42 Easy Cleaning Tips with the Ultimate Versatile Products
June 12, 2019

We don’t know about you, but whatever makes our lives easier when it comes to cleaning, we’re all for it. So naturally, we love our cleaning tips! With the bathroom, kitchen, carpets, windows and everything else in the house to keep in good condition, the more cleaning tips, the better.

So for anyone who thinks like us, we’ve got some excellent ideas for you. As there are all sorts of amazing products out there with different uses, we’ve compiled the best tips for multiple products, so you can keep it simple and clean various areas with just one product! And yes, before you ask, of course we’ve included our favourite cleaning tips with Zoflora. With those scents, how could we not!

Check out all our tips below and get your home spotless with less of the hassle, and make it smell incredible in the process!

Cleaning tips with Zoflora

Zoflora is a popular concentrated disinfectant best known for its beautiful scent. It can kill 99.9% of bacteria and boasts impressive freshening power and versatility. Find it in Robert Dyas stores and get your home smelling lush.

Prevent bin odours

Spray Zoflora onto some kitchen roll and place in the bottom of your bin to prevent bad odours.

Use as an air freshener

Add a capful to some hot water in the sink and leave overnight to fragrance your kitchen or bathroom.

Freshen furniture

Add some with water and use on your furniture, surfaces and even your mattress to keep it smelling fresh.

Disinfect the toilet brush

Toilet brushes are, of course, breeding grounds for bacteria, so soak yours in a bucket of diluted Zoflora to kill germs and leave it smelling fresh.

Use instead of laundry conditioner

Forego your regular laundry conditioner and add a capful of Zoflora to kill bacteria and eliminate odours.

Freshen smelly shoes

Add a few drops of Zoflora to some kitchen roll and leave inside smelly shoes overnight.

Remove bacteria from the shower

Showers can be covered in bacteria, so remove the shower head and soak in a bucket of diluted Zoflora.

Freshen the toilet

Pour undiluted Zoflora into the toilet and work it around the bowl with the toilet brush.

Clean sponges and cleaning clothes

Add a few capfuls of Zoflora to a sinkful of water and leave your cleaning cloths and sponges to soak to remove bacteria.

Refresh pet toys

Dilute some Zoflora with water and soak plastic chew toys to remove bacteria. Rinse with plenty of water afterwards and leave to dry.

Freshen litter trays

Disinfect the litter tray with Zoflora and leave it to dry before adding pet litter.

Cleaning tips with bicarbonate of soda (AKA baking soda)

Known for its abrasive and deodorising properties, bicarbonate of soda has been used for over a century to clean, scour, deodorise and even soften water. In fact, there’s almost nothing it can’t do.

Clean the toilet

Combine ½ cup bicarbonate of soda with ½ cup of citric acid and ½ cup of borax substitute, along with a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Mix together and simply add a tablespoon full into the toilet bowl.

Clean sealant

Sprinkle some onto the sealant around your bath if it’s gone yellow or is covered in grime. Then spray on some white vinegar, let it fizz for 30 seconds or so, and rub off with a cloth.

Freshen carpets

Mix 10-20 drops of any essential oil with a cup of bicarbonate of soda and sprinkle liberally on your carpet. Leave it for a few hours and then vacuum it up.

Use as an air freshener

Mix bicarbonate of soda with a little lemon juice in a small dish to absorb unpleasant odours in a room. It even works when placed in the fridge in a bowl – or you could simply use an open packet – to absorb any strong smells for up to a month. 

Polish sterling silver jewellery

Line a pan with aluminium foil, add a cup of water and bring it to the boil, and then add a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda. Place your silver in the pan, ensuring it touches the foil to create a reaction, and wait for around 30 seconds for the tarnish to fizz off. Remove the silver with some tongs and then buff it dry. Repeat as necessary for very tarnished pieces.

Clean the oven

Combine bicarbonate soda and water to create a paste. Apply to the walls of the oven with a small spatula, taking care not to apply to metal parts, and leave it for an hour. Scrub heavier areas of dirt with a damp cloth when you remove it and spray a little vinegar onto any residue so it fizzes. Then simply wipe off the rest.

Clean surfaces

Sprinkle onto a damp cloth and use in bathtubs, sinks, fridges and other surfaces that you don’t want to scratch. It’s abrasive enough to tackle dirt but gentle enough not to cause damage.

Remove stains on painted walls

If your child’s drawn on your walls with crayon, apply bicarbonate of soda to a damp cloth or sponge and gently rub the marks off.

Use as a cat litter tray freshener

Simply sprinkle under the litter to keep it fresh.

Cleaning tips with white vinegar

Perhaps one of the most versatile additions to your cleaning cupboard, white vinegar has a whole host of uses around the home. It’s a non-toxic traditional cleaning solution that’s been used safely for centuries with the active ingredient of acetic acid, which has both cleaning and descaling properties. Our Dri Pak White Vinegar comes in a handy spray bottle so you can use it everywhere.

Polish glass and mirrors

Clean without streaks by spraying undiluted white vinegar onto glass and mirrors, then wiping off with a clean cloth. If you’re cleaning windows, wipe horizontally on one side and vertically on the other so you can spot any bits you’ve missed.

Get rid of mould

Mould hates vinegar so spray some on, leave for ten minutes and wipe clean with a cloth.

Descale appliances

White vinegar works magic on limescale-covered taps, shower heads and other kitchen appliances. Simply spray on neat and wipe clean. 

Remove sweat stains

Remove sweat stains by spraying on white vinegar and leaving to soak for half an hour before washing.

Use as a microfibre cloth conditioner

Never use regular laundry conditioner on microfibre cloths as it can clog the fibres and reduce its polishing power. Use white vinegar instead of fabric conditioner in your washing machine.

Clean your washing machine

If your washing machine smells or it simply needs a good clean, white vinegar should be your weapon of choice. Check out our blog on how to clean washing machines and follow the easy step-by-step guide.

Remove odours after pet accidents

If your pet has an accident, it’s white vinegar to the rescue. Spray onto urine stains to banish the odour and deter your pet from coming back to the same spot.

Clean surfaces

Ideal for sinks, kitchen surfaces and other areas, white vinegar will get them clean and sparkling.

Soften laundry

Boost the softness of towels and clothes by adding a splash of white vinegar instead of expensive detergent. Don’t worry, they won’t come out smelling of vinegar.

Cleaning tips with Borax Substitute

This multitasking product is non-toxic and is the perfect replacement for Borax, which is no longer available due to the ‘Borate’ group of chemicals being reclassified by the EU. It has all the same cleaning and laundry uses and packs more of a punch than bicarbonate of soda, giving you extra cleaning power.

Use as scouring powder

If bicarbonate of soda isn’t quite strong enough to do the job, mix some Borax Substitute with water to form a paste to use on bathtubs, kitchen sinks and other items you don’t want to get scratched.

Soften water to save money

Simply add ½ cup in with your detergent if you have hard water (which most of the south of England does). Add less if you’re in a soft water area. By softening the water it’ll help remove the build-up of limescale in your washing machine, which means you’ll waste less energy and potentially increase the service life of your appliance.

Remove laundry stains

Follow the ‘water softener’ instructions above and simply add some in with your usual laundry load to lift stains. As is softens the water, it’ll make your detergent more effective so you’ll have double the cleaning power.

Deodorise bins

Add a handful of Borax Substitute to some water and use it for cleaning and disinfecting your bin.

Cleaning tips with soda crystals

Before the advent of modern cleaning products, soda crystals were used all around the house. Biodegradable and eco-friendly, they’re your one-stop natural solution for multiple cleaning tasks.

Clean barbecues

Burnt-on stains and built-up grime can be tough to get off, but with eco-friendly soda crystals, it can be a lot less of a chore. We’ve written an entire blog on how to clean a barbecue with soda crystals, featuring a handy video and a step-by-step guide. Check it out and banish the grime every time.

Unblock drains

If your sink is draining slowly, pour some boiling water down the sink and once it’s drained away, pour in a mug of soda crystals. Follow it with another mugful of boiling water and leave for five minutes. Then pour several mugfuls of boiling water down and if it hasn’t worked yet, repeat and pour white vinegar down the drain afterwards.

To prevent blocked drains in the first place, pour a mugful of soda crystals and hot water down every week. Alternatively, try using EcoZone enzymatic drain sticks. Simply pop one down the drain once a month to prevent drains from clogging up. They work by using powerful natural bacteria to break down grease, fat and food blockages, helping to remove bad odours.

Remove stains

Shift organic stains the natural way by adding a tablespoon of soda crystals to your detergent.

Soften water

Save money by adding soda crystals in the wash to soften the water so less detergent is needed.

Cleaning tips with citric acid

Made of natural acid found in fruits, citric acid is gentle on the planet and tough on limescale. You can find it online and in all of our Robert Dyas stores for just £1.79.

Remove limescale

Use citric acid to keep your kettle, washing machine and other appliances in top condition and to remove limescale from your toilet bowl, taps and more. Combine it with warm water to speed up the reaction process. If you have a lot of limescale on the heating element of your kettle, you’ll be able to see it fizzing and dissolving.

Cleaning tips with Coca Cola

Coca Cola contains a high amount of citric acid, which makes it an unlikely but impressive cleaner for various household items. If you don’t have any coke to hand or don’t like buying single-use plastic bottles, use pure Dri Pak Citric Acid instead. It comes in a recycled cardboard box and can be found online and in all Robert Dyas stores for just £1.79.

Clean the toilet

Coca Cola is great for getting rid of stubborn marks in toilets. Simply pour some in the bowl, leave overnight and flush, scrubbing afterwards if necessary.

Remove rust

Because of its high acidity level, Coke is great at getting rid of rust. Soak anything rusty in Coke before rinsing with water to help break down the rust particles and make them much easier to clean.

Clean grout

Coke will work its magic on grimy grout in just a few minutes. Use a toothbrush to scrub the grout for extra cleaning power, and then wash off with soapy water.

Restore burnt pans

Soak pans with burnt-on stains in Coca Cola and the stubborn dirt will lift off.