We all want that squeaky clean home, but we don’t want to go through the scrubbing drudgery. Worse, you might end up trying some unusual cleaning hack that leads to a bigger mess than before you started. So, before you go all out with baking soda or vinegar to magically clean your dishes, hear us out.
We take you through hacks that can help rid your oven of grimy bits, the fridge horrors, and unclogging drains.
A general clean
Let’s start easy, before getting into the nooks and crevices. There are certain areas of your home that require daily disinfection to keep germs at bay, explains Elizabeth Chweya, product manager from Dubai-based Zoflora Arabia, a disinfectant brand. “The taps and sinks can harbour over 2700 bacteria per square inch. So, if you cook regularly, ensure you wipe down the countertops, especially near the sink area. Fill the sink with warm water, and add a disinfectant to it. So, use the diluted solution to wipe over door handles, light switches, kitchen work tables,” she says.
Fridges, washing machines and showerheads can be teeming with bacteria, if not wiped down regularly. Another place to disinfect, is your car interior. Check your steering wheels; they can be dirtier than bathrooms.
Chweya adds that fridges, washing machines and showerheads can be teeming with bacteria, if not wiped down regularly. “Another place to disinfect, is your car interior,” she adds. Check your steering wheels; they can be dirtier than bathrooms! You can also add wax paper to keep the top of cabinets clean, and washing down faucets, taps with vinegar.
Worried about those coffee stains in your mugs? Some baking soda will fix it
We all know the scrubbing misery it takes, to get rid of the coffee stains.
Dubai-based Lavanya Nair, a household cleanliness and organising, decluttering expert, has some helpful solutions for stained mugs. “Pour a little baking soda into your mugs, and then add a little water, enough to form a paste. Then scrub,” she says. This little concoction will rid your mug of stains. After this, wash and rinse like you normally would.
Dirty floors: Don’t mop instantly
Brandon Pleshek, an American janitor who regularly shares cleaning tutorials on TikTok, explained a crucial hack to The Guardian. If your floor is dirty: Don’t mop it instantly. Make sure you sweep and vaccum the floors before you put any sort of liquid cleaner or start wet mopping. “If you spray cleaner down on dry dirt, it’s going to turn into mud and be much harder to remove from the floor. I vacuum and then, if it’s really bad, I’ll vacuum again. It makes the mopping much faster and easier. Always use a neutral pH floor cleaner. That way, it won’t dry sticky and attract more dirt,” he explains.
A little lemon and cotton balls for the garbage bin
No one’s expecting the garbage bin to smell like roses and daisies; but there are hacks to reduce the odour. You can take cotton balls, douse it in some essential oils and drop it in the bin, says Nair. Or, if the stench and dirt in the bin gets a bit too much, wash out the bin properly. Add a few cups of vinegar, mix it with water, so that the whole bottom of the bin is covered. This ensures that your garbage won’t fall to the bottom of the bin and stick.
There you go. You can actually have a decently-smelling garbage bin.
Did you know chalk works like magic if you need to get rid of stains on your kitchen floors? According to Architecture and Design website, you can remove excess food and oil from the soiled garment with a clean paper towel. First, cover the entire spot with chalk. Then, before you throw away your oil-stained item in the laundry, rub the area with a little stain remover or laundry detergent, wash it in hot water, and your oily spot should have disappeared.
Ridding your sink of odours
There’s a lot of less-than-fragrant smelling stuff that goes down the sink drains. However, what you can do, is wash the sink with hot water first, says Nair. Then you can empty a cup of baking soda down the drain. Add some lemon juice to it, and you’ll be surprised at the results. “It really helps,” she adds.
Sofas filled with animal hair
Yes, most of us have pets who insist on joining us on the sofa. We might not have the heart to discourage them from doing so, but we can learn a few hacks to get their hair off the sofa. You can wear a rubber glove, and then wet it, says Nair. Wipe the sofa with it, and make sure that the hair is all kept at the edge. Then, you can vaccum it, she says.
The usage of potatoes
Don’t throw away your potatoes; they make for good use, according to Nair. You can cut a potato in half, dip it in dishwashing soap and rub it over rusted pans. You'll find it easier to clean!
Laundry and folding clothes
It’s a dreaded series of tasks, but what to do, it needs to be done.
So, when you’re ironing sheets or duvet covers, you can fold them in half. Turn the steam setting up to max, adds Nair. As a result, you can get away with just ironing one half of your bedding.