I wish I had a magic wand that would clean up my house in a flash. But with two kids with their active social life and who regularly build forts in the family room I feel as if I’m losing this battle. In the absence of a fairy godmother there’s the internet of course. And scouring Pinterest for natural and easy cleaning hacks, here’s what I found out. There are hundreds of household tips out there and most of them either don’t work or still need a whole lot elbow grease to have that “magical effect”. What I like are simple cleaning hacks that I can make a part of my regular routine and then get back to my normal life. And while the magic wand is still in it’s invention stage (my 5 year old is working on it) here are my 10 tried and tested, and I promise easy shortcuts to a clean home.
10 Simple Cleaning Hacks For Your Home
Before you get started you will need:
-Vinegar, baking soda, eucalyptus oil and rubbing alcohol.
-Mix a bowl of “magic” cleaning potion using 1/4 cup of water, 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol and a few drops of Eucalyptus Oil, the last disguises the smell of alcohol and adds it’s own anti-bacterial punch.
In The Living Room
1. Start with the microfibre covered furniture with a clean sponge dipped in the bowl of magic cleaning potion. Scrub and let the fabric dry naturally. My couch was filthy and my hubby and I have thought all year about putting it out on the curb. I’m so glad we didn’t because it is clean now, cleaner than it’s been for years.
2. This next tip will work for the crystal items around the house, candle sticks, votive holders and vases all can be shiny again. Plug the sink and turn on the hot water, fill it enough so the crystal will submerge. Pour in two cups of vinegar, more if you’re filling the sink up, less if it’s just small items. Stir and gently set your precious heirlooms in this liquid. Leave it in for 10 minutes or so. When you take it out rinse with water and pat dry with a clean lint-free cloth. Shiny, I promise!
3. Scuff marks off the wall can be taken out with baby wipes. I have used a number of methods over the years including magic erasers – the latter do clean really well, perhaps too well. The wall always ends up a lighter colour than the rest. So my go-to cleaning hack here is baby wipes. If it’s a stubborn stain then dip the wipe in the magic cleaning potion
4. Do you have silver items or jewellery around the house? If you have a connection to India you know you do. Line a large baking dish with aluminium foil, add in two tbsp of salt and two tbsp baking soda and mix. Place your silver items in this powder making sure they touch the foil. Now pour in the boiling hot water to fully submerge the silver curios. The liquid will bubble and the chemical reaction between the water, salt and baking soda eats away at the tarnish. After 10 seconds, use tongs to take the items out and drop them in a bowl of soapy water and then rinse off. Gorgeous with such little effort – my favourite combination!
Around The House
5.Start with an old sock on one hand and a dryer sheet in the other, great combination for dusting. I don’t use dryer sheets in my clothes dryer anymore because of allergies in our family but I do use them for dusting around the house. The sheet’s anti-static property works to repel dust, I’m not kidding!
6. Sticky door knobs and switchboards, phones and TV remotes. Wipe these with a cloth dipped in the magic cleaning potion. Squeeze out any excess dampness when you work on the remotes and the phones. Cleans and disinfects at the same time.
Cleaning Hacks For The Bedroom
7. Stuffed toys are high on my list of baby products I wish I had never bought partly because they need to be cleaned regularly. Put the toys in a mesh bag and in the washing machine on a gentle, cool, low cycle. Your kids will breathe easier, I promise.
8. Sprinkle baking powder on mattresses and after 1/2 an hr vacuum it off. Then flip your mattress and do the same on the other side. Good mattresses are an investment and taking care of them, flipping them twice a year will extend their life span and save your wallet.
In The Kitchen
9. Put equal parts water and vinegar in a good quality glass bowl along with a slice of lemon and boil for 5-6 minutes in the microwave. The steam works to clean the inside of the oven up. Just wait a couple of minutes before you open it up. Wipe the inside with a sponge.
10. At the end of your cleaning spree rinse the dirty sponges, DON’T squeeze them. Instead put them in the microwave on high for at least 2 minutes. A great way to sanitize the sponges instead of throwing them away.
A home is where we breathe and eat, and play and live and of course make a mess. If you drop in unannounced, you’ll see the mess I have with toys, half-built forts and half-finished games of Monoply lying around. Messy is OK but I do like things to be clean and I’m glad these easy cleaning shortcuts help me in not only in saving time but also my sanity.
What are your favourite cleaning hacks around the house?