Unless you’re one of a very rare, tidy breed (hey, Monica Gellar!), cleaning is nobody’s favourite task.
The scrubbing, the mopping, the wiping, the polishing – the list often seems endless and, more often than not, pointless, as all of your hard work gets ruined by piles of muddy trainers and splodges of spaghetti sauce in a matter of minutes.
Sadly, it’s pretty unhygienic to give up on cleaning altogether, but there are loads of ways to make your cleaning routine quicker, easier and cheaper, and most of them can be tried today!
Here are 54 cleaning hacks for every area of your home. You’ll never look at vinegar in the same away again…
In the laundry room
1. Clean your iron by running it over a piece of paper or foil covered with salt when it’s hot (but no steam).
2. Revive your towels with half a cup of vinegar mixed with hot water (don’t use washing powder) and then second wash them with half a cup of baking soda and hot water (again, with no washing powder).
3. Apply shaving foam to remove foundation stains from white clothes – rinse once with cold water, then repeat the process with cold to get rid of the mark.
4. Use chalk to absorb the oil from grease stains, and then wash as normal.
5. Add a tennis ball or two to the dryer and your towels will dry faster and come out fluffier.
6. Squeeze a solution of lemon juice and water onto yellow sweat stains – they should disappear in the wash!
7. Spray dirty clothes with white vinegar and air outside to get one more wear out of them – the vinegar neutralises the smell.
8. Have two laundry hampers – one for whites, one for darks – to save time sorting when you’re ready to put a load on.
9. Dampen shirts slightly with a spritz of water before you iron – it’ll make it easier to get the creases out.
In the living room
10. Coffee filters are useful for cleaning TV screens and computer monitors.
11. Lint rollers are handy for removing dust from lamps 12. Crafting with the kids and spilled glitter everywhere? Use play dough to roll over the glitter and pick up the excess.
13. Use a clean toothbrush to remove dirt between the keys of your keyboard.
14. Get scratches out of leather sofas and arm chairs by buffing in a bit of furniture polish.
15. Sprinkle baking soda onto a fabric sofa and then vacuum to get rid of odours.
16. Drag a squeegee across your carpet to remove pet hair.
17. A mixture of olive oil and vinegar removes scratches from wooden furniture. Use half a cup of each.
18. Furniture polish isn’t just for wood; it also makes steel items like lamps look shinier.
19. Fold a duster around a pair of kitchen tongs and secure with elastic bands. Hey presto, a super simple way to clean blinds.
20. Pull your books to the very front of the shelves – it looks neater and stops dust building up in the gap in front of them.
In the kitchen
21. Take a dishwasher tablet and dip half of it in water, careful not to soak the table too much. Rub it over the grime on the inside of your oven door to watch the burnt on dirt come loose.
22. Keep stainless steel shiny by polishing it with cream of tartar.
23. Use aluminium foil and soap to scrub burnt-on residue from crockery 24. Microwave your sponges for two minutes in the microwave and it will sanitise them.
25. Pop your hob rings in a plastic ziplock bag and cover with plain ammonia, leave to set in the sink and rinse off in the morning for a clean up.
26. Clean your blender by adding a squirt of soap and some warm water, and then blitzing.
27. Add 1/4 cup vinegar to 1 cup water and microwave for 5 minutes – you will now be able to easily wipe out any mess inside the machine.
28. Save a burnt pan with a layer of baking soda. Fill with water, bring to the boil of the hob, and once cool, the burnt-on food should lift.
29. Deep clean oven racks by putting them in your bathtub, spraying with vinegar, sprinkling with baking soda and leaving for 10 minutes. Wipe, rinse, and they should be good as new.
30. Get crumbs out of the hard-to-reach areas in your toaster using a small pastry brush.
31. Use a lemon to get rid of hardwater stains on your taps or sink.
32. Remove rust from utensils by soaking them in lemon juice.
33. Line the shelves of your fridge with clingfilm, and replace regularly to pick up spills and residue.
In the bathroom
34. Degunk your shower by filling a plastic bag with white vinegar and using an elastic band to secure it to the showerhead. After an hour of soaking, the residue should wipe away.
35. Keep a dishwand filled with detergent in the shower to make it easier for everyone to wipe it down after use.
36. Fix a grimy toilet by pouring in a (small) bottle of cheap cola and leaving to soak. Flush, scrub and you should be good to go.
37. Pour a cup of vinegar followed by a cup of baking soda down a drain to unclog it.
38. Use newspaper to clean glass surfaces like mirrors for a streak-free finish.
39. Always leave a little bleach in the bottom of the toilet brush holder to sanitise it after use.
40. Add a couple of tennis balls to the dryer when washing towels and they’ll come out softer and fluffier.
In the bedroom
41. A microfiber cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol can remove nail varnish stains from your carpet.
42. Use a pillowcase to clean the dust from a ceiling fan. If you put the blade inside the pillowcase and wipe, none of the dust will fall on the floor, creating more mess.
43. Sprinkle your mattress with a solution of baking soda and essential oil, and then hoover, to freshen it up.
44. Fold your bedding into the corresponding pillowcase and never waste time searching for a matching set again.
45. Fill a spray bottle with water and a little fabric softener. Spray onto your duvet cover and then pull straight to remove wrinkles.
46. Remove dust from unburnt candles using a pair of old tights.
47. Always using your laptop in bed? Lift dirt from between keyboard keys with the sticky end of a Post-It note.
48. Make the bed every morning without fail – it’ll make the mess in the rest of the room look out of place, meaning you’re more inclined to pick that up too.
In the rest of the house
49. Put plastic toys in the dishwasher to give them a deep clean.
50. Hang a shoe rack on the back of a tall cupboard door and use it to store spray bottles and other cleaning products.
51. Drape a duster over the end of the broom to remove cobwebs from high-up corners.
52. Dip an earbud in vinegar and run it around your window tracks to remove built-up dirt.
53. Use a cloth soaked in white vinegar to remove sticky labels from new items.
54. Magic Erasers will get rid of stubborn scuffs on your skirting boards.
55. Put a few drops of your favourite essential oil on a fabric napkin and hang it behind the radiator to make your home smell clean and inviting.