Top tips from Victoria Green.
Life is so busy when you’re a mum that sometimes when things get a bit dirty or stained you actually consider binning them rather than trying to tackle the issue in hand. In today’s landfill world we don’t want to keep throwing things away and we’d all appreciate some quicker, cheaper, easier ways to keep on-top of those chores. So, here’s my top ten cleaning hacks for busy mums that won’t break the budget or our souls!
1) Getting baby poo stains out of clothes – It’s pretty gross dealing with poo covered clothes and pretty annoying when you’ve spent time scrubbing them clean (or in my case just flinging them in the washing machine) to find that once washed that they are still stained. My mum told me this hack and it’s worked so well that my youngest child is still wearing vests that her big brother and sister have both worn and both filled with poo! All you have to do is wash the clothes as normal then leave the stained items in direct sunlight or out on the washing line in the frost and you’ll find that nature will sort the stains out for you. Hurrah!
2) Getting the stains out of mugs – In our household we drink a lot of tea and coffee and even though I wash the mugs every day there’s still this annoying stain that appears after a little while at the bottom of my mugs. When the stains get embarrassingly bad I fill the kitchen sink with hot water and washing up liquid, add a cap full of sterilising fluid (supermarket home brand works just grand) and leave to soak for an hour or so. You’ll come back to glistening stain free mugs that your mother-in-law would be proud of.
3) Cleaning makeup brushes – Makeup brushes are a hub for bacteria, so cleaning them often is a must. Grab yourself an empty jar and combine approx. 100ml of warm water, 1 tablespoon of washing up liquid and a tablespoon of white vinegar. Swish the make-up brushes in the jar until thoroughly saturated then gently rinse the brushes under lukewarm water and lay flat on a towel to dry. Do not soak the brushes as this may make the bristles come out.
4) Getting burnt-on food off the bottom of a pan – My mother-in-law shared this nugget of information with me when she discovered my habit of burning food (I get easily distracted so we get a lot of burnt dinners). Bicarbonate of soda has become my best friend in the kitchen. Warm your pan up on a gentle heat on the cooker and add a splash of water and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Let it have a little bubble and then leave to cool. You’ll then find the burnt on stuff will just come away with a simple wipe with a cleaning cloth.
5) Cleaning toilets – On your next shop grab yourself a bottle of the cheapest full sugar cola you can get. Pour the contents down the toilet ensuring you get it round the rim and leave for as long as possible, ideally an hour at least, to allow the acids in the cola to dissolve the stains. You’ll be amazed by the shiny results.
6) Make your rings sparkle again – Grab yourself a mug and fill with hot water, add a couple of drops of washing up liquid, add your rings and leave to soak. When you get a chance (a few hours later) hold the ring firmly and brush gently with a soft toothbrush. Taadaa your ring is now sparkly again!
7) Cleaning oven doors – Oven doors can so easily get dirty and I find it so frustrating when I can’t see the contents burning. I only discovered this hack recently but using dishwasher tablets on the oven door works a treat. Just dip the end of a tablet in some warm water and rub the tablet on the door and the dirt comes off. This does require a bit of elbow grease, but this could be something you do whilst your burnt pans and stained cups are having a soak!
8) Dusting the skirting boards – The last thing we want to do is get down on our hands and knees to dust the skirting boards. So, who’s closest to the floor in the house? Yup you’ve got it, the kids! Give them a duster each and make it a game. Get them to compete against each other whilst you sit back with a stain free mug of tea.
9) Now one of my absolute favourite disinfectant products is Zoflora – so much so that I could probably write a 101 things to do with Zoflora blog as well. Here’s a few little hacks that might help you out. Instead of going through bottles upon bottles of spray disinfectant, reuse a empty spray bottle, add a little amount of Zoflora and fill with water – saves having to throw away another plastic bottle and also saves a fortune as a little bit of Zoflora goes a long way! Another tip is to put some Zoflora on a cloth and leave at the bottom of a nappy bin (or any bin to be honest) it’ll help take away the bin pong in your home! And lastly, (I really could go on and on forever though!) to give the kids’ plastic toys a clean put a splash of Zoflora in a bucket with some hot water and leave for an hour or so then remove and leave to dry. Make sure you don’t put toys in with holes that might not drain all the water out as they could get mouldy.
10) Descaling a steriliser – If you’ve ever used an electric steriliser you’ll be well aware that they can get a bit scaly on the heating plate especially if you live in hard water areas. Empty the steriliser and wipe inside with a damp cloth. Pour 250ml of white vinegar and leave for 30 mins to 24 hours depending on the extent of the limescale. Pour any remaining liquid away and wipe clean. I tend to do an empty sterilise after this to help get rid of some of the vinegar smell.
I hope you’ve found these hacks to be of some use. You wouldn’t think that items as simple as bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar and cola would be so useful!