The rise of TikTok cleaning hacks has opened our eyes to household items we’ve been cleaning wrong this whole time.
A viral video from TikTok user @mrslaurenelms explains that when washing normally, fabric softeners, body oils and minerals can remain on your towels and leave coloured residue or stains. Laundry stripping is the solution to removing any build-up.
How to laundry strip: Fill a bathtub with hot water and a mixture of detergent, laundry booster and sodium carbonate (washing soda). Ensure they dissolve first before adding the towels - the chemical reaction before dissolving could speed up colour change and stain retention. Add the laundry and let it soak for up to four hours. Finish by running the load through a water-only cycle in the washing machine.
Laundry stripping is great for linen and towels, but it isn’t recommended for colour clothing as it can cause the colours to run.
Shower curtains and mats
Shower mats and curtains are rarely changed often enough, and moist bathrooms can them with a mildew build-up or bad smell.
First tackle issues of mildew or mould: Fold curtains and mats inwards to prevent mould spores from spreading. Lay them on the ground either outside or on non-carpet flooring and brush away as much mould as possible. Fill a tub with hot water and four tablespoons of non-chlorine bleach and then add the mat/curtain. Let it soak for an hour, then shake and rinse in a tub of fresh water. If the curtains need an extra wash, simply add them to a normal cycle.
Most of us run toothbrushes under water before and after brushing, but this doesn’t mean they are clean - especially between bristles. The University of Manchester discovered that your toothbrush is home to more than 100 million bacteria including E. coli and staphylococci (Staph).
How to clean toothbrushes: One way to combat bacteria build-up in your toothbrush is by soaking it in antibacterial mouthwash. Stir the bristled end in it for 30 seconds, and voila!
If you don’t have mouthwash, dissolving a denture cleanser or mixture of two teaspoons baking soda in water works just as well.
Limescale build-up is common in the bathroom, mostly developing on taps, bathroom fittings and in between tiles.
To remove limescale from taps, soak a cloth with a half vinegar, half water solution and wrap it around. Leave for a few hours or overnight, then if required, scrape away residue. You could even use the 1p coin trick as seen on TikTok!
Another way to tackle limescale is with lemon juice, using the same method as above, or simply wiping surfaces with it. Remember to rinse the surfaces clean afterwards and to wash any microfibre cloths or sponges used - End of Tenancy London recently warned that overused sponges can harbour E. coli, so it’s important to replace them every week or wash them thoroughly after each use.
Most Brits use bleach or another disinfectant, scrub and then simply wash out the toilet bowl to clean it. But as TikTok user @imagineitdone reveals, that’s not enough.
On top of cleaning the toilet bowl, pay close attention to the tank. Open the lid of the toilet tank and flush to lower the water level slightly. Coat a brush with baking soda and scrub around the inner sides. Then add a chlorine tablet to the tank, so that the source of the flush is clean.
A common misconception is that the bathtub doesn’t need regular cleaning as we wash in it. Unfortunately, this isn’t true.
How to clean the bathtub: To reduce strong fumes, open windows and doors and/or turn on a fan before starting. Spray the tub and shower area with a bathroom cleaner (general or bathtub specific) and leave for 20 minutes. Then simply wipe and rinse clean.
Interestingly, grapefruit is another neat way to clean the bathtub! Revealed by TikTok user @aligrams3, add sugar to half a grapefruit and start scrubbing – the acidity tackles hard water and soap residue, and brings a delightful smell to the bathroom. Just remember to rinse off afterwards.
Written by Laura Solloway
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