The Clever Cleaning Tricks You Didn’t Know

Cleaning TrickCleaning is hard work, no doubt about it. Cleaning different surfaces and materials around the house requires a specific approach and of course using the right products and materials. However, there are ways to make cleaning easier and more efficient. Here are some clever cleaning tips which should make your housekeeping routine quicker and more effective.

Dusting Blinds – basically everyone knows that dusting blinds the quick way means closing them and then wiping them clean using a rag. Yes, that’s correct, but if you were to wipe the blinds using an old dryer sheet you would also get an effective antistatic barrier. Antistatic treatment for your blinds means less dust next time you clean.

Cleaning Glass – glass surfaces are notoriously hard to clean properly as there is always lint and fibres left behind from rags and cloths used in the process. The easy way out would be to use coffee filters, yes – the paper things from inside your coffee maker! Use new ones though – they are lint-free, leave no streaks, and will polish any glass surface quickly and easily to a perfect finish.

Deodorising Bathrooms – the average bathroom has that musky smell about it. It’s the moisture, humidity and temperature that are to blame for generating this specific odour. The situation can be easily rectified by applying your own natural formula bathroom deodorant. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and fresh water in a spray bottle. Spray down the shower right after using it. The vinegar will absorb and dissolve the musky smell. The potent odour of vinegar will disappear completely from the bathroom after an hour or so, leaving everything fresh.

Cleaning Burnt-on Residue from Ovens – ovens are a real problem to clean. The amount of stale grease and burn-on residue can translate to a daunting cleaning chore. If you want to make the job more manageable and less toxic, scrap all those harsh cleaning solvents and opt for pumice stone. Yes, good old pumice works better in removing residue from oven surfaces than many conventional oven cleaning products, plus it is absolutely nontoxic.

Washing Bathroom Mats – a fresh, well sanitised bathroom needs a clean and neat mat. Bathroom mats are usually thick and soft which makes vacuuming them a real nightmare at times. The way to go about cleaning the mats is to toss them in the washing machine once a week and give them a good spin. It is recommended to machine wash the mats separately from other items and garments.

Wood Floor Cleaning – many sources claim that vinegar will work well for cleaning wood floors, but it won’t. Although vinegar will effectively remove certain stains and blemishes from wood floors, it also affects their finish at the same time. Urethane coated floors will become pitted if cleaned with vinegar and will become cloudy over time as the natural acids in vinegar will eat away at the shiny surface. Instead clean wood floors using water base mild solvents or if the floor is in good nick, lukewarm water will suffice.

Remedies for Furniture Water Rings

Water RingsThe average wooden table, counter top or similar piece of furniture, suffers from water rings caused by steamy plates and sweating glasses on an almost daily basis. Sometimes, water rings aren’t too visible, other times they stick out like a sore thumb. Regardless, water rings must be dealt with timely as they tend to accumulate and tarnish the appearance of an otherwise smooth, uniform surface.

In general, fresh or recent water rings are treated using a blow dryer on a low heat setting. Old water rings will need some sort of abrasion to be removed effectively.

  • One of the easiest and most effective ways to remove old water rings from your wooden surfaces without risking damage or alteration is to mix equal parts of corn oil and table salt. Rub the mixture gently over the affected area using your fingers. Try not to grind too hard, it’s the rubbing motion that works best. You don’t want to cloud the surface. Once the mixture is applied evenly over the treated area, wait a couple of minutes and them wipe off everything using a soft cloth.
  • The next method is not recommended for shellacked wooden surfaces. Pour some lemon oil on a clean rag. Sprinkle one teaspoon of table salt over the oil soaked rag and work it gently over the water ringed area. In case the water ring starts to lighten in colour, repeat the procedure but this time use white vinegar instead. Repeat as many times as necessary, but be patient and gentle when applying the mixture – clouding the surface should be avoided.
  • Rougher finished wood surfaces suffering from water rings will withstand a slightly more abrasive cleaning method. Mix equal amounts of bicarb soda and white toothpaste. Gel toothpastes will not work. Apply the mixture on a clean cloth first and then begin applying it over the affected surface. Make sure to go with the grain in order to avoid scratches. When ready, wipe the surface clean and polish it with lemon oil.
  • Another proven way to remove water rings from rougher wood surfaces is to use extra fine grade steel wool dipped in lemon oil. Work gently and patiently, repeat if necessary but don’t rush the job, this is important when working with abrasives. Once the water ring is gone, polish the surface gently using pure lemon oil and a soft rag.
  • One of the more alternative yet highly effective methods for removing water rings from wooden surfaces is to treat them using a mixture of cigarette ash and mayo. Yes, that’s right – mix the ash of one cigarette to a tablespoon of mayonnaise in a small cup or plate. Dip a clean cloth in the mixture and rub it vigorously over the affected area. Be sure to polish the cleaned surface really well after removing the ring completely.

All of these methods are effective in removing cold water rings. If the surface has been damaged by hot cups or plates, the rings will not be as easy to remove, a refinish might be required in such cases.

Microwave and Stove Cleaning Tips That Will Make Life Easier

Microwave and Stove CleaningMost people know how hard it is to clean the microwave and the stove to a proper finish. Usually, this is a dreaded cleaning chore as it takes a great deal of effort, time and lots of elbow grease. The list of tips and ideas listed below should make microwave and stove cleaning more efficient and manageable.

Microwave Cleaning Shortcut – this one is a beauty, toss a bunch of wet paper towels inside the microwave and run the thing on High for about three to five minutes (depending on how much gunk there is on the inside) – the steam from the wet towels will soften up stain and residue. Once the towels are cool enough to handle, use them to wipe down the inside of the appliance – Voila!

Dealing with Baked on Grease – stale grease and oil stains on your range or inside the oven are a common problem. Greasy stains are best treated before they dry. When cooking or roasting, keep the saltshaker handy so that when spills occur you can quickly sprinkle them with some table salt. By the time you are finished cooking or roasting, the stain and the salt would have burnt down to a small pile of ash – easily wiped off.

Baked on Stovetop Grates – many people have a real hard time cleaning their stovetop grates as they generate a fair bit of staining and residue during cooking. The easy way to clean these would be to treat them with a nontoxic oven cleaner and then stick them in the oven for a little while. If you have a self-cleaning oven run a cycle with the grates inside, and wipe them clean at the end.

Baked on pans and trays – baking and roasting cookware is usually thick with grease residue and burnt on oil. Such dishes are a real pain in the neck to clean properly. The easy way to lift and remove such stains and residue is to heat up the pan or tray and sprinkle laundry detergent over the affected areas. Cover the piece of cookware with wet paper towels and wait for about quarter of an hour before wiping and washing it. All of the gunk will come off quickly and easily.

Cooked-on Spills inside the Microwave – these are a real problem to remove at times, especially when stale. Carpet the dirty turntable and the microwave oven floor with a mixture of two parts bicarb soda and one part water. Wait for about five to ten minutes tops, and then wipe the surfaces using a wet sponge or damp rag. Remove leftover residue with a dry paper towel.

Oven Rack Slides – the oven rack slides i.e. the grooves inside the oven which hold the racks usually get clogged with residue and leftovers. When cleaning the oven, the oven wall ridges (grooves) must also be cleaned properly. This is best done using soapy steel wool pads. Once you have most of the gunk out of there, wipe clean and polish with a small amount of vegetable oil to ensure racks slide in and out smoothly and cleanly.