unusual cleaning tools

Did you know we have a number of things lying around that weren’t meant to clean the house, that are actually really helpful? Here are some items we’ve discovered, which you may not have expected to be so good at getting down and dirty. How many do you have?

 

  1. Make-up brush – To dust delicate spots like picture frames.

 

  1. Toothbrush – Like in your mouth, a toothbrush is a perfect way to clean into nooks and crannies.

 

  1. Toothpaste – Polish headlights, iron stains, silver, white boards, remove odors, and more.

 

  1. Spatula – The painter’s spatula especially can scrape stubborn sticky residue.

 

  1. Q Tips – The humble cotton swab. These tiny puffs are great for a detailed clean of narrow crevices.

 

  1. Felt-tip pen – The thin sharp edges can be used to gently reach dust between the keys on laptops.

 

  1. Can of coke – Pour over the toilet bowl, let it sit for five minutes, and rinse. Try it, and watch the results.

 

  1. Lemon – Removes food stains and cleanse wooden boards, including beetroot dyes that don’t budge with water.

 

  1. Onion – You read right. An onion can be used to clean the black stains on a grill.

 

  1. Vinegar – Is multi-purpose when it comes to cleaning. One surprising recent discovery is that it can be used to soak your shower-head and remove deposits from over time that may be clogging it up. And not to worry if you don’t like the odour as it doesn’t linger.

 

  1. Baking soda – This cleaning alternative has been growing in popularity. But did you know it can be used to clean brushes, combs, and mouth-guards? Soak these in a tub of warm water and add a teaspoon of baking soda to cleanse.

 

  1. Silicon gel – Comes in handy when you want to rescue tools and other stuff from rusty water damage. Pour the silicon balls into the box or container you keep these in and they’ll soak up the moisture.

 

  1. Peanut butter – In a sticky situation? PB can be used with olive oil to get gum out your hair saving you the trauma of having to cut off a piece. It can also be used with ice to gently scrub gum off your nice leather lounge.

 

  1. Hairspray – Of all things can remove marker stains from walls with a few sprays

 

  1. Salt – Don’t get salty about weeds in the pavement, having to renew the sponges yet again, or smelly shoes. Salt can be your remedy for all of these.

Share house cleaning

Moving out of home? If you’re a student or trying to adult and catch your break in the big smoke, chances are you’ll spend some time in a shared household with friends or strangers turned roomies. Among the challenges is the exciting task of cleaning the house…

 

You may not only have to study some Youtube tutorials to learn what to do, but you also have to address the fun question of who does what? How do you decide what’s fair when you have different schedules and attitudes to cleaning? You don’t want to be cleaning up someone else’s crap, nor do you want your OCD or laziness to become someone else’s problem. A clean and harmonious living space is the goal.

 

Biggest pet peeves about roomies include leaving dirty dishes around, that they never clean up, and on the contrary, that they’re ‘too clean’. Individual differences are inevitable so there’s a chance you and your roomie will have different mess tolerances and skills. Did they just move out of home, or have they been on their own for a while and can teach you a thing or two?

 

The ideal situation is to be able to have a friendly and open discussion with everyone in the house, without getting into conflict. Everyone should be heard, be understanding, and decide together on rosters and rules, considering things like work schedules.

 

Some general tips that will help:

 

  1. Everyone in charge of their own rooms – as long as the mess doesn’t spill out the bedroom doors, it’s each to their own.

 

  1. Everyone cleans up after themselves in communal spaces like the kitchen.

 

  1. A rotating roster for necessities – toilet cleans and bins are no one’s favourite.

 

  1. Open communication about the status of the house – phrasing concerns as “I feel…” always goes down better than the “you did this”

 

  1. Show patience – no one is perfect, and it may just be you who’s had the next day from hell at work

 

  1. Work together not against each other

 

In a perfect world you’ll find likeminded people to live with but this isn’t always possible. It may be difficult to live together if there are major differences in attitude towards cleaning, but with a bit of openness and understanding, you and your roomies should be able to find a solution to suit you all.


Clean for move

Moving is both exciting and stressful. So much to do before you close the doors, including one serious clean of the place. We’re talking bigger than your annual spring clean, where you leave the place looking like you were never there. In rental properties this is a must if you wish to see your bond money again.

 

It may sound like a daunting task but once you get started it’s not quite so bad. We’ve thrown together a checklist of spots not to miss and how to give them the best clean ever.

 

  1. Carpets

 

Laundry detergent blotted up with water will remove stuck residue – perhaps that glass of wine that was spilt and forgotten about the next day because hangover. But really, if there’s ever a time to call on professional carpet cleaners, this is it.

 

  1. Ceiling

 

Not somewhere we ever really bother with, but ceiling fans and lights should be dust-free. A good way to do this without spilling the grime is to wrap a pillow case or rag around fan blades.

 

  1. Bins

 

The bins not only need to be emptied one last time but given a good soapy clean before you hand the keys in.

 

  1. Bathrooms

 

Clean sinks, tubs and toilets inside and out…

 

  1. Kitchen & laundry

 

Same goes for the kitchen and laundry. Clean washing machines inside and out, doing this also for cupboards.

 

  1. Repairs

 

Fixing anything that’s broken will work in your favour. This may include door frames, wall dents, racks, and more.

 

  1. Gardens & balconies

 

Lawns need to be mowed and gardens left trimmed and trash-free. Give your plant babies a good drink and perhaps some soil nutrients as a treat. Balconies need to be cleared of bird-droppings and other grime.

 

  1. Curtains

 

You’ll be surprised by the amount of dust your curtains collect. Use a steam-cleaner if the manufacture permits, otherwise, take them down and chuck them in for a delicate laundry wash.

 

  1. Mattresses

 

If you’re leaving the mattress behind, you’ll need to either steam-clean (being mindful of moisture seeping in), or vacuum the dust and use enzyme cleaners to ensure the next resident won’t be sleeping in your sweat.

 

  1. Vacuum, dust, mop

 

Last but not least, give everything a good dust, vacuum and mop down as per usual. You know the drill, only now’s the time to really go into all those nooks and crannies.

 


eco product

It’s important to encourage eco-cleaning in the modern-day home. Natural, non-toxic solutions are not only better for the environment and avoid damage to surfaces at home, but are also essential for our indoor air quality, and in turn our own health. Luckily there are enviro-friendly products already out there. Here’s just a handful…

 

  1. Baking soda

 

There are over twenty cleaning uses for this abrasive alternative to chemicals. Baking soda can remove stains, waxes, grease, crayon markings, mildew, soil and dust

 

  1. Vinegar

 

Vinegar being acidic is a great de-greaser, de-moulder, and can cut through bacteria. Mix it with water, or fizz it up with baking soda. Don’t worry if you aren’t so keen on vinegar’s pungent scent as it dissipates quickly.

 

  1. Castile soap

 

A great ingredient in natural cleaning mixes for dishes, bathrooms and more, this soap exclusively contains vegetable oils. It can also be blended with baking soda as well as water and almond oil…

 

  1. Almond Oil

 

On that note, yes, almond oil is another pure ingredient that can be used on microfibre to shine up bathrooms.

 

  1. Green dishwashing detergent pods

 

To avoid harsh residues being left behind on dishes and in your dishwasher, use plant-based detergent pods that are free of bleaches, dioxins and other toxic chemicals.

 

  1. All-purpose lavender

 

Derived from the beloved purple flower of the same name, this oil also forms a powerful cleaning agent for grease and grime.

 

  1. Soapberries

 

There are toxin-free laundry products such as ‘soapberries’ or ‘soapnuts’ which are also more cost efficient than most mainstream detergents. All you need is five berries for a wash.

 

  1. Organic cloths

 

To go with any cleaning agent, you need of course, a cleaning tool. There are knitted cloths available that are 100% organic, washable and reusable.

 

  1. Lemon essential oils

 

Blend five to ten drops with lavender or other citrus such as orange and lime, to make a fresh cleaner for wooden boards, stainless steel and even floors. Alternatively you can buy it in the form of a cleaning spray. How easy is that?

 

  1. Eucalyptus

 

Last but certainly not least on this ever-growing list of clean-green products for your home is eucalyptus oil. This can be used in the kitchen, laundry and for general deodorizing. Not to mention, you can use this little gem when you’re feeling under the weather. It’s great for sinuses and muscle tension.


Eco-cleaning

Eco-cleaning is the way of the future. Why? Because all-natural products are better for the environment than the fragrant chemicals we use in cleaning the different nooks and crannies of our homes. Not to mention, these are gentler on surfaces and indoor air, meaning a healthier home, and healthier you.

 

Environmentally friendly

 

Eco products can reduce the amount of waste we leave on the Earth. These also mean less pollution due to production and use of cleaning solutions. These pollutants end up in the air, soils, and waterways. Green-clean solutions are made in a way that causes minimal harm to our world. This looks to preserve fertile land, the Ozone shield, clean waters and air.

 

Removes dangerous residues

 

Bleaches and detergents used in the washing and polishing of floors, sinks and other surfaces leave harsh traces behind. These may not be as obvious as the dirt and residues you use these to clean, but are nonetheless not good to have laying around. These tend to bind to dirt (their intended job) meaning a build up of all of these leftovers over time. The more toxic the chemical being used, the more toxic the residues around your home will become.

 

Improved indoor air quality

 

While we often hear about the need to remove pollutants from the air outside, indoor air pollution is often overlooked. Those residues we talked about can become airborne meaning allergens in the air. Fragrant chemical products have been linked to allergy irritations and other health problems in research, and are considered one of the top indoor air pollutants.

 

Health & wellbeing

 

Given that toxic residues are left in our homes from chemical products, it makes sense that freeing the house of these means a healthier environment for us to live in. Green-friendly products will help avoid allergy irritations, breathing problems, and health problems that can be caused by air pollution and exposure to this residue. These include chest pains, heart problems and cancer.

 

So, we can see a few of the reasons why it’s important to encourage eco-cleaning in our homes. Let’s make water with organic, non-toxic solutions the solution. Luckily there are a list of green products already out there, such as organic cloths, tea tree oils, and biodegradable pots. These mean you can start making the change today.