Home Hacks: 18 Cleaning Cheats You'll Definitely Use

Home Hacks: 18 Cleaning Cheats You'll Definitely Use

Simplify your life and cut down your chores with these no-fuss cleaning cheats. They'll teach you how to do everything smarter, quicker and easier around the home.

1. Polishing hack

When you're polishing, spray the cloth instead of the furniture as it's more effective and uses less product, too.

2. Clean with cola

Pour a bottle of flat cola down the toilet and leave to settle for a few hours. Flush it down and give it a quick scrub - it'll look sparkling clean afterward!

3. Baking soda 

baking powder
It has all kinds of brilliant uses!

Spruce up fabric sofas and chairs by sprinkling them with a little baking soda. Leave for a few minutes then vacuum thoroughly. This little trick also works well on mattresses.

4. Use a lint roller 

Clean fabric lamp shades and curtains in an instant with a lint roller.

5. How to clean a vase 

For a no-fuss way to clean a dirty vase, fill it three-quarters full with warm water and add a tablespoon of raw rice. Put your hand over the top and vigorously shake, or take a wooden spoon and give it a good whirl. Pour and rinse well for a sparkling clean vase!

6. Disinfect chopping boards naturally 

lemon
Give them a good scrub.

After washing, disinfect plastic chopping boards by rubbing with a cut lemon and placing in the microwave for a minute. This is a handy trick for when you've been cutting raw meat.

7. How to get rid of lime-scale

Blast lime-scale in a steam iron by filling the water tank with equal part of white vinegar and water. Turn it on and press the steam button a few times, then turn it off and leave to cool. Empty it out and rinse.

8. Maximise your dishwasher 

dishwasher
It's not just for plates!

Use your dishwasher to clean more than just plates. You can give plastic combs and brushes (remove the hair first) a good clean, as well as small plastic toys (in a mesh bag), welly boots (lie them flat with insoles removed), salad drawers of your fridge and your food recycling bin.

9. Vacuum cleaner hack 

When changing the bag in your vacuum cleaner, stick some brown tape directly over the hole as soon as you take it off to prevent any loose dirt and dust spreading.

10. Use tin foil

tin foil
It can clean just about anything!

Use leftover scrunched up foil to clean the bars of your grill, oven and barbecue.

11. No more tangled cables

Store extension leads and cables neatly coiled inside a bucket to avoid tangles.

12. How to clean stainless steel

To remove fingerprints stainless steel appliances, drop a small amount of baby oil on a napkin and wipe over the grubby areas.

13. Clean with hairspray

Remove marker pen off hard surfaces, spray a tiny amount of hairspray onto it and vigorously rub with a clean cloth.

14. How to clean your iron 

To clean the bottom of your iron, sprinkle some salt onto your  board and iron over a few times.

15. Pet hair removal 

cat
Pet hair gets just about everywhere!

To pick up pesky cat hairs, put on a pair of wet rubber gloves and skim your hands over the surfaces. The hair will stick to the gloves instantly.

16. Power hours

Set a timer for when you're cleaning. Whether it's 30 minutes or 1 hour you want to dedicate to cleaning, set the timer and stick to it. It helps you stay focused and get more done in a shorter amount of time.

17. Hard water stains

Remove hard water stains from your shower unit and taps by swiping half a lemon over the stains before rinsing and buffing with a cloth.

18. Clean your sponges

clean sponges
Stick it in the microwave!

Sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria. Sanitise your sponges and blitz any germs by dampening them and popping in the microwave for a couple of minutes. It'll clean 99% of germs and you won't be tempted to throw them away before you really need to.

TOP TIP: Be careful when microwaving cloths and sponges. Some contain metal which could break your microwave. Always keep your eye on it - it could catch fire or melt. 

Do you know any cleaning hacks? Let us know in the comments below! 

Author

Anushka F

Editor

A keen money-saver and fan of all things natural, Anushka enjoys making her own beauty products and is partial to a bit of crafting. Never short of a clever tip or two, she's always looking for new ways to make her money go even further.

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  1. Author Pam Allott on March 18, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Be careful when microwaving cloths and sponges - make sure they are damp and keep your eye on them all the time - they could catch fire - or in the case of synthetic sponges, could melt.

    1. Author Expert Home Tips on March 18, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      Hi Pam, thanks for the advice on this. I will add this to the article so people know to be extra careful. Thank you!

    Reply
  2. Author stephen collins on April 3, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Bicarbonate of soda the cleaner people forget.But in lot of soaps.Put in the kettle & add hot water leave.Cups too.Vinger added too for extra fizz

    1. Author Anushka F on April 7, 2015 at 9:32 am

      Thanks for the comment Stephen. I agree bicarbonate of soda is a multi-tasking wonder! Great tips.

    Reply
  3. Author stephen collins on April 3, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Milton is great way to clean pans,stained bone China cups.Tea stains.Becare rinse well from pans.But clean muck deep from pans & electric kettle you feel sick when see what comes out.

    1. Author Anushka F on April 7, 2015 at 9:33 am

      I have cleaned my kettle out recently and did indeed feel a bit queasy!

    2. Author lindsey simmons on August 20, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Can anyone give me a good tip for cleaning microwave and kettle without using any harsh cleaning products or chemicals please, I have a serious stomach illness and severe bowel disorder so need natural ways of cleaning house hold items so as not aggravate these conditions Thank you Lindsey x

    3. Author Lindsey on January 11, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      Thank you Anushka. This info was greatly received and worked wonders. Again I thank you for taking the time to reply. X

    4. Author Mariana on January 11, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      I find the 'magic' sponges great for things like this. I also take my oven doors up to shower and clean them under running water with them. It removes grease no cleaning chemical will. Be sure not to use chemicals with them, they will disintegrate faster. Also, dont spend loads on the branded ones. The cheap ones you find on a certain well known on line site work just as well. Cut them up into smaller pieces and they will last longer.

    5. Author Anushka F on January 22, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      You're welcome Lindsey. Happy to hear it worked!

    6. Author Anushka F on January 22, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Thanks for sharing Mariana, very interesting.

    Reply
  4. Author stephen collins on April 3, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Smelly cat litter pooh! Add to the new litter Bicarbonate of Soda.Don't buy scented litter cats often don't like it.My cat sneezes.

    1. Author Anushka F on April 7, 2015 at 9:34 am

      Great tip for cat owners. Thanks Stephen!

    Reply
  5. Author stephen collins on April 3, 2015 at 11:55 am

    A brilo pan will scrub a toilet put some welly in it.

    Reply
  6. Author Michele Ebanks on April 8, 2015 at 8:30 am

    I have just joined the site and will definitely try out some of the tips I've seen.Mine is to put couple lemon slices in bowl of water, enough to submerge the lemon, put the bowl in microwave ; for 5 -8 minutes full power .When it's done you will have a sparkling fresh and anti-bacterial clean microwave, that you just need to wipe the interior with kitchen cloth . Voila !!

    1. Author Anushka F on April 8, 2015 at 9:26 am

      Hi Michele, really pleased to hear you'll be trying out some of the tips. Thanks for yours - I'll definitely be giving this one a go myself!

    Reply
  7. Author donna on April 10, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    To clean kitchen sink pop plug in add a scoop or two of washing powder fill with hot water leave for half hour rinse then go over with a srubber then rinse again comes up like new.

    1. Author Anushka F on April 13, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Oh wow I will definitely have to try this one out! Thanks for sharing Jo.

    Reply
  8. Author Lynn heaton on April 16, 2015 at 12:13 am

    When ironing, instead of buying ironing water, put a little fabric conditioner in a spray bottle with water. Clothes smell lovely and feel soft ☺️

    1. Author Colleen B on April 20, 2015 at 8:45 am

      Thanks for your tip - will have to give that a go on my next ironing pile!

    2. Author Margaret Orr on July 17, 2015 at 8:35 pm

      I I've been doing this with my iron for a while now, and love the smell, arround the room, while lm ironing!..but could I be damaging my iron in any way!..anyone think so?...x

    3. Author Samantha on September 16, 2016 at 11:48 pm

      I always used ironing water but when I ran out once I too used fabric softener and realised I'm wasting money on ironing water!! I always use cooled boiled water out of kettle though to avoid build up of lime scale in my iron x

    4. Author Anushka F on March 8, 2017 at 10:56 am

      Fab tip thanks!!

    Reply
  9. Author Bonnie King on April 18, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Thank you for the tips, I will add them to my ever growing list :) By the way, Astonish products are amazing! It brought my pans up so shiny and almost new like.

    1. Author Colleen B on April 20, 2015 at 8:44 am

      No problem Bonnie, glad you enjoyed Anushka's tips, I will take a look into Astonish products, thanks for your tip!

    Reply
  10. Author siobhan lewis on May 21, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    thanks for tips

    1. Author Anushka F on May 26, 2015 at 9:53 am

      You're welcome Siobhan thanks!

    Reply
  11. Author shellie Doyle on June 14, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Things you keep in your home work on more than what's said on the label. Toilet cleaner is brilliant for removing limescale on taps, plug holes metal kitchen sinks. Always wear gloves & an even amount on a sponge.

    1. Author Colleen B on June 15, 2015 at 10:24 am

      Thanks for your tip Shellie!

    Reply
  12. Author Karen T on June 14, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Easy way to clean stainless steel sinks - put a slug of bleach in and fill up with hot water, if the bottom of your washing up bowl is stained, float it on top of the bleach/water mix. I like to fill the sink up so that some of the mix goes down the overflow pipe. Leave for an hour or so, or overnight, pull the plug no need to scrub the sink and it gleams like silver.

    1. Author Colleen B on June 15, 2015 at 10:25 am

      Amazing tip Karen, I will be trying that one out. :)

    Reply
  13. Author Jo on July 9, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    I can vouch for astonish stuff!! I use the oxypowder in my clothes washing and he oven and kitchen cleaner I use for washing up dishes as I'm allergic to conventional stuff. Things come up super sparkly great for getting stains off spoons and is all natural so doesn't allow a reaction and still get everything clean

    1. Author Anushka F on July 10, 2015 at 11:42 am

      Ooh interesting stuff Jo. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  14. Author Graham Gibbs on July 17, 2015 at 11:41 am

    fasanating

    Reply
  15. Author susan bowden on July 17, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Buy some washing soda! It's cheap and can be used diluted to clean practically any hard surface. I dissolve some in hot water and decant into an empty Flash (or similar) spray bottle - it cleans upvc window frames and paintwork beautifully and is so much cheaper than branded products! Just wipe with a damp cloth afterwards. It can also be used in place of sugar soap when preparing to decorate.

    1. Author Anushka F on July 20, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      Thanks for sharing Susan. Washing soda does work wonders - great product to have at home.

    Reply
  16. Author Jean on July 19, 2015 at 1:03 am

    I will try washing soda if I can find where I can buy it from. Also astonish is good as I use it alot. I also put an aspirin in my white wash keeps them looking white, I also use bicarbonate of soda in my washing gets stains out of clothing etc.

    1. Author Anushka F on July 20, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      An asprin in a white wash! Wow I will be sure to try that one Jean. Arm & Hammer Washing soda is available online at Amazon or you should be able to find them in larger Sainsbury's and Tesco stores.

    Reply
  17. Author lucy on July 19, 2015 at 2:43 am

    To make a plastic or enamel white bath look like new without having to scrub away at it, just fill it with cold water and add 1/4 of a bottle of bleach and leave overnight. In the morning take out the plug and rinse out the bath. Hey presto! A sparkling white bath with no scrubbing :) p.s for safety always ensure other household members are aware that the bath contains bleach and after making sure the bathroom is well ventilated always keep the door shut especially if you have pets or small children.

    1. Author Anushka F on July 20, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Lucy, that's an interesting no-fuss cleaning tip. Love anything that doesn't require scrubbing! Thanks for sharing.

    2. Author Suzie N on September 16, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      even better use a bottle of white vinegar instead of bleach, just as good and not as dangerous!

    Reply
  18. Author Louise edwardson on August 27, 2015 at 8:39 am

    For extra freshness around the house place a couple of spots of fabric softener on a wet cloth and wipe all your radiators around the home with it. Let them dry naturally then turn on and your home will smell wonderful!

    1. Author Anushka F on September 2, 2015 at 11:33 am

      Wow what a great tip. Thanks Louise, I will be sure to try this out next time.

    Reply
  19. Author Rosemary Baird on August 28, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    After cooking on your hob. Put some hot soapy water over it. Once dishes are done. Wipe hob effortlessly with damp cloth. :-)

    1. Author Anushka F on September 2, 2015 at 11:32 am

      Fab tip Rosemary. Anything to save a bit of time!

    Reply
  20. Author dawn on August 28, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    I keep clothes looking new by turning them inside out before putting them in the washing machine, it keeps the colour from fading and prevents bobbling,

    1. Author Anushka F on September 2, 2015 at 11:23 am

      Thanks for the tip Dawn. I try to do this with jeans and other items but sometimes I forget.

    Reply
  21. Author Lee on January 11, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Use some cheap tomato puree on stainless steal. Just rub it on, wait a couple of minutes, wash off and give a quick buff It makes it nice and shiny without lots of effort.

    1. Author Anushka F on January 22, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      That's an interesting tip Lee, I will be sure to try it out.

    2. Author Alison Fish on September 16, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      Love this tip.definatley going 2 try it & thank u 4 sharing Louise Edwardson.also definatley going 2 try some of the other cleaning tips.thank u.

    Reply
  22. Author Nikki on January 11, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Any false teeth cleaning tablets, pop one in the washing machine drawer, brightens whites.

    Reply
  23. Author Elizabeth Dunlop on January 15, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Extension leads usually get tangles. To avoid this wrap them round and round a wire coat hanger. Start with the female end (the bit the plug goes into) hanging out by about a foot from the curved hanger head, Then wind the cable round the hanger just the way your mum used to wind the washing line round her elbow. Now you will see why the female end was left partly out. Put the male end into your socket in the house, and unwind as much as you need. The female end is hanging out ready to be attached to tha plug of your lawnmowe or whatever.

    1. Author Chris Hocking on September 16, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Always fully unwind electric extension cables and long appliance cables. There is a Risk that a wound up cable could heat up and cause a serious fire.

    Reply
  24. Author Tazmina lea Farrell on September 16, 2016 at 9:43 am

    When sweeping a hard surface, eg. kitchen floor wood style or alike, get a plastic spray bottle and add a little scented disinfectant and spray on to floor, then sweep, it stops dust flying around and smells lovely afterwards, but if it is real wood, you can still spray but don't over wet the wood.

    1. Author Anushka F on September 29, 2016 at 11:16 am

      Oh that's a great tip Tazmina! I will definitely try it out.

    Reply
  25. Author Nicola on September 16, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    I put my washing up sponges in the washing machine in a net bag and also when the dishwasher is going through I put sponges and washing up brushes through with dishes

    1. Author Anushka F on September 29, 2016 at 11:16 am

      Great tips Nicola! My sponges get dirty really really quickly.

    Reply
  26. Author Andrea on September 16, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    To clean up and take odor from animal accidents, mix 1 part rubbing alcohol, 2 part water and 1 part laundry washing liquid .

    1. Author Anushka F on March 8, 2017 at 10:57 am

      Thank for sharing this Andrea!

    Reply
  27. Author Rachel Roberts on September 16, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    My friend used to put her son's baseball cap in the dishwasher to clean it

    1. Author Anushka F on March 8, 2017 at 10:56 am

      That's interesting she chose to put it in the dishwasher and not the washing machine!

    Reply
  28. Author dale on September 20, 2016 at 5:16 am

    I think tips left are great and environment friendly also cost cutting will save these. Thanks.

    Reply
  29. Author dale on September 20, 2016 at 5:21 am

    I think tips left are great and environment friendly also cost cutting will certainly be using these.Thanks.

    1. Author Anushka F on September 29, 2016 at 11:03 am

      Thanks Dale I'm glad you like them!

    Reply
  30. Author helen drew on September 26, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    fill a spray bottle with half strong fabric conditioner and half water and spray across the tops of your radiators, i use it to spray the dust away in the gaps too, when the heatings on it smells lovley

    1. Author Anushka F on September 29, 2016 at 11:36 am

      Oh wow what a wonderful tip. Thank you Helen!

    Reply
  31. Author Alison Milne on May 22, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Hi does anyone have any good tips for removing stains on my memory foam mattress please

    Reply

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