If you’re fed up with scouring your oven and scrubbing the toilet and getting nowhere fast, we can help. Even the toughest household chores can be sorted with a little know-how. So here are some solutions to your cleaning tasks around the home.
Problem: A pot has been left on high and forgotten and then boiled over making a mess of the stove
We’ve all got side-tracked and left a pot to boil over. To clean it up, let it cool first, then remove the grates (clean these separately). Apply a tablespoon of dishwasher liquid or powder mixed with a little water directly to the spilt mess. Don’t use regular washing up liquid as it doesn’t cut through baked on food. Let this sit for 15 minutes, then test with a damp sponge to check whether it’s ready to clean off. If it’s still baked on then add a few drops of water, wait another 15 minutes and wipe clean.
Problem: Drips, crumbs and other food bits have dried onto your stove’s grates.
We don’t all wipe up messes straight away. When your stove’s grates have become too messy, run them through the dishwasher (by themselves) on a hot long cycle, or soak them in the sink with dishwasher detergent. Use about 1/4 cup of soap with just enough water to cover them. Leave to soak for about a half-hour, then rinse and dry. For heavy grease and grime, let your self-cleaning oven do the work. Preheat oven to the lowest temperature, then turn it off. Place the grates on an old towel and spray with oven cleaner, then put them in the still-warm oven for about 30 minutes. Remove grates, rinse in the sink and dry
Problem: The work tops in your kitchen are covered in grease.
Maintain on a weekly basis, using distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle, but check with manufacturers instructions beforehand.
Problem: Smudges and finger marks that just won’t go away on stainless steel appliances.
Although stainless steel looks great when new, you may have noticed that the material tends to show up all the smudges and smears. To remove them, wipe down with a slightly damp microfibre cloth. If there’s a greasy buildup, remove by washing down with hot soapy water and dry with a clean microfiber cloth, wiping with the grain.
Problem: Scuff marks on bathroom basin
There’s nothing more annoying than your lovely bathroom basin covered in scuff marks. If you’ve been afraid to scrub them as you’re worried about scratching the surface, start with a non-abrasive polishing powder such as Bar Keepers Friend. Wet the surface thoroughly, then pour a few tablespoons of the powder onto the stain and use a wet microfibre cloth to rub out the marks, or try using a pumice stone, keeping the stone and the surface very wet to avoid scratching, and gently buff out the marks.
Problem: Soap scum buildup on bathroom tiles.
This is a big problem area but try using a paste of 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (not bottled), 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup baking soda with a microfiber cloth to scour the surfaces lightly. Or try using a non-abrasive soaking wet scouring pad with a bathroom cleaner (let the cleaner sit for 15 minutes before wiping down). To help prevent the build up of scum and reduce the need for weekly cleaning, use a squeegee on the tiles after showers or baths.
Problem: Lime scale build-up on glass shower doors.
You know it’s getting bad when you can hardly see through your glass shower doors anymore. To make them transparent again, use a spray of white vinegar and lemon juice with a plastic scrubby. Once clean, apply a thin layer of car wax polish to provide a water barrier and prevent buildup.. To prevent buildup, you can also use a squeegee after showers. To clean out shower tracks, use a toothbrush to scrub muck out of the crevices, and chopsticks to dig into corners.
Problem: Dusty Venetian blind slats.
The most tedious boring job ever! Instead of wiping slat by slat, which is ridiculously time-consuming, blast through your blinds with these clever tips. First of all, using a barely damp microfibre cloth, close the blinds flat and wipe side to side all the way from top to bottom. Then turn the lever to move the slats in the other direction and wipe again from top to bottom. Now stand on the inside of the blind and do the same thing in both directions.
Problem: Dusty chandeliers or overhead lights.
Chandeliers are very high up so no one really notices how dusty they are, however, you do. So once or twice a year, make sure the light is cool, then remove fabric shades and vacuum them. Use a slightly damp microfibre cloth to wipe down each bulb. Heavy glass shades can be put through the dishwasher. Delicate shades should be hand-washed with a mild dish soap and dried. Once done, they look lovely and sparkly again.