Cleaning Tips: 10 Quick Fixes to Clean Things in a Jiffy!


Every now and then, something or the other needs to be cleaned, and more often than not, you don’t have the time for it. So, you either leave it be or end up spending a lot more time on cleaning than you can spare. It’s basically a lose-lose situation because in both cases you’re either compromising the item (by not cleaning it) or sacrificing something else that requires your time and attention. So then, what is the solution here?

It’s never a good idea to leave things dirty for too long because once dirt, stains, or odours set in, they become a lot harder (or impossible) to remove. Nevertheless, today we’re sharing some awesome cleaning hacks for you to use the next time you have very little time to spare and something (or the other) needs cleaning. Read on!

1. Whiten Yellowed Fabric

Over time, white fabrics tend to get discoloured (or yellowed), especially if you haven’t been storing your linen correctly. Luckily, there is a very simple process to restore white linens and get rid of the ugly discolouration. 

      1. Fill up a large pot with water and add 1/4 cup of oxygen bleach.
      2. Place the linen inside and bring the water to a boil; stir occasionally.
      3. Turn off the heat and leave it soaking over the next 5-6 hours. 
      4. Observe the area and reheat the water if the discolouration has not been removed.
      5. Depending on the severity of the stain, you might have to replace the water or reheat it a couple of times before seeing any results. 
      6. Rinse off thoroughly and air dry.

2. Remove Chewing Gum from Shoes

Stepping in gum can be a very sticky situation, however, the part where you have to clean it off your shoes has always been way worse. Until now, of course! Here is a super-quick fix to remove gum from a shoe:

      1. Spray the piece of gum with WD-40 (enough to really soak it).
      2. Wait for 1-2 minutes.
      3. Peel the gum away using a piece of metal like a flat-head screwdriver or coin.
      4. If any residue remains, spray over it and gently scrape off with a blunt edge (like a butter knife).

3. Clean a Burnt Stainless Steel Pot

Whether it’s a pot, pan, or kettle; if it’s stainless steel and blackened with charred food, here is the solution to bring back its shine:

      1. Fill the utensil with some water; it should be enough to cover the burnt/blackened part.
      2. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking powder into the water and bring to a boil.
      3. Lower the heat when it boils so that the water doesn’t go over; allow it to boil for 2-3 minutes before taking it off the heat.
      4. Drain out the water and whatever black bits go with it; run the pot under room temperature water to cool it down.
      5. Use a regular scrubber and dish soap to clean the rest of the pot with minimal effort.

4. Deodorise a Stinky Garbage Disposal

In most homes, a garbage disposal system is used on a daily basis and therefore, tends to smell funky if not cleaned and freshened up every now and then. The good news is that deodorising your garbage disposal is the easiest thing to do!

      1. Cut a lemon or lime into 4 quarters.
      2. Run the water and garbage disposal while you put the lemon/lime in (one piece at a time).
      3. Do this weekly or every other week to keep the disposal smelling fresh.

5. Clean Kids Toys

This one is specifically for non-electrical plastic and rubber toys that can very easily be cleaned and sanitised without the struggle of manual cleaning (which is also time-consuming). Here’s how:

      1. Place the toys on the top rack of your dishwasher; use a laundry wash bag for smaller toys.
      2. Use a child-safe detergent that doubles as a disinfectant, and run a normal cycle.
      3. After they’ve been cleaned, pat-dry each toy and leave them to air out and dry completely before putting them away.

6. Unclog a Drain

There are various products on the market that will get your drain unclogged in a jiffy; however, there is also a natural way to get the job done quickly if you’d rather not run to the store in search of one such product.

      1. In a bowl, combine equal parts baking soda and salt (approximately 2 tablespoons each) and pour it into the drain.
      2. Warm up approximately 2-3 cups of vinegar and pour it down the drain; it will start to foam and bubble as the vinegar reacts with the baking soda.
      3. Follow this up by pouring boiling hot water down the drain.

7. Clean Burnt Grease in a Microwave/Oven

Let’s be honest, it’s very rare to see your microwave and oven in a clean condition if they are used often. In fact, to make these appliances pristine again, you need to deep clean your microwave and oven every month or so. Regular cleaning, on the other hand, should include removing burnt-on grease as and when needed. Here’s a quick fix to do just that:

      1. Make a paste of water and baking soda.
      2. Use a damp sponge to apply the paste to the burnt grease.
      3. Pour some vinegar into a spray bottle and spritz it over the baking soda paste.
      4. For stubborn stains, wait 5 minutes before wiping the surface clean with a sponge.
      5. Rinse off the cleaning solutions with a clean, damp cloth.

8. Remove Limescale from an Electric Kettle

The build-up of limescale in electric kettles is very common and, unfortunately, occurs rather often. Although limescale isn’t harmful, it comes in the form of ugly, dull stains that ruin the appearance of the appliance. On the bright side, though, limescale in a kettle can be self-cleaned in the following manner:

      1. Mix equal parts water and white vinegar; fill the kettle just below the maximum capacity.
      2. Turn it on, wait for it to whistle, and switch it off.
      3. Empty out the water after a minute and rinse.

9. Self-Clean the Blender

Regardless of what you put in your blender, cleaning it is always troublesome because the blade gets in the way. You either have the hassle of taking it out or attempting to carefully clean around it, both of which take up more time than you would hope. That’s why the cleaning hack below is so popular among homeowners! 

      1. Squirt some dish soap into your dirty blender.
      2. Fill it with enough water to cover the blade, or just below halfway.
      3. Turn on the blender and allow it to self-clean.
      4. Empty the water out and give it a quick wipe with a scrubber.
      5. Rinse out and dry.

10. Clean Pet Hair from Furniture

Household pets put the ‘fur’ in furniture; if that makes any sense at all! Basically, what we’re saying is that if you have a pet, you will have pet hair on your furniture. It’s inevitable. While vacuuming is one great option, there are many other ways to remove fur from furniture. Here is a super-fast method for when you don’t want to drag out the vacuum cleaner:

      1. Put on a pair of rubber gloves and dampen your hands with water.
      2. Glide your hands over the furniture to pick up pet hair.
      3. Rinse off the fur and repeat.
      4. Keep a mug or basin of water to dip your hand in every now and then when cleaning up a lot of pet hair from furniture.

Cleaning is often a time-consuming affair but a necessity nonetheless. That’s why it’s so important to learn faster and simpler ways to clean various things or areas, thus ensuring that nothing is put off for too long, or forever!

Karen Saunders


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