I love reading about new cleaning ideas and trying them out! Anything that is going to save me time and money is a yes in my book. Something quick and easy to throw together from bits I would normally keep under the sink.
There are always a few dubious ones going around so it’s best to do a few spot checks before you get started.
All of these cleaning hacks are simple, quick and pretty much all of them are made up of things you would find around the house.
Household items which double up as cleaning solutions:
Bicarb soda – Bicarb is a mild abrasive so it’s good for removing stuck on dirt and grime. It will also remove/neutralise bad odours.
Lemon – The acid in lemons is antibacterial and also removes/neutralises bad odours. Lemon juice can be used as a stain remover. The oils in the lemon rind can also help to clean and degrease.
Salt – Salt is abrasive so it can be used for scrubbing stuck on dirt and grime. It can be used to soak up grease or oil – the coarser the salt the better it will work.
White vinegar – Because of the high acid content, vinegar can dissolve grease and disinfect. Even though it is strong smelling initially, it will also remove bad odours and once dry it doesn’t smell.
Vodka – Vodka will disinfect, remove bad odours, remove soap scum and shine jewellery. It can even be used to cure bad breath when mixed with cinnamon!
Essential oils – Lemon oil is great for cleaning; making wooden floors shine, freshening up toilets, and polishing leather. Tea tree oil fights bacteria and germs. Lavender oil neutralises bad odours.
Read on for 22 genius DIY home cleaning hacks….
Cleaning mirrored or glass surfaces
Do you find that the sides of your microwave or fridge look smeared and grimy? Fingerprints? Noseprints? (if that’s even a thing). If so, just dunk a teabag in hot water and leave to cool. Dip a cloth into the cool tea and wipe over any mirrored or glassy surfaces for a good-as-new shine!
Chopping boards (wood or plastic)
Chopping boards have a habit of absorbing the odour of whatever you cut on them. It sucks, right?! Sometimes even scrubbing and washing isn’t enough to get rid of some smells – I’m looking at you onions and garlic!
There’s a really quick and easy way to stop this. Just cut a lemon in half, give it a sprinkle of salt and rub it all over your chopping board and leave to soak in. After a few minutes, smells and any stains should be gone.
Is there a stale or sour smell coming from your drain? Or does it just need freshening up? If so then this one for you.
First, pour boiling water down the offending drain, then pour 1 cup of bicarb soda and 2 cups of vinegar down (just watch out for the science experiment fizz), cover the drain with the plug. Wait for 15 mins or so then flush the drain with more boiling water. This should work first time, but you can repeat if necessary. Your drains should smell clean and fresh.
Crayon stains on the walls
Have your kids been drawing on your walls with crayon? Simply wipe mayonnaise over their artwork and it should disappear! Yep…you read that right…MAYONNAISE! Go over with a damp soapy sponge to remove the mayonnaise residue and your walls should be as good as new!
Permanent marker on wood
Got marker stains on your wooden floors? Use regular toothpaste to make them vanish. Just spread a thick layer of toothpaste over the marker lines and use a slightly damp cloth to rub it in. After about 5 mins, use the same cloth to wipe off whatever toothpaste remains and leave the wood to air dry. The marker stains should have disappeared!
If it doesn’t seem to be working then you can add a small amount of bicarb in with the toothpaste. This makes it a little abrasive so be cautious when you’re rubbing it in.
Floor cleaning solution
Got a stain on your wooden floor? Or a funny smell from something that has been spilled? No problem, just mix 1 cup of water, 1/3 cup white vinegar, 2 tbsp bicarb soda (watch out for the fizz) and 1/4 cup dishwashing liquid. Put the solution in spray bottle and shake up to mix. Spray it on the offending area.
After 15-20 mins, give the floor a wipe with a damp cloth. Your floors will smell of vinegar a little but as the solution dries, the smell will disappear completely. For extra stubborn smells, you can repeat as desired.
All kettles get a build up of limescale at some point but getting rid of it is a pretty easy fix. Pour in a mix of half white vinegar and half water to fill the kettle halfway, boil the kettle and let it sit for 30 mins or so. Then rinse it out with clean water several times. The inside of your kettle should now be sparkling clean.
You can use this method for cleaning your coffee maker too!
Coffee or tea stains from the bottom of mugs and cups
It’s so easy to get rid of those unsightly coffee or tea stains at the bottom of your favourite mug.
Just put a handful of salt in the bottom of your mug, add a splash of vinegar. Leave to soak for a couple of hours and then give your mug a good scrub, it should come up as good as new.
Another one to try is a denture tablet. Pour in enough water to cover the stains, drop in the denture tablet, let it soak for 30 minutes or so and then wash out.
Clean a rusty iron
Do you have rust spots on your iron that just won’t come off? A paracetamol tablet should do the job. Turn the iron up to the highest setting and carefully, rub a paracetamol tablet (holding it with tweezers or a pair of scissors), on the hot plate of your iron. Repeat with another tablet if necessary. When you’re done, wipe with a cloth and your iron hot plate should be good as new.
Try this recipe for your tarnished silver. Just fill a saucepan with 1l of water, 1 tablespoon of bicarb soda and a piece of aluminium foil and bring to the boil. Put your pieces of silver jewellery into the pan for 15 seconds or so and then remove with a pair of tongs. Wipe them dry and they should have regained their shine.
Don’t you hate it when you try and get the label off something you’ve just bought, only to find that the price has gone but the sticky backing is still there.
You can use vodka to lift that annoying sticker residue. Just use a ball of cotton wool dipped in vodka and rub it over the sticky mark, leave it to soak for a few minutes and it should come off with a gentle scrape.
Use shaving cream to clean the upholstery in your car. It will clean spots of dirt and just freshen it up in general. Spray the shaving cream onto the area, leave it for a few minutes and then wipe with a damp cloth.
Steam the microwave clean with essential oil
Is your microwave looking a bit grubby inside? Try this easy cleaning method and you’ll have it sparkling in no time. Just fill a bowl with water, add five or six drops of lemon essential oil to the bowl, microwave on high for 6 minutes or so and then wipe down the inside with a damp cloth. Your microwave will be as good as new!
First, sprinkle a generous handful of bicarb soda over your stovetop. Next, fill a spray bottle with vinegar and spritz the whole area.
Let it sit for about 30 mins and soak into any burnt or died on food. Then give it a good scrub and any food spills or drops should lift easily.
Clean cloudy glasses
Soak your glasses in vinegar for 5 minutes, rinse by hand and dry with a microfibre cloth so that they don’t go streaky.
Shower head soak
Is your shower head covered in limescale? Mix half white vinegar and half water in a sandwich bag or freezer bag and tie it around the shower head so that it’s fully submerged in the liquid. Leave to soak for around 30mins and your shower head will be running perfectly again!
Make your gym shoes smell as good as new
Sprinkle bicarb soda into your shoes and leave in there to soak up any musty smells. Just make sure that when you’re ready to wear them again, you tip them out!
Clean hairbrushes and combs
If your hairbrushes have a build up of products in between the bristles then try this one out to freshen them up.
Just put your brushes in a bowl or sink full of warm water mixed with shampoo and let them soak for a while. Rinse them and let them air dry.
Knotted necklace? (K)Not a problem!
Do you have a few necklaces that are tangled up? You know the ones…they’ve been in the drawer for a while and you keep telling yourself that you’ll get them sorted out one day.
Now you have no excuse! Sprinkle talcum powder on the knot to loosen it and then use a pin to tease the knot apart.
Walnut on wood furniture
This one might seem a little unusual but give it a go! If you’ve got a light scratch on a piece of wooden furniture, simply rub a walnut over the mark several times. Then rub over the scratch with your fingers (this should help the area absorb the oil from the walnut). Lastly, give the area a polish with a soft cloth. Just like that, the scratch should have disappeared.
Having trouble getting burnt on food out of the bottom of a saucepan? Just pour flat cola into the bottom of the pan and boil it. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes. While it’s cooking, scrape around the sides and the bottom of the pan to loosen any food. Remove it from the heat and let it cool. Your saucepan should now be really easy to clean.
Baking trays with burnt on cooking stains
Hands up if you’ve got a pile of grubby looking baking trays at the back of your cupboard waiting to be cleaned? But you know that they will probably just end up getting thrown out. Wait! Before you get rid of them, try this…
Use a copper coin and rub across the surface. Then just wash as normal in a sink of hot water and washing up liquid. It should come up clean!
Hopefully some of these kitchen cleaning hacks will come in useful! If you have any others, feel free to add them below.