Basic cleaning routines like mopping might be boring but at least it’s easy. But what about the things you keep putting off? Try these handy tips for tough-to-clean household items
Clean a scorched iron by ironing a piece of cloth (or paper towel) covered with a few tablespoons of salt. Iron over the salt several times until the marks disappear. Turn off the iron and allow to cool completely, then wipe the metal plate with a damp cloth.
To clean dusty blinds, take an old sock, dip it in a mixture of one part water to one part vinegar and wrap it around your hand. Or wrap cloths soaked in the vinegar mixture around the claws of a pair of braai tongs and you’re good to go.
To clean a soiled mattress, take a box of bicarbonate of soda (about 500 g) and add 10 to 20 drops of essential oils to it (lavender, sandalwood or camomile are good options). Give the box a good shake so the powder and oil are mixed together.
Sprinkle the mixture over the mattress and rub it in as if you’re giving the bed a massage. Let the bicarbonate of soda and oil work its magic for at least 1 hour, then vacuum the mattress.
Struggling with water marks on your wooden furniture? Mix a small amount of olive oil and salt to form a thick paste then rub the paste onto the stains. Leave for about 30 minutes then wipe the excess paste off. The salt draws out the moisture and the olive oil feeds the wood.
If your toilet has limescale stains, pour 250-500 ml (1-2 cups) Coca-Cola into the bowl. The carbonic, citric and phosphoric acids in the cola will break down stains – it’s more effective if left overnight.
Fill a plastic bag with distilled white vinegar and wrap it around a dirty showerhead, ensuring it’s completely immersed in the solution. Leave it overnight then scrub with a toothbrush.
If your bathroom and kitchen fixtures have hard-water stains that won’t come off with regular detergents, try cutting a lemon in half and scrubbing the surface with the halves. Or soak a cloth in white vinegar and give the affected areas a good wipe.
Scrub away rust stains in your bathroom sink, bathtub or on your tiled countertops by making a paste of cream of tartar and white vinegar, or cream of tartar and lemon juice. Apply and leave for at least 10 minutes then wipe and rinse with soapy water.
To get rid of stubborn bathtub rings, sprinkle salt onto a grapefruit and use it to scrub your bathtub.
Double-glass oven windows can be a nightmare to clean. Wrap a moist cleaning wipe around a wire coat hanger (secure with a rubber band if necessary). Slide the wire and cleaning wipe up through the slots in the bottom of the oven door. Move the cleaning wipe back and forth between the glass panes to clean.
A dirty hob? Stir 15 ml (1 tbsp) bicarbonate of soda into 15 ml (1 tbsp) water to make a paste. Put the mixture on a cloth and get scrubbing to put a shine on your hob.
Got a mouldy shower curtain? Put it in the washing machine with 125 ml (½ cup) washing powder and 125 ml (½ cup) bicarbonate of soda. Add 250 ml (1 cup) of white vinegar to the rinse cycle.