9 simple ploys that can save you time, effort and money when doing housework.
From Forbidden Advice
Use a timer
Decide how long you’re going to spend cleaning before you start. Next, divide your time into chunks – 15 minutes to vacuum and perhaps the same again at the sink, and so on. Now you have a timed target, you’ll find you work that bit harder. Also, if you absolutely hate a job – cleaning the bathroom, for example – knowing you’re going to spend just 10 minutes in there may make you feel less bothered about tackling it.
Avoid concentrated products
This isn’t something the manufacturers are going to shout about, but unless you use them sparingly, you’re just throwing money away when you choose expensive, high-powered cleansers. Standard-strength products are quite sufficient for most jobs. You actually need very little detergent to clean a dirty kitchen floor – about 2 tablespoons of most standard brands, swished into half a bucket of water. With bleach, adding more doesn’t make it more effective, either. Germs die from the time spent in contact with the disinfecting solution, even when it’s only at the recommended dilution of 1 part bleach to 30 parts water.
Clean your windows for less
Why should glass cleaner, which is mostly water, cost you more per litre than petrol? Because the manufacturers want you to pay for their fancy advertising campaigns. Make your own for much less. Simply pour 4 litres warm water into a bucket. Add 100 ml white vinegar and 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and stir well. If you’re cleaning a lot of windows, apply this mixture with a squeegee mop, straight from the bucket. Otherwise, pour it into plastic spray bottles, ready for future use.
Give your sink a bath
Abrasive cleaners can scratch your sink. Instead, try a herbal bath. Steep several bunches of rosemary or thyme in hot water for a few hours, then strain. Stop up the sink, pour in the herb solution and let it sit overnight. In the morning, you’ll find a...