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14 Cleaning Hacks That Will Save You Time (And Money!)

14 Cleaning Hacks That Will Save You Time (And Money!)

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.

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      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.

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            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:

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                  • 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

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                      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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                            Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                            How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                            How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                            Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                            To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                            Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                            1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                            Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                            Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                            To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                            2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                            Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                            If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                            Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                            3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                            Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                            Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                            4. Feed Your Brain

                            Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                            This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                            Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                            Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                            5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                            According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                            Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                            Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                            6. Write it Down

                            If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                            It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                            You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                            7. Listen to Music

                            Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                            8. Visual Concepts

                            In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                            Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                            Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                            9. Teach Someone Else

                            Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                            Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                            10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                            Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                            So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                            Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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                            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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