Now that October is here, we’re all going to start spending a lot more time at home. With shorter days and colder weather, home really is where the heart is! So with all this extra time being spent around the house, having a clean and tidy space is more important than ever.
However, there are lots of areas and objects around the home that you probably never really thought about cleaning, or that you weren’t sure about how to clean. Here are my top tips for cleaning all those pesky bits around the home to restore them to their former glory!
If you’re anything like me, you have probably gathered a huge collection of hairbrushes over the years. But I never thought to clean them – that is until my friend explained just how dirty a hairbrush can get!
When you think about how often you use your hairbrush, you’ll start to realize how quickly oil, hair products, dandruff, dust, and dirt can build up on a brush. Then, when you brush your fresh out of the shower hair, you drag all that dirt right back through your lovely clean hair. Not ideal!
To get a nice, clean brush, start by removing any hair that has collected on it. Then, take a cup of warm water, a teaspoon of shampoo, and a teaspoon of baking soda, and mix using an old toothbrush. Gently scrub your hairbrush with the solution using the toothbrush and finish by rinsing under cool water, before leaving it bristles down, to dry.
2. Make-up Brushes
Cleaning make-up brushes is notoriously difficult. I am always worried about ruining them, especially as they don’t come cheap! This solution gently cleans away the leftover makeup as well as any germs that may be lurking on your brush.
Simply mix 2 parts dish soap, with 1.5 parts olive oil, and gently swirl your brushes through the mixture using a plate.
3. Bathroom Tiles
To help keep your bathroom tiles looking clean, take a simple wax candle and rub it along the grouting between the tiles. This puts a thin layer of wax on the grouting, so when you shower, the water runs straight off, and the tiles remain sparkly and mildew-free!
4. Hard Water Deposits
Do you get frustrated when your taps look all white and chalky? This is especially common for city-dwellers as it’s caused by hard water deposits. Conventional chemical cleaning agents can take a lot of hard work to do their job properly, but simple, distilled white vinegar makes light work of it!
Take an old rag and soak it in a bowl of white distilled vinegar. Next, wrap it around the area you want to clean (make sure it’s totally dry) and allow it to sit for 1 hour. Remove the rag and lightly scrub with a sponge to remove any remaining deposits.
I have NEVER cleaned my toaster since the day I bought it. I never really thought I had to, but when I got around to cleaning it, I was utterly shocked by just how much grime came out of it (and to think, I make my toast in it every morning!)
To clean, unplug your toaster and let it cool, then remove and empty the crumb tray. Take an old toothbrush, dip in some water, and gently scrub the coils (don’t use dish soap as you cannot rinse the coils!).
Next, use a non-scratching sponge to gently clean the exterior of the toaster. If it’s stainless steal, make a paste using cream of tartar to bring a polished shine to your toaster!
6. Cast Iron Skillet
Notoriously hard to clean, you have to get it right otherwise you could ruin your skillet – most are sold with warnings about how not to clean them.
You can do it completely naturally by sprinkling a generous amount of salt onto the pan and then, taking a potato cut in half, scrub in circular motions – don’t be afraid to be vigorous!
When clean, rinse with water and pat dry.
7. Pot and Pan Bottoms
This is another thing that I admittedly always forget to clean. I clean the side of the pan I cook on, of course, but the pan bottoms remain dirty with burn marks and leftover gunk!
Sprinkle the pan bottoms with baking soda, or Bar Keepers Friend, and apply a little water to form a paste. After around 5 minutes of the paste sitting on the stains, use a non-scratch sponge to remove the marks gently. It will look as though you’ve never even used them!
Shorter days means more time spent in bed! This also means that we should take extra care to keep a clean bed, and I’m not just talking about the sheets and comforters!
Ideally, you should vacuum your mattress once a season – make sure the attachment is clean before putting it all over your bed! To help deodorize your mattress, sprinkle it with baking soda, let it settle for 30 minutes and then vacuum it up.
If you don’t already own one, invest in a mattress protector!
Mirrors are notoriously difficult to clean because if they get streaky, it’s immediately obvious, and a real pain if one of these streaks is right in the way when you’re trying to get ready for the day!
If you have any goopy marks on the mirror, it’s important to get rid of these first. Otherwise, you could end up dragging these across your mirror causing those pesky streaks. To do so, take some rubbing alcohol and dab it onto a cotton pad, then gently rub onto any of these goopy areas – they will lift almost instantly.
To clean your the rest of your mirror, mix one part vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle. Spray liberally onto your mirror, then rub with the cloth, in a zig-zag motion from top to bottom.
10. Odd-Shaped Bottles or Vases
If you have any cute vases or bottles around the house, you’ll know how bad they can be for collecting dust and dirt! To get around this, you can use a simple trick involving magnets.
Chop up a sponge to a size that will fit inside the neck of the bottle. You want to end up with two sponges of around the same size. Cut a small slit in the side of both sponges, and pop small magnets into each sponge so they are attracted to one another.
With one sponge on the inside of the bottle, use the other one on the outside to drag the sponge around the bottle to make it sparkle once more!
11. Ceiling Fan
Another notoriously dusty fitting in most houses, it can be hard to remember to clean because it’s on the ceiling!
An old pillow case will make cleaning your fan an absolute breeze! Simply take your pillow case, put it over each of the fan’s blades in turn, and gently drag it along the length of the blade, so all the dust and grime collects inside the pillow case. Simple!
12. Car Upholstery
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on professional car cleaning services to bring the gleam back to the inside of your car.
Mix equal parts club soda, dish soap, and white vinegar. Pop this mixture into a spray bottle and give it a good shake to properly mix it up. Spray this onto any stains on the seats and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
Next, take a scrubbing brush and brush in circular motions on the stains – you can really get quite thorough with this to lift those deep stains! Finally, use a shop vac or steam cleaner with water in it to help rinse out the seats. Let dry and be amazed at the results.
Give it a Try!
All of these tips will help you keep a nice, clean, comfy home. Even in the places that you struggle to keep spotless, or perhaps even didn’t know you could clean! Do you have any tips I missed? Let me know in the comments!
1. 27 Brilliant Tricks to Easily Clean the Things You Weren’t Sure How to Clean. TipHero. 2016. Available at: http://tiphero.com/27-hard-to-clean-things-solved/. Accessed September 29, 2016.
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