cleaning hacks for lazy students

It’s early Friday morning, your head is pounding from the 2-4-1 cocktails last night, and your 9 am lecture flew out of the window hours ago. There’s nothing you want to do more than snuggle under your duvet and become a human burrito, BUT your parents have announced they’re in the city today and they ‘might just swing by for a cup of tea or two’. Here are some cleaning hacks to speed up the process and hopefully one day get your deposit back from your money-grabbing landlord.

Use old socks to clean blinds.

Student houses love blinds because they’re less hassle and cheaper than curtains. However, they’re an absolute nightmare to clean, and if you use a duster, it tends to push the dust into the air causing it to settle right back where you just cleaned. If you put an old sock onto your hand and spritz it with water or antibacterial spray, you can run your hand over the blind panels and effectively catch the dust before it flies all over the place. It also means you can clean dust from both sides of the slat at once.

Red wine stains

Everybody has that one housemate who loves Merlot and gives you a heart attack every time he or she pours a glass at pre-drinks. It’s important with alcohol stains to tackle them as soon as they happen (if you’re in a fit state to), so for red wine, sprinkle baking soda on top and let it sit until lovely light pink paste forms. Scrub and wipe the area until it looks better and repeat the process if the stain is still there. If all else fails, buy a nice rug.

Stained Bathroom Sink

Sometimes bleach won’t do the trick. Sprinkle some baking soda into the (dry) sink, add a bit of dish soap and scrub to your heart’s delight. If the stain won’t shift, add some lemon juice too and leave the paste on for an hour before scrubbing it away.

Lint roller to dust

Again – dust is the worst. It’s easier to use the brush attachment on a hoover than a duster in most circumstances, but when you can’t (i.e. a lampshade that might split from suction), a lint roller is a lifesaver. H&M sell them near their tills for only £1.99, and the paper can be ripped off in layers once they lose its stickiness. If you can’t get hold of one, wrapping parcel tape around your hand can work just as well.

Ruined Microwave

Students’ microwaves are always vile, and that’s a fact. One too many ready meals and there’s crusted stains all over the place that seem impossible to move. You could buy a new one from Sainsbury’s for around £30 so your landlord doesn’t make a fuss, or you could microwave a damp sponge for a few minutes so that the steam can help loosen dried food. Alternatively, white vinegar and lemon juice heated in the microwave will also do the trick. If you’ve really messed up the microwave, you might have to repeat this process a few times before you give up and grab a new one.

Clean Wood

Wood is very tricky to clean, and you must try avoiding soaking or scrubbing, or you’ll damage the finish. If there’s food-stained onto a wood cabinet, you can gently scrub the area with vegetable oil, baking soda and a toothbrush. If it’s a varnished surface with a mug ring on or the like, diluting white vinegar on a mostly dry cloth should do the trick.

Cleaning Grout

When multiple students use the same bathroom over an extended period, things can get grimy. If you can clear the shower for long enough, mix bleach and baking soda together and use an (old) toothbrush to push it in between the tile gaps. It’s best to leave it overnight and give it a good scrub in the morning before rinsing it off. For the showerhead, tie a sandwich bag full of baking soda and vinegar over the nozzle and leave that overnight too.

Clean the Grill

Peel and chop a white onion, stick in on the end of a fork and rub it back and forth over the grates of the hot grill – the onion should help loosen the oil build-up on the metal. Just make sure to rinse the tray after unless you want everything to taste like onions!

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