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Everybody has to do it once in a while – well maybe more than once in a while but you get the point.  So while it is quite a routine thing to do, there is always that time where you have to do a HUGE scrub over.  Bathroom grime, the ketchup or soy sauce spilled all over your favourite white shirt, etc.  I thought I might share some of my cleaning tips with you today, while I’m thinking about it.  I’ve done hours and hours of Google searching over the years and tried many suggestions available out there.  While they might not work 100% all the time, I found these the most useful for me.

So my conclusion?

White vinegar, bi-carb soda, nail polish remover

It seems like these are the most common items I use to do big cleans.  Call me cheap or whatever, I just don’t like being ripped off by buying expensive hoolabaloo products that claim they can bring the moon to me.  Especially if at the end they don’t even do the job they claim to do.  I’ve got to say though, they will have a strong smell, and you’ll probably have to hold your nose when you are spraying vinegar and using nail polish remover, but the smell goes away.

So my 9 tips:

  1. Stains on shirts:  make a paste from bi-carb soda and water, and apply directly onto the stain.  Depending on how bad the stain is, leave for 2-3hrs or even overnight.  Wash off or just tap off the dried up paste and chuck it in the wash.
  2. Stained white/beige leather:  It might not work with all leathers so try in a really small area first and then you can be more daring.  Use a little bit of nail polish remover on a soft cloth (some people like shampoo and water instead, the no water hand sanitizer doesn’t work), and wipe gently bit by bit.  Don’t try to get rid of it all in one go because your leather will definitely fade and die, but repeat a couple of times, and don’t be greedy – it probably won’t be perfect so just make do with a lighter stain.  Finish off with your usual leather conditioner/waterproofer.
    Best tip?  Just don’t use a light coloured bag if you are wearing new jeans or dark shirts… makes it a lot easier…
  3. Power up your laundry wash: I was loyal to Napisan but after several years, I decided it doesn’t really do anything.. so sad.. Adding 1 cup of vinegar to a full load in your last rinse cycle helps to brighten colours, get rid of lint, and keep your towels soft.
  4. Dirty keyboard/mouse/grubby tables: (This one I found out for myself :D) Nail polish remover and cotton balls are your friend.  I own an apple keyboard and I was initially scared it would be too harsh, but it definitely isn’t, and will leave your keyboard looking like new! Seriously!  This is one of the ones that might stink, but the smell will go away as soon as it dries.
  5. Smelly/clogged sinks: You need to be quick for this.  Pour 1/2 cup bi-carb soda down the drain, have the sink plug ready, and pour about 1 cup vinegar down the drain and quickly plug the sink, make sure you don’t let it fizz up a lot before you plug it because the fizzing action is what helps to clean the drains.  Repeat as many times necessary, when it was really bad I repeated around 3-4 times.
  6. Stained toilet bowls: I haven’t actually done this before myself but my parents do it.  Pour heaps of bleach into the toilet (vinegar works too), close the lid, and just leave it for 4 hours or overnight before scrubbing and flushing.
  7. Mouldy showers: Don’t do this on marble surfaces, and don’t let the solution sit for too long or else it might start to destroy the grout.  Spray the problem areas with a solution of 1part water 1 part vinegar and let sit for 3-5 minutes.  Scrub with a scour in a circular motion and rinse big time with water.  It will stink like crap and I nearly died inhaling the vinegar fumes, but it goes away after you rinse with water.
  8. Grubby shower glass: same as above. Does wonders.
  9. Cleaning the mirrors: I think everyone knows this one.  The good old newspaper and the same vinegar solution.

I did stumble across something I thought was worth the money though.  Carpet stains are very tough to remove, and I found this one really useful.  Retails around $7-8 AUD.

Ozkleen Carper Power

I was even able to remove old stains with this thing.  It’s supposed to be natural and biodegradable too.

Good leather conditioners and waterproofers are important for you beloved bags and leather jackets too.  I haven’t really searched for the perfect one as yet, any recommendations would be great!  I’d also like to hear what other cleaning tips have been handing to others too 🙂

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