How to clean tricky household items

If you have an ever-growing list of cleaning tasks that you avoid because they’re tricky, you’re not alone. How do you properly clean a pillow? How do you keep that shower curtain hygienic? Here are nine cleaning tricks that should help.

Window blinds
Slatted blinds can collect so much dust it can be easy to forget what colour they really are. Turn a sock inside out and wet it with equal parts water and white vinegar. Place your hand in the sock and run it along each slat to collect dust from both the top and bottom sides at once.

Cast-iron cookware
Use a sponge, scrubber and coarse salt to remove stuck-on food, rinse and dry thoroughly. Rub the item with a little cooking oil and place it over a high heat. Once it begins smoking, turn off the heat and allow the dish to cool. That’s it. If you religiously follow this procedure, the item will last longer than you!

Read: Nine things you’ll only know if you love cleaning

Experts say we should clean our pillows at least twice a year and suggest the following method. If you have latex or memory foam pillows, wash them by hand in cold water with a gentle detergent and set them out flat to dry. If you have synthetic or down pillows, wash them two at a time on a hot setting before placing them in the dryer on low heat or in the sun. To keep the pillows fluffy, place a few tennis balls in the dryer with them.

Depending on the size of your doona and the capacity of your washing machine, pop it into the machine on the gentle cycle with a mild detergent. Dry in the sun or on low heat with some tennis balls or dryer balls. Alternatively, wash and dry at a laundromat – a cheaper option to the drycleaner.

Ceiling fans
Have you ever seen the top of a ceiling fan blade? It’s generally not pretty. This requires a ladder and that may not be a good idea for you. However, if you can find a nimble assistant, get them to place a damp pillow case over a blade, hold it down at one end then slide the case back off the blade. This will contain the dust and stop it from raining down on the room.

If you’ve noticed an odour coming from your mattress, try this before you flip it next. Sift some baking soda over the mattress, let it sit for at least half an hour, then vacuum it away. This will help to eliminate smells and keep your mattress clean and hygienic.

Read: Kitchen cleaning tips that save time and money

Pet hair
Ever noticed that no matter how many times you run a broom over the floor there always seems to be hair left over? Try using a dampened mop on hard floors or a window squeegee on carpeted floors.

Shower curtains
Pop your shower curtain in the washing machine, but use half the recommended detergent and add a cup of vinegar. Once out of the wash, soak it for three hours in a tub or bucket of water containing up to a cup of salt. This will keep your shower curtain clean and hygienic for longer.

Keep clothes dust free
If you hang up nice outfits but don’t want the whole fuss of keeping them in plastic sleeves to keep dust from settling on them, get a paper napkin and cut a small hole in the middle of it. Put the top of the hanger through this hole to that the napkin sits on top of your clothing.

Do you have any tips for tricky cleaning tasks? Share them in the comments section below.

Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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