Cleaning Hacks – Penny Lynch

Stay on top of oven spills by placing a clean baking tray in the bottom of your oven and take it out to clean every time your lasagne seeps over the edge of it’s dish.

The tops of kitchen cupboards can get very greasy, so lay sheets of newspaper on them to soak up the grease. When it’s time for a spring clean simply change the grubby paper for new sheets and a simple wipe down of the cupboard top is all that’s required.

Clean your smartphone screen using a microfibre cloth. Don’t ever be tempted to use a glass cleaner as this could damage the special coating that stops fingerprints building up.

To remove limescale from your kettle, fill it with an equal parts mix of distilled white vinegar and water, and leave to soak overnight. (Make sure the kettle is unplugged and leave a note on it so nobody uses it accidentally!). In the morning, empty and rinse the kettle thoroughly, then boil up a fresh kettle-full of water and discard to avoid a vinegary tang to your tea.

Wipe down your shower/bath area with a microfibre cloth once everyone has finished washing for that day. This reduces the chance of bacteria building up on the tile grout and on the sealant around the edges. It also keeps the shower screen free from water marks.

Your dishwasher can clean more than just dishes. Use it to clean things such as fridge shelves, extractor fan filters and oven shelves. Even use it for plastic toys, though not on a hot wash.

Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent, and will take out even tough, tomato-based stains. Rub a stained chopping board with half a lemon, leave it overnight, then wash as normal.

Soda crystals cost very little and are great at keeping plugholes and drains running freely and smelling fresh. Pour in half a cup of soda crystals followed by boiling water. Remember to wear gloves, as soda crystals can irritate the skin.

Bicarbonate of soda is a cleaning superstar, thanks to its gentle abrasive nature and the fact it is a natural deodoriser. Use it to:

  • Absorb food odours in the fridge. Fill a ramekin with bicarb and leave it to do its magic.
  • Clean countertops, stainless steel sinks, micro waves, and cooking utensils. Simply mix into a paste with a little water and scrub.
  • Stop trainers smelling. Sprinkle a little bicarb inside them, then tap it out before your next gym session.
  • Deodorise the dog bed by sprinkling with bicarb, letting it sit for 15 minutes, and then vacuuming it up.

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