Red wine on the carpet. Tough grease on the oven. Incrustations on your bathroom tiles. Stains like these are the nemesis of time-strapped parents the world over. But here at Modern Military Mother, we’re not ones to give into the enemy easily. We will not resort to strategically placing a rug over the stain, getting used to the sticky oven or retiling the bathroom. So we’ve compiled some of the best ways for you to easily remove even the stubbornest stains.
A great natural stain remover is vinegar. For small household problems, such as a dirty microwave or kitchen counter, just use a spray bottle of white vinegar to wipe the dirt away. Have a smelly dishwasher? Just pour a couple of cups of white vinegar in the bottom and then run an empty cycle. We tried this and it made our dishwasher smell like new! Have stickers that are stuck onto something? Simply rub them with vinegar, let them sit for 10 minutes and then peel them off.
Vinegar is cheap, completely natural and kills bacteria like salmonella and E. Coli, so it’s a perfect everyday cleaning product.
Baking soda is another great and natural way to remove small, every day stains. If your fridge is starting to smell, just leave a small, open pot of baking soda in there and it will neutralise the odour. If you have burnt food stuck on your grill, you can pour a little baking soda on it and soak it for a couple of hours. Another great use is to clean hair brushes and combs. You can do this by soaking them in a baking soda and water solution.
Similarly to vinegar and baking soda, lemon juice can also be used to get rid of common household stains. Remove dried on food from inside your dishwasher by rubbing it with lemon. Combine lemon with baking soda and water to clean your oven and hob. To prevent limescale on taps, rub a lemon on them, leave them overnight and then wash them in the morning. Best of all, lemon leaves a nice, refreshing scent when you use it.
For the most stubborn stains you need the ultimate in household cleaning. This is where steam cleaners come in. There’s no high-tech hygiene wizardry behind it, just steam that blasts off stains with minimal hassle on your part and maximum results. It’s super family- and environmentally-friendly because it uses no harsh chemicals. It’s perfect for households that have allergy sufferers in as it kills dust mites, gets rid of allergens, and does it all using steam.
We have to admit, the karcher steam cleaners in particular are an amazing piece of kit. Forget soaking, sponging, spraying chemicals, sponging again, scrubbing again, and giving up; because steam quickly and effortlessly gets rid of stains in a matter of seconds. Think that mould in that tricky-to-reach corner of the bath has beaten you? Think again. A quick blast of steam and it will be packing its bags and waving goodbye. The same with lime scale on the loo, grout and that unidentifiable gunk that builds up around plug holes. Just point the nozzle of the steam cleaner, aim, and fire!
This has to be our favourite form of cleaning, as it is really rather fun (yep, we never thought we’d say that cleaning was fun either!).
Clare Macnaughton; a modern military mother; a feminist, British military spouse, and lifestyle journalist, writing about real life adventures.
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