To me, household cleaning is a pain. It is time consuming, boring, and the cleaning products can be quite costly. So when I find an idea that helps keep my kitchen units and appliances clean and creates a routine to be less of a chore while still kinder to my pocket I grab it with both hands. Now that I have gathered a few clever cleaning ideas together, I think it is time to share my household tips.
Household Tips: Clever Cleaning on a Budget
For getting rid of caked on lime-scale use neat vinegar. Apply it with a toothbrush, scrub it around, leave it for a few hours, and then rinse clean. Alternatively, you can soak a piece of kitchen roll in it and attach it to the tap using an elastic band. Leave it overnight and rinse it off for a brilliant shine. To remove lime-scale from chrome taps, rub then with half a lemon and then rinse them with water and buff dry. If you have a problem with lime-scale in your kettle, simply cover the element with vinegar and boil it a few times.
The easiest way that I have found to clean the inside of a microwave is to microwave a bowl of water with a squirt of lemon in it for a few minutes. The steam softens any dirt and grease so that it wipes off easily with a cloth.
Do not use that horrible toxic smelling oven cleaner when cleaning your oven. Use bicarbonate of soda, also known as baking soda. It is safe, non-toxic, cheap, and neutralises smells. Mix some baking soda with water to form a paste. Rub the paste all over the inside walls. Spray the paste every now and again with water, as the baking soda will only react with the burnt on dirt if it is wet. Leave it overnight if possible. When you are ready to face task the next day wipe it out with a cloth or sponge. Then scrub and rinse it well. There is no toxic smell, no horrible messy goo to try to clean up. All that you have to clean out is a brown liquid. The major advantage to this is that afterwards your oven is ready to use without that chemical smell that lingers with the traditional cleaner no matter how well you rinse.
Tip # 4
To return tea stained mugs and cups to their former glory, rub the stains with a paste of baking soda and water. Actually, baking soda can lift just about any stain in kitchens and bathrooms without damaging surfaces.
To help prevent pipe blockages, pour about a quarter of a cup of baking soda down your drain and follow it with a cup of vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction helps remove any built up grease and grime. Rinse out with boiling water.
Once again, this is a baking soda suggestion. If your carpet is harbouring smells, sprinkle some baking soda on it before vacuuming. It is fantastic for neutralising odours.
Red wine stains are the kiss of death for many a sparkling white table cloth, but there is a solution. As soon as the spillage occurs, pour white wine on it and prevent the red stain. Sinful I know, but we all have a cheap bottle somewhere!
For burned pots and pans, put about a cup of cola into the pot and bring to the boil. Simmer for one to two minutes. The burn marks should wipe away easily. This really makes me wonder about what cola does to our insides.
For oven trays that are difficult to clean, put biological washing powder with boiling water in them and leave to soak for a few hours. When you return they should be spick and span.
To remove candle wax from fabric, put brown paper over the affected area and run a hot iron over it. The wax will melt and the brown paper will absorb it leaving your fabric looking as good as new.
I tackle stained sinks in two different ways. Rubbing washing powder around the sink with a damp cloth or sponge is usually successful, but it can sometimes feel as though there is a slight film left afterwards. Bleach is also excellent for bringing a sink back to its shiniest.
To remove chewing gum that has attached itself to fabric, pop the item in the freezer and leave it there overnight. The next day the chewing gum should come away from the material easily.
Surprisingly enough, ketchup can be used to polish several metals such as copper, brass, chrome, and even silver. Try it on your doorknobs and admire the resulting shine! It is safe to use with non-stick coatings in saucepans.
For removing long-term burns and stains on the bottoms of metal saucepans, mix ketchup with some table salt and scrub the saucepan well with it. It should be sparkling in no time.
These cleaning hacks will save you time and money but do the job well. I find many of these tips are traditional and how my nan would have cleaned, sometimes the older ways are the best! If you are looking to update your kitchen consider new worktops or handles from Kitchen Warehouse as this can update a tired kitchen easily.