Home & Garden
20 must-know fixes for everyday household problems
Time is money. And these tricks will have you saving both.
1. Watermarks on timber tables
Did someone forget to use a coaster? Speed up the removal process by blasting the spot with a hairdryer. Set it on high and hold it close to the stain until it starts to fade. When it’s completely gone, rub the spot with a soft cloth dabbed with olive oil to recondition the wood.
2. Stains on carpet
Eliminate mystery stains by dampening a towel with a solution made of one part distilled white vinegar to two parts water. Place it on top of the stain and iron over, setting it for about half a minute. The stain should gradually lift on to the towel. This also works to eliminate carpet odours.
3. Broken glass
If you break a glass, sponge over the spot with a piece of bread. (Not sourdough, we’re talking thick soft slices of the Tip Top variety.) Place the glassy bread against another piece, using an adhesive like peanut butter to stick them together and ensure there are no sharp stragglers.
4. Greasy barbecue grill
Why take to your greasy grill with harsh chemicals and a Brillo pad when there’s a far simpler solution? Scrub the grates with a halved onion faced downwards. This will remove grime and grit without the putrid chemical smell.
5. Stinky dishwasher
Does opening your dishwasher leave a lingering scent of hot garbage can? Nix it by placing a cup of white vinegar on the top rack, then run a full empty cycle. Freshen it up even more by sprinkling a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and running a second cycle.
6. Dirty mattress
Disinfect your mattress by spraying it with vodka and, if you want, a few drops of essential oil. Then let it dry completely before remaking your bed. This spray can also be used on your mildewy clothing, linen and stinky gym shoes.
7. Bathtub rings
Want to put the shine back in your porcelain sinks and bathtub? Cut a lemon in half and dip it in salt, then use some elbow grease and scrub. Goo be gone!
8. Blocked drains
Find that your bathroom and kitchen sinks are draining slowly? Simply drop four Alka-Seltzer tablets down the drain, followed by one cup of white vinegar. Wait 10 minutes, then pour down boiling water. An acidic reaction will occur, dislodging mushy food scraps.
9. Dusty air vent
Find your allergies playing up, causing you to sneeze more? Your air vents may be riddled with dust. Saturate a cloth with your cleaning product of choice and wrap it around a butter knife to get in-between those narrow grates.
10. Pet hair-ridden carpet
Run a window squeegee along the carpet and watch in awe as it picks up every piece of Fido’s fur. Then vacuum after.
11. Dusty ceiling fans
Use old pillowcases to wipe up the dust and catch the falling particles.
12. Burnt pans
Blackened, burnt-on stains causing you grief? Liberally cover the bottom with baking soda, then pour white vinegar over and simmer for a few minutes. This ought to loosen the stains, so you can empty the pan and scour as normal.
13. Oil stains on garage floor
Oil drips can tarnish your driveway, but are easily removed with a few cans of coke. Simply pour room-temperate coke over the markings and leave overnight. In the morning, blot it with some old towels and hose down any remains.
14. Crusty oven
Place half a cup of ammonia into the cold oven. Close and let it stand overnight. The next day, grime should be loosened sufficiently to be wiped away with a damp sponge. You can pour the leftover ammonia into a garbage bag to soak your oven racks in.
15. Showerhead build-up
Don’t you love cleaning techniques that require almost zero effort on your part? To eliminate grimy blockage and build-up on your showerhead, fill a bag with white vinegar and tie it around so that the head is fully submerged, securing it with a rubber band. Leave it overnight and remove the next day.
16. Cloudy glasses
Don’t throw away those cloudy wine glasses. Give them a rub with paper towels dampened with vinegar to make them sparkly and new again.
17. Germy sponges
Microwave the water-soaked sponge (never dry) on high for two minutes to eliminate over 99 per cent of germs. Leave the zapped sponge in there for a few minutes to cool. Make sure the sponge doesn’t contain any metal and if it already smells like mildew, replace it.
18. Musty A/C
If your air conditioner expels a burst of foul-smelling air when you first turn it on, try placing a dryer sheet on top of the filter or taping it to the vent.
19. Smelly fridge
Simply line your fruit and vegetable drawers with newspaper to absorb any smells that may be lingering from old food.
20. Dusty corners
Slot an empty toilet roll on to the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner. You can then bend the cardboard, sucking up dirt and debris in hard-to-reach places.
Written by Kathleen Lee-Joe. First appeared on Domain.com.au.
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