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(for other cleaning tips see our Kitchen and Living Room pages.

This page gives some suggestions on how to use everyday household products when cleaning;  making the job easier and cheaper.


You can keep your bathroom shower cubicle sparkling clean longer by washing the whole shower stall, then waxing with car wax (not turtle wax as this is green, be sure to get clear wax). This keeps the dirt and grime from sticking.

Anita Jones

What has amazed me since setting up this site is the number products that can be, and are, used for a multitude of tasks - some obvious and others not so obvious.  I am always intrigued as to how these "quirky" uses are initially found out and the first example explains just that -

Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda)

  • Baking soda on a damp sponge removes grease easily from stove, back splash etc.

  • Also works great for carpet deodorising, just sprinkle onto carpet before going to bed and vacuum in the morning.

Thanks to Lisa Mighell for these two tips.

  • Better than any cleaner for cleaning baths and sinks.

This tip was sent in by Linda Benedict who told me that her four year old grandson was in the bathroom "making snow".  When she investigated he had dumped the whole box of baking soda in the sink.  As she cleaned it up it made the sink sparkle so she tried it on the tub - same result with no scrubbing - tip was born!!!

  • Baking Soda can be used for many jobs around the house, scrubbing sinks, bath tub, stove, refrigerator and laundry.   It leaves everything smelling nice and cleans just as good as any cleanser without scratching enamel.


  • Also for keeping pipes clean under the sink - pour about one quarter cup of baking soda down the drain with about 1 cup of vinegar, this makes a chemical reaction, then pour some hot water down the drain. Hey Presto!


  • Baking soda or Borax is also good for getting rid of unwanted insects, just sprinkle around cabinets and cupboards and other places the insects might run.

 Helen Elouise Baker

  • If you burn a saucepan put in some baking soda and believe it or not Avon's Skin So Soft whilst it is still hot and allow to soak.  Apparently comes clean.

Emma Phillips assures me this works! 

  • To minimise odours in your fridge, remove top from box of baking soda and place it on one of the shelves.  From time to time stir contents.

 Janet Smith.

Alka-Seltzer can be used to -

  • 3 tablets down the kitchen sink followed by a cup of white vinegar. Leave for a few minutes then run hot water - cleans pipes.

  • 4 tablets in the toilet will bring your bowl up sparkling clean.  Leave for an hour and then brush.

  • 1 tablet in a cup of warm water.  Drop in your jewelry (NOT PEARLS OR OPALS) and leave for a few minutes. Sparkling.

 Denise George

  • To freshen up a thermos flask, fill the flask with water, drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets and let soak for an hour (or longer if necessary).

  • To remove the stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets.

An anonymous contributor forwarded these tips 

  • 1/3 cup of cheap white vinegar, 1/3 cup of non-sudsy ammonia (preferably the yellow colour) and 1/3 cup rubbing alcohol. (surgical spirit) Mix in a spray bottle and top of with water.  If you buy large containers of each ingredient this cuts costs even more.


  • Follow this up by drying with old newspapers and put a very light application of furniture polish on them.  This works well for keeping steam off mirrors after taking a bath or shower.  It also makes cleaning easier next time.


  • To save money buy a gallon of window cleaner for your vehicle then pour into a spray bottle.  It cleans as well as top brand cleaners and lasts a lot longer.

  • Use air freshener to clean mirrors.  It does a good job as well as leaving a lovely smell.

An anonymous contributor


Dryer Sheets*

*These are the fabric conditioner sheets used in tumble dryers.

  • To remove baked on food from a pan, fill with very hot water and one dryer sheet and leave to soak for an hour or two.  Pour off the water, toss the sheet and wipe out the pan.  All the baked on food comes off easily.  If it does not come clean, leave to soak overnight.

Thank you "bluejayfoxy" and also Doreen and Craig Stocker

  • When cleaning dust and animal hair from free standing fans, window unit air conditioner filters or venetian blinds, use a dryer sheet.  It not only removes dust and hair faster, but after prolonged use it creates a protective coating on the wires of the fan for even easier dust removal.

 Debbie George, Doreen and Craig Stocker

  • Dust your television and computer screens with a used dryer sheet as this will reduce the static and prevent dust resettling.

  • Clean shower doors with a used dryer sheet to dissolve soap scum.

  • Collect animal hair by rubbing the area with dryer sheets, they will magically attract all the loose hairs.

 Doreen and Craig Stocker

Cathy Young has contacted me with the following warning regarding the above tip. "According to Anitra Frazier in The New Natural Cat, the chemicals in the fabric softener will adhere to your cat's fur (if you use it on something he lays on, such as a towel) and be licked off later. I stopped using fabric softener except rarely after reading this years ago because of my cats' tendency to lay on my clothes and not knowing what kind of toxic effects this could have for their liver over time."

Dishwasher Powder

  • Another method of removing burnt food is to cover the area with dishwasher powder and enough water to make a paste.   Let it soak overnight and wash it clean the next day.


Also recommended by an anonymous contributor who says 3 tablespoons in hot water, left to soak for about an hour does the trick.

  • To clean copper pans, give them a good scrub with dishwashing soap, then take a half a lemon and pour salt on it, use it to scrub the copper, you will see the shine come through.  Keep adding salt to the lemon as you clean.

 Mary Valencia

Why not check out another really useful hub of cleaning tips and advice which features cleaning suggestions using items that can be found in most households.  It is not only very informative but quick, easy and fun to use.  Simply select the room or stain you need to clean, then the type of surface and follow the guides.


  • If you have any empty trigger spray bottles handy, rinse out, and put a good squirt of Domestos (household bleach) in with a small squirt of Fairy liquid (hand dishwashing liquid), top up with water and you have the best all round cleaner.

Shifts soap scum from showers and cleans the whole bathroom, kitchen, and believe it or not green algae from conservatory roofs. I have used this formula to clean pvc window frames and its a winner, try it.

Mike Broadley

  • When cleaning any stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, wipe down as normal with a damp cloth. Then use a piece of kitchen towel with a little baby oil and wipe down the surface. You can also use baby wipes, but this way is more expensive. These methods brings a lovely shine to the appliance. Baby wipes are also good for cleaning leather settee's and radiator's.

  • Jo Kulczycki - Cleaners For U Limited


  • Do you also hate the fact that the RVS splash back above the stove is never stripeless clean?  (streaky)

Clean first with a normal grease removing product. Then sprinkle some olive oil onto a paper towel, gently rub it on the RVS and the result is remarkable!

Akkie Roll (Netherlands) 

  • Put a sterilising tablet (the kind you would use for baby bottles) into a vase that has once held flowers it comes up lovely and clean and ready for the next lot of flowers to go into the vase.


  • After boiling the kettle, instead of just pouring the excess down the sink, use the boiling water and pour it down that sink overflow to keep it clean and sterilised. Not only will this reduce unpleasant smells but should you in a busy period leave the tap running the over flow will allow the excess water to escape safely and not flood the kitchen.

David Dempsey

  • To remove burnt on food from Pyrex dishes, soak them in Steradent Denture cleaner and hot water.

  • To clean limescale from kettles or glass vases, soak in hot water and 1/3 brown vinegar.  Rinse kettle well, fill and boil water.  Empty completely, rinse again.

Both the above have been contributed by Janet Bowen, thanks.

  • For stained or burnt coffee pot, sprinkle in "Comet" and add crushed ice.  Rotate the pot to make the ice do the scrubbing.  Also good for small necked glasses, bottles etc.


  • If you leave the coffee on too long and it burns.  Just pour the used coffee grounds in the pot, swish until you see the burnt particles are removed and it will just rinse out, no scrubbing needed.

M. Harold Scaief 

  • If any colored liquid is spilled on your carpet, including Koolaid or wine, immediately saturate*** the area in water and pat dry with a towel.  When my children were little they knew this and always ran for a large glass of water and a towel if they had a spill - my carpet was spotless.

M. Harold Scaief 

***I would like to add a note of warning regarding this tip.  It is not really recommended to saturate carpets as this can cause the backing to rot and may also give rise to damp and mildew forming within the carpet.  After soaking ensure that as much excess moisture as possible is removed.  This can be done by using clean white towels (not coloured as the dye can transfer) or paper towels. 

  • According to Heath Glover and Dyane Horner the best thing to remove "burnt stains" from pots and pans is good old drinking Coke.  Let is stand for about an hour and the stains practically wipe off!

Dyane also sent in the following two useful tips -

  • To clean tv screens - use a very damp cloth that has been placed in water/clothes condition mix. 2/3 water to 1/2 cap of condition. then buff with any lint free cloth or paper towel etc. watch a shine appear and be static free. Can be used on other glass surfaces. 

  • Limescale in kettle - use white vinegar - cover the element, boil the kettle. watch the scale disappear, may require to be repeated if heavy build up. Boil with fresh water before use. tip out, and is now ready for use.

  • To get label glue off hard surfaces; wood, china, glass etc. use metal polish wadding like Duraglit or Brasso.

Pip Neal

Pips tip for removing label glue with Brasso is likely to leave matt scratches- much better to use lighter petrol, or if you haven't seen your Zippo for years- WD40 is fantastic at cleanly removing glue- use it on a paper towel and gently wipe.


I have found that vinegar is one of the best things to use to remove adhesive.
  • Wet toilet wipes are great for removing most stains from clothing.

Pip Neal

  • If anyone still uses milk bottles; like us. It is easier to was them out using plain cold water.

Pip Neal

  • To clean up shards of broken glass safely, put on some rubber gloves and use some masking tape to pick up the glass pieces.  Or, alternatively, use a piece of fresh bread, the shards of glass stick into the bread easily and safely.

Please ensure the bread is discarded safely, away from people and pets.

Thanks to Tiffany Clauson for pointing this out.

  • To get those encrusted bits of food off your work surface, move the lid of a milk carton over the surface pressing hard, it will scrape them off easily and quickly without harming the surface.


An anonymous contributor sent in the following recommendation:-

WARNING: Always check product care instructions and product labels before using any cleaning materials to avoid damage.

Cleaning those large round plastic home, deep fryers. Sticky oil when been left for a while. I have just cleaned mine totally and what I used is this (bought in the UK).

Fairy Power Spray (Not Fairy washing liquid as that is of no use)

Main thing is this spray isn't as harmful as other ways to clean the sticky old oil, such as caustic soda and more.

Spray it sprays on like a weak foam solution (oxygenating I guess). Leave for half an hour, then fill sink with hot water and squirt normal washing-up liquid into it and clean the body and lid (DO NOT IMMERSE ELECTRICAL ITEMS IN WATER AND remove carbon filter if fitted) and wipe off with a cloth. I used also wooden food sticks (tooth pick ones) for places I couldn't get to. At no stage did I need to use a fibre type scourer or dish brush, cloth and pick did it all.

Cupboard full of cleaning products, this one only one that worked. So thought worth writing this to you to share with other people :)

I am in no way affiliated with any Fairy products or Proctor & Gamble.

Ingredients on spray bottle also listed maybe you find same in shops where you live.

Ingredients on Fairy Power Spray container label are:

<5% nonionic surfactants







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