The trickiest cleaning problems ever, solved! 6



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Cleaning is never fun, much less when it’s one of the tricky spots in the house such as your ceiling fan, oven or carpet. These areas (and others) just seem to accumulate dirt, dust and grime and just won’t get clean no matter how hard you scrub.

Luckily, there’s help at hand: these once daunting tasks actually have very simple solutions! We’ve found the answer to these hard problems.

1. Get dust off ceiling fans

To clean off that hard-to-reach dust, simply place a pillowcase over a fan blade and then slide it off, holding the blade to wipe it down. Not only will you clean the dust from the fan, but the fluff will remain inside the pillowcase. Once you have cleaned all of the blades, take the pillowcase outside and turn inside out, shaking the dust out or into a bin.

2. Remove pet hair from the carpet

Hair is one of the most difficult things to get out of the carpet. Try as you might, it just doesn’t seem to budge, or you can’t seem to get all of it.

Luckily, there’s one foolproof way to collect the pet and human hair that accumulates on your carpet: all you need is a cheap plastic squeegee from a $2 shop.

To get the hair, simply pull the squeegee towards you, going with the grain of the carpet. You’ll soon have a bunch of hair!

3. De-rust any chrome item

Aluminium foil! It is as simple as that to remove rust from chrome surfaces.

Just take a piece of aluminium foil, around 8-10cm should be sufficient, and soak it in warm water. Rub the rusted area with the foil until it clears, if the rust is bad this may take some time and elbow grease. You could also try washing the area down with vinegar prior to using the foil if it looks to be particularly stubborn. Then wipe the residue off and your area should be shiny as new.

4. Whiten yellowed pillows

Items needed:

  • Almost boiling water
  • 1 cup of laundry detergent
  • 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent
  • 1 cup bleach
  • 1/2 cup borax


  1. Combine all items together in a bucket or tub and lay pillows in and soak for 4-5 hours.
  2. Wash as normal and hang dry.

5. Make your own grout cleaner

Items needed:

  • 3/4 cup bi-card soda
  • 1/4 cup bleach
  • an old toothbrush or a scrub brush


  1. Mix the baking soda and bleach together in the bowl until it forms sort of a thick paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the dirty grout lines and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. The bleach will do most of the work just sitting there
  3. After 5-10 minutes, scrub it with your toothbrush to really work the cleaner deeper into the grout.
  4. Wait another 5-10 minutes and then rinse the cleaner off of the grout.
  5. If you have a handheld shower head, use that, otherwise just use a damp rag and rinse it out often as you wipe the cleaner away.

Remember, grout does sometimes turn darker when it’s wet. So if you’re not totally impressed with how sparkling white your grout is right when you finish rinsing it, wait a few hours until it dries!

6. Clean your oven naturally

Items needed:

  • Bi-carb soda
  • Vinegar
  • A bowl or a squirt bottle (Preferably a squirt bottle)
  • A dirty oven
  • A spatula


  1. Remove the racks. Using a spatula, scrape up as much of the debris as you can, and throw it away. Most of the big stuff should come up pretty easy.
  2. Using about a cup of bi-carb soda, more or less depending on the size of your oven, sprinkle it all over the floor of your oven.
  3. This is where a squirt bottle comes in handy. Spray vinegar all over the bi-card soda. Use your fingers or a rubber spatula to spread the bi-carb soda around so that it comes into contact with the vinegar and every dirty part of your oven floor. Let sit for 10-20 minutes.
  4. Get a scrubbing pad and scrub in a circular motion, rather than back and forth – this will make your job go by so much more quickly.
  5. When you can slide the pad gently all over the oven floor and no longer feel any rough patches, you are ready to clean up the excess bi-carb soda/vinegar mixture.
  6. Use a damp sponge and get it all out

7. De-pill your clothes

Just make sure to do this slowly so you don’t accidentally slice a hole in your clothing!
Items needed:
  • razor
  • lint roller


  1. Wash
  2. Shave off the pilling
  3. Use a lint roller or tape to pick up the pilling

8. Pet smells in the carpet

All you need to do is blot the urine as much as possible with paper towel, then pour club soda over the stain. The carbonation will bubble up the urine and the salts will keep it from staining. Do this several times and then blot well.

9. Streak-free windows

This can be so hard to do! Use a solution of one litre of warm water and 1/2 cup of cornstarch. Sponge it on the windows, and then buff off!

Tell us, what’s your holy grail cleaning tip?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Does anyone have a ‘magic’ formula for getting ingrained soap scum off shower doors please? More to the lower half of the doors..have tried everything imaginable, so any tried and true remedies will be greatly appreciated, thanks everyone. 😀

    2 REPLY
    • I use Steele soap pads,wet screen and pad first wipe over with pad then rinse it doesn’t scratch,I have been doing mine this way for years .

    • Shower Power. Google it and see all the good recommendations. Let me know if you find it successful. Easy to use and smells good too.

  2. id like to know how to clean glass shower screens no matter what i try it still doesnt seem to work

  3. I spray CLR, then use the Enyo white and yellow glove to wipe it off.

    1 REPLY

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