If you’re anything like me, you find cleaning to be a bit of a drag.

I mean, sure, sometimes it’s super-satisfying to see the rewards of a clean home after a deep clean — and it can even be therapeutic after a particularly stressful day — but the majority of the time, cleaning is a never-ending pain.

I live with two guys (feel sorry for me), and seriously, there’s always something that needs cleaning.

That’s why I love a good cleaning hack, and why I’m going to share some of my discoveries with you in this post. With the help of these hacks, hopefully one day no one will ever have to suffer through endless hours of cleaning again (that’s my dream!).

1. Buy Baking Soda

Bicarbonate in a wooden spoon

Seriously, I don’t think there’s anything baking soda can’t do! If you are looking for a magical solution to your cleaning woes, baking soda is the closest you’re going to get.

Available from your supermarket, baking soda is a degreaser, deodoriser, cleaner, and more (seriously, here’s another 37 baking soda hacks for your home).

My all-time top 3 cleaning hacks with baking soda are:

  1.  Bin deodoriser: Next time you empty your bin, sprinkle some baking soda at the bottom — it will absorb those nasty odours!
  2. Cleaning the cooker-hood filters: Be honest, when was the last time you cleaned yours? The only way to get rid of that sticky layer of grease is to soak it with boiling water and baking soda (trust me).
  3. Cleaning grout: Not only is baking soda an abrasive, it’s also a natural whitener — perfect for the grout in my bathroom!

2. Remove Water Rings With Your Hair Dryer

Removing water marks with hair dryer

Fed up with water marks on your wooden furniture? These can seem impossible to remove, but you can actually use a hair dryer (or alternatively, an iron) to finally get rid of those unsightly water rings.

Water rings are caused by trapped moisture in the wood, so using a hair dryer on low heat directed at the affected area causes the moisture to evaporate, removing the stain.

3. Put Everything in the Dishwasher

toys-in-dishwasher

Okay, maybe not everything, but you’d be surprised by how much you can actually clean in your dishwasher, including:

  • Vases
  • Toothbrushes
  • Makeup brushes
  • Plastic toys
  • Dish racks

4. Use Flour to Clean Spills Easily

Cleaning spilt sauce with flour

To clean up a large spill quickly, instead of using rolls of paper towels, grab some flour and sprinkle it over the mess.

The flour will absorb and control the spill quickly, making it much easier to clean up.

5. Steam Clean Your Microwave

Water + Lemons for Clean Microwave

Hate cleaning your microwave? Well there’s a much easier method — cut a lemon into two halves and place them in a (microwaveable) bowl/jug of water.

Place the bowel in the microwave and heat for 3 minutes. Leave the bowl to stand for around 5 minutes.

Heating water in your microwave generates steam, which, along with the lemon (a natural de-greaser), helps to loosen the dried-on food and stains inside your microwave.

When you remove the bowl, your microwave shouldn’t need anything more than a quick wipe to clean!

6. DIY Overnight Mould Remover

Mould in the shower

Soak cotton wool balls in bleach (be sure to use rubber gloves!) and lay them on those annoying mould and mildew stains that form on the grout/sealant in your bathroom.

Leave them to work overnight (while you catch up on some well-deserved sleep) and simply remove them the next day — the mould will be gone!

7. Use a Lint Roller on Lampshades

Lint roller to clean lampshade

Lampshades are a magnet for dust and gunk and a nightmare to clean.

But there’s an easier way — use a lint roller! After all, lint rollers were designed to pick up the dust and debris from your clothes, and they work perfectly on lampshades.

You can also use lint rollers to quickly clean curtains, rugs, and glitter (it gets everywhere!). You can also use it to safely pick up broken glass.

8. Buy a Steamer!

Steam cleaner

Literally everything will be easier to clean. Things like your:

  • Bathroom
  • Oven
  • Windows
  • Sofa
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Tiles
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Upholstery

The list goes on! This is an investment buy that may cost a lot initially, but will definitely save you money in the future.

9. Make Your Own Cleaning Solutions

Homemade-cleaning-solutions

Save money (and the environment) by making your own home cleaning solutions with stuff that you probably already have in your cupboards.

This can also be beneficial for your health, as some commercial cleaning products have been found to contain toxic chemicals.

As to whether homemade cleaning solutions are as effective as store-bought cleaners, the answer may surprise you. Check out this infographic for more information.

10. Stop Smelly Bins

Put baking soda at the bottom of the bin

There’s nothing worse than a smelly bin, but there’s a seriously quick and easy way to prevent your waste from smelling out your kitchen — baking soda (I seriously love this stuff).

Simply sprinkle a handful of baking soda at the bottom of your bin before you insert the bin-bag. Baking soda is a natural deodoriser, and will absorb any bad odours generated from your kitchen waste.

Bonus Tip: Try cleaning your bin in the shower. You can use the shower hose to effectively clean the inside, and leave it upturned to dry naturally.

11. Dry Your Clothes Quicker

Towel in Dryer

Put one dry towel in your tumble dryer with your wet clothes to dry them faster. The dry towel will absorb the excess moisture, reducing the drying time and using less energy (a money-saving bonus!).

However, you need to ensure you remove the towel 15 minutes into the cycle, otherwise the towel will continue to absorb moisture and extend the drying time.

12. Vacuum Up Vomit

Vacuuming

Okay, this seems kinda gross. But apparently, if you make a paste of baking soda and water and generously spread it over the affected area, and then leave it overnight to dry, it’ll absorb the odour and allow you to easily vacuum the mess up the next day.

I can’t say I’ve tried this myself, but it could potentially be one of the best cleaning hacks!

14. Use Foil and Cling-Film to Prevent Mess

Foil in baking tray

If things don’t get dirty, they don’t need to be cleaned! Line your baking trays with foil when cooking, and place cling-film on the shelves of your fridge.

Simply remove and replace when needed — cleaning without the elbow grease!

Image Credits: Livestrong, Homemade Mamas, Flickr, WonderHowTo,  The Kitchn, Our Home From Scratch, Be Young Be Green, Steam Smart,  Pamela SalzmanHelping, About Home, Flickr, David Lebovitz

Featured photo credit: PhotoPin via photopin.com

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