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20 clever cleaning hacks to make life easier

By Deepshikha Punj
May 17, 2016 09:24 IST
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Do you spend most of your time doing household chores during weekends?

Follow these smart home hacks to save you some 'me' time and fasten up the cleaning process.

Photograph*: Rediff Archives

Do you ever feel that household chores never seem to end?

That there is always a pile of clothes to wash or fold, always some furniture to dust and almost always a tricky clean-up situation you cannot resolve in a short amount of time!

We have compiled a list of smart cleaning hacks that will make your lives simpler.

By using these everyday hacks, you can save a lot of time and concentrate on the more important things in life.

In fact, these are so easy, you can (and you should) ask your spouse to pitch in as well.

So let's begin.

1. Cleaning a microwave oven or a dishwasher can be made super easy by simply preparing a mixture of vinegar and baking soda.

Add two tablespoons of vinegar to one tablespoon of baking soda and rub it along the insides of the oven or the dishwasher. Clean it with a damp sponge, and you are good to go.

2. If somehow you managed to spill paint on your favourite cloth like a saree, pants or even winter wear, fret not.

Just pick up a razor and gently graze it over the affected area. The razor (or knife) will scrape away the paint in no time.

3. For all your plastics like blinds or mugs, prepare a mixture of two tablespoons of vinegar and one tablespoon of water.

You can increase the quantity keeping 1:2 ratio in mind and based on your cleaning requirements.

Use this mixture with either an old sock (since it's soft) or a cotton duster.

4. If you notice water rings on your wooden furniture, use your hairdryer to remove them and then refresh the furniture by rubbing a little bit of olive oil on the affected area.

5. We all have a carpet where one of the kids manage to somehow drop oil! I know, I do. 

To remove the oil stain from the carpet, use a tablespoon of baking soda and add a few drops of water to it.

Rub this mixture on the stain and use a damp sponge to clean. Voila!

6. Our silver taps and faucets become not-so-silver after a few years.

To bring back that shine, just rub small pieces of lemon on them. Continue to do so for a few days for stains that are too hard to remove the first time.

To clean the shower, you can add some vinegar in a plastic bag and cover the shower with it. In no time, will you see the difference.

7. To clean the outside of your toilets or even bath tubs, use a teaspoon of liquid soap and add to it a few drops of antibacterial oils and baking soda, and mix this with water.

This will create a paste with which you can easily clean the two.

8. Most of our iron dishes including pans and pots are often difficult to clean.

To properly clean them, just throw in some sea salt onto the pan and rub it well with a tissue paper or a sponge cleaner.

Some people also use small pieces of bricks, especially to clean a roti tava. You can try that too, surprisingly, it works!

9. If you have greasy stains on your clothes, you can remove them with a chalk.

Yes! Just rub some chalk on the stain and let it dry for five to 10 minutes before you throw them in the washing machine or hand wash them. Chalk would basically absorb the grease.

10. Cleaning cabinet doors can be quite difficult because dust and even grease sometimes gets stuck in the corner.

Prepare a mixture of baking soda and vegetable oil and use it with a toothbrush or a cloth to clean the corners.

11. Ever dropped nail polish on your carpet? If you have, there is a very simple solution to get it off.

Just scrub the affected area with a few drops of alcohol and some microfibre cloth. It will instantly remove the stain.

12. You can clean the grater in your kitchen by simply grating some potato on it.

You can use either boiled or unboiled potato for this purpose. It will swipe clean any dirt or product stuck on to the grater.

13. Another problem most of us moms face is hair fall. While there's no smart hack to stop that immediately, there is one to remove your hair from the carpet.

Just use a rubber squeegee (rubber-edged blade used to clean windows and kitchen slabs) on the carpet and it will automatically sideline the hair.

14. If you are out of a utensil scrub, you can use the next best thing -- aluminium foil. Yes, that is correct.

One product, many uses. Just squish the foil into a ball and then use that to scrub utensils. It works just as well as a normal utensil scrub.

15. Coffee stains are a pain to clean, especially if you drop them on your favourite white dress.

But if you use baking soda you can easily get rid of them. Just dab the affect area in a mixture of baking soda and water and wash it clean.

Remember that this is good for clothes that do not need dry cleaning.

16. Cleaning make-up brushes can be made easy if you soak them in baby shampoo for a couple of hours and then dry them on a hanger separately to avoid mold.

Try to do this during the day so that the brushes are not open to moisture during the night.

17. Unless you do not want your entire house to smell of coffee, coming from your coffee grinder, just grind some uncooked rice in the machine.

It'll just absorb and 'grind' out the unwanted coffee bean smell.

18. Bathroom floor and tile cleaning is not an art, like some might say. It's actually all about the science.

Yes, you read it right! If you just wash the floors or even tiles of your bathroom with some baking soda and bleach, you will manage to skim off the grimiest dirt from them. It works like magic!

19. You can easily clean your iron by running it hot, without any steam, over a piece of foil or paper, which is covered with salt.

Do not use crushed rock salt, you can either go for table salt or kosher.

20. If your refrigerator is smelling particularly funny today, just throw in some balls of old newspapers.

It will suck out and absorb all the unwanted smell and you will be left with a clean and odourless fridge.

*Image used for representational purposes only.

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Deepshikha Punj Mumbai
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