I have a confession to make. A (not-so) dirty little secret that I feel I need to share…
I like doing housework. No, let me be clearer: I love doing housework.
For me, turning my music up as high as possible, grabbing my bleach spray and a microfibre cloth and blitzing my house to get it sparkly clean and smelling fresh is a huge amount of fun. Dancing around, burning some calories and getting my home in perfect order is my jam.
However, I’m only human and, like everyone else I imagine, I love a good shortcut. Plus, let’s be honest, if I can look like a Stepford Housewife whilst putting in minimum effort then I’m going to take the opportunity! So, dear HTC readers, let me share some of my knowledge with you as I give you my Top 10 Housework Hacks.
1. Clean your shower head with vinegar and a plastic bag
Shower heads are a spot that are quite often neglected when it comes to cleaning, but they couldn’t be easier to take care of! Simply take a plastic bag without holes in it (a sandwich bag would be perfect), fill with vinegar and water then pop the shower head inside and seal it. Leave it for a few hours, remove from the bag and rinse – your shower head will now be sparkly clean and the acid in the vinegar will have broken up any limescale!
2. Lengthen the life of your sponges by microwaving them
Sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria but it’s easy to neutralise them – lengthening their life and reducing the cost and hassle of buying replacements all the time. Just immerse your sponge in a microwavable bowl of water, then nuke it in the microwave for 3 minutes. This kills the bacteria and returns your sponge back to its hygienic clean state. Be careful though, the sponge will be very hot so don’t try and pick it up immediately!
3. Shine up your stainless steel with baby oil
Stainless steel looks so classy and chic in the home, but it’s a bugger for getting covered in fingerprints. Take some baby oil on a cloth and buff away – the finger prints are removed and the stainless steel will be left looking perfect.
4. Dry your clothes faster by putting a towel in your tumble drier
Waiting for your machine to dry your clothes can be really tedious, plus the machines notoriously eat up electricity like it’s going out of fashion. Speed up the process by putting a towel in with your washing – the towel will absorb a lot of the moisture, reducing the drying time. Don’t leave the towel in for more than 15 minutes though otherwise it will actually take longer to dry everything.
5. Clean glass with newspaper and vinegar
This is a tip I learnt from my Nan and I remember doing as a child when we were helping Mum around the house. Instead of expensive specialist cloths and glass cleaning products, take some vinegar and mix in a bowl of warm water, then use a piece of newspaper to clean the glass. I don’t know the reason why this works, but it does. Sparkling clean glass using items you have kicking around the house – this is my kind of housework hack!
6. Put a cup of vanilla extract in the oven
This is an old tip from my days of being an estate agent. If you have people coming round, or even just want to give your house a beautiful scent, put 2 or 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract in a mug or bowl and bake on a low heat in your oven for an hour. The scent will gently permeate the whole of your home, giving it a delicate scent, creating a welcoming and cosy feel
7. Use Coca Cola to clean your toilet
We all know cola is highly acidic which is why it’s so bad for us (although it tastes sooooo good), but it means it makes an excellent cleaning product. Pour some around the pan of your toilet and leave to soak overnight. It will break down any stains and once you’ve brushed away the residue the next day, you’ll be left with a sparkling clean throne fit for a King or Queen!
8. Keep your bathroom smelling fresh at all times
This one is so simple, so so simple, but so so easy to implement. Buy your choice of essential oil, place a few drops on the inside of your toilet roll and voila! A beautifully scented room without having to buy expensive air fresheners!
9. Clean up broken glass with white bread
We’ve all been there; you drop a glass and it shatters into a million pieces. You think you’ve cleared it all up but there’s always those sneaky tiny shards waiting to jab you in the foot. But, by taking a slice of white bread and applying it to the area you’ve busted your glassware in, those small shards will be caught and collected, leaving your floor peril-free!
10. Clean your microwave or oven with a lemon
I first read this as tip to clean your microwave but I’ve used it in my oven and it’s worked well. Fill up a bowl with water and a lemon cut into quarters (I use two if I’m cleaning the oven). Microwave for 5 minutes or cook in the oven on a low heat for 45 minutes, remove (be careful, it’ll be hot!) then wipe down the appliance with a sponge (you may need to scrub any stubborn spots), finally, wipe down with a dry cloth. The combination of the steam from the water and the disinfectant properties of the lemon combine to create a simple, stress free way to clean those areas we all hate to do. Also, the lemon will leave a lovely fresh scent.
In a world that is becoming busier every day, we’ve all got better things to be doing than cleaning our homes, so we need to take a helping hand where we can get it – hopefully some of these tips will make your life a little easier.
Do you have any housework hacks you swear by?
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