26 Things You Probably Don't Know How To Clean

26 Things You Probably Don't Know How To Clean

Are you a cleaning pro? I bet there are some things even you don't know how to clean!

Most of us know how to dust our shelves and hoover carpets, but what about those smaller, trickier items. From beauty tools to food appliances and everything in between, here are 26 things you probably don't know how to clean. Don't fret, Expert Home Tips are here to show you how.

1. Clean your coffee grinder with this secret ingredient

how to clean your coffee grinder
Nice & clean.

Most of us love the taste of coffee made from freshly ground beans - if only the clean-up was as enjoyable.

Getting your coffee grinder clean is surprisingly easy when you know how. Run some rice through it to remove dust, grease and loosen trapped ground spices and stale coffee odours.

You'll be amazed what else rice can do after reading Colleen's article, 19 astonishing uses for that rice in your cupboard - go check it out!

2. How to clean up glitter easily

Glitter brings joy to any craft project, but how are you meant to clean it up? It's itty, bitty and seems to get into every nook and cranny.

The amazing cleaning tool you need? Playdough! Dab it over glitter-covered areas to lift those sparkles quickly and easily.

3. Learn to clean your washing machine

how to clean your washing machine
It's so easy!

Dirty clothes in, clean clothes out - what would we do without our beloved washing machines? They work pretty hard for us, and deserve a little TLC every now and then.

In fact, cleaning your washing machine is essential if you want it to keep running efficiently. To learn how, check out Collette's easy guide to deep cleaning your washing machine.

4. How do you clean your hair brushes?

Hairbrushes can get pretty mangled over time. Giving them a quick clean once every few weeks will keep them looking good.

Cleaning your hair brushes is easy - all you need is some warm water and shampoo. Wiggle the brush around in a bowl of warm water to loosen dirt and grime. Add a few dollops of shampoo, and use an old toothbrush to clean between plastic bristles. Easy-peasy, right?

What do you do with all that leftover hair? Find out how to dispose of it in our article "can you flush hair down the toilet?".

5. Have you ever cleaned your lamp shades?

You're probably pretty accustomed to dusting shelves and ornaments, but do you know how to clean your lampshades?

The fabric around them is surprisingly good at picking up dust. How should you remove it? A lint roller is the fastest way to clean your lampshades. Roll the sticky side over the shade to reveal spotless surfaces.

Don't forget to vacuum after dusting! Find out why it's the best method in our other article. 

6. The easiest way to clean your microwave

clean your microwave using lemon & water
No scrubbing required!

Your microwave may look clean, but it could be harbouring a surprising amount of germs. The way to get it clean is using a bowl of water and cut lemons.

Fill a microwaveable bowl 3/4 full of hot water, add half cut lemons and zap it in the microwave for 5-10 minutes.

This will loosen dirt and grime, whilst also killing germs and other bacteria. Wipe it over once done to leave your microwave spotless.

7. How to remove sweat stains from clothes

Sweat stains are not only uncomfortable, they can be pretty embarrassing too. Erase all traces of perspiration using miracle product, vinegar.

Simply soak underarm stains in white vinegar before washing as usual. As vinegar is something most of us already have at home, this cleaning hack really couldn't be easier.

Vinegar is one of the best natural products to incorporate into your laundry. Not convinced? Check out these 18 ways to use vinegar in the laundry and prepare to be amazed!

8. Why you should clean your vents

Vents are designed to keep our homes fresh and aerated. If you forget to clean them, vents can become blocked with dirt and dust and unable to fulfil their purpose.

There's one secret tool you need to get vents clear - air in a can. Spray it over and it will blast them clean - easy!

9. Clean laptop keys the easy way

how to clean your keyboard
Cotton buds are the key to clean keys!

Cleaning your laptop? But water and electronics don't mix, right?

Perhaps not, but laptops and cotton buds certainly do. The safest way to clean in between those pesky laptop keys is using a cotton bud. Swipe the bud alongside keys to pick up the dirt from all those nooks and crannies.

Check out these 18 new, everyday uses for cotton buds for even more great ideas!

10. Your hairdryer needs cleaning too

This one may surprise you, but your hairdryer should actually be cleaned from time to time. Just like your air ducts at home, hairdryer vents should be cleaned to prevent blockage.

Watch this step-by-step video on Youtube to learn how to get your hairdryer spick and span. It will last much longer and should improve efficiency too.

11. Clean your child's bath toys to make them safer

You may think as bath toys spend most their time in water, they don't need cleaning, but this isn't true.

Bath toys have little holes in their base, which lets water in, causing dampness which can lead to mould growth. In order to prevent this and make bath toys clean and safe, clean them regularly with vinegar.

Learn how to clean mouldy bath toys the easy way in my new article.

12. How to pick up pet hair easily

easy way to pick up pet hair
No more pet-hair-problems.

Does the neighbour 'popping in' with their dog fill you with dread? Pet hair can be a serious problem as it seems to stick to anything.

There are lots of ways you can try and tackle this. My personal favourite? Using a shower squeegee. Not only do you probably already have one at home, but the design means they can reach almost anywhere.

13. Clean your grill with this surprising ingredient

If you love BBQs, this cleaning tip could prove life-changing! All that deliciousness that gets stuck onto your grill can be easily cleaned using...an onion.

This may sound crazy, but it genuinely works. Cut an onion in half and scrub it along the grill. This works best when the grill is still warm, so be sure to act fast.

For even more weird cleaning tips using food, check out my article, 19 foods that make surprisingly excellent cleaning products.

14. How to clean paintbrushes, the easy way!

Do you know how to thoroughly clean your paintbrushes? Allow your bristles to become dirty, and they won't produce very nice results at all.

The best way to get paintbrushes clean is washing them with vinegar. Learn how to get yours sparkling clean with this amazing 8-step tutorial from Today's Home Owner - it's great!

15. How to clean indoor plants

clean plants with hairdryer
Blast that dust away!

Did you know indoor plants need cleaning? A lot of people don't know how to get them clean, so you're not alone.

A hairdryer is your best friend when it comes to this cleaning task. Blow the air over the leaves to remove dust and other debris. Not only will they look much prettier when dust-free, but they will be able to absorb more air and stay healthier too.

16. Clean your shower head with this quick cleaning hack

Take a look at your shower head - is it coated in limescale?

Limescale can quickly build up, and when it does the water flow can become obstructed. Keep it flowing efficiently by giving it a deep clean once a month. All you need is a sandwich bag, baking soda and some more of that trusty ingredient, vinegar.

Fill the bag with 2 teaspoons of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar, then place it around the shower head. Attach using an elastic band, and turn the water on to fill it up a little.

Leave to rest for a few hours, and the limescale will come clean off when wiped.

Love this tip? Anushka has 18 easy ways to clean your shower (& keep it that way) that you should also try.

17. How to deep clean your iron

how to clean your iron
Don't let a blocked iron ruin your clothes!

If you live in a hard water area, cleaning your iron is particularly important. Let the mess accumulate, and your clothes could end up ruined.

While it's not essential to deep clean your iron after every use, it should be done regularly. Real Simple has a wonderful guide that leads you through the process. In just seven steps, your iron will be functioning as good as new again.

18. Clean your bathroom of mould

Mould looks really unpleasant and also gives the impression that your home is unsanitary - yikes!

A genius cleaning tip to remove mould from your bathroom is to use cotton wool and bleach. Saturate the cotton wool in undiluted bleach (don't forget your gloves) and place over mouldy areas. Leave for a day, then remove the mould should have completely disappeared.

Amazing results, and no scrubbing involved - wow!

When you're done, check out our tips on how to get bleach smells off your hands.

19. How to clean your chopping boards thoroughly

How do you wash your chopping boards? If you're just using washing up liquid, you're making a big cleaning mistake!

Meat carries many germs and bacteria that can transfer onto chopping boards. In order to guarantee they're sterile, soak chopping boards in bleach after each use.

Discover 14 more horrific cleaning mistakes that are RUINING your home before it's too late!

20. Do you know how to clean a toaster?

how to clean a toaster
All those crumbs have to go somewhere...

Most people don't know that toasters should be cleaned regularly. It's really easy to do once you know how.

First things first - unplug your toaster. You can then go ahead and pull out and empty the crumb trays. Proceed by washing them, wipe dry and put to one side. To remove the crumbs from inside the toaster, hold the it over the bin and give it a firm shake - this should be enough to encourage crumbs and dirt out from the appliance.

21. The correct way to clean makeup brushes

It's time to get real - there's no point investing in expensive makeup if you're using dirty brushes to apply it.

Luckily, I'm going to teach you how to clean makeup brushes easily - all you need is running water and some soap.

Wet the bristles, then apply some soap to the palm of your hand. Take the brush, and massage the bristles in the soap using circular motions. Rinse under water, and repeat the process until thoroughly clean (you shouldn't be able to see any makeup build up when you part the bristles).

Leave to dry, and enjoy flawless makeup application from now on.

22. How to remove stains & odour from Tupperware

There's nothing like a brand spanking new lunchbox - don't let food stains spoil it.

If your plastic containers become stained and smelly, this cleaning tip will help. Coat the stained area with English mustard and leave to sit overnight. Wash with warm soapy water the next day, and they'll be no more signs of discoloration.

23. Try this amazing cleaning hack to clean your kitchen sponge

the easiest way to clean a kitchen sponge
The kitchen sponge is the dirtiest item in your home!

The kitchen sponge is, shockingly, the germiest item in our home. Don't let it contaminate your kitchen - get it clean fast with this great hack.

Simply pop the microwave when damp and blast for 30 seconds. Studies have revealed this to eradicate 99% of bacteria - wow!

24. Remove grease & grime from extractor fans

You may be a pro at cleaning your hob, but do you know how to get your extractor fan spick and span?

Most of us don't associate extractor fans with dirt - a quick wipe over with your hand may shock you. If you find your hand covered in sticky grime, try washing it in a soapy solution made from hot water and washing up liquid.

Be sure to include your extractor fan in your regular kitchen cleaning routine to prevent another buildup from happening.

25. Most people don't know how to clean wicker

Do you have wicker baskets adorning your home? If so, make sure you know how to keep them looking tip top.

Wicker is surprisingly easy to clean - simply hose it down and leave to dry outside under the sun. For added shine and the real 'wow factor', spray with cooking oil and buff gently.

26. How to clean a yoga mat

how to clean a yoga mat
Don't let dirt ruin your Zen!

Dirt isn't very Zen! Be sure to give your yoga mat as much TLC as your body by cleaning it regularly.

Mix three parts water to one part vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz over your matt. Wipe over to leave it fresh and clean.

That's a wrap! I hope you've learnt how to clean something new today. Where is the place you most struggle to clean in your home? Let me know in the comments below & I'll be happy to help.

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.

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  1. Author Sarah on June 28, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Some great tips. I have a cat and it's 'moulting season' so I'm always looking for pet hair hacks and am definitely going to give the shower squeegee a go. And I was just about to throw away a tupperware that got stained with tomato soup but now I'll get the mustard out and see if it's salvageable!

    1. Author Stephanie C on July 3, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Hi Sarah. I'm glad some of the tips will come in handy for you! Let me know how you get on :)

  2. Author Helen Smith on June 28, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Hi. I live in a hard water area and get lime scale very quickly on appliances. Especially rim of toilets and taps. Steel sink etc. Have tried everything. Any ideas please. I bought the famous Lakeland gippit thing but it fell off taps before time. I always learn from your site and I've been married 45yrs!! Regards Helen

    1. Author Stephanie C on July 3, 2017 at 9:55 am

      Hi Helen. Have you tried an all natural method? Lemon & bicarbonate of soda can be really effective. I also struggle with limescale at my home (we're based in Surrey and the water here ruins everything!) I swear by Viakal. It's not cheap but worth every penny. I hope this helps :)

  3. Author Sandy on June 29, 2017 at 12:33 am

    Hi Steph As usual, I've learnt a few things today that I'll be putting into practice. Thanks for some really good tips. Re #4 cleaning hairbrushes. I have a little gadget that removes all the stray hairs then I dunk the brushes and combs in a bowl of warm water with washing up liquid. Shampoo is more expensive to use this way. As long as you rinse them well, they're fine.

    1. Author Stephanie C on July 3, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Hi Sandy. Thanks a lot for your kind comment - I'm glad to be of assistance! :) Love the sound of this little gadget - where do you get it from? I actually used to use washing up liquid to clean my horse's brushes!

    2. Author Sandy on July 4, 2017 at 1:31 am

      If I'm allowed to mention a catalogue: Querkity (Home, Garden , DIY, Travel, Gifts, etc.) have a hairbrush cleaner for £4.99 (item no. 3450). I've found it invaluable and quick.

    3. Author Stephanie C on July 4, 2017 at 9:15 am

      Thanks Sandy, I'll definitely be taking a look :)

    4. Author Tracy Humberstone on February 21, 2022 at 9:41 am

      Hi Steph, Avon also do a gadget thingy to use on your hairbrush to get rid of the hair, it's only a couple of quid and well worth it. I'm defo gonna try the mustard on my stained tupperware.

    5. Author Joanne A on February 21, 2022 at 12:46 pm

      That sounds great!

  4. Author Terri on July 1, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Hi any tips for glass chandeliers thanks love all your tips by the way

    1. Author Stephanie C on July 3, 2017 at 10:03 am

      Hi Terri. Our favourite way of tackling chandeliers uses the same solution we use for windows - 1 part vinegar to 3 parts warm water. Spray the solution onto a microfibre cloth and polish the crystals. I hope this helps :)

  5. Author Coach House Furniture on July 6, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing these awesome cleaning tips. This is really a great post.

    1. Author Stephanie C on July 6, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      Hi there. Thanks a lot for your kind comment - I'm glad you enjoyed the article! :)

  6. Author Weba on July 10, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    I vacuum lampshades with the upholstery attachment also curtain headers

    1. Author Stephanie C on July 11, 2017 at 9:12 am

      Hi Wendy. That sounds like a great idea! Thanks for sharing your tip :)

    2. Author Stephanie Webb-Morris on April 13, 2018 at 3:44 pm

      Make up brushes are best washed in a shampoo. Swirl the brush head in a blob of shampoo in the palm of your hand and rinse under free flowing warm water. Repeat if necessary. When brushes are clean and free from shampoo, repeat the entire action with conditioner. Rinse thoroughly. Shake water from brushes and wipe with gently with kitchen roll. Leave to dry in a warm place. Brushes will last for along time if they are washed this way at least every month.

    3. Author Stephanie C on April 13, 2018 at 5:29 pm

      Hi Stephanie, We've never tried cleaning brushes with shampoo and conditioner, but that definitely makes sense! Thanks a lot for sharing your tip with us all :)

  7. Author Karen on April 13, 2018 at 9:22 am

    How do you clean tiles in bathroom especially the grout. I've tried bleach, lemon and steam cleaner it works a bit but not completely? Or i may just have to regrout.

  8. Author Ching Tang on April 13, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Hi there! First of all i love reading all your tips on cleaning,however I have a problem with the seal on my fridge,have you got any good tip?thanks and hope to hear from you soon:)

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 13, 2018 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Ching. Thanks a lot for your question. Could you tell us a bit more about the problem so we can try and help?

  9. Author Joanna Hamilton on April 14, 2018 at 3:31 am

    I use a smokers toothpaste to clean seals on fridge...works great and leaves them fresh and clean...i also wear exfoliating shower gloves...great to wear when cleaning taps or tiles

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 18, 2018 at 3:58 pm

      Hi Joanna, Some really wonderful, unique tips here. Thanks a lot for sharing - we'll be sure to give them a go.

  10. Author Ching Tang on April 15, 2018 at 1:21 am

    Sorry forget to mention that the seal around my fridge has mould on It!

    1. Author Stephanie C on July 16, 2018 at 5:08 pm

      Hi Ching, Unfortunately, this is much like silicone in the shower and cannot be removed. Whilst you may be able to lighten it slightly using diluted bleach, it's hard to remove completely without replacing. Sorry I couldn't bring better news!

  11. Author Andrea on May 22, 2021 at 11:19 am

    Hi. I would love to know how to easily clean the groove at the bottom of my upvc front door and windows. I use tbe hoover and then a damp cloth but can never get all the dirt out easily. Any tips?

    1. Author Joanne A on October 17, 2022 at 9:23 am

      Have you tried a sonic scrubber or an old toothbrush?


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