HomeSmart LivingBring excitement to cleaning with simple secret hacks

Bring excitement to cleaning with simple secret hacks

There’s nothing like a good hack or two to get one excited about a task that’s not necessarily known for getting people, well, excited. SweepStars, who clean thousands of South African homes every week via the SweepSouth home-services app, know every hack in the book, as well as how to make every corner of a home sparkle using the everyday products you’re already likely to have on hand. They share some of their top tips.

Kitchen quickies

If there’s one product you need for a clean and fresh kitchen, it’s vinegar. A natural (and cost-effective) cleaning staple, vinegar works on everything from old stains in coffee mugs to getting the funky smell out of the dishwasher. For the latter, simply fill a mug with vinegar, place it in the top rack of an empty dishwasher, and then run it on a regular cycle.

Similarly, if you’re struggling to get rid of old food splatters in the microwave, place a bowl filled with one-third vinegar and two-thirds water inside the microwave. Heat for five minutes until the microwave is steamed up. Baked-on food splatters will now be soft enough to remove with a quick wipe. If not, simply repeat the process.

Give stainless steel kitchen appliances like fridges and dishwashers a shine by rubbing coconut oil or baby oil onto them with a soft cloth.

Live your best life in the lounge

Water stains on wooden tables can be tricky – once the damage is done, it’s done, right? Wrong! Simply apply petroleum jelly to the stain and leave it overnight, and wipe clean the next day. Another way is to mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil and rub the stain with a cloth, moving with the wood grain. Use another dry soft cloth to buff it up.

People who want to elevate their home cleaning game know that the tools we use to clean also – especially! – need to be cleaned. This includes the vacuum cleaner that can easily be refreshed by cleaning the hoses, filter and dust canister with a solution of bicarbonate of soda and water. Rinse with water, then allow to dry.

Brighten the bathroom

Few things make a bathroom in general or shower in particular feel as dirty as soap scum and mould. The natural way to tackle this is by mixing three cups of water with three teaspoons of tea tree oil in a spray bottle. Spray on the shower walls and floor, or any other problem areas in the bathroom, leave for half an hour, spray again, then scrub to remove residue, and rinse.

Clean the drain (this works in the kitchen too) with a mixture composed of half a cup of bicarbonate of soda with a quarter cup of salt. Sprinkle the mixture down the drain, followed by a cup of warm white vinegar. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then pour hot water down the drain.

Bedroom bliss

When last did you think to clean the curtains – aka dust and allergen traps – in your bedroom? Not to worry, it’s never too late. Use your vacuum cleaner on a low setting to give your curtains a quick once over. If you have a clothes steamer, use it on your curtains once they’re dusted, to refresh them.

Wardrobes too can be major dust collectors. Start by taking out all your clothing (consider using this as an opportunity to also donate the pieces you no longer want or need), vacuuming up any dust then wiping down the inside with a mild water and soap solution to get rid of dust and dirty marks. Sachets filled with fresh lavender or rosemary and hung from the clothing rail will also act as a moth deterrent, plus add a fresh scent to your wardrobe.

Simple, natural and easy. All the features good hacks are made of!