Here’s our round-up of surprisingly simple household hacks to take into 2017. ‘Cos when it comes to cleaning, the less time we spend doing it, the better!
1. Unload the dishwasher before breakfast
Add a drop of dish soap to aluminium foil and use it to tackle stubborn bits on a baking trays, glass pans and even the oven rack. Photo: Stocksy
2. Polish your silverware
Want to entertain more in 2017? Be the best host by presenting your guests with spiffy silverware. Bring one litre of water, one tablespoon of baking soda and one piece of aluminium foil to a boil. Drop your cutlery in the pot for 10 seconds and then remove with kitchen tongs. The tarnish transfers and you end up with magically sparkling silver!
3. Store linen sets together
Hate sorting through individual sheet sets? Here’s a hack for organising your linen closet. After doing your laundry, keep your sheets and corresponding quilt covers and pillowcases together by taking one pillowcase and bundling the rest to create a neat and tidy packet.
4. Clear the desk clutter
Notice how clutter always seems to sneak its way into your workspace? Keep frequently used items in close reach, then store things such as extra printer paper, cartridges and rarely used reference books and folders on shelves and in drawers. And invest in a cable organiser.
5. Always pull up your quilt
Even if you don’t completely make your bed, pull your quilt up to meet your pillows. Your bed takes up a lot of space, so doing this instantly makes your bedroom look a whole lot neater.
6. Dry your sink
Keeping your sink dry helps beat bacteria build-up and stops stains from forming. Once you’ve done the dishes, soak paper towel in an antibacterial kitchen cleaning solution and wipe the surface clean. Don’t forget the tap, trap handle and drain stopper.
7. Organise your garage
Consider the layout of your garage. Divide into areas covering themes such as sporting equipment, garden care and tools. Then place frequently used items so that they’re easily accessible and less frequently used items in harder to reach places. Anything seasonal, for example, can be stowed away.
8. Don’t waste leftover wine
Instead of pouring it down the sink, freeze in ice-cube trays (one cup = 8 ice cubes) to add flavours to sauces and stews. White and sparkling wine works in chowders and creamy dishes, while red wine works in tomato and beef-based dishes.
9. Take care of your wooden floors
Fix scratches with a mixture of distilled white vinegar and canola oil in equal parts and remove scuffs with a Magic Eraser. To prevent dents in the future, avoid wearing heels in the house and cover table and chair legs with socks when rearranging the furniture.
10. Gather small toys with a dustpan
“I hope you step on a LEGO,” has become such an apt curse that it’s now a meme. Save yourself the pain by keeping a dustpan handy to sweep up blocks and puzzles at the end of playtime.
Photo: Rotten ecards.
11. Clean rugs with a shower squeegee
Vacuuming stray hairs from carpet rarely makes a difference, so try scraping a dry squeegee across it in overlapping rows. Doing so creates static electricity, drawing stubborn pet and human hair from the carpet. As you create clumps, pick them up with your hands and pop them in the bin!
12. Use more chemical-free cleaners
Keep your clean green with everyday products such as distilled white vinegar, bicarb soda, lemon, salt and even vodka! They boast myriad uses, are cost-effective and won’t harm your housemates.
13. Deglitter your crafty kids
Did your kids manage to glitter bomb your entire house? The sparkly stuff sticks to just about everything – but you can use a sticky roller or ball of Playdoh to clean up surfaces and clothes.
14. Don’t leave baking trays soaking in the sink
The longer you leave it, the more the food scraps will harden and stick to the edges. Add a drop of dish soap to aluminium foil and use it to tackle stubborn bits on a baking trays, glass pans and even the oven rack.
15. Eradicate rust
Remove rust from metal surfaces by wiping them down with a cloth or brush soaked in lemon or lime juice. The citric acid naturally loosens the rust so you don’t have to scrub as hard.
16. Organise your plastic bags
Do you haphazardly stuff plastic bags under your kitchen sink? Why not turn an empty tissue box into a handy dispenser? Simply tie each plastic bag into a large loose knot so that when you pull one out, the next will follow in succession like so.
17. Make better use of your dishwasher
Consider it your cleaning BFF! Beyond dishes and mugs, you can throw in your greasy oven knobs, shower heads, tap handles, sink plugs, vent covers, dustpans and even your microwave tray.
18. Keep your knives sharp
Consider yourself a contender for MasterChef? Then you better look after your tools! Grab a ceramic bowl, flip it over and rub your knife blades up and down the ring to keep them sharp.
19. Remove water rings
All you need is a dollop of mayonnaise on a towel. Buff in a circular motion and voila, that wooden coffee table is back to being heirloom-worthy.
20. Deodorise your mattress
Though often overlooked, you should clean your mattress every season – especially in summer when you tend to sweat more. Spritz it with vodka and leave it to dry before making the bed. Vodka is an odourless disinfectant that evaporates fast.
21. Carefully store Christmas ornaments
Tired of opening your Christmas box every December only to find a few of your treasured ornaments cracked or shattered? Carefully store your Christmas baubles in cardboard egg trays, which were made for easy stacking.
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