12 unusual hacks for keeping your home clean

Face the big summer clean head on this year with these useful household hacks to making cleaning easier without breaking a sweat

Summer is coming to an end, and soon the kids will be back at school, which means it's that time to get your household back into shipshape. Here are some really useful hacks to help with the big clean, using general products that can be found around the home.

A study of 1,000 UK families, conducted by online electricals retailer, AO.com, found that 1 in 10 will not find time in their busy lives to have a thorough clean of their homes, as they opt for more frequent surface cleaning as opposed to a good old clean.

So what can we do to make your life easier, speedier and more cost effective? Take a look at these 12 hacks to make this year's clean your best one yet.

1. Use cinnamon to make your home smell sweet

bundle of cinnamon sticks on glass bowl

(Image credit: future PLC/James Merrell)

Sprinkle 2-3 tbsp of cinnamon on a rug or an area of carpet and vacuum up to create a sweet scented home. Perfect for when you have guests coming over.

2. Lint roll your lampshade

on the corner of room decorated with lamp and vase

(Image credit: future PLC/David Giles)

Use a typical clothing lint roller on your delicate lampshades to remove the annoying and stubborn dust that they attract.

3. Deodorise mattress with baking soda

Sprinkle a baking soda all over your mattress and leave for 1 - 8 hours. Vacuum up excess baking soda to reveal a freshly deodorised mattress.

4. Clean stainless steel with olive oil

olive oil on cleaned floor

(Image credit: future PLC/Gareth Morgans)

Use a small amount of olive oil on a cloth and wipe over your kitchen stainless steel, removing any stubborn smears and fingerprints and leaving a gleaming finish.

5. Remove pet hair with rubber gloves

pet cat sleeping on wooden table

(Image credit: future PLC/Brent Darby)

Give your furniture a rub down with a pair of rubber gloves, pet hair will stick to them making it much easier to remove from surfaces.

6. Use vinegar to clean household taps

Wipe dirty taps with cotton wool soaked in vinegar to help remove stains. It also works well at reducing limescale too.

7. Oven cleaning with bicarbonate of soda

Simply add bicarbonate of soda to water in a spray bottle to create a cheap but effective cleaning solution, perfect for cleaning stubborn grime in ovens.

8. Clean plastic toys using a dishwasher

clean white kitchen cabinet

(Image credit: future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Place children's plastic toys (toys without batteries) in the dishwasher along with your usual detergent or tablet. This will sanitise them ready to be played with again.

9. Clean sponges in the microwave

Sanitise your household sponges in the microwave. Yes, really! Simply saturate with water and place in the microwave for at least 1 minute. This will help kill any bacteria contained in the sponge.

10. Clean external surfaces with laundry detergent

cleaning materials like broom brush liquid soap

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

Laundry detergent (without bleach) can be used to clean outdoor surfaces such as wood and concrete paving. Just add to a bucket of water or make a solution for your pressure washer.

11. Apply shaving foam to your mirror

Not just for your legs, use shaving foam on your mirror and wipe clean with a cloth to remove any smears.

12. Dishwasher tablets to maintain your washing machine

clean laundry area with white washing machine

(Image credit: TBC)

Every so often, add a dishwasher tablet to an empty cycle at 60 degrees. This will help kill any bacteria living in the hidden parts of the drum and should prevent lime scale too.

Happy cleaning. Let us know how you get on!

Deputy Editor

Jennifer is the Deputy Editor (Digital) for Homes & Gardens online. Prior to her current position, she completed various short courses a KLC Design School, and wrote across sister brands Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes & Interiors, and Style at Home.