Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

The 50 Cleaning Hacks You Didn’t Know, But NEED to Know Today!

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There are two types of people - those who enjoy house cleaning, and those who loathe it! Regardless of which group you belong to, there is one thing that everyone can agree on - the desire to make cleaning easier and faster!

That brings us to the real need for useful cleaning hacks in our busy and tiring day-to-day lives. While many look to hire a professional maid service to clean and maintain their homes, others take on the burden themselves. Of course, whether you have a house cleaner or not, there are household chores and cleaning tasks that need to be done in between a professional clean. For that reason, everyone should know about these 50 awesome house cleaning hacks that are simply too good not to share! Let’s begin.

Cleaning Hacks With Regular Things

person wearing yellow rubber gloves cleaning a wooden table top with a cleaning solution and grey microfibre cloth

Rubber Gloves for Fur on Upholstery

Vacuuming upholstery isn’t always 100% effective in picking up pet hair, especially when the fur is tangled in the fibres. What really helps is agitating those fibres to loosen up the tangles while also creating static that the hair will cling to. For this, put on a pair of clean, dry rubber gloves, and move your hands across the upholstery to quickly clean up fur. 

 

Use Old Socks to Dust

If you don’t have a dusting glove, don’t worry about it! Grab an old sock, pull it over your hand, and wipe furniture and household surfaces in seconds. You can even dampen the socks to pick up dust more thoroughly. This neat little hack is super-effective for cleaning window blinds and slats.

 

Throw a Tennis Ball in Your Dryer Cycle

There are quite a few benefits offered by a tennis ball when thrown into the dryer. For starters, it reduces static, prevents clumping among laundry, and speeds up the drying time. It can also help fluff up duvets, however, you might need to add in two tennis balls for best results. 

 

Shave Off Fuzz on Fabrics With a Razor

Whether it’s clothes or household linen, fuzz can make fabrics look worn and untidy. If you’ve ever tried to snip the fuzz off with a pair of scissors, you know how tedious and often ineffective that can be. The simple solution here is to gently run a razor over the fabric and, just like that, no more fuzz!

 

Clean Lampshades With a Lint Roller

Lampshades made from fabric or even textured materials can be tricky to clean because dust tends to really set in. While a wipe down with a damp cloth helps, it doesn’t always remove all the dust. This is where a lint roller really comes handy because it’s quick, easy, and effective in picking up fine dust and debris. 

 

No-Streak Cleaning for Windows & Mirrors

Many have given up on the idea of streak-free windows and mirrors when cleaning them. Perhaps it’s because they were using the wrong cleaning tools to begin with! The ultimate cleaning hack for windows and mirrors is to apply the glass cleaner, and wipe with coffee filters or crushed newspaper to achieve a no-streak finish! A good tip is to clean your windows when it is not too sunny or hot outside as this dries the cleaner more quickly, thereby increasing the chances of streaks.

 

Pick Up Hairs from Carpeting With a Squeegee

Glide a squeegee over the carpet against the direction of the fibres, and the hairs including pet fur will cling to the rubber/silicone. You can also dampen the squeegee for more effect, just be sure to clean off the edge as it gathers hair.

 

Pick Up Fine Debris With Playdough

From dust and spilled powder, to small pieces of broken glass and pet hair; a ball of playdough can easily pick up small bits and fine debris by gently pressing the dough against the surface or object that needs cleaning. When picking up broken glass, be extra careful when handling the playdough, and ensure that it is disposed of safely. 

Get Rid of Water Rings With a Hairdryer

When you find an ugly water ring on a wooden table, pull out your hairdryer, turn it to the lowest setting, and apply heat to the area by holding the appliance 3-4 inches away from the wood. Be patient and you should see results soon enough. If needed, increase the heat but hold the hairdryer further away to safely remove the water ring.

Get Couch Stains Out With Shaving Cream

If you’ve encountered a stain on your couch, first soak up excess moisture by dabbing with paper towels, and then apply shaving cream over the stain. Leave it for a couple of hours before blotting with fresh paper towels to remove the cream and moisture.

Cleaning Hacks for Kitchen Appliances

woman wearing green rubber gloves cleaning the inside of an empty fridge

Use Soaked Paper Towels to Clean Your Stove Top

Got a greasy stove top with burnt-on food bits and spills? Well, to make your job easier, eliminate the need for elbow grease by simply placing paper towels over the surface of your stove; then, using a cleaning solution of your choice (even dish soap and warm water will do), spray the paper towels enough to soak them; leave for 15 - 20 minutes. After removing them, use a damp cloth or scrubber to clean off the loosened grime and wipe dry immediately after.

 

A Little Lemon Juice Can Clean Your Microwave

With food spills, splatters, and grease accumulating inside your microwave, it helps to have a cleaning hack that will take care of most of the work. For this, simply fill a microwavable bowl 3/4th with water, and squeeze the juice of one lemon into it. Go ahead and cut the rinds into smaller pieces and add it to the water. Microwave for a few minutes; by then the inside should start to steam up, and the acidic nature of the lemon will cut through the grease and grime. Thereafter, a quick wipe down (once cool) with a clean sponge will have the inside of your microwave all cleaned up!

 

Remove Limescale from Kettles and Coffee Makers

Deep cleaning your coffee maker and kettle is important in maintaining hygiene, and prolonging the lifespan of the appliance. Fortunately, descaling a kettle and coffee maker is super easy, all you need to do is pour in equal parts of water and white distilled vinegar, boil/brew it, and discard the water. You can do this a second time with just plain water if there is an unwanted smell of vinegar coming from inside. 

 

Degrease the Oven in Minutes

The bottom of your oven and the inside of the door gets really messy after a few uses. So, if you want to clean these parts up quickly, take out the trays/racks, brush the loose debris into a dustpan, and sprinkle baking soda over the surfaces. Then spray on some white vinegar and allow the ingredients to bubble up. Once that dies down, use a scrubber to clean off the grease, and wipe with a damp cloth after. Use a clean, dry cloth to dry the surfaces immediately to prevent water stains.

 

Make Your Blender Clean Itself

The blender can be cleaned in the same way you would use it to make a smoothie, but in this case, the ingredients would be dishwashing liquid and water! Simply blend the soapy water for 20 seconds and, if needed, give it a light scrub before rinsing clean.

 

An Empty Cycle That Cleans the Dishwasher

For a deep clean, empty out the dishwasher, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to a bowl, and pour in distilled white vinegar (about a cup). Do this slowly as the mixture will begin to bubble over if you are too hasty. The bowl should be half full when both ingredients are combined. Place the bowl on the top rack, and run the hottest cycle. By the end of it, the interiors will be cleaned and sanitised. You may, however, need to wipe it down for a thorough clean.

 

Clean & Freshen Up the Garbage Disposal

When it starts to smell bad, or it’s been a while since you cleared and cleaned the garbage disposal, this cleaning hack is incredibly useful and satisfying! Throw in the rinds of some citrus fruits, turn on the garbage disposal, and that’s it! You can also add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the mix for a stronger, and more refreshing scent.

Cleaning Hacks With Food Products

assorted cleaning sponges next to a large lemon on a white background

Coca-Cola Can Clean Your Toilet Bowl

Whether you’ve got some coke lying in your fridge that has lost its fizz, or suddenly ran out of toilet bowl cleaner, pour some of the cola around the interior of the toilet, and leave it for 30 minutes. Due to the beverage being highly acidic, it will eat into dirt and grime, leaving you with the simple task of quickly and lightly scrubbing the interiors before rinsing with a single flush.

 

Polish Stainless Steel With Cream of Tartar

Make a paste of water and cream of tartar; apply it to your stainless steel using a clean microfibre cloth and rub in circular motions. When you are satisfied with the result, wipe off any remaining residue, and then buff with a fresh cloth.

 

Clean Burnt Stainless Steel Pots/Pans With Cream of Tartar

Along with polishing, you can clean off burnt foods from a stainless steel pot by sprinkling 1-2 tablespoons of cream of tartar into it, followed by 2 cups of boiling hot water. Leave this to soak for 15 minutes or until the water cools down, then scrub the buildup off with a dish brush and rinse clean.

 

Grate Raw Potato to Clean Your Grater

When you can’t get stubborn chunks of food or cheese out of your grater, cut a piece of potato, peel it, and grate it using areas of the grater that need the most cleaning. This will help dislodge and remove gunk, and only require a regular scrub and rinse thereafter.  

 

Scrub Utensils With Sea Salt

Sometimes, you need a little abrasion to clean utensils that have dried food bits or gravy in them. Of course, using an abrasive cleaning tool is never a good idea as it can leave scratches on the surface. This is where sea salt comes highly recommended because it will not damage your cookware while providing enough abrasion to clean off stubborn buildup. 

 

Clean Faucets With Lemon

Mineral deposits or hard water stains (you know, that chalky residue?) cannot be removed with just water and a wipe. The simplest way to clean your faucets to remove the buildup is to scrub them with a cut lemon, followed by a dry wipe immediately after. 

 

Buff Wood With Olive Oil

If your wooden furniture/knickknacks look dull even after cleaning them, splatter some droplets over the wood using a clean toothbrush, and buff with a clean, microfibre cloth. 

 

Salt & Lemon Clean & Deodorise a Cutting Board

If you can’t get those raw food smells out of your cutting board, try sprinkling kosher salt over the board and scrub it with a halved lemon. Do this over the entire cutting board, and rinse clean. Leave it to air-dry and you will be left with a clean and fresh-smelling cutting board!

Cleaning Hacks With Vinegar & Baking Soda

person wearing yellow rubber gloves holding clear bottle of white vinegar next to a sponge, baking soda and soap

Unclog Drains

This is one of the easiest ways to clear out a drain in your home. Start by pouring in about 2 cups of boiling hot water, followed by ½ cup baking soda. Give it a few minutes before you pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain, and then some more hot water after. Wait for 15 minutes, and then pour 1-2 cups of hot water down the drain to finish off clearing the pipes.

 

Clean Tile Grout

If your grout lines haven’t looked white in a while, just sprinkle some baking soda between the tiles, dampen the powder with a few sprays of undiluted white vinegar, and leave it for 5-10 minutes. Scrub the tile grout with a small brush (medium or soft bristles), and rinse clean.

 

Deep Clean the Toilet Bowl

For a truly deep clean of your toilet bowl interior, sprinkle in about 1 cup of baking soda, ensuring to get some of the powder onto the porcelain and not just in the water. Now, pour in 1-2 cups of white vinegar, and leave it for an hour, if not longer. Pour in hot water, and scrub with a toilet brush before rinsing and flushing.

 

Brighten Up Laundry

The next time you do laundry (especially your whites), add ½ cup of baking soda to the water to brighten up the fabrics. 

 

Prevent Water Spots on Dishes in the Dishwasher

If your dishes are prone to water spots due to your source of water being hard water, pour some white vinegar into a dishwasher-safe bowl, and place it on the topmost shelf. Run the cycle as you typically would, and the vinegar will take care of those unsightly spots. 

 

Make a General All-Purpose Cleaner

Combine equal parts of water and white vinegar, pour it into a spray bottle, and use it for general cleaning around your kitchen, bathroom, furniture, window blinds, etc. Just be sure to shake the bottle well before each use, and store it in a cool, dry, and dark place.

 

Get Rid of Musty Smells from Carpets, Rugs, & Upholstery

With the ability to absorb and neutralise odours, it’s no wonder baking soda is often used to clean and freshen up carpeting, area rugs, couches, and sofa cushions. The trick here is to sprinkle on a generous amount of baking soda, and leave it to sit overnight, or for at least 6 - 8 hours; then vacuum it all up thoroughly.

 

Get Rid of Pet Mess Odour on Hard Flooring

When your pet takes a wee on your hard flood, the smell can stay put even after cleaning the mess up. For this, spray on some raw vinegar, and wipe clean with paper towels. Vinegar does an excellent job at neutralising pet pee and poop odours.

 

Make Windows Shine Again

Regular glass cleaner doesn’t always cut through the grime and buildup accumulated on windows (especially exterior glass panes), but with a mixture of 2 parts distilled white vinegar, and 1 part water, your washed windows will shine again!

 

Keep Garbage Bin Odours Under Control

Obviously, you can’t take the trash out every time a small amount of garbage accumulates (unless it is absolutely necessary). However, if you find that your garbage is starting to emit a foul odour before it is even half full, sprinkle a layer of baking soda over the trash and it will help keep the smell under control.

 

Clean the Shower Head

Nothing cleans and dissolves mineral deposits in your shower head quite like the combination of white vinegar and baking soda. Simply mix a cup of vinegar and a tablespoon of baking soda; once properly combined, pour it into a plastic bag, and tie it over the shower head to soak for 6 hours or overnight. After you remove the bag, turn on the hot water and allow the shower to run for 10 seconds. Finish off by wiping the shower head dry with a microfibre cloth.

More Cleaning Hacks!

cleaning utensils including microfibre cloths and a blue bucket on a wooden tabletop

Clean Silver With Toothpaste

Silver jewellery, cutlery, and other items that have become dull or blackened overtime can be restored to their original, shiny finish by simply soaking the pieces in white, non-gel toothpaste water. The amount of toothpaste used will depend on the number of silver items you are soaking, as well as their sizes. A good rule of thumb is to add about 1 teaspoon of toothpaste to 1 cup of water in a container that allows the jewellery or cutlery to be fully submerged.

 

Pre-Treat Greasy Stains With Chalk

If you’ve spilled something greasy on your clothes, grate a piece of white chalk and sprinkle the powder over the stain. Use your fingers or a toothbrush to gently work it into the fabric, and then machine-wash after 15 minutes. For a dry grease stain, simply use the chalk stick directly on the fabric without pressing too hard. 

 

Use Rubbing Alcohol to Clean Electronics

From earbuds/earphones and gaming consoles, to TV and AC remotes; rubbing alcohol is a great way to clean and sanitise these items. Use either cotton/cotton swabs, or a clean microfibre to wipe down each item after dampening it with rubbing alcohol.

 

Put Sponges & Scrubbers in the Dishwasher

Every now and then, your dish scrubbers and sponges need to be cleaned and sterilised to avoid spreading bacteria. The quickest and simplest way to do this is to throw them in your dishwasher, and run a hot cycle. Always clean and disinfect your scrubbers/sponges separately from dishes. 

 

Baby Shampoo Can Clean Makeup Brushes

In a bowl of water, add a little baby shampoo to make a mild cleaning solution; swish your makeup brushes in it, one by one, and gently massage the bristles to dislodge buildup. Rinse under running water thereafter. Hang your makeup brushes upside down to prevent water from seeping into the ferrule and damaging the wood.

 

Remove Nail Polish from Carpet With Rubbing Alcohol

Before you attempt this, try to gently pull out the nail polish (if wet) using a paper towel. Then, dampen a clean, white microfibre cloth with rubbing alcohol, and blot the stain until it lifts. Use a fresh side of the cloth as and when needed.

 

Wash Your Combs/Hair Brushes With Shampoo

Using a toothpick, remove tangled hairs from your combs and hair brushes, and then soak them in a cleaning solution made with warm water and your regular shampoo. If needed, use a clean toothbrush to scrub dirt away, and finish off by rinsing under a faucet. Leave the tools to air-dry on a towel before putting them away.

 

Use Sunlight to Kill Bacteria

From mattresses and cushions, to sneakers and hats, leaving these things to air out in the sun is very effective in killing bacteria. The important thing to remember here is that direct sun can fade some coloured fabrics so indirect sunlight is advised.

 

Freshen Up Your Home from Your Air Vents

Place air fresheners inside the air vents around your home and it will be smelling amazing all day long!

 

Use Nylon to Clean Dusty Candles

Considering the fact that dust clings to the wax, cleaning your candles can be a bit tricky. With this cleaning hack, however, all you need is a piece of nylon to rub against the wax, and the dust buildup will be removed.

 

Clean Your Iron With a Magic Eraser

If the soleplate of your iron has gotten dirty or stained, use a wet Magic Eraser to scrub it clean. Ensure that the iron is off, unplugged, and cool before you do this. When you have removed the dirt, wipe over the soleplate with a clean, damp cloth.

 

Get Chewing Gum Out of Clothes With Hairspray

Obviously, the problem with getting out chewing gum from clothes is that it is too sticky. But when you use hairspray on it, the adhesive is weakened, thereby making it easier to scrape off with a blunt tool such as a spoon.

 

Use Dryer Sheets to Dust Screens

Static electricity means electronic screens are prone to dust. To reduce this, use dryer sheets to wipe them down regularly, and enjoy dust-free screens for longer periods of time!

 

Ditch the Bucket for a Squeezy Bottle When Mopping

More often than not, you don’t need a bucket of floor cleaning solution to mop your floor (especially if you’re only cleaning 1 or 2 rooms). So, instead of carrying a bucket around, pour the floor cleaner into a squeezy bottle, squirt some of it around the floor, one section at a time, and mop away!

There’s no escaping house cleaning; at some point, it catches up to you. The good news, however, is that cleaning doesn’t have to be an exhausting, never-ending affair! With regular efforts, and the best cleaning hacks in your back pocket, you’ll be cleaning your home and everything in it a lot quicker, and more easily than ever before! Of course, when it all becomes a bit too much to handle, or your schedule is keeping you preoccupied, you can always hire a professional home cleaning service to keep your house neat, clean, and fresh!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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