Whether you’re preparing to sell your property, or just want to give your home a bit of an overhaul, we’ve put together our favourite 15 life hacks to spring clean your home and get your home sparkling.
1. Store bedding in pillow cases
Finding matching bedding in a packed airing cupboard can be a time-consuming and frustrating task.
Take the stress out of finding coordinating pieces by folding up your bedding sets and storing them inside one of the pillow cases – your airing cupboard will look neat and organised and you’ll save a huge amount of time.
2. Clean the bathroom without harsh chemicals
If you want a clean, fresh bathroom, but hate the idea (and smell!) of harsh chemicals, just mix a teaspoon of liquid soap with a few drops of an antibacterial essential oil like tea tree oil, peppermint, eucalyptus or rosemary, a cup of baking soda and enough water to form a paste. Apply the paste with a sponge, wipe it clean and rinse with cool water.
3. Steam clean your microwave
Microwaves can be tough and time-consuming to clean, but steaming before you scrub will make it a doddle. Simply fill a microwave-safe bowl with 1-2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, and a few drops of essential oil and zap it in the microwave for 5 minutes. You should just be able to wipe the surfaces with a damp cloth to reveal a shiny, clean microwave.
4. The best way to remove greasy oil marks? More oil!
It might sound crazy, but the easiest way to remove greasy oil build-up on your oven is to add more oil. Just pop a few drops of mineral oil (or vegetable oil) onto some kitchen towel and rub it across the grease.
You should be left with a clean glossy finish that will also help to stop grease sticking in the future and make subsequent clean-ups quicker and easier.
5. Homemade oven cleaner
If your whole oven needs tackling, there’s no need to buy expensive, harsh chemicals. Instead, add 5 tablespoons of baking soda to 4 tablespoons of white vinegar and 5 drops of washing up liquid to form a thick paste.
Using a sponge, spread the mixture over the inside of your oven and leave it for at least 15 minutes (or a bit longer if it’s been a while since its last clean!). Once the time is up, just scrub the grease away with a sponge. If it needs a bit of extra elbow grease, try scrubbing with half a lemon and some rock salt.
6. Sparkling stainless steel with the help of a lemon
Lemon juice is a natural cleaner for difficult to remove hard water stains and rust on stainless steel – it also leaves a lovely fresh citrus smell! Just cut a lemon in half and rub it onto stainless steel in your kitchen or bathroom.
7. Stop your bin smelling rubbish!
Even when it’s empty, a bin can omit a nasty lingering smell. To tackle this, just sprinkle some baking soda or vinegar into the bottom of the bin and lay some clean newspaper to absorb any leftover moisture.
8. Iron away carpet stains
Forget expensive carpet cleaners, all you need to remove stains is a little water, vinegar and an iron! Just mix 2 parts water with 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the mixture onto the stain.
Get a clean, damp rag and lay it over the spot. Set your iron to steam setting and iron the rag for around 30 seconds (you may need to iron it for a little longer for a really stubborn stain). Remove the rag and you should be left with a clean carpet. The vinegar will also neutralise any odours created by the stain.
9. Blowdry your water marks
Stubborn water rings can be a nightmare to remove from coffee tables, but your hairdryer could offer a quick and easy solution.
Simply blast the mark on high heat until it starts to disappear. Once the mark has gone, apply a bit of olive oil to the area to renew the wood.
10. Keep skirting boards clean with a tumble dryer sheet
Skirting boards are a nightmare for collecting dust, but a simple tumbledryer sheet could provide the answer.
Just dust the skirting boards with the dryer sheet and they will repel dust, dirt and pet hair, leaving them cleaner for longer.
11. Clean stubborn coffee stains with vinegar
Coffee can leave stubborn marks and odours, but diluted vinegar will tackle the nasty stains and leave your coffee tasting as it should.
Just leave mugs to soak in diluted vinegar, before washing up as usual. If there are stains on your coffee machine that you want to tackle, run the diluted vinegar solution through your machine, stopping it halfway through the cycle to stand for about an hour.
Once the cycle has finished, simply discard the vinegar mixture and run the machine through twice with clean water.
12. Wash your windows on a cloudy day for a streak-free shine
A quick and natural window cleaner can be made by mixing equal part of white vinegar and warm water, but make sure you wash your windows on a cloudy day – a sunny day will dry your windows too quickly and leave them streaky.
13. Clean your stainless steel appliances with cream of tartar
If you have a stainless steel toaster (or other small appliance) that you want to get sparkling, just mix 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar with enough water to form a milky mixture. Rub the mixture onto the stainless steel with a clean cloth and then wipe away – this will remove any dirt or stains and leave you with clean, shiny stainless steel.
14. Clean showerheads without any scrubbing or chemicals
Showerheads can be challenging to clean, but chemicals and scrubbing just aren’t necessary. Instead, pour plain white vinegar into a plastic bag and tie it around the showerhead.
Leave it overnight, then in the morning remove the bag and run cool water through the shower. All of the gunk and soap scum should drain away, but if there is any residue remaining you can dip an old toothbrush in vinegar and brush it over the showerhead to remove any stubborn deposits.
15. Bring your Tupperware back to life
Refresh your plastic containers and remove stubborn curry or sauce stains by adding a bit of sunshine.
Just leave your containers out in the sun for a few hours (at least 2-3 hours, if they’re particularly stubborn stains it may take longer) and the stains will disappear, or at least fade significantly. Afterwards, just wash the container as usual and it’s ready to use.