Most stains are easily removed – not only with chemical cleaning agents, but also with clever hacks.
Most stains are easily removed – not only with chemical cleaning agents, but also with clever hacks.
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Cleaning hacks that turn chores into child’s play

Raphael Knecht
Zurich, on 01.07.2020
Struggle to get enthusiastic about vacuuming, washing the dishes or tidying? Be as it may, it’s got to be done sooner or later. With these tips, you’ll be cleaning with less effort and more efficiently.

It’s a chore everyone tries to get out of: cleaning. But there’s no getting round it. The longer you procrastinate, the longer it will take you to organise the chaos. So the main rule is: don’t leave it too long. The more you give your place a quick vacuum or dust things off, the less stress you’ll have. Otherwise, you’ll soon be faced with an unsurmountable pile of dirty laundry, filthy furniture and sticky surfaces. Take the following tricks to heart and you’ll be done in no time.

Those hairs have got to go

Got a cute kitty cat at home? Or maybe you’re the proud owner of a loyal dog? I love pets, too. If only it weren’t for all those hairs. No matter where you look, their fur gets everywhere. It sticks to the sofa, gets into the carpet and collects in corners. Attack it with the vacuum cleaner and the hair can wrap itself around the brush rolls or other mechanical parts. What’s more, a vacuum cleaner tends to be loud and cumbersome. But there’s a great alternative: a window squeegee or shower squeegee. Run it over your carpet or furniture and the majority of hairs will be picked up by the rubber blade.

Cat hair everywhere: get rid of it with a simple trick.
Cat hair everywhere: get rid of it with a simple trick.

Get into the grooves

Hardly anyone cleans the grouting between bathroom tiles regularly. And why should you? After all, there are so many of them and they don’t look particularly dirty, either. But when they do start looking stained, it’s usually too late and practically impossible to restore their former beauty without the help of professional cleaning tools. However, there’s a tool that removes the grime from the grouting without much effort – an electric toothbrush. It goes without saying that it’s not the brush head you’re currently using that should do the scrubbing. Just make sure to keep any used brushes in future, pop one of those on top of the toothbrush, add a little detergent and run the toothbrush over the grooves. Admittedly, this method sounds a bit unusual, but it actually works. With little time and effort, it will bring your grooves back to life.

Use your electric toothbrush for an effortless cleanse of your tile grooves.
Use your electric toothbrush for an effortless cleanse of your tile grooves.

The power of lemons

It’s a common sight in the bathroom and kitchen: a build-up of limescale on the fittings. What to do? My top tip before scaly deposits start appearing? Wipe the tap dry with a cloth after brushing your teeth or washing your dishes. This will prevent surfaces from dirtying and save you a lot of scrubbing. My second tip if limescale has already appeared: reach for a lemon. Citric acid is great for removing limescale and other stains and is gentler than chemical cleaning products. The acid in lemons is less aggressive than regular detergents and also has the nice side effect that it will leave your bathroom and kitchen smelling naturally fresh. By the way, the citrus fruit also works wonders on cloudy glass doors.

Lemons are nature’s weapon against almost all types of stains.
Lemons are nature’s weapon against almost all types of stains.

Bag up that shower head

Lemons are also great at fighting scaley shower heads. However, it’s possible that the accumulation of limescale has clogged up the spray jets and the lemon won’t cut it. Try applying another magic bullet from the kitchen: vinegar. Just fill a small plastic bag with vinegar, stick the shower head inside the bag and wrap it up around the handle using several rubber bands. Leave it to soak overnight and look forward to seeing a shiny shower head first thing in the morning. The vinegar should have freed up the spray jets and you can look forward to strongly flowing water. This hack works for both mounted and removable shower heads.

If your shower head is caked in limescale and all clogged up, it’s time for a soak in vinegar.
If your shower head is caked in limescale and all clogged up, it’s time for a soak in vinegar.

Throw some sparkle into the mix

You’re a smoothie lover and also use your blender for other things? Then you’re definitely familiar with the problem of removing any deposits on the blades – they’re practically impossible to get rid of! Unfortunately, many of them are also too delicate to put in the dishwasher. But with this simple trick, your blender will be clean in no time. Fill two glasses of warm water in the blender container and add a few drops of washing-up liquid. Next, close the lid and run the mixer as if you were making a smoothie. Empty the container, rinse it with clean water and it’s ready for use.

The blades in many blenders can be hard to get too, making them very tricky to clean.
The blades in many blenders can be hard to get too, making them very tricky to clean.

A radiant microwave

Does this sound familiar? You put food in the microwave, close the door, press the start button, forget the lid and bang! You’re left with a perfect mess. Scraping the muck from the bottom, sides and top of the microwave is tedious and heavy labour. The food’s burned in and stuck in every nook and cranny. What will make things worse is if you keep using the microwave without cleaning it. But worry not. There’s a hack that will remove even really stubborn stains. Fill a bowl with two cups of water, half a cup of vinegar, place it in the microwave oven and heat it for three minutes. Leave the bowl sitting in the microwave for a few minutes. All you need to do now is wipe the inside and your microwave will look like new.

Even caked-in stains will come off with vinegar water.
Even caked-in stains will come off with vinegar water.

Tights fight streaks

You’ve tried every trick in the book but your windows are still streaky after you’ve cleaned them? From polishing the panes with newspaper to using professional cleaning utensils, you’re left with streaky windows. No more of that! The solution to your problem is nylon stockings. So remember to hang on to your holey tights. They’re better than any microfibre rag and remove dust from any smooth surface. But what makes them a perfect DIY cleaning cloth is that they’ll leave you with streak-free glass.

Don’t chuck worn tights: they’re an unbeatable replacement for microfibre cloths.
Don’t chuck worn tights: they’re an unbeatable replacement for microfibre cloths.

Know any other clever tricks that make cleaning easier? Or hacks that will make household chores feel like holidays? Thanks for sharing them in the comments field below! If you'd like to get more tips and tricks to improve your cleaning, follow me by clicking on the «Follow author» button.

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Raphael Knecht
Raphael Knecht
Senior Editor, Zurich
When I'm not stuffing my face with sweets, you'll catch me running around in the gym hall. I’m a passionate floorball player and coach. On rainy days, I tinker with my homebuilt PCs, robots or other gadgets. Music is always my trusted companion. I also enjoy tackling hilly terrain on my road bike and criss-crossing the country on my cross-country skis.

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