75 cleaning tips for your home

by Janine, Dec 2020

It’s a New Year, and with every New Year, there’s always that desire to clean up our homes! Many people even believe in the idea that cleaning your house before the first day of the New Year ensures that you don’t carry in your old, somewhat soiled, life into the New Year. 

With this in mind, we’ve collated our top 75 cleaning tips for rejuvenating your home. Our tips range from quick, simple hacks to advice from the experts (and the experts are our cleaners!) 

1. Your first job should always be to dust all surfaces, and do it at least an hour before you intend to vacuum. This way, the dust will have had chance to settle.

2. Apply an all-purpose cleaner to the ‘hard to clean’ parts of your bathroom such as the taps and plug hole and leave it to soak.

3. Ensure you’re well stocked with our cleaners favourite – microfibre cloths!

4. Your cleaning appliances need cleaning too – take the time to use a dishwasher cleaner (you can just run the machine whilst empty) to ensure your dishes come out sparkling clean every time.

5. Swirl some bleach down your toilet at least 15 minutes before you intend to clean it – this will make the job a lot easier.

6. Remove built-up film from hard-water minerals by soaking stemware in white vinegar for five minutes. Then rinse by hand and dry with a microfiber cloth.

7. Unclog your shower head by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water and pouring it into a plastic bag. Tie the bag around the shower head to immerse the holes in the solution and secure with a twist tie. Let it soak for up to an hour, then remove and wipe away the loosened deposits.

8. We all wash our bedsheets regularly, but when was the last time you washed the actual pillows or duvet? Wash them on a delicate cycle with an extra rinse, then tumble dry on low with several clean tennis balls to poof them back up.

9. Consider booking a professional carpet cleaner to revive your carpets and rugs. If you don’t want to pay for a professional, hire a ‘rug doctor’ or similar and have a go yourself!

10. If you’ve got kids, listen up – did you know toothpaste can help to get rid of felt-tip pen stains from woodwork?

11. Baking powder can be used as a very effective deodoriser –  sprinkle soft surfaces such as your dog’s bed with a little baking powder and then vacuum up after 15 minutes.

12. Run the cut side of a lemon over the board to remove food stains and smells.

13. Just like your cooking tools, cupboards can get grimy when you’re making dinner. Add a little dish soap to a spray bottle with warm water to mist away the grease. Then, rinse with a well-wrung cloth and dry.

14. Unlike the name suggests, a dishwasher isn’t just for dishes! Why not load it up with things like plastic toys, dog bowls and toothbrush holders?

15. Here’s another one our cleaners told us – you should iron your clothes when they’re still damp! The moisture helps release wrinkles, so press your peskiest pieces right out of the dryer (or use the spray feature on your iron).

16. Fill your blender with warm water and a drop of dish soap. Turn it on and let it go for a for a few seconds. Then rinse it out with warm water and you’re all set!

17. Your wooden blinds are the ideal candidate for a New Year clean! Combine equal parts water and vinegar in a bowl and get a sock to put over your hand. Dip the sock in the solution and then run it over each slat of the blinds to remove any dirt or dust!

Removal of Common Household Stains

18. Juice: Blot with solution of one teaspoon dish washing liquid (like Ivory) in one cup warm water.

19. Gum: Remove as much gum as you can with your fingers, then place a few ice cubes in a freezer bag and place the bag on top of the remaining gum until it has stiffened. Gently peel the gum off, then scrub away any remnants with an old toothbrush

20. Gravy: Pre-treat with a paste of soap, then wash. Repeat if necessary. Don’t put item in the dryer until the stain is gone.

21. Mustard: Apply repeated applications of detergent solution to remove solids. When stain is reduced, rinse and dry in bright sunlight.

22. Lipstick: Blot with acetone-based nail-polish remover, followed by the detergent solution, and rinse.

23. Wine: Blot with water. If stain remains, try detergent solution. Three-percent hydrogen peroxide is effective on red wine.

24. If you don’t already own a magic eraser – get yourself to your nearest supermarket and buy one! These little guys can clean up pretty much anything in your home including scuffs on walls and marks on white trainers.

25. Use your vacuum attachments to your advantage – check out our previous blog post on which attachment to use for what cleaning task!

26. Use a whitening toothpaste (which is mildly abrasive) with an old toothbrush to clean grout.

27. Just like your dishwasher, your washing machine is another appliance that needs some TLC from time to time. Our cleaners recommend using Dr Beckmann Service-it Deep Clean every few months.

28. Another task that doesn’t get done often enough making it the perfect candidate for our New Year cleaning list- jet wash your wheelie bin!

29. Add a dash of dishwasher rinse aid to the water when you wash your windows, for a shiny, streak-free finish.

30. Get rid of adhesive residue from sticky labels (and plaster marks on skin) using baby oil or mineral oil. 

31. Your vacuum can be a useful tool for cleaning hard-to-reach cabinet areas. Use your vacuum’s brush attachment to pick up dust and crumbs inside. 

32. Make easy work of cleaning your fridge by avoiding unwanted smells before they emanate! Check out our blog post on how to stop your fridge from smelling.

33. Slip a pillowcase over ceiling fan blades, one at a time, then wipe. This way, dust falls into the pillowcase, not on your furniture and floors.

34. If you have a window cleaner for the outside of your windows, plan to clean the inside windows the day after they’ve visited! This way, you can see the marks easily.

35. If you’re going to use a long handle duster to clear cobwebs or dust from ceilings – remember to make this one of your first jobs in your cleaning schedule so you don’t dislodge dust down onto your clean floors!

36. Another fun one for the parents out there (and maybe those of us who are big kids ourselves!) – jumping on the bed is good for cleaning your mattress! Get the kids to have a bounce – this will bring up the dust from inside – leaving you able to vacuum it straight up after the fun!

37. In order to remove hard water stains, Soak paper towels in undiluted vinegar and place them on the build up. Leave overnight, then scrub and rinse.

38. Olive oil is a great option for cleaning stainless steel, such as pots, pans and appliances. Put olive oil on a soft cloth and rub in a circular motion to buff out any dirty spots

39. Add 15 drops of lemon essential oil into one and a half cups water to a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on high for five to 10 minutes, allowing the steam to condense on inside walls/ceilings of your machine. Simply wipe down afterwards!

40. If your oven needs a good clean, check out our recent blog post on how to clean your oven properly.

41. Our cleaners recommend first vacuuming a room horizontally and then vertically to get all of the trapped dirt. Most cleaning experts agree that vacuuming slowly is also very important to ensure that the vacuum picks up all the dirt particles.

42. That grime stuck to your baking sheets and frying pans is no match for your dryer sheets. Put the dirty item in the sink with soap, warm water, and a dryer sheet, and leave for an hour or two. When you rinse with clean water afterward, the mess will go down the drain too!

43. Cast iron skillets are pretty pricey, so you don’t want to damage them with a coarse scrubbing brush. Ever thought of trying a potato? Pour some salt into the cast iron pan and use half a potato to rub it in until that mess has broken up and can be rinsed off.

44. When life gives you lemons – clean your shower door! Cut a lemon in half, dip one half in salt, and scrub away – the abrasives of the salt and the acidity of the lemon eats away the soap scum and mineral build up.

45. And one more fruit-based cleaning tip? Grapefruit works wonders for a dirty bath, sink, or shower surface. Just cut the fruit open and cover it in salt!

46. Are your white towels looking more grey than white these days? Check out our blog post on how to keep your towels sparkling white.

47. A feather duster won’t do much good when you’re trying to pick up tiny pieces of dirt or other small debris from your soft furnishings. Instead, for those stubborn items, such as glitter or pet hair, a sticky lint roller will work.

48. Add a steamer to your cleaning arsenal – Technically meant to de-wrinkle your clothes, a steamer can also help make quick work of cleaning grimy stovetops, cabinet doors, and more.

49. The next time you go to run the dishwasher, gather up all those little items — water bottle tops, lids to tiny food storage containers, etc. — and put them in a mesh laundry bag. The bag keeps small and fragile items from getting lost in the fray, while still allowing hot water and soap to do their magic.

50. If pesky coffee stains are the bane of your life – sprinkle some baking soda onto the bottom of your stained cup, add just enough water to form a paste, and scrub. The gentle abrasion of the baking soda will get rid of stains in a matter of minutes.

51. Use a pair of standard rubber gloves to pick up pet hair.

52. Clean doormats thoroughly and regularly to cut down the amount of dirt dragged in and remove any lingering musty smells.

53. The best way to dust drapes is to whack them with a hand towel– a towel this size is heavy enough to make a good impact, but light enough that your arm won’t tire!

54. In order to do an effective New Year’s clean, you really need to declutter as well. Check out our blog post on 35 things you can get rid of right now.

55. To remove greasy fingerprints and other oily stains from your walls, all you need is a stick of white chalk, a cloth, and a little water. Just cover the stains with white chalk, wait a few minutes, and then wipe the chalk away with a damp cloth. Voila, stains be gone!

56. If you want your bathroom to smell incredible—but don’t want to have any artificial scents in there—all you need to do is grab your favourite essential oils and add a few drops to the inner roll core. 

57. Pour one part baking soda, followed by one part vinegar down your blocked drain, then cover with a wet cloth as the two react with one another to clean the drain naturally. Wait five minutes and then run some hot water to clear it.

58. Get tricky-to-reach crumbs and burnt bits out of your toaster by unplugging it and sweeping with a pastry brush.

59. Remove limescale from your kettle by filling it with half white vinegar, half water and soaking overnight. In the morning, give it a rinse and the limescale should disappear.

60. The hero of cleaning, baking soda, strikes again! Soak your tupperware in the sink overnight in warm water with a spoonful of baking soda, and the next day, after a rinse, they’ll look and smell new again.

61. If you’ve got copper pans, Humble tomato sauce is actually great for cleaning, and will make copper pans shine after a quick rub.

62. If someone hasn’t used a coaster and has marked your coffee table, use a hairdryer on it before wiping the area with a tiny amount of olive oil. Hey-presto – good as new.

63. Use talcum powder or baby powder to silence noisy wooden floors. Drop some onto the floor and sweep into the cracks, wiping away the excess.

64. Burnt your dinner? If the house now smells of burning, just sprinkle some salt over your burnt pans or any food mess to reduce it. Then cut your losses and order a take away!

65. Got a hole in your tights? Don’t throw them away – give them a wash and then use them as a duster. 

66. If you’ve got an annoying sticky cupboard door, or drawer that makes a noise every time you open it, get things running smoothly again with a dab of Vaseline. It also works to loosen hinges with ease.

67. Start from the top, and work your way down. Gravity affects everything, even household dust. Save the floors for last. Otherwise, you’ll knock dust onto the floors and have to clean them twice.

68. One of the easiest ways to save time when vacuuming is having the room ready: Pick up loose items on the floor, and pull furniture away from the walls to make running the vacuum easier, with fewer starts and stops.

69. Since this is a New Year cleaning list, it’s worth remembering to take time to pack away your Christmas decorations methodically! For example, if you have kids, you’re going to need your ‘Elf on the Shelf’ before the rest of the decorations – so pack that at the top!

How to find the motivation to do any of these cleaning tips?

70. Get the music on LOUD – a good playlist can make the difference between giving up after 10 minutes, and powering through your whole house.

71. Write a list of what you want to achieve before you start. Don’t expect yourself to complete EVERYTHING in one go – be realistic and kind to yourself.

72. Set a timer. Research suggests that setting a timer – which then allows for frequent breaks in between time slots – will allow you to get more done in a shorter space of time.

73. Tidy BEFORE you start cleaning. Regularly having to stop your flow to pick up clothes, shoes and knickknacks is bound to hamper your progress. Tidy and clear away clutter before attempting your New Year clean.

74. Check out our blog post on the top secrets of people who always have a clean house… maybe you can avoid the need for a future Spring clean by following their advice!

And our last tip?

75. We couldn’t possibly collate an extensive list of cleaning tips without suggesting the obvious – you could take the easy route and book a cleaner with Well Polished? Our cleaning services can take the strain away from you and ensure your home is always looking it’s best. Find your local office and book today!