will save you money in the long run. For example, vinegar, baking soda and lemons are ideal for use on windows, and you can use an old newspaper to soak up the residue and avoid streaks.
- If you’re having trouble eliminating water spots on the outside of your windows, a couple drops of toilet cleaner designed for rust and lime deposits will work a treat! Make sure you wear gloves and use a wet cloth or rag to wipe the cleaner over the window. Let it sit for a few minutes to work away at the droplets and then rub lightly and rinse.