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Tips & Advice

Life hack: Cleaning

By TerSL 15 May 2017

After a long day of lectures, work in the library, or struggling in bed from last night's antics, the last thing you want to do is clean.

But whether or not you're lucky enough to have someone clean your flat for you, sometimes you might hit that level that goes too far past the messy boundary and it's up to you and your flatmates to sort it.

The real secret to avoid that day long clean-up stint is to do it as you go along, but here are a few tips to make it a little easier when you don't...

  • Hack 1: Fake tidy
    Grab baskets, bins and bags and stash the things that are causing a clutter inside. If your container is open, place a nicely folded blanket over, and pray no one reaches for it during that midnight movie.
  • Hack 2: Microwave TLC
    The worst appliance to clean when all those 'ding' meals start splattering. Make it easier with a small mix of half water, half vinegar in a cup & microwave for 5 mins. The steam breaks down the dirt so stubborn sauces wipe away in seconds.
  • Hack 3: ALWAYS line your oven tray with foil
    Then peel it off and get back to Netflix. It'll save anything burning onto your tray AND save washing. In fact, put foil on everything you eat from and you'll never have to wash up!
  • Hack 4: Stop clutter on the counter
    Things always look tidier when together and in one place. So square up magazines, pile up FOLDED dishcloths, and stack up the dishes.
  • Hack 5: Not fancying washing up? Then don't
    On to your last portion of cereal? Just add milk to the bag! For cookies packaged in separate compartments - add milk to one of the sections and dip - no cup needed. When making a sandwich or toast use paper towel instead of a plate.
  • Hack 6: Make a dustpan from a milk bottle
    Take a look. It's simple, plus you're saving money and recycling.
  • Hack 7: Make your own cleaning solution
    A teaspoon each of salt, baking soda, and boiling water is all you need for a paste that should leave your cooking surfaces spick-and-span. 
  • Hack 8: Burnt your pan?
    It happens. Especially when you're constantly cooking that standard uni Pasta 'n' Sauce. Just cover the bottom with water, add a cup of white vinegar and bring to boil. Then remove from heat, add 2 tablespoons of baking soda, empty the pan and scour. Voilà! 
  • Hack 9: Lingering smells
    If the meal you cooked 2 days ago is still hovering, boil something fragrant like citrus peels or cinnamon sticks to make the room smell fresh again.
  • Hack 10: Hoovering
    Not exactly a hack but a quick once over with the hoover will instantly make any room look cleaner- even if the rest looks like a bombs hit it!

So that's surfaces, floors, drains, plates, pans and trays, sorted? I'm sure I don't have to tell you what drinkin' from the bottle is by now! 

A few more cleaning quick-fixes for out of the kitchen: 

  1. Sticky notes - for all those crumbs behind your keyboard. Just slide between the keys.
  2. Toothpaste - it'll restore the white parts on your trainers.
  3. Coca Cola - to clean the toilet. It's a miracle worker. Just pour and flush for a sparkling result.

How you choose to keep your bedroom is up to you, however communal areas SHOULD be different. So keep the mess down with these simple hacks.

We also suggest once a week having a clear out of those cups, bin bags and takeaway boxes you're hoarding up in your room...


TerSL is Teresa. She works for Derby Student Living and likes foreign travel, Spanish food and walking her dog Archie in the Peak District.
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