7 quick tricks to get your home spanking clean on the cheap

You don't have to spend big to achieve quick wins around the home

Rhubarb – a delicious fruit to use in a crumble. But have you ever thought of using it for cleaning? No, well according to research by glove-maker Marigold, in the 1940s, rhubarb was used to clean burnt pots and pans. Just chop the rhubarb and boil it with water for at least 10 minutes until you get a glue-like consistency. Then rinse. Simple!

So, what other cleaning miracles are out there to make your house shine? Whether you’re preening your home for prospective buyers or if you just need a spring clean, we reveal how to tackle those stubborn jobs.

Bicarb is your friend

Dad-of-two Christopher, from Reading, said bicarbonate of soda had saved him from many a situation when it came to “bodily fluid incidents” caused by his children. “Use water to make a paste and apply it to the affected area,” he said. “Once dry, vacuum it off. The smell of urine, vomit, or anything else vanishes. I buy the stuff in bulk!”

Ping to get rid of the pong!

Elin Swain, managing director of cleaning agency, Domestic Innovations has a top tip for one of the most tricky kitchen jobs. “How often have you stood in front of the microwave scrubbing away? Say goodbye to the hard work because your microwave can do all that for you,” she said. Simply heat a bowl of water with some lemon and vinegar and after two minutes, you’ll be able to simply wipe away the grime.

Don’t cry over spilt wine

Mum Hannah, from Swansea, knows how to get the most out of baby toiletries. “My friend spilt red wine on our new cream carpet. I was horrified,” she said. “But we researched and found a great tip. I covered the stain with talcum powder. I put a damp tea towel over it, which acts as a poultice and draws the colour out. I scraped off the talc when it was red, and then put more on along with the wet tea towel. Once it was dry, I vacuumed it. It was like new.”

Coffee table woes

Have you flagrantly flouted the strictly-enforced coaster policy laid down by your partner? And now there’s visible evidence of your dirty work! Before you run for the hills, cover your tracks. Elin said: “If your coffee table is full of rings, don’t despair. With a little olive oil and salt, those rings will lift right out and will nourish the wood back to its former glory.”

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Laters limescale!

Emma, from Southampton, offers a cheap way to keep bathrooms pristine. “To prevent limescale I fill a bottle with half vinegar and half hot water, and spray every tile and faucet before wiping it down. This same solution works really well on the shower head too – just put both into a plastic bag overnight then rinse and dry. All it needs then is a light scrub.”

Citrus fresh

You’re looking forward to a relaxing soak in the tub but, wait! The dog has got in there before you, along with what looks like a field of mud. Fear not. Sprinkle a grapefruit half liberally with salt and scrub the tub. Rinse down and enjoy a luxurious bubble bath.

Toilet terror

Is there anything more depressing than spending an evening cleaning a stained toilet bowl? Well you don’t have to. Just buy a bottle of cheap cola. Pour it into the loo and leave overnight. When you flush the next morning, voila – pristine!

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