We've pulled together some of our best household cleaning tips and tricks to help you get a spotless home for a fraction of the price. Plenty of natural, cheap, quick, helpful and cheerful cleaning tips - using everything from tin foil to vinegar and lemons - that should save you time and money when you clean your home.
1. Use a wet rubber glove to remove pet hair
If Fido and Felix have fluffed up your house and are making you sneeze, there's a cheap and easy solution. A damp washing up glove can easily be dragged over soft furnishings like sofas and curtains (and even trouser legs!) to remove animal fur.
2. Use a flip flop to remove pet hair
Not got any washing up gloves? Using a (clean!) rubber flip-flop on your furnishings will work just as well. It's especially useful if (like us) you're constantly losing flip-flops and end up with odd ones.
3. Use a coffee filter to clean glass or mirrors easily
Ah coffee - you're the thing that gets us out of bed, and now we've discovered you offer so much more. Smarten up grubby windows without any chemicals – just give them a sweep with a clean coffee filter. It works like magic.
4. Use tights to stop your vacuum cleaner hoovering up coins
Don't throw away those laddered tights! Save money and precious small objects by using the foot of a pair of tights over your hoover nozzle. It will catch any change, hair bands and other bits and bobs before they get sucked away.
5. Clean your microwave naturally with a cup of water
If your microwave is looking a little unsanitary after one too many food explosions, don't panic - it can be cleaned for free in just a jiffy. Just pop a heat-proof cup of water with half a lemon and its juice in the microwave on a high setting for a minute or two. 1. Leave the mixture in the microwave with the door closed for 5 minutes for the steam to do its work, then easily wipe down the inside of your microwave. The lemon will leave your entire kitchen will smell clean and fresh!
6. Reuse cleaning sponges – just microwave them clean
It can feel like you're constantly buying new packs of kitchen and bathroom cleaning sponges, and not only do the costs add up, but it's not great for the environment to keep throwing dirty ones away. Get more use from your cleaning sponges by giving them a quick one or two-minute blast in the microwave on a high setting. This will kill off bacteria.
7. Make a quick natural cleaning product for your whole home
Feel like a money-saving magician with this easy-peasy recipe. Just mix four tablespoons of baking soda and a litre of warm water to make a cheap and natural all-purpose cleaner. Use liberally on your surfaces, floors and anywhere else that's in need of a scrub.
8. Great money-saving tip: clean lime scale from your shower head using vinegar
We love it when we can make kitchen cupboard ingredients into a germ-busting cleaning product. If you're looking for a more natural (not to mention thrifty) way to clean your home from top to bottom, Vinegar is your new best friend. Soak your shower head in a mixture of boiling water and vinegar to unclog any lime scale easily. More vinegar cleaning tips.
9. Use baby oil to remove fingerprints from stainless steel
Baby oil isn't just for smoothing and soothing skin - it's actually a whiz at lifting grease too. If the hood of your cooker, or other stainless-steel appliances, are grubby with finger marks, pop a small amount of baby oil on to a clean, microfibre cloth and give them a wipe.
10. Use an old toothbrush for cleaning your bathroom
Don’t throw away your old toothbrush – it can be a really useful tool. Give it a rinse in boiling water to get rid of any germs, and use it to get into nooks and crannys that your vacuum cleaner can't reach. It’s especially handy in the bathroom, for cleaning hard to reach areas around the tap or drain.
11. Top cleaning tip: use a fabric softener sheet to stop your bin smelling
There's nothing more annoying than emptying your bin to find it's still smelly afterwards. If you've got a stinky bin, pop a fabric softener sheet into it alongside the bin bag for an instant air freshener. You can experiment with different scented varieties too.
12. Stop shoes smelling with bicarbonate of soda
Yet again, baking soda to the rescue! If your trainers or day shoes have seen one too many sweaty walk and are getting a bit niffy, it's an easy problem to remedy. Sprinkle some baking soda into smelly trainers for an instant lift.
13. Get felt tip pen stains out of wood with toothpaste
If the grandchildren have gone crazy with the marker pens on your bannisters, table or anything else made from wood, rub it gently with a little bit of toothpaste to lift off the stain. Then go and give them a good telling off and a nice (easy to erase) set of pencils instead!
14. Clean your hairbrush quickly with washing up liquid and water
We don't really think about cleaning our hairbrushes (other than to remove hair) but when you think about it, it makes sense that they get grubby with grease and product build-up, just as our hair does. Get rid of residue from hair spray, dry shampoo or any other hair products by mixing washing up liquid and warm water and giving it a dip.
15. Make a natural scented vinegar cleaning product to help around the house
Mix one part white vinegar with one part water to make a basic household spray (great for anyone suffering from allergies as it’s so gentle). Can’t stand the ‘fish and chip’ smell? Add some fresh herbs to the mixture – sage is particularly clean smelling, but you can experiment with anything that's growing in your garden really.
16. Unblock a clogged drain for free with baking soda
Bicarbonate of soda to the rescue yet again! This time it's a marvel for unblocking hair or food-clogged drains. Pour one part baking soda, followed by one part vinegar down it, then cover with a wet cloth as the two react with one another to clean the drain naturally. Wait five minutes and then run some hot water to clear it.
17. Clean white trainers with toothpaste
Tennis shoes a bit grubby? Trainers not looking as new after a few muddy walks? No one will know they're not fresh from the box with this easy trick. Scuffed white sports shoes can be brought back to life by scrubbing with toothpaste. Slightly minty smell, a bonus.
18. Clean kitchen cabinets with washing up liquid
Greasy, food-stained cupboards can be given a new lease of life when you mix up a squirt of washing up liquid with some warm water - it's amazing how much grime will come away on your sponge. Once you've seen it, you'll make sure this becomes a regular on your list of chores!
19. Clean your chopping board with lemon
Our chopping boards get a lot of use, from joints of meat and fillets of fish, to cutting up fruit and vegetables most evenings - so it's no wonder they end up looking a bit tired. Lemons are great for lifting stains from chopping boards, as well as removing any smells. Still not shifting? Sprinkle with baking soda and repeat.
20. Shine silver quickly with toothpaste
If you're lucky enough to own some lovely silver bits and bobs, keeping them in tip-top condition couldn't be simpler. Buff up those wedding presents and silver jewellery with a dab of water and a little toothpaste. Rinse and dry with a cloth and it should look good as new. One of the most satisfying cleaning jobs around, we think.