Traditional cleaning hacks you should know – from DIY polish to freshening your clothes

Queen of Clean shares her tips of cleaning windows

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Household cleaning has become dominated by modern products and crafty hacks leading many of us to forget the timeless tricks used by past generations. Kitchen cupboard staples like baking soda and white vinegar have replaced commercial cleaning kits thanks to Mrs Hinch and Lynsey Crombie – ‘Queen of Clean’. With natural cleaning agents making a comeback, what are the traditional cleaning hacks you should know?

DIY scented humidifier

With condensation plaguing our homes throughout the winter, using a humidifier can seem counterproductive – but they can actually be very beneficial when battling a cold-weather illness like the flu.

If you use a wood-burning stove on a cosy winter evening, there’s an easy way to make your own humidifier with just a few household tools.

Fill an old metal coffee container with water (up to two thirds full) before adding a couple of cinnamon sticks and orange peel.

Place the filled can on the stove and wait for the scent to fill the room as the water gets hot.

Spiced mothballs

Keeping moths away from those chunky winter knits hanging in your wardrobe is easily done with some cinnamon and cloves.

These iconic winter spices make a warming moth-deterrent that can be scattered near your clothing.

Mix the oil of cloves and the oil of cinnamon into a bowl and soak cotton wool balls in the liquid mixture.

Place them in muslin bags and leave on the base of your wardrobe or hang them on clothes rails.

They can be scattered in a chest of drawers too, but be careful to keep the muslin tightly wrapped to avoid the oiled wool from seeping into clothes.

Walnuts for wood

Nuts are not only a great source of protein and fibre but they can also be used around the home.

Cleaning up scratched wooden surfaces like countertops, kitchen chairs or your dining table is easily done with a single pecan or walnut.

The waxy exterior of this tasty nut will restrain the wood and disguise nicks or scratches on your timber furniture.

Only ever use fresh nuts as these have the most oil – salted or coated nuts will not work the same way.

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Chewing gum remover

Removing sticky gum from clothing and furniture can be done with just one teaspoon of peanut butter.

Use creamy or smooth versions of this nutty toast topping for best results as they contain a higher quantity of oil.

Rub the butter into the gum and let the vegetable oil seep into the gum stain.

Peel off the residual gum and wash with soapy water to scrub off any excess stickiness.

Dairy polish

Buffing scuffs and stains on leather surfaces like sofas or bags can be easily solved using a dab of cow’s milk.

Pour the milk into a glass and take a clean cloth to soak up the milk before gently rubbing the stain.

Use a circular buffing motion to rub away the scuff, revealing a glossy leather finish.

Saucy brass cleanser

Use a splash of spicy Worcestershire sauce on a clean cloth to buff away dirt on brass surfaces.

Scented shirts

There is an easy way to add a subtle fragrance to your bed linen or work shirts when ironing, and it’s as simple as a splash of witch hazel.

Add a dash of alcohol-free witch hazel liquid to your iron when filling up the water compartment.

When you steam your iron, it will release a sweet yet fresh fragrance while removing creases from lighter fabrics.

Minty bin

Filling up your bin with leftover winter stews can quickly leave your bin liner smelling unpleasant.

Throw in a sprig of fresh mint to take the edge off and mask some of the scents without working your way through the bin liners too fast.

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