13 quick tips for cleaning your house

This week, I want to share with you my tips for using what you probably already have in your kitchen – and not necessarily in your cleaning cupboard either – to get everything sparkling. I’m a huge fan of finding exactly the right product for each task, but sometimes it’s best to act quickly rather than wait until you have time to pop to the shops. One of my favourite sayings is never let the perfect get in the way of the good, and this is certainly true when it comes to cleaning your house – so I hope you find these quick-and-not-so-dirty tips useful.

This is the last of my Notes columns, and I was thinking about what thoughts I wanted to leave you with. Essentially, this:

Never let a dirty floor get in the way of a good time. No one else will notice. And if they do, they’re not our kind of people.

13 quick tips for cleaning your house

Don’t save things for best. Use your good china, your nice linens, what are you waiting for? You are your own most honoured guest.

Don’t allow your home to become a guilt-ridden “to do” list. Do what you can, and then remember to enjoy it, with all its quirks and imperfections.

Top house cleaning tips


A can poured down the loo and left for a few hours or overnight helps to remove stains – simply flush them away. It is also good for removing rust from knives and other blades on small tools or garden equipment. Leave them to soak in the cola for an hour, then wash and dry as usual.


You can use it for a lot more than just thickening sauces. It’s highly absorbent, so it’s great for soaking up damp or oily stains and odours. To help brighten and sweeten carpets and rugs, mix two parts bicarbonate of soda with one part cornflour and add some drops of essential oil. Shake it on, leave it for 30 minutes, then vacuum thoroughly.


Its acidic nature and essential stickiness make ketchup a very good metal cleaner. Brush it on copper, silver and stainless steel and leave it for five minutes before washing off, rinsing and buffing dry.