The Complete List Of Household Cleaning Hacks

Whether it’s giving your living room a quick makeover or refreshing a grimy bathroom, many of us hold a deep hatred of common household cleaning. Not only are these chores time-consuming and dull, but certain parts of the house can become much dirtier than others and require greater effort to keep clean. Particularly challenging is the tendency of dirt to get stuck in the hard-to-reach crevices and corners of your home, leading to many a frustrated homeowner.

Surveys have shown that the majority of UK citizens are too busy to clean their homes, with 40% of respondents blaming their hectic work lives, and only 3 in 10 finding time for chores at the weekend. Accordingly, two-thirds of respondents wished there were more time-saving solutions to their hygiene headaches, but fear not – we need not give up in exasperation. There exist a plethora of cleaning hacks and tips that can revolutionise how you clean your home, from the substances you utilise to the way you put them into action.

In Vanguard Cleaning’s latest blog, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on the best hacks and tips that you can implement in your very own home. We’ll cover the common fixtures and furniture that are found in Living Rooms, Kitchens, and Bathrooms, and how to tend to each area. With our insights, you’ll be well on your way to saving time and effort on those dreadful household chores.


Living & Dining Room Cleaning Hacks


A common flooring for many front rooms, carpets are vulnerable to spills and stains, and will easily collect dust and debris. While vacuuming will effectively deal with the latter, staining can prove to be more troublesome.

The rule of thumb is that spills, such as red wine, should be dealt with as quickly as possible to prevent the liquid soaking in. Use a cloth and fizzy water to dab the area – don’t rub the stain, as this could further spread it and damage the carpet. Instead, work from the outside in, continuing to dab until the stain is removed.

Additionally, family pets (especially those that shed), can coat your carpet in hairs, which may be difficult to get rid of. For this, we advise using a broom with rubber bristles that can pull out pet hair without damaging your carpets or upholstery.


With only 7.4% of homes being clutter-free, keeping rooms tidy is a problem for the vast majority of households in the UK. It also has implications on mental health, with almost half reporting being stressed by clutter, and almost a quarter admitting it upsets them.

One way to tackle this is by having a dedicated basket or chest in your living room that can be used to dump miscellaneous items in. This is a lifesaver for those who have kids, with toys and games no doubt finding their way around your entire house. Having a special basket to place toys or items in will allow for a quick sweep of your floor to keep things clutter-free.

Sofas & Armchairs

Much like carpets, the fabric in sofas and armchairs can be easily ruined by spills or stains. When cleaning these sensitive pieces of furniture, it is important to use as little product as possible, as using too much means the soap might sink in and congeal dirt together.

Keeping this in mind, vacuuming your sofa followed by a gentle wash with a damp microfibre cloth will usually do the trick. However, if struggling with pet hair lingering on your sofa, run a rubber glove under the tap and use it to brush over the fabric, collecting any hair that might otherwise be difficult to lift off.

Tables & Chairs

As they are used for mealtimes, dining room tables and chairs will naturally collect crumbs and debris from food. The best way to clean these fixtures will largely depend on the material they are made from.

Wooden tables and chairs are generally easier to deal with, but will sometimes have sticky residue that can be problematic to deal with. To clean wooden furniture, use a small dash of dish soap on a cloth and rub gently, making sure the finish isn’t being removed by your scrubbing. If not, you can slowly apply more pressure and product until fully clean.

As for upholstery, a gentle wash is the name of the game. First vacuum in strips, before using a cloth to blot the desired area. Make sure to avoid scrubbing, as this can make the stain worse.


Regularly cleaning your television will keep dust at bay and improve your vision for the best cinematic experience.

As with all electricals, be sure to switch off and unplug the device before cleaning. A thorough application of a duster should do the lion’s share of the work, but if any smudges or spots remain on the screen, wipe these away with a slightly damp cloth. Finally, remove any lingering moisture with a dry cloth to avoid causing water damage to the TV.


With experts suggesting that your walls should be washed at least once a year, and considering the ever-present risk of permanent marks, cleaning your walls is more important than many believe.

Depending on the type and size of a wall stain, different methods will work best. For smaller stains, melamine sponges should be used, which are specially designed to remove marks from a surface without dulling its finish. As for larger stains, a wash with warm soapy water is your best bet.

Alternatively, if your walls come under attack from children armed with crayons – do not fear! Crayon comes off easily with white spirit. Simply leave your wall for a few days and then come back and wash it fully to remove the colourful chaos.

If all the above fails to work, it may be that you will need to use a solvent on your wall. Great care should be taken when doing this, as solvents by their nature will spread the stain out further. Try to work inwards to avoid this.


Grimy windows are unappealing at the best of times, blocking sunlight and your view outside, while also making the exterior of your home look grotty.

To resolve this, use hot water and soap to scrub every corner of your window, before using a squeegee to wipe the water away. Any excess that drips down can be picked up by a cloth and wrung out. Don’t bother using specialist glass cleaner on your windows, as they are usually redundant and contain harmful chemicals that can cause irritation.


Kitchen Cleaning Hacks


Everybody has seen or smelt a rancid bin in their time, and it’s no secret that bins are some of the hardest items to keep clean in a kitchen area. The UK wastes approximately 9.52 million tonnes of food a year, and much of this ends up dumped in kitchen bins, leading to all that nastiness collecting at the bottom and creating an almighty stench.

For this reason, it’s crucial to rinse out the bin first, either with a hose in your garden or inside your house. Then, to get rid of nasty odours, leave a pool of water at the bottom of the bin and mix it with 2-3 cups of white vinegar. This will target the worst affected area and keep your kitchen bin smelling fresh.


Hard floors such as tiles, laminate, vinyl, and hardwood are often used in kitchens and bathrooms to make them easier to clean. However, there is an optimal method for each floor type.

Make sure to always sweep or vacuum before mopping your hard floor, as mopping without removing debris and crumbs first will simply push and spread the dirt around. Sweeping or vacuuming will not only avoid this, but also make the mopping process much faster and easier. For a more comprehensive guide to floor hygiene, be sure to check out our article on Floor Cleaning Methods For Different Floor Types.

Fridges & Freezers

When opening a fridge, a funky smell will sometimes waft out. Whether that comes from outdated food or spilled milk, the underlying problem is often the same – fridges and freezers are always in use, and taking items out to clean what’s underneath will cause the food to spoil. This is highly inconvenient, but can be avoided by placing food in a cool box, or taking items outside during the winter months, to keep them at a cool temperature.

This allows you to tend to the actual fridge. Remove all shelves and drawers and let them soak in your bath while you wipe down the inside of the fridge. By the time you’re done, your shelves and drawers will only need a quick scrub and dry before being re-inserted. Then you can re-stock with your still-cold food items.


As a piece of equipment that is used routinely during cooking, hobs will quickly accumulate dirt and food debris. Depending on the type of hob, different cleaning methods may be required.

Electric hobs, such as induction or ceramic, tend to be easier to clean. Simply make sure the hob is off and cool enough to touch before cleaning the surface with disinfectant and a sponge. For tougher stains, leave the disinfectant on the surface for a few minutes before scrubbing.

As for gas hobs, there is a bit more disassembly required. Make sure the hob is off and cool to touch before removing the pan supports and gas caps. This will make it easier to get at hard-to-reach stains and scrub around the actual burners themselves.


Renowned for being one of the most difficult parts of the kitchen to clean, most brits very rarely clean their ovens, with some only wiping it down once every 18 months. In this time, grease and grime will coat the shelves, making the inside incredibly difficult to clean. Then there’s the risk of a spillage – grease dripping down into the bottom of your oven.

To clean your oven, wait until it reaches a cool temperature, then remove the oven shelves and place them in a bin bag. Add half a small bottle of household ammonia, seal the bag, and wait 24 hours for all the gunk to simply slide right off. As for dripping to the bottom – you can use an oven liner to catch the grease in the first place. If not, you may need to use special oven cleaning product to dislodge the embedded grime.


Bathroom Cleaning Hacks

Baths & Showers

A common problem spot for mould and mildew, baths and showers need to be cleaned regularly to keep them spotless. To start, fill up a bucket or large container with water and pour it carefully across the whole area. This container can then be filled up again with warm water and dish soap to be used as a makeshift cleaning bucket throughout the process.

Before you start scrubbing, make sure to sprinkle baking soda across all the bath’s surfaces, as this will help deal with the dirt. For particularly grimy tubs, sprinkle baking soda directly onto the sponge and apply greater pressure, while periodically rinsing the tub with water from your container. Finish up by polishing any faucets, drains, handles, and toiletry holders to leave a lasting sparkle to your washing facilities.


With 62% of UK households experiencing a blocked drain that led to a plumber being called out, it’s clear that drains are a key cause for concern. Whether in a shower or a sink, certain things such as hair or fats can clog the piping and lead to water pooling or draining slowly.

To fix a blocked drain before it worsens, remove the trap or grate to allow easy access. Specialist cleaning products are usually not needed, as vinegar is acidic enough to dissolve most of the blockage. Simply squirt it over the trap and down the drain to give the area a substantial clean. Dish soap can also work well for this.


Bathroom mirrors are always steaming up during showers, and will easily be marked or smudged from toothpaste or fingerprints. Makeup and fake tan can also leave tough stains, which should be removed by wiping with a dab of rubbing alcohol. Other than that, a general wipe from top to bottom will usually suffice for most mirrors.

To keep mirrors steam-free, wipe them with a drop of neat dish-washing liquid and buff with some kitchen towel. This should provide them with some protection for up to two weeks.

Shower Heads

While on the topic of blockages, showerheads are also at risk of becoming clogged. If your shower stream does not feel as powerful or full as before, there may be a limescale build up within the showerhead itself.

Following the same process as drain, unscrew the cap and use vinegar to clean and unblock the area. Never mix chemical products together, as this can cause a harmful chemical reaction.


The same de-clogging principle applies to faucets – soak the tap in vinegar and let the water run to clear any blockages. If the faucet is made of stainless steel (and this goes for anything else made of stainless steel), then you can polish it with flour to make the area sparkle that little bit more.


Cleaning toilets is an unpleasant job, but a necessary one. The best way to do this is to get stuck in with some rubber gloves and a cloth. While some people may prefer using a toilet brush, these items are unhygienic and have a tendency to collect more gunk and grime in the holder than it’s worth. Of course, it goes without saying that the gloves and clothes you use should be thoroughly washed afterwards.

It may be useful to remove the loo seat in its entirety, as this makes it far easier to reach behind the seat and clean around the hinges. Spray disinfectant on all surfaces and leave for a little while before wiping to ensure it has enough time to work. Don’t forget the toilet handle, as this harbours a great deal of bacteria.