Tuesday, 6 May 2014


  1. When cleaning start with jobs that need dry cleaning, such as dusting and sweeping. Then move on to ‘wet’ cleaning such as using glass cleaner and polish. This ensures that less dirt will float around in the air and then cling to the wet surfaces.
  2. Ditch the polish and just use a damp cloth for the furniture. A damp cloth also holds the dust rather than just spreading it around.
  3. Remove marks from wooden furniture by cutting a walnut in two and rubbing its raw edge along the grain of the wood.
  4. Use a banana skin to dust plants – the dust clings to the skin and the juice nourishes the leaves.
  5. Clean the inside of a dirty vase by filling it with vinegar and a handful of dry rice and give it a good swirl around
  6. Place a decorative basket on the coffee table to keep remote controls in.
  7. Do you lose your coffee table under piles of mail, newspapers and magazines? If so, place a magazine rack next to your favourite sofa or chair.
  8. Save heat and money by putting aluminium foil behind radiators.
  9. Stop static electricity on your TV by wiping with a tumble dryer sheet.
  10. Make your wood shine by polishing it with a solution of two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice.
  11. Freshen up a room by putting a cinnamon stick in your vacuum bag.


  1. Get rid of fingerprints on stainless steel by wiping them with baby oil on a clean cloth.

  1. Keep your cling film in the fridge. It is so much easier to use when cold.
  2. For a cleaner kitchen floor, use two buckets when mopping – one with clean water, one to drain.
  3. Line the tops of your kitchen cupboards with newspaper to prevent grease. Replace them regularly.
  4. Clean underneath large appliances by stretching a sock over a stick, then running it under the stove or fridge.
  5. To keep a cake from drying out and going stale, place half an apple inside the cake tin with it. A lemon works just as well. (No chance of any cake drying out in my house though as it gets eaten too quickly!)
  6. Put a few grains of rice in salt shaker to stop it lumping. The rice will absorb moisture more quickly than the salt and keep it running smoothly.
  7. Before washing fine china, crystal, or anything fragile, place a towel on the bottom of the sink to act as a cushion.
  8. Remove burnt-on food from a saucepan by boiling a cup of cola for a minute or two.
  9. Clean the microwave by bring a cup of water to boil in it. The steam will help loosen dried on food which can then be easily wiped away. Pop a slice of lemon into the water when boiling to help it smell nice.
  10. Remove coffee or tea stains from the bottom of a mug by swishing white vinegar around it.
  11. Clean baked on grime on your hob by sprinkling biological washing powder on it and then wiping off with a damp cloth.
  12. Freshen up your bin by placing a tumble dryer sheet at the bottom before putting in a bin bag.
  13. Clean fridge seals by using a toothbrush and toothpaste or bicarbonate of soda.
  14. Stop fridge odours by lining the vegetable drawer with a sheet of newspaper.
  15. Get rid of a lingering smell in the kitchen by baking orange peel in the oven.
  16. Regularly coat your chopping board with vegetable oil to make it last longer.
  17. Prevent the inside of a flask from smelling stale by adding a teaspoon of sugar before storing.
  18. To make oven cleaning easier, first heat a bowl of water on high for 20 minutes – the steam loosens dirt).
  19. Put half a lemon in your dishwasher to add sparkle and a lovely smell to your dishes.
  20. Group your foods together in the pantry for easy access and to help you identify when inventory is getting low. For example, group together your canned goods, cereals, pasta, etc.
  21. Purchase a spice rack that works best for your cabinet. Alphabetize your spices and place frequently used spices on the front of the rack and all others towards the back of the rack.
  22. Decide the night before what is on the menu for breakfast the next morning. If the family is to have cereal, set out the cereal boxes, bowls, and spoons.
  23. For all of those plastic containers and Tupperware items, dedicate one cabinet or drawer for those items and try to purchase stackable containers to maximize your space.
  24. Save your countertop space for items you use daily. Only display cookbooks that you really use and if possible store your canister set in your pantry instead of on the counter.
  25. Try putting all of your cooking utensils in a pot next to the stove. No more hunting around in a drawer to find that spatula you are looking for. Everything is visible and within easy reach when you are cooking.
  26. Create a family message centre on the refrigerator or other prominent place and use it for shopping lists, reminders, calendars, and phone messages.
  27. Do you have mounds of plastic bags from the grocery store? Place about 10 bags inside of 1 bag and throw the rest away. You can always get more the next time you go to the grocery store.
  28. Place a basket near the door into your kitchen, or mount an organizer on the wall to hold the daily mail. A toast rack can also make an unusual letter holder.
  29. Get in a habit of cleaning out your refrigerator every time you bring home groceries. Dispose of any food that is no longer edible or your family is not going to eat.


  1. Place an opened box of bicarbonate of soda behind the toilet to absorb nasty odours.

  1. Save old toothbrushes for cleaning grout.
  2. To organize clutter in the bathroom, purchase an attractive storage container with a handle on top. Place all of your accessories such as hair spray and lotion, in the container and place under the sink. Take the container out when you are ready to use it and then put it back under the sink when you are finished with it.
  3. Unblock a sink by putting a handful of bicarbonate of soda down the drain followed by a cup of vinegar, wait a few hours then pour in a kettle full of boiling water.
  4. If your shower doors are looking a bit dull, use a fabric softener sheet to get them gleaming again. The sheets contain ingredients that soften up water deposit build ups allowing you to wipe them off easily. Wipe down your shower doors a good wipe down with a few sheets and it will leave them looking terrific (and smelling lovely).
  5. Freshen sinks by popping two fizzy indigestion tablets and 250ml of vinegar down the plug hole.
  6. After a shower, quickly give the doors and tiles a quick rinse off. This will help prevent the build-up of soap scum.
  7. To keep shower tiles cleaner for longer wax them with car polish after giving them a good clean. This will help stop the grime from sticking to them.
  8. Shine up your bathroom taps with a dab of white toothpaste. Rub with a cloth and then rinse off.
  9. Use flat cola to clean your toilet. Yes, really. Pour a can of flat cola into the toilet pan and leave for half an hour. When you then flush the lime-scale will have dissolved and your toilet will come up lovely and shiny. (Makes me rather concerned about what cola does to our insides when we drink it!!)
  10. When cleaning, little and often is so much less stressful than having to spend a whole day at the weekend going through the house. Clean the bathroom after your shower in the morning. A quick spray around with some cleaner whilst everything is coated in hot steam helps the cleaning and it only takes a few minutes. The bathroom is then always bright and shiny and clean
  11. For a clean, fresh smell in your bathroom, place a dryer/fabric softener sheet in your bathroom’s bin.

  1. Shine black shoes by rubbing them with a banana skin
  2. Shine brown shoes by rubbing them with the pithy side of a lemon
  3. Keep necklaces and bracelets from tangling by hanging off a mug tree or putting hooks inside your wardrobe.
  4. Put conkers in with your clothes to keep moths at bay.
  5. To get rid of an ink stain on clothes, spray with a strong hairspray, and then wash as normal.
  6. Dry wet shoes more quickly by putting crumpled balls of newspaper inside them.
  7. To remove chewing gum from clothing, upholstery or carpets, heat some white vinegar in a pan and apply it to the gum.
  8. To make ironing easier place a sheet of kitchen foil on the board under the cover, which helps reflect the heat.
  9. When you are doing your laundry put any underwear inside a pillowcase. It will keep all those items together and make it easier for sorting everything once it comes out the wash. You can buy mesh bags designed especially for this.
  10. To stop coloured cottons from fading and the colours bleeding, soak in strong salt water overnight.
  11. To revive greying white cotton bedding, let the frost get to them on the clothes line.
  12. Remove rust stains on white cotton by rubbing with lemon juice and salt before washing.
  13. To remove candle wax from fabrics use a knife to scrape off as much wax as possible. Place fabric between 2 pieces of parchment paper or waxed paper and press with a warm iron. Wash with detergent in the hottest water safe for the fabric.
  14. Tumble dry pillows in a hot tumble dryer once a week for 15 minutes to freshen them and get rid of dust mites.
  15. Separate your clothes by season. If you have a wardrobe with a shelf over the rails, place current seasons clothes on the rails and move out of season clothes on to the shelf.
  16. Categorize your clothes by purpose, such as work, casual, and formal.
  17. If you have deodorant stains on your clothes, gently sponge the area with white vinegar. Leave for a few minutes and then wash in hot water.
  18. To remove blood stains, soak the item in cold water for at least 30 minutes. If the stain remains, soak again in lukewarm water with added ammonia. Use 3 tbsp. ammonia per gallon of water. Rinse well. If the stain is really stubborn and still remains, work in a laundry detergent, and wash, using colour safe bleach.
  19. To remove a fresh coffee stain, sponge or soak with cold water as soon as possible. Wash, using detergent and colour safe bleach. For a set in stain beat an egg yolk and then with a terry cloth, apply it to the stain. You’ll need to work the yolk into the stain for a minute or so. Now rinse it thoroughly with water. The stain will disappear.
  20. To remove mouldy smells from towels, wash with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. The smell will disappear they will be lovely and fresh again.
  21. Plant some lavender under your washing line, or if it on a patio or other hard standing, put some pots of lavender underneath. As sheets swing around on the line they brush against the lavender and pick up a subtle scent.


  1. Make a list of everything you do daily and weekly. Then organize them on a calendar (Google Calendar is great) so you can assign a time for each one as a “goal”. If you set a reminder for specific tasks at certain times or on certain days it’s much easier to keep on track, especially since most chores don’t take more than about 15 minutes when you break them up.
  2. To make mornings calmer and more in control is to lay out your clothes for the next day the night before when you are relaxed. This solves the problem of rushing to find what to wear in the morning when you are tired and time bound. Put out the jewellery, shoes and handbag with purse, keys and make up all inside.
  3. Encourage every member of the house to clean as they go. Make them realize that hiring a cleaner is expensive. Set an hourly rate and pay yourself for the cleaning you do and save this money towards a new appliance or family holiday. Get all the family in the habit of ‘little and often’ cleaning and tidying. It promotes quality time with your family and obtains a fresh living space for everyone.
  4. Make sure everything in your house has a home. Teach all family members to mind their own messes. For example, if you take it out, put it back; if you open it, close it; if you throw it down, pick it up; if you make a mess, clean it up; and so on.
  5. Each night before bedtime, have all family members pick up clutter for 15 minutes. Make a game out of it and see who can pick up the most things in the shortest amount of time.
  6. Buy a lovely storage box and fill it with a selection of cards for every occasion. Also put in it a selection of different coloured wrapping paper (the folded packs you can get) and a book of stamps. You will then have your own compact gift wrapping station and no excuse for not sending a birthday or other occasion card out at any time.
  7. The simplest thing that you can do to keep yourself organised is to keep a constant to-do list. Keep a notepad with you at all times. Whenever a new task comes up, add it to your list. As you complete tasks, cross them off your list.
  1. Unclog a drain by pouring in a cup of baking soda followed slowly by a cup of white vinegar – cover and let it sit for five minutes then pour down four litres of boiling water.
  2. When potting plants, place a coffee filter in the bottom of the pot over the drainage holes to prevent the soil draining out.
  3. If you keep your freezer in the shed or garage, polish the outside with wax to stop damp, rust and mould.
  4. Make stripping wallpaper easier by adding a tablespoon of baking soda to each bucketful of water.
  5. Clean oil spots on the path or driveway by sprinkling bicarbonate of soda and scrubbing with a wet brush.
  6. Kill weeds between cracks in patios by spraying them with white vinegar.
  7. For kids’ outdoor toys, purchase a weatherproof, bench-style storage box and store toys inside. Also, gather all outdoor balls and place into a large, mesh drawstring bag and store in garage.


  1. When painting a room put a freshly cut onion in there to get rid of the smell.
  2. Place a few briquettes of charcoal under the seat of your car to absorb odours and keep it smelling fresh. Make sure to use the type without the starting fluid on them or your car will smell of fuel.
  3. Fill the petrol tank the day before so you won’t have to worry about getting petrol if you are running late the next morning.
  4. To make cut flowers last longer, add 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sugar to the water. Remember to change the water every couple of days. I have also heard that popping an aspirin in the water works also.
  5. If you have thin surface scratches on glass, rub a little toothpaste over the surface. Finishing by polishing off with a soft cloth.
  6. Clean windows and mirrors with scrunched-up newspaper, dampened with 1 part white vinegar to 10 parts water.
  7. We all know about using vinegar to clean windows and mirrors but have you tried adding some dishwasher rinse aid to the water? It leaves glass streak free and with a sparkly finish – and it smells better than vinegar.
  8. Clean copper and brass with salt and lemon juice (three parts salt to one juice).
  9. Open your window blinds every morning and let the sun shine in! Sunshine will make your nice, clean room feel warm and cosy. You will grow to love that feeling and you will be more likely to keep your room clean.
  10. Keep rooms free of flies by putting a vase of lavender by any open windows – they hate it!
  11. Place a button at the end of a sticky tape roll so the end will be easy to find.


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