25 Cleaning Tips – The best and quickest remedy secrets for your home

Not many people like doing house chores.

Me neither.

Maybe because it takes too long.

But what if you cut that down?

Because you are about to equip yourself with a step-by-step guide of 25 highly actionable organic cleaning tips on how to tackle *almost* any disaster at home.

Knowledge is power.

Now go forth and be the superhero your home needs.


Oh, I almost forgot…

I know how important being green and organic is – I have a young toddler myself.

Many of the cleaning tips below have references and are cited. All recommendations are commonly available, organically safe products. There are no commission-based or affiliate marketing links on the page.


Cleaning Tips Table of Contents:





Kitchen Cleaning Tips:

Kitchen Cleaning Tips

1. Disinfect 99% of bacteria from your sponge in 2 minutes without any harsh chemicals

We’re all guilty of this at some point.

We treat the sponge like a multi-purpose tool. We use it to wash the dishes, clean them then wipe the kitchen bench with it.

It is then left damp and uncleaned in a corner…

… perfect place those pesky bacteria to grow.

Did you know…

“My research shows 15 per cent of sponges and dish cloths have salmonella growing in them.”
Dr Chuck Gerba, University of Arizona

Eugh…

Well, what can we do about it?

According to Dr Gerba, we should discard them regularly. But we just don’t have the time or money to buy so many.

Fortunately, we don’t have to!

All we have to do is wet the sponge, chuck it into the microwave, and set it for 2 minutes.

Microwaving it for 2 minutes will kill more than 99% of these bacteria including E.coli.

It’s that easy!

What do I need?

  • A standard microwave
  • Dirty, germ-ridden, damp, used sponge.

What do I do?

  1. Place the wet sponge inside the microwave
  2. Set it for 2 minutes.
  3. Let the microwave sit for another minute after it’s done. You don’t want the steam to hurt you.

Just remember…

Don’t microwave sponges containing metallic elements.

Also make sure the sponge is wet, not dry.

2. Remove the white buildup inside the kettle with no scrubbing

You might be wondering what that white chalky stuff sticking on the inside of the kettle is.

Don’t worry. It’s not bad for you.

It’s just calcium carbonate (CaC03).

Or more commonly known as limescale

…and is simply just a buildup over time of minerals after water has evaporated from boiling, which leaves behind some dissolved salts.

Lucky for us, removing it is really simple!

Descaling is the term generally used to remove this.

But first: we need to understand more about limescale.

It is alkaline in nature (pH between 9 and 12). It is generally insoluble in water, but dissolves with acidic products.

What’s an everyday item that is acidic, cheap to buy, readily available, and smells fantastic?

You guessed it:

Lemons!

The acidity of lemons is just right to do this job without being too harsh. You can also use limes too.

What do I need?

  • A lemon.
  • An electric kettle with the insides covered in limescale.

What do I do?

  1. Cut the lemon into 4 separate pieces.
  2. Fill the kettle with enough water to cover the limescale.
  3. Drop the lemon pieces inside.
  4. Leave it to soak for an hour.
  5. Boil the water.

But wait!

What do we do with the water after boiling it?

I’m glad you asked. If you have scorched steel pans, don’t discard the water. You can kill two birds with one stone. Have a look at Tip 11.

3. How to simply and easily remove the smell of garlic from your hands

I love the smell of freshly pan fried garlic.

But fresh garlic?

Not really a fan.

The stickiness of my fingers, and the smell of it afterwards isn’t the best feeling ever.

Now, why does Garlic smell so bad?

When chopped or crushed, they release a compound called allicin containing allyl methyl sulfide, which is the main culprit for the smell. This is precisely the reason behind “garlic breath”.

Even in small amounts…

“Humans and animals are exquisitely sensitive to the most tiny amounts of sulfur compounds”
Dr Eric Block, Professor at the State University of New York, author of Garlic and Other Alliums

Here’s a simple way to get rid of the smell on your hands:

Metals within the stainless steel alloy attracts sulfur compounds. When you touch these metals, the sulfur compounds will essentially be pulled from your hands, taking the odour away.

Now what readily available items in the kitchen are stainless steel?

The knife of course!

Instead of just running your hands under water, grab the knife.

4. Clean and disinfect your microwave… WITHOUT hard scrubbing.

To most people, the microwave is one of the best inventions…

Ever.

Me included.

By shifting activities away from the stove, it has made it much safer to use.

As well as saving heaps of time.

The problem though, is over time, the walls inside start collecting bits of food. Usually, this is from exploding food due to buildup of temperature and pressure.

Here’s a quick explanation about exploding eggs:

“Microwaved eggs can reach temperatures much higher than if they were simply boiled in water at 100° Celsius… That’s why some of the shells crack even when you’re boiling them in water, but in a microwave there’s no control of how hot it gets.”
Jim Hutchison, a physicist at the University of Aberdeen

The longer the food stays in there, the more times it is going to be cooked, and the harder it will stick.


What can we do?

We can pull our sleeves up, grab a soft cloth, and start scrubbing..

OR…

We can let the microwave clean itself… with Vinegar

What do I need?

  • White Vinegar
  • A bowl with at least 1 cup of capacity.
  • A dirty uncleaned microwave containing food stuck to its walls.

What do I do?

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar.
  2. Pour 1/2 cup of water.
  3. Put bowl inside microwave, and heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Leave it for another 2 minutes to let the steam rest. I’m sure you don’t want hot steam carrying vinegar on your face.
  5. Open the door, take out the bowl with oven mitts.
  6. Give the inside a quick wipe. The hard food stuck to the side walls should now come off easily.

Your microwave should now look much cleaner.


Extra Cleaning Tip:

Most people don’t really like the smell of vinegar.

Open the doors and windows. Turn the rangehood on.


You ready for another tip that will rock your socks?

Remember our friendly, but bacteria filled sponge in Tip 1?

Of course you do.

You can kill two birds with one stone.

Just submerge the sponge inside bowl.

It’s that simple. I’ll let you figure out the rest. =)

5. Stay chatting with friends while your George Foreman Grill cleans itself

I know that George Foremann Grills don’t have a self cleaning feature.

Just bear with me for a sec…

But what if they did?

Wouldn’t that make things a lot easier? Wouldn’t that save time? Wouldn’t you use it more often?

Thankfully, there is a way.

What do I need?

  • Good company. Delicious Food. Awesome conversations.
  • Hot George Foreman grill that has just finished cooking.
  • Paper towels.

What do I do?

  1. Make sure the grill is still warm. If not, turn it on.
  2. When it is at maximum heat, turn it off.
  3. Place 2-3 wet paper towels on the rack, layered to cover the whole grill.
  4. Close the lid.
  5. Go back, enjoy the food, and let it cool down and “self-clean”.
  6. When it is cold, remove the dirty towels.
  7. Give it a warm soapy wipe. The left-overs should come easily.

And there you go. Self cleaning!


You’re probably wondering…

…. But… how does it work?

The paper towels are wet to begin with. When heated inside the grill, the water turns into steam. The steam is very mobile gets in and under the food stuck inside the grooves. This softens it. The steam then carries the food and gets trapped by the paper towels.

This is precisely the reason why the grill needs to be hot.

6. Make your kitchen sink sparkle again without the harsh chemicals

Did you know…?

… that the kitchen sink is a lot dirtier than we think it is?

Considering we wash fruit and vegetables in it, prepare meat, as well as doing the dishes, it’s not surprising really.

Here’s Dr. Gerba again:

“There’s more E. coli in a kitchen sink than in a toilet after you flush it. The sink is a great place for E. coli to live and grow since it’s wet and moist. Bacteria feed on the food that people put down the drain and what’s left on dishes in the sink.”
Dr Chuck Gerba, University of Arizona

So we know that the sink needs to be cleaned and disinfected. So what can we do?

Denture Tablets

They were originally made to clean and disinfect dentures and orthodontic devices, mainly by control the growth of bacteria to prevent denture-related-stomatitis.

One of its main ingredients is baking soda.

It is slightly alkaline, which helps to break down some of the acid in meats, fruits and oils.

In addition, it contains a bit of citric acid, great for dissolving stains that accumulate at the drain.

Did I mention that it was also safe and nontoxic?

What do I need?

  • A dirty sink.
  • A stopper that fits snuggly with the drain.
  • Denture cleaning tablets.

So what do I do?

  • Fill the sink with water.
  • Drop 2 denture cleaning tablets.
  • Leave to rest overnight.

Your sink should sparkle when you come back the next day.

But wait, there’s more!

Denture tablets are so effective at what they do, here’s a list of other household items that they also do a great job of cleaning.

  • Coffee pots
  • Mugs
  • Thermos
  • Diamond rings (ensure metal is either gold or platinum)

7. Did you know the oven can be cleaned without hard scrubbing?

Remember what happens after you’ve roasted a lamb?

The inside of your oven becomes a black dome of oils and grease.

Yummy.

After a while, the remains and other dirt build up become charred, and then that can often become difficult to remove.

Really difficult.

Now instead of us breaking our back over scrubbing this build up out there is a far easier, and cheap, solution for everyone.

Baking Soda.

It functions well as a cleaning agent because it is a mild alkali.

This causes the dirt and grease (usually acidic) to dissolve easily in water.

Once water is added to baking soda, the mix becomes a mild abrasive. This become very effective weakening the pesky stains and lifting dirt and grease.

If that isn’t enough, Vinegar can be added as well.

Vinegar usually contains 5% acetic acid which will help dissolve a few of the tough basic deposits left behind in the cooking.

What do I need?

  • An used oven caked with layers of black grease and oils from baking cakes and roasts.
  • ½ cup of baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • White Vinegar
  • A sponge for scrubbing
  • A damp cloth

What do I do?

  1. Mix ½ cup of baking soda and 3 tablespoons of water together to create a paste.
  2. Use the sponge to apply a thick coat of the baking soda paste to the parts of the oven with the charred remains that are the toughest to get off.
  3. As the baking soda paste is layered on to the oven, it will start to brown.
  4. Leave the brown baking soda paste in the oven overnight.
  5. Once dry, take a warm wet, wash cloth and wipe away the brown baking soda paste.
  6. Spray the oven with vinegar if you have a spray bottle. Otherwise, wet the damp cloth with vinegar, and apply to brown baked areas.
  7. Once the vinegar is on it will foam.
  8. Wipe away all of the foamy residue and you are finished.

Here’s something you can watch:


This method performs well on various other burnt pots and pans aside from use with the oven.

Extra Cleaning Tips:

For those who like a bit of chemistry, the chemical equation when mixing vinegar with baking soda is:

NaHCO3 + HC2H3O2 → NaC2H3O2 + H2O + CO2

What does this mean?

When you mix Baking Soda (NaHCO3) and Vinegar (HC2H3O2), you get a salt (NaC2H3O2), water and carbon dioxide.

Essentially, the baking soda has used up the “cleaning powers” of the vinegar.

This is NOT what we are looking for.

We want the vinegar to act on the tough stains that the baking soda couldn’t.

This is where most people (including me) got it wrong.

Do NOT mix them together at the start; it achieves nothing. You get bubbles. That’s pretty much it.

Apply separately.

8. How to remove burnt stains off stainless steel pans

Before we talk about getting rid of the burnt stains, let’s try and understand more about burnt food.

What is burnt food and why does it happen?

When we try and pan fry a sausage, we’re creating the Maillard Reaction.

This is a chemical reaction that causes the food to brown, become edible, and of course, taste better. The side effect of it is that it lowers the nutritional value of the food, as well as create glycotoxins.

Unfortunately, glycotoxins tend to stick together, which becomes the reason why burnt food stick to pans, especially iron.

Luckily for us, vinegar just happens to be our special weapon.

Its acidic nature is great for breaking down these kind of proteins.

What I need?

  • A pot or pan that with burnt food stuck to the bottom
  • White vinegar
  • A stove
  • A wooden spoon

What do I do?

  1. Pour the white vinegar into a pot, making sure to cover the full base of the pot.
  2. Leave the pot on the stove.
  3. Bring the contents to boil.
  4. Continuously stir the contents, mixing from the bottom, so to aid to the lifting process of the burns and scorches on the bottom of the pan or pot.

Here’s something you can watch:

Bedroom Cleaning Tips:

Bedroom Cleaning Tips

9. Kill mattress dust mites and the allergens with this simple 1-2 punch

Okay, let’s talk about sneezing.

Wait, what does that have to do with dust mites? It’s like this:

If you uncover a box that’s been sitting in your basement for ten years and take the lid off, you’ll probably sneeze.

So, when’s the last time you took the lid off your mattress?

Alright!

Let’s get practical.

Over time, dead skin is absorbed in your mattress, adding weight. Because dust mites feed on dead skin, a typical mattress could could contain anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million mites.

Although they’re not harmful, it’s possible you may be allergic to them. And allergies cause sneezing.

See how we tied that all together?

The good news is sunlight will kill most dust mites, and it removes moisture from the mattress. So we’re killing sneezing and mold with one fell swoop.

However, killing them isn’t enough:

Killing the mites alone doesn’t stop any of the exposure to allergens – all it does is kill the mites, which will over a period of time just re-establish themselves anyway. So you do need to get rid of the allergen.”
Dr Euan Tovey, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney

So how do we get rid these allergens?

“It’s best to use a washable mattress protector and wash it regularly with all your other bedding”
Dr Euan Tovey, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney

What do I do?

  1. Pick a good day with bright sunlight.
  2. Arrange a few chairs out back.
  3. Remove all covers from the mattress.
  4. Lay the mattress on top of the chairs, exposing as much sunlight as possible.
  5. Wash all the covers in hot water to remove the allergens.
  6. Leave it out for the whole day.
  7. Before taking it back in, give it a good beating from top and bottom. This will shake up the dust, and dead mites.
Final step: Breathe better!

10. Shirt collar stains with an everyday household item

We get it.

Throwing away perfectly fine work shirts or those favorite band tees is hard!

But what else can we do when they have collar stains?

Wait!

Don’t be so quick to toss those useful items. We want to help you salvage those collars!

Ready to feel smart?

Here’s the science.

When worn regularly, your shirt collar collects the oil from your neck. Most of this oil washes away in the washing machine, but there are some stains that stubbornly refuse to give up their home.

We remembered that shampoo wages war against oil on a (hopefully) regular basis. In fact, shampoos are designed specifically for oil removal by using these cleansing agents called surfactants.

Surfactants, which are soluble (dissolvable) in water, are attracted to oil and grease in our hair. So, once you put shampoo in your hair, the fun chemicals involved hitch up with the oil and grease, and then all of that stuff gets rinsed out!

Okay, so you know the science. Ready to slay some stains?

What I need?

  • Shirt with a collar drenching in body oils.
  • Regular Shampoo

What do I do?

  • Apply shampoo directly onto the stain.
  • Gently rub the stain with a toothbrush or your fingers.
  • Let it soak for 30 minutes.
  • Inspect the shirt and stain after 30 minutes.
  • Repeat process until stains are removed.
  • Put shirt into normal washing cycle as usual.

11. Can’t seem to get urine stains off mattresses? You may be using the wrong cleaner.

Rather than think about how all these stains get on the mattress, let’s just dive in to the gritty details.

Goggles on?

These tiny particles called enzymes are protein catalysts that exist in chemical reactions that digest organic materials.

So it’s a bit like this:

Imagine you’re a character in a video game. Your enemy (urine stains) is tough. You can’t beat them right now. You need a weapon.

You find a sword (catalyst).

You are now armed, and ready to go.

After you’re done defeating the enemy, you can leave the sword behind for the next adventurer, much like how enzymes can break up organic materials without being used up.

These enzymes make an effective weapon against urine, and they prevent the odour from spreading. The enzymes bind to the odour and force it to break into tiny little pieces.

If you’re worried about how safe they are:

“Many enzymes are very gentle and completely safe”
Amanda Mason (Harvard University)

Feel a little better?

We do too.

Ready to learn about the fun part?

What do we need?

  • A soiled mattress
  • Enzyme-based cleaner
  • Wet cloth
  • Baking Soda (Potentially)

What do we do?

  1. Soak up as much moisture with dry cloth as possible.
  2. Spray the affected area with an enzyme-based cleaner.
  3. Leave it to soak for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Wipe remains away with a wet cloth.
  5. If stains remain, sprinkle baking soda over it, and let it rest overnight.
  6. Vacuum remaining baking soda the next day.
  7. Repeat as necessary.

Where can I get these enzyme based cleaners?

Well, you can buy them at the local supermarket, or you can make your own.

Bathroom Cleaning Tips:

Bathroom Cleaning Tips


12. Clean faucets with vinegar

The faucets tend to collect more dirt and grime than basins.

This is simply because of the way they are shaped. The crevices and gaps that allow for easy handling act as the ideal place for grime to collect.

Even after giving it a good wipe, the faucet may disinfected, it stay appears dirty.


This is because the stains are generally a build up of hard water, which requires a bit more cleaning power to remove.

As we know, hard water is basic, and the best way to neutralise that is with vinegar. That reaction will produce a salt and water.

This process can however take time if the faucet hasn’t been cleaned for a while.

But how do “soak” the tap and faucets in vinegar?

You can find out below:

What do I need?

  • A faucet that’s surrounded with white and black marks around its edges.
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • A bowl
  • A towel
  • An old toothbrush

What do I do?

  1. Pour white vinegar into a bowl.
  2. Soak the rag in the vinegar bowl until thoroughly wet.
  3. Gently squeeze out vinegar from the rag onto areas that have hard water.
  4. Then wrap the rag around the tap or faucet with hard water stuck on it.
  5. Leave that for an hour to soak.
  6. Rinse and repeat for all the areas covered in hard water.
  7. Finally, scrub the hard to reach places with an old toothbrush dipped in vinegar. The hard water should come off easily.
  8. Wash all areas with fresh water.

Here, you can watch someone who does this exact method:


Extra Cleaning Tips:

But what if you don’t like the smell of vinegar?

Well, that’s easy…

You can use lemon.

Simply cut a lemon in half, and rub it on all the areas with hard water.

The chemical process is practically identical, the lemon is acidic and breaks down the water deposits just as easily as the vinegar does, but it may be easier to spread vinegar around large areas, instead of several lemons.

13. How to Stop Scattered Shower Head Spray

I for one am not a fan of weak showers…

… or when the water sprays in all different directions

Or when some of the pores don’t spray water at all.


But, why does it do that?

Tap water contains minerals which collect within the pores of the shower head.

Over time, this builds up, and starts clogging the pores.

It is the same minerals that build up around the base and handles of the shower that give it this white chaulky look.

In order to clear this build up and fix the uneven spray of your shower head, the holes will need to be cleared of hard water.

As discussed before, hard water is generally basic, so a mild acidic substance will work to neutralise the hard water.

Again, vinegar is the winner simply because it is cheap, readily available, safe to use and is not strong enough to cause permanent damage to other areas.

What do I need?

  • 1-2 cups of white vinegar
  • Plastic bag without holes (ziplock etc.)
  • Shower head
  • A rubber band

I know what you’re wondering:

What if I don’t want to pull the shower head off?

That’s why the plastic bag and rubber band is going to be used.


What do I do?

  1. Pour 1-2 cups of Vinegar into ziplock bag (2 cups preferred for more hard water that is tougher to get off)
  2. Wrap the bag around the showerhead, ensuring that all the pores are submerged in vinegar.
  3. Wrap a tight rubber band around the opening of the bag while it’s on the shower head. So that it is stuck to the shower head and not leaking.
  4. Leave it on overnight.

Extra Cleaning tips

What can we do with the left-over vinegar? You can reuse it for the next tip!

14. How to remove grime on shower tile grout

Grime between the tiles builds up over time and just leaves us missing that special shine our tiles initially starts with.

Grime is usually made up of various substances such as dirt, body oil, and some minerals. After a while, when it is uncleaned, they turn from white to orange to black.


Although there’s no real harm in leaving it there collecting dirt, who wouldn’t rather take a shower in a much cleaner area?

There are multiple methods of clearing the grime.

The best and most simplest way is using vinegar. With 5% acetic acid, it is adequate enough to dissolve the grime build-up, without being too harsh on the grout and tiles around it.

What do I need?

  • Vinegar
  • Cloth

What do I do?

  • Wet the cloth with vinegar.
  • Squeeze the vinegar along the grout lines.
  • The vinegar will start doing its work.
  • Lightly scrub the grime, and it should come off easily.

Extra Cleaning Tips

You should have plenty of vinegar from Tip 13.

Killing 2 birds with 1 stone.

Toilet Cleaning Tips:

Toilet Cleaning Tips

15. Want your toilet smelling fresh when guests are over?

Need a little something to block the plumbing smell from escaping? Let’s look at a natural remedy.

Natural?

Yup. Just because it didn’t come from a big company doesn’t mean it isn’t useful.

So take a look at the facts.

Remember when we talked about shampoo and the oil on shirt collars? The same principle works here.

Eucalyptus oil does not mix with water (not dissolvable). The oil rises to the top of water and it forms a barrier between the water below and the air above. It’s like a force field!


The “Force Field” stops the smell coming out of the water. You only need a few drops.

Making the visit to the toilet for the next person a pleasant experience.


Okay, I know now you’re pretty convinced that this is just the craziest thing. We get it.

We also think it’s magic.

But hey, it works!

What do I need?

  • Eucalyptus Oil in a small container

What do I do?

  1. Flush the toilet after doing your business as usual
  2. Drop 2-3 drops of eucalyptus oil inside the bowl.
  3. Ensure it is enough to cover most of the water surface area.

Extra Cleaning tips:

And now, for a little more knowledge. Because we know you love being smart!

If the smell is particularly strong, you may want to burn a match inside the toilet.

Sulfur dioxide is released in a large burst when the match is first lit.

Sulfur dioxide is a odourless gas, and is very efficient in numbing the sense of smell in our noses.

We get it. You have to try this RIGHT NOW.

So come back later and comment to tell us how awesome it is!

16. Don’t think your toilet has a leak? Here’s how you make sure

You probably saw the title and thought, “Gee, is this something I need to know?”

Absolutely.

Seriously.

We’ve figured out why you should definitely, positively check for leaks.

You can’t always hear water leakage from the tank into the bowl.

Why does this matter?

Gradually, water wastage adds up, and since you’re still paying for the water, you are literally washing money down the drain.


So, here’s for the fun part. If you add some coloured food dye to the water tank, it will wash through the system and show where any leaks are located. Plus, it’s a cool way to decorate the inside of the water tank.


We know you’ve thought about it.

No shame.

What do I need?

  • A normal toilet with a tank of water you can get access to.
  • Coloured Food Dye

What do I do?

  1. Open the lid to the toilet water tank.
  2. Add a few drops of food dye inside.
  3. Watch for leaks in the bowl.

We know you’ll probably use this as a trick to show kids one day.

We’re all for it!

17. Remove hard water rings in toilet bowl with vinegar

It’s been a while since you last deep cleaned the bathroom, and now there are rings!

The dirty ring deposits inside the toilet bowl and under the edges is generally made from hard water.

Hard water are minerals found after water has been evaporated or flushed away.

Hard water is generally basic.

What did we use before that was really effective against bases?

Vinegar

What do I need?

  • A dirty toilet that hasn’t been cleaned for a while
  • White vinegar
  • Toilet Brush
  • Paper Towels

What do I do?

  1. Close the shutoff valve located on the wall behind the toilet.
  2. Flush the toilet to get rid of the excess water in the tank. This is to ensure if there are leaks, the solution inside the toilet is not diluted.
  3. Pour 1 cub of white vinegar slowly into the bowl. The slower it is poured, the less likely the vinegar will be sucked down the pipes.
  4. Let it soak for 2 hours.
  5. Afterwards, remove paper towels and give all areas a good scrub.
  6. If the inside edges are stained, wet paper towels with vinegar, and apply it to the stained areas.

Here’s a video to help you.

General Cleaning Tips:

General Cleaning Tips

18. Remove pet hair from carpets by running over it with damp rubber gloves

Pets lose hair, so how can we effectively clean it all up?

Take damp rubber gloves and rub them against the carpet. This generates static electricity.

This action wil loosen and attract the pet hair. You still need to vacuum it up, but at least the hair is now ready to be picked up.

We can do this on furniture and clothes also, which is helpful!

Take a look at how this guy removes dog hair from the backseat of his car.

19. What to do when your iron becomes scorched.

Is your iron scorched?

Does your iron collect dirt and grime?

Do you want an iron that’s as good as new, without buying one?

Then this section is for you!

Irons become scorched because we place tap water into the “steam” section. Manufacturer’s instructions usually say to use distilled water, because tap water contains lots of minerals.

When heated, the water evaporates, leaving mineral deposits behind, which form into limescale.

Eventually, the limescale starts collecting dirt, stains, and other non-iron materials.

A great way to clean that limescale off is to use salt.

Why salt?

Because salt is non-abrasive. It’s good to use non-abrasive materials to avoid scratching the iron, which makes it less effective.

Plus, salt is non-toxic, does not produce an odour, and is completely safe to use.

So here’s the way to do it!

What do I need?

  • An iron with the bottom scorched with long use.
  • Salt
  • Paper Towel

What do I do?

  1. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt onto a paper towel.
  2. Turn the iron onto the highest setting.
  3. Ensure the steam is off.
  4. Press the iron onto the salt.
  5. Run the iron back and forth until scorch marks disappear.
  6. Turn iron off.
  7. Once cooled, wipe remains with a damp cloth.

Extra cleaning tips:

If salt does not remove the stains, you may need to use a wet towel dipped in vinegar.

Gently wipe the cloth until the marks are gone.

Take extra caution to ensure it is only the bottom that the vinegar touches.

20. How to remove old blood stains from clothes

Blood can stain any fabrics extremely quickly. The haemoglobin within the blood cause it to clot and bind with the fabric when exposed to air.

If it is a fresh stain, simply run it under cold water, and soak. The stains should come off quite easily.

Avoid hot water, because there are proteins within blood that will be change when hot water is added, and this may make it harder to remove.

However, old or dry blood stains can be quite hard to remove once they are set.

So, what do we do?

It turns out Hydrogen Peroxide is made for the job.

Why does it work?

Our blood contains enzymes called catalase.

It is used as a catalyst in turning hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen at a rate of 200,000 reactions per second.

Essentially, the compounds that produce the red colour in blood are broken up upon contact with hydrogen peroxide.

Take a look at a video to see what happens when you mix the two together:


When enough hydrogen peroxide is used, it makes the blood colourless.

And, voila! No more stain.

What do I need?

  • A shirt stained with blood.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide.

What do I do?

  1. Pour hydrogen peroxide onto affected areas.
  2. Rub gently with hands until the blood disappears.
  3. Best to do this as soon as possible, although Hydrogen Peroxide still works well after 24 hours.

21. What to do when oil gets onto your favourite silk tie.

Let’s say your friends are over, and you are having a great time.

Conversation is going great.

You notice that a splash of grease has landed onto your tie.

What’s the best thing you can do?

You can hand wash it straight away, but your friends are over.

Well, it turns out that cornflour is perfect for the situation.

Cornflour is fantastic at absorbing oils. Used in cooking, cornflour is sometimes added into batter to to increase oil absorption and increase crispness during frying.

So follow the method below to get rid of those bothersome stains!

What do I need?

  • A piece of silk clothing with a fresh oil stain
  • Cornflour

What do I do?

  1. Rub some cornflour into the stain.
  2. Let it rest for 10-20 minutes.
  3. The cornflour will start to absorb the fats and oils.
  4. Brush it away with dry cloth.
  5. Repeat treatment until the oils are removed.
  6. Handwashing may still be required, but most of the oils should be absorbed.

Extra cleaning tips:

This method can also be applied for leather furniture or other upholstery that cannot be machine washed.

22. Removing Gum from the Carpet

Gum getting stuck in your carpet is pretty bad.

It’s almost as bad as getting it in your hair.

Well, not really.

However, it’s not as difficult to remove as you may think.

All gum is created from a form of synthetic rubber.

This rubber is sensitive to changes in temperature.

When you open a fresh packet of chewing gum. It’s hard.

When you start chewing, it becomes soft. Soft enough that you can blow bubbles out of.

The synthetic rubber in gum remains flexible at body temperature, though, when placed at cooler temperatures the gum will harden.

Have you tried drinking water while chewing gum?

It becomes hard right?

So how can we take that principle when gum hits the carpet?

Ice cubes

Once you’ve applied ice to the gum it will then harden and lose its elastic and sticky nature making it easy to retrieve and dispose of.

What do I need?

  • Ice
  • A sealable bag (A ziplock bag etc.)
  • A dull knife
  • (Just in case needed) A detergent that contains methyl salicylate

What do I do?

  1. To begin place a few blocks of ice into a sealable bag, 2-4 should work fine.
  2. Place the ice filled bag over the gum stain in the carpet
  3. Once applied leave the ice to sit on the stain for 10 minutes ( don’t wait too long or the ice may melt)
  4. After the allotted time has passed scrape the hardened gum using a dull knife
  5. If there are still traces or gum remaining scrub the carpet gently using detergent containing methyl salicylate.

Extra cleaning tips:

  • If the gum stain has been left sitting for a long period of time and the method provided does not work, consider using paint or grease remover in order to remove it such as WD_40.
  • Before applying a remover to the bulk area of the gum attempt a smaller region in order to test for any damages it may cause.

23. No need to panic any more when your child vomits onto the carpet

Picture this.

Your 2 year old son is sick. You pick him up to pat him, and he throws up all over the carpet.

Yep. Happened to me.

(No picture of vomit this time. Didn’t think you’d want to see that.)

If you’re looking at awful stains that will never come out, then we’re on the same wavelength.

Now, what makes this stuff so difficult to clean?

The fluids in our stomach are acidic, so they can break down food.

You’ll remember that on the pH scale, you can separate substances on a spectrum, with acids (low pH) and bases (high pH) are the complete opposites. When acids and alkalines are mixed together, they will neutralise each other.

Okay, so when we vomit, the stomach acids come out along with any undigested food.

To counteract that, we need something on the opposite side of the spectrum.

Baking Soda.

Baking soda is a mild alkaline, and will neutralise some parts of the acid.

But, here’s the impressive part:

The beauty of Baking Soda is its unique buffering abilities. It causes acids to become more base, and causes basic solutions to become more acidic.

And it also soaks up smell.

The smell from the vomit is usually an acidic gas. Baking Soda deodorises by bringing the acidic odours into a neutral, odor-free state.

If you skipped the last couple paragraphs because you really need to clean the stain up before your child vomits again, that’s totally cool.

What do I need?

  • Fresh vomit from a child, a drunk, a dog etc…
  • Baking Soda
  • Towel
  • Iron

What do I do?

  1. Pour baking soda liberally until it covers all the vomit areas.
  2. Leave it to soak for at least 30 minutes (preferrably an hour). This will give it time to soak up as much moisture and odours as possible.
  3. Vacuum the baking soda away.
  4. You’ll notice that there will still be patches on vomit stuck on the carpet.
  5. Place a wet towel on a patch.
  6. Set your iron to cotton (high temperature).
  7. Iron away.
  8. The steam wil soften the carpet fibers, lifting them into the towel.
  9. Wipe remaining areas with wet towel.
  10. Rinse and repeat until stain is removed.

So you’re probably wondering why do we need a wet towel for the iron?

Don’t worry, it was just to protect your carpet in case its made of a material that doesn’t like steam.

Check this guide out for a fantastic tips on how to clean a carpet.

24. What to do when you spill milk

Spilling milk occurs more often than you think.

Especially in the car

I do not wish it upon anyone. It’s certainly not pleasant.

Remember what we talked about tip 11?

Just like urine, milk stain is a Protein stain. This means a cleaner with enzymes are perfect.

Here’s a quick refresher:

Enzymes are protein catalysts present in chemical reactions to digesting organic materials like milk or cheese.

Enzymes break stuff down.

They also stop the spreading of odours.

So if we spill milk, a logical method to clean up the milk would be to use a cleaner with enzymes!

What do I need?

  • A fresh milk spill onto carpet
  • Paper Towels
  • A cleaner with enzymes
  • Towel

What do I do?

  1. Use paper towels to dry as much milk as possible.
  2. Spray the affected area with an enzyme carpet cleaner.
  3. Wipe area with a towel soaked with cold water.
  4. Rinse and Repeat until odour and stain is removed.

25. How to remove coffee stains new or old

I know you like coffee.

I like coffee. There’s no judgment.

Remember that time coffee sploshed all over the carpet?

Yup.

If we want to remove fresh and old coffee stains, there are two different methods, so first, determine if you just now spilled coffee, or if it happened a while ago.

Coffee, tea, and wine contain natural occurring substances called tannins.

These are found in plants and are the main reason for the bitterness in coffee beans and wine.

When we spill hot coffee, the heat opens up the carpet fibers, which allows the coffee, and tannins, to permeate even deeper.

So if we treat the stain sooner, rather than later, there’s less chance of deep staining.

It also takes less time to remove a fresh stain.

Okay, now get ready to remove those stains!

Removal of fresh and old coffee stains are very different.

Method for fresh coffee stains (Less than 48 hours):

Here, the method is quite simple. Because the stain hasn’t really had the chance to penetrate deeply, good old detergent is well suited for the job.

What do I need?

  • Carpet with fresh coffee, tea or wine stain.
  • Wet Cloth
  • Standard Detergent

What do I do?

  1. Rub a small damp cloth or sponge with warm detergent soap into the affected area.
  2. Keep dabbing and rinsing in hot water.
  3. Rinse and repeat until stain is removed.
  4. Soak up remaining moisture with a dry cloth.

NEVER use real soap for a tannin stain. It can set the tannin stain further into the fibres, making removal even more difficult.

I know what you’re wondering:

Detergent is not real soap. It has been processed, and is perfect for the job.

Method for old coffee stains (more than 48 hours):

Because the stain has pretty much set into the fibres, we need something with a bit more oomph to dissolve them.

What do I need?

  • Carpet with old coffee, tea or wine stain.
  • White vinegar
  • Bowl with water.
  • Wet Cloth
  • Standard Detergent

What do I do?

  1. Fill a bowl of equal parts water and vinegar.
  2. Dab mixture into the affected area with a damp cloth.
  3. The vinegar will attempt to neutralise the stain.
  4. Repeat until stain is removed.

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