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A-Z of cleaning hacks to help you avoid throwing time or money down the drain

Temi

July. 13, 2020

WITH our homes turned into schools and offices, it can feel almost impossible to keep things clean and tidy.
But a study by cleaning company Molly Maid found that 70 per cent of us feel less stressed if our homes are spick-and-span – and wouldn’t we all like to ease the pressure?
Well, a spotless home does not necessarily mean putting in hours of elbow grease – if you follow the various tidying-up tricks and grime-busting timesavers shared online.
TikTok videos of nifty ways to clean your oven and descale your kettle have clocked up millions of views during lockdown, not to mention the Instagram cleanfluencers and Facebook forums sharing advice.
We reveal the A-Z of squeaky clean hacks which will help you avoid throwing time or money down the drain.
A: ANIMAL FLUFF
As much as you love your pet, settling down on the sofa can often leave you covered in fur
Instead of brushing it off, use wet washing up gloves to rub it down – it will pull up all that hair in seconds.
B: BATH SLUDGE
There’s no need to get on your hands and knees to scrub the bath.
Use 1 cup of bicarbonate soda, apple vinegar and fill the tub with hot water leaving it for 10 minutes to soak.
Empty and rinse, leaving a pearly white tub with no sore knees.
C: CRAYONED WALLS
The kids are left alone to colour for five minutes and when you return, it’s all up the walls.
Cleaning sprays often leave paint discoloured.
But white toothpaste can rub away the wax without leaving a tint thanks to the abrasive baking soda in it.
D: DUSTY LAMPSHADES
Lampshades are often forgotten when going round the house with a feather duster, and the fabric cones make it tricky to brush off dirt.
Use parcel tape to pick up the toughest bits of dirt.
Wrap round your fingers and wipe downwards.
E: E. COLI HOT SPOT
Bacteria thrives in moist areas.
Instead of putting the toilet brush in its holder after use, pour bleach in the loo and place the brush in to soak.
Leave for an hour, before placing the handle under the toilet seat for the brush to air-dry.
F: FOUL SMELLING LOO
Make your toilet smell like crisp linen, by pouring a cup full of fabric conditioner into the tank and waiting an hour.
The next time you flush, the water will be the colour of the softener and will smell like fresh bedsheets.
G: GRUBBY GROUT
Getting grout clean is not easy and bleach doesn’t always work.
Tiktokkers have hailed a remedy of baking soda, dish soap and peroxide shampoo – and scrubbing with a toothbrush.
Jerome Russell B Blonde Max Cream Peroxide, £1.70, Tesco will do the job.
H: HAIRBALLED CARPET
Do you ever check if your hoover picks up everything from the carpet?
A window cleaning squeegee is a popular tool for freeing your floor of hair and dust.
Scraping it back and forth along the carpet will lift up any hairballs. Prepare to be disgusted.
I: IRON SCORCH MARKS
Now paracetamol is back in stock, you can use the tablets to rid your iron of  scorch marks.
Heat your iron to a medium temperature.
Hold one tablet with a pair of tweezers and begin rubbing against the metal plate.
All  burnt grime will disappear.
J: JADED TUPPERWARE
That leftover spag bol has left your fancy lunchbox bright orange – too stubborn to scrub away.
But to get rid of the stains, leave them outside.
The sun’s rays are a natural bleach so will eliminate tough marks.
K: KETTLE LIMESCALE
Instead of boiling it up for a cuppa, fill with a bottle of coke to descale your kettle.
Savvy cleaners have dubbed it better than pricey limescale products.
Boil and leave for half an hour.
Empty, wipe the inside and repeat one more time and your kettle should look as good as new.
L: LACKLUSTRE GLASS
Savvy mum Mama Mila’s “secret formula”went viral on TikTok.
The Aussie mum claims mixing together one cup of vinegar, dishwasher liquid and water will have your glass gleaming.
Spray on and rub off with squeegee or coffee filters.
M: MICROWAVE GREASE
The easy solution to scraping off grease is by heating up a jug of washing up liquid for four minutes and leaving it to sit for another four.
The steam  will have softened the dirt, making it easier to wipe down using the water in the jug.
N: NON-MOVING TAP
Your dirty dishes have splattered all up the sink, but you haven’t got a rotating tap head to swirl it away?
Attach a balloon to the tap and cut-off the bottom, when the water runs through you will be able to move it around and splash away dirt.
O: OVEN GRIME
Instead of splashing out on chemical cleaners, make your own eco version for a fraction of the cost.
Mix together dish soap, baking soda and vinegar to make a paste.
Wipe over the oven and leave overnight, before wiping off with water and sponge.
P: PARCHED PANS
Not been out to eat in months?
Your pots might have taken a beating but there’s no need to chuck out burnt bottoms.
Layer with a dryer sheet (£1, poundshop.com ) and fill with water.
The chemicals will soften the grime making it easy to wipe off.
Q: QWERTY CRUMBS
All this working from home has led to leftover lunch and biscuit crumbs clogging up the keys on your keyboard.
While your kids are not looking, steal some of their slime and use it to pick up all those hard-to-reach bits.
R: RINGS ON TABLE
Water rings on wooden surfaces never come off swimmingly, often ruining expensive furniture.
But splashing a dollop of mayo on them and leaving to sit for 15 minutes can make the cup marks disappear.
S: SHOWER SCUM
Shower heads can quickly rack up scum, but instead of scrubbing it off, place the head in a sandwich bag with two teaspoons of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar and attach with an elastic band.
Turn on slightly so it fills up and leave overnight.
T: TAP LIMESCALE
Crusty limescale building up around your tap?
Rummage through your purse for a two pence coin and use the side to flick it all off.
Rub around any stiffer bits – you’ll be surprised how much comes off.
U: UNPLEASANT SMELLS
Famously shared by cleaning fanatic Mrs Hinch, using bicarbonate soda on your mattress involves sieving bicarb powder over your naked bed  and leaving it to set for an hour, then hoovering up all the excess.
This will remove  bad smells.
V: VENETIAN BLINDS
Venetian blinds are dust collectors.
To save time cleaning them, wrap dryer sheets around tongs and then clamp them gently on the blind and run across.
Dryer sheets are anti-static, causing dirt and dust to stick.
W: WATER MARKED TAPS
Make your stainless steel shine back at you, without spending a penny.
Grab a lemon, cut in half and wipe over taps to remove water marks.
Your house will be smelling nice and zesty, too.
X: XTRA TRICKY SPOTS
Getting into the crevices of bottles, vases and other hard-to-reach areas can be fiddly work.
Shake any grime off by adding rice and warm water, this will beat out any dirt.
Y: YELLOW STAINS
Garage staple WD40 is apparently a saviour for stubborn stains.
Instagram star Lynsey Queen of Clean told her 197,000 followers that  spraying the can on yellowing stains – such as turmeric marks or lily pollen – makes it easier to then lift with a damp cloth.
WD40, £3.50, wilko.com .
Z: ZONES PRONE TO CRUMBS
Lining the bottom of your oven, microwave, fridge shelves and cupboards means the lining can be removed and wiped clean – making those areas a lot easier to keep fresh.
Liners, £5.49, amazon.co.uk .
Mrs Hinch shows how she keeps her home from getting dusty with tumble dryer sheet and even uses them on plants
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