Mums' Cleaning Tips: 20 Of The Best From REAL Mums

Mums' Cleaning Tips: 20 Of The Best From REAL Mums

As you know, Expert Home Tips love a great cleaning hack. We asked our Twitter followers to share the tips their Mums had taught them over the years.

We received some interesting tips, some silly tips, and some genuinely genius tips too. They're great for using all around the home.

Find a selection of my personal favourites below. Why not see if any of them are things your Mum did too?

1. Use olive & baby oil to buff stainless steel

Household tip

Ali Thorpe's Mum recommends using olive oil or even baby oil to buff stainless steel in the kitchen.

Rub the olive oil onto a clean cloth, and rub onto surfaces in circular motions. You can also use this method to shin up pots, pans, and any other stainless steel items.

We love this tip, and featured it in our blog post, 27 weird uses for Baby Oil you never knew existed.

2. Use old clothes for dusting

dusting tip

Michelle Kortez' Mother suggests using old clothes for dusting. This is something my own Mum used to do, using old t-shirts, hankies and sometimes even pants to clean with.

Not only does it save on buying new cleaning cloths, but the soft material helps pick up dust particles.

Don't forget to also vacuum after dusting, too! 

3. Leave the washing machine door open to prevent mould

washing machine tip

Alison Bonsor sent in a really simple, but essential tip. She recommends leaving the washing machine door ajar to prevent mould.

This is absolutely vital after a wash cycle. The condensation inside needs time to air and evaporate, otherwise, mould can develop on the inside. This not only spoils clothes, but will also affect your machine over time.

4. Place a newspaper at the bottom of bins to absorb spills

bin cleaning tip

Next up, we have a tip from wise, Hayley Louise Colburn's Mum. She's completely right to use newspapers to line the bottom of bins.

The paper soaks up spills from any liquids left in packaging. It will also absorb smells from leftover food and other items, keeping your kitchen smelling fresh.

5. Keep moths away with lavender oil

prevent moths tip

Like many of us, Mandy Harper suffers with moths around her home. She wards them off by adding a few drops of lavender oil to cotton buds, and placing them in cupboards.

Moths can be a real problem, and this tip is a simple way of combatting them - thanks Mandy!

6. Get dust out of the mattress with this fun tip

mattress cleaning tip

I loved this tip from Lucy Lucciano - she was actually the winner of our competition!

Her Mum was obviously one savvy lady. Getting the kids to jump up and down on the mattress while she hoovered up the dust was very clever. This is an effective method for removing mattress dust and preventing dust mites.

It's also a great way to get the kids involved in cleaning from an early age - who doesn't love a good bed bounce?

7. Use olive oil to get rid of sticky labels

olive oil sticky label removal tip

Olive oil has so many great uses around the home. I was so pleased to see the recommendation of using it to remove sticky labels.

We've all had times when a lovely new vase has a sticky label that just won't budge. It can be very frustrating, and really ruin the look of a new item.

Use a small amount of olive oil on kitchen roll in circular until the label comes loose. Continue until there is no more sign of stickiness.

For more olive oil uses, have a read of these 18 unexpected ways to use olive oil around the home.

8. Use a cardboard bottle carrier as a cleaning caddy

DIY cleaning caddy tip

I think this tip from Charlie's Mum is great. She uses a cardboard bottle carrier to put her cleaning equipment inside - what a great idea!

This is a really great way of reusing packaging from the supermarket. The compartments in the carrier will also be useful to organise your cleaning supplies.

9. Use vodka to remove odours

vodka to remove odours tip

Having a bit of a detox? Then Emily Turnener's tip may be perfect for you. Did you know you can use vodka to eliminate odours?

As Emily states, it's best used in a spray bottle. You want to mist the alcohol over fabric, rather than wetting it.

10. Remove lipstick stains from the carpet

lipstick carpet stains tip

Are you guilty of sitting on the floor to applying your makeup? If so, no doubt you've had a lipstick accident or two during your time.

We've never tried this interesting Vaseline tip sent in by Kristy Brown - have you?

We have our own 31 astonishing things to do with Vaseline Petroleum Jelly to keep you occupied in the meantime.

11. Use tights as cleaning cloths

tights as cleaning cloths tip

If you follow our blog regularly, you'll have seen this tip already. Charlotte's Mum likes using laddered tights around the home, just like us!

Who can blame her? They're great little dusters and this is a great way of reusing old clothing too.

This is just one of the great ways you can reuse tights that have seen better days. For more ideas, read my blog post, how to upcycle tattered tights in surprising ways.

12. Use toothpaste to remove marks on wood

remove wood marks from cup tip

Fleur Webb sent in another wacky tip we'd never heard of. She claims white cup rings on wood can be removed with toothpaste.

It's definitely one we'll be having a go at, as we're pretty tea-obsessed! In the meantime, we'll stick to our own 21 uses for a tube of toothpaste - why not have a read, too?

13. Remove limescale in the kettle by boiling vinegar

remove limescale fro kettle tip

I live in an area with hard water, so limescale in the kettle is a real problem for me. Popsie's tip of boiling vinegar inside to remove it is one we use often. It's a great cleaning tip, and really does work.

Make sure you only add a small amount to the kettle, however. If you add too much, the vinegar will bubble everywhere and you'll be left with a big mess to clean up.

For even more great ways to use vinegar, read Colleen's 21 surprising uses for vinegar.

14. Clean your oven with a dishwasher tablet

clean oven with dishwasher tablet tip

Rachel Ellis has a tip to make your oven cleaning bearable. She swears by mashing a dishwasher tablet with water, then rubbing it onto the oven door. Leave this for ten minutes, then wipe clean.

Oven cleaning can be really tricky, so we welcome any tips that may make it easy. We can't wait to try this hack - can you?

15. Neutralise fridge odours with coffee granules

neutralize fridge odours with coffee

If you've got a bit of a penchant for smelly cheeses, you'll love this tip. Kerry Kermack likes to use coffee to deodorise her fridge.

Coffee emits a very strong odour, which will help to neutralise any other lingering smells. Simply fill a bowl with used coffee grounds and place in the bottom of your fridge over night.

Coffee is a cheap and versatile solution for many household problems. Read our 21 curious uses for coffee for even more ways to use them.

16. Use foil for cleaning stubborn stains on oven trays

tin foil cleaning tip

Expert Home Tips' very own editor, Colleen, tried this tip the other day and was amazed. She said it works better than she ever expected, and will definitely be trying it again.

If you don't have any quiche trays, aluminium foil works just as well. Save time scrubbing those tough oven tray stains and try this nifty tip instead.

17. Remove rust marks from clothing

remove rust from clothing tip

Tinker has obviously spent a lot of time tinkering around outside. Rust stains can be a real problem, so this foolproof cleaning tip is a great one to remember.

To remove the stain, saturate the area with lemon juice. Place this out in the sun, or leave overnight, then wash clean.

18. Use coca cola to clean your toilet

coca cola to clean toilet tip

Thanks to Ang for sending in this wacky tip. We know all about the remarkable uses for leftover Coca-Cola at Expert Home Tips.

The mild acidity of coca cola makes it great for loads of tasks, including cleaning your toilet. Nice one, Ang!

19. Remove biro stains using hairspray

Biro to remove stains cleaning tip

I get through so many biros - with the amount of stains I see around, it's no wonder!

Jo's Mum taught her that hairspray can be used to remove such marks. As it's a product most of us have around the home, this is great news.

Simpy spray it on, leave for a few minutes then rub off - Genius!

Check out these 13 clever uses for a can of hairspray for more great tips!

20. How to make your own household cleaner

how to make a DIY household cleaner

Now, I won't go as far as saying I've saved the best until last, but this tip from Leanne is a cracker.

She's summed up the miracle that is DIY multi-purpose cleaner. It's made with just two ingredients - the first being water, the second is something most people have at home: bicarbonate of soda.

We love using bicarbonate soda to clean with so much that we wrote a whole blog post about it. Discover how one pot of Bicarbonate of Soda can clean your entire home now!

Wow! There sure are some savvy Mums out there. Do you or your Mum have any great cleaning tips of your own? I'd love to hear them in the comments below.

Stephanie C


Lover of all things fashion & foodie...I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

Follow me on X
  1. Author Barbara Birtwistle on April 10, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    To clean the iron of black marks rub a paracetemol tablet over the sole plate of the iron whilst stil warm and wipe with damp cloth be being very careful not to burn your fingers of course cleans it instantly Dont know how or why but it works !!!!

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 11, 2017 at 10:01 am

      Wow Barbara! What am amazing tip! I often get stains on my iron and they ruin my clothes - will definitely be trying your tip. Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. Author K Matthews on April 10, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Stubborn collar marks on white shirts can be removed by rubbing a little jif or cif or white cream cleaner on to the mark then adding to the washingmachine as normal.

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 11, 2017 at 9:59 am

      Hi :) This is a really great tip - white shirts are a classic & stains can be a real problem. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Author Diane on April 11, 2017 at 11:56 am

    We used to use old tights to shine up our shoes after polishing. They worked a treat and gave a brilliant shine.

  4. Author Diane on April 11, 2017 at 11:59 am

    To help preventing mould around your washing machine door I not only leave the door open but also dry of the rubber seal where mould gathers with an old t-shirt! Been doing this for months and the seal is still as good new!

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 12, 2017 at 9:49 am

      Hi Diane. Another great tip from you - washing machine mould can be a real problem. :)

  5. Author Diane on April 12, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Having trouble removing the stickness left by stickers or the bits you can't get off? Another great way to remove is white spirits! A small amount on a piece of kitchen roll, then press on the stubborn mark for a few seconds and gently rub away! Works in seconds and leaves a lovely clean and sticky free surface.

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 12, 2017 at 9:47 am

      Hi Diane. This is a great tip! As an alternative, olive oil can also be used. Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Author Fiona Bumpstead on April 12, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    Clean oven racks the easy way: line the bath with a towel to prevent scratches, add washing powder to hot water and leave to soak. They clean up with minimal effort and, If you have a few tumble dryer sheets that you can add to the soak, using these to wipe off the bits make the job even easier. Shiny racks with minimal effort!

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 19, 2017 at 10:46 am

      Hi Fiona. It sounds like you have lots of experience doing this! It's great when you find a method that works for you. You would obviously need a bath to carry this out - a shame for those of us who don't have one. Thanks for stopping by :)

  7. Author Cleaning Company on May 5, 2017 at 10:55 am

    By giving your washing machine a quick clean once a month, you'll keep your front-loader fresh, you will have just need, 2 cups vinegar 1/4 cup bicarbonate of soda 1/4 cups water A sponge scourer Start by mixing together the bicarbonate of soda and water in a small bowl, add the bicarbonate of soda mixture to the detergent container of your machine and pour the vinegar into the drum. Use a clean scouring sponge to rub around the opening of the washing machine, removing stubborn mold or residue. Your washing machine is sparkling clean and ready to do a load of laundry

    1. Author Steve H. on June 13, 2020 at 10:46 pm

      You don't need to boil the vinegar - just leave it in the kettle overnight. We've had a Tea Room for 23 years and use two kettles all the time so I have 5 litres of white vinegar which I use to fill up the kettles to the top. Leave overnight, empty and rinse thoroughly in the morning, then do a water boil to get rid of all the vinegar and smell. The vinegar can be used over and over again so is really cost - effective. White vinegar is probably better in white plastic kettles as the coloured vinegar may stain the plastic.

    2. Author Joanne A on April 17, 2023 at 12:20 pm

      Thank you for sharing your tip on how to descale kettles with white vinegar! It's great to hear that you've used this method successfully in your Tea Room for so many years. I'm sure this information will be helpful to others who are looking for a natural and cost-effective way to descale their kettles.

  8. Author Done & Dusted on June 27, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    I've not heard of the vinegar in the kettle tip for limescale before. I'll have to try that but knowing me I'll forget its in there and make my next coffee with vinegar lol!

    1. Author Stephanie C on June 27, 2017 at 5:10 pm

      Hi there. Gosh, don't do that - it would be a coffee-tragedy!! :o

  9. Author Kim Murdoch on April 21, 2019 at 11:58 pm

    Hi we where doing raffles with seafood and the juice as spilt in the car it smells really bad how do I get rid of the smell I’ve tried disinfect and now have rubbed in bi carb but can still smell it your help would be good

    1. Author Joanne A on April 23, 2019 at 10:18 am

      Hi Kim! That doesn't sound too pleasant. Where in the car did the juice spill?

  10. Author Helen Walker on June 10, 2020 at 10:49 am

    When visiting hotels I always take the small bars of soap home with me. I then pop them inside all my drawers. It keeps underwear,lingerie, t-shirts and knits smelling nice and moth free.

    1. Author Joanne A on June 22, 2020 at 2:43 pm

      Wonderful tip!

  11. Author Rebecca Suter on June 13, 2020 at 3:36 am

    To romove any splashes of hair colour (not blonde or bleach) from clothing, spray hairspray onto it and put in the wash, works everytime

    1. Author Joanne A on November 3, 2020 at 12:23 pm

      Interesting! I'll have to try this.

  12. Author Elisa siciliano on July 29, 2020 at 11:03 am

    How do you get rid yellow stains on arm pits of shirts. Is there a reason why this happens to men’s shirts

    1. Author Joanne A on August 7, 2020 at 4:00 pm

      Hi Elisa! This is a very common problem. It's likely due to the type of deodorant used. Try soaking the stains in lemon juice before washing.

  13. Author Kim on September 12, 2023 at 7:12 pm

    How do you get dirt stains out of a mattress

    1. Author Joanne A on September 19, 2023 at 9:26 am

      To remove dirt stains from a mattress, mix mild washing-up liquid with cold water and gently blot the stain. Rinse with clean water and blot dry. Sprinkle baking soda to absorb moisture and odours, then vacuum. Repeat if needed and allow the mattress to dry completely before replacing the bedding.


Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *