have been cleaning today

– Baking soda sprinkled on the carpet and then vacuumed works just as well as any expensive (and easily used up) carpet powder.

– My Mum once made a really great air freshener/deodoriser out of the following – white vinegar, water, baking soda and lemon juice (or another kind of scented thing you like). and then put it in a spray bottle. It is usable on upholstered furniture too. It sanitises everything and leaves a lovely smell in the air.

– I learned this from Curb Your Enthusiasm. It somehow seemed too good to be true, but it actually works.

A lot of stains caused by spilled drinks can be attacked at once with some salt poured liberally over the still wet/damp stain, once it has been diluted with sparkling water. Once it’s dry, the salt can be vacuumed. A WARNING: This method does not work on coffee stains, as our household has learned the hard way. Luckily though, Martha Stewart has some good stain removal tips and a handy printable chart here.

– If you have any old nylon stockings/tights lying around, they make really good dusters. Just wear them on your hands like creepy gloves and rub your now stockinged hands over whatever surface needs dusting. The stockings pick everything up, and can be rinsed and re-used. This is much quicker and more satisfying (and less dusty) then using a fluffy duster thing.

– Plain white vinegar (diluted with water) is really good for cleaning basically everything – from floors, to walls, to ceilings, to mould and mildew in the tiniest places. I think you can even use it as a fabric softener in a washing machine cycle. Just never mix it with bleach like I’ve seen floating around Pinterest. Unless you want to POISON YOURSELF. Vinegar and bleach produce chlorine gas when combined.

– I haven’t tried this one yet, but if you also have pets, it might blow your mind like it did mine. You can use a rubber squeegee to get pet hair out of your carpets/furniture. Just drag it along the carpet (start from the back and move towards the exit of the room methodically, so that you don’t lose the sense of where on the carpet you’ve squeegeed and where you haven’t) and then throw away the giant clump of fluff and hair that will have amassed. So satisfying. Look at this monstrosity:

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