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(for other cleaning tips see our Kitchen and Living Room pages.

My tip is for cleaning stains on plastic such as tupperware:

1) soak it in water using denture stain removal tablet
2) use one part bleach and 4 parts water and soak the item.

Make sure you wear protective gloves and wash your hands and the item you are de-staining thoroughly afterwards

Nick Wareham


We've just had an open fireplace restored and brought back into use.  We ordered a black slate hearth, but when it arrived, it looked dry, dusty, matt and decidedly grey rather than black.  However, the fitter told me the secret of making it black and glossy - WD40!  

Spray over lightly and spread evenly using a kitchen towel.  The result is truly magical (just allow a couple of hours for the smell to disappear before lighting the fire).  Worked well on the old hearth in the other room too, after removing dust and surface deposits.

Sarah Nicholson

Just a word of warning here - some people do not recommend the use of WD40 on some slate and, in fact, too much can stain some types of slate and finishes.  Others, however, swear by it.  This remedy is used at your own risk, test on a hidden area first.

An easy way to remove tea stains, even dried on ones is to soak in a strong solution of washing soda or bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and very hot water for at least 20 mins, preferably a couple of hours and wash as normal.

Maureen Barnes

If you have a smelly refrigerator, just get two newspapers pages, and roll them both up into a ball; put one on the top shelf and the second on the bottom shelf and the smell will be gone before you know it

 Sanyia Sadiq

The large cylindrical pedal bins are popular in UK, but when the bag is full, the bin liner often sticks to the inner metal part. 

A good remedy is to spray the inside regularly with a SILICONE SPRAY, such as STP Silicone Spray Lubricant or similar. The bag will slide out much easier.

Tony Davis

Got dull uPVC window frames? Polish them up with cheap car polish to restore the as new shine. Dirt beads off every time it rains. Have even tried this on the soffits & barge –boards (the plastic bits near the roof) with amazing results but get somebody to foot the ladder first! 

Martin Kitchin

If you live in an area which is prone to limescale, saucepans often begin to get a grey and spotted deposit inside. A couple of squirts of lemon juice swished round in a little hot water and left to stand for a few minutes (or longer if it is really bad) brings up a brilliant shine without effort.

Rodney Tibbs

I would like to add a tip on foggy windows. I use Ivory Soap. I put a little on the glass and polish in on there and the window doesn't fog up. It also works great on bathroom window after a shower.

Joe Price

Line your grill pan with aluminium foil, this will save you a lot of time scrubbing after use, just discard the foil, wash and reline the pan ready for the next time.

 Sue Wand

Cast Iron Cookware. When Cast Iron cookware gets burnt on food or if you get a deal at a garage sale but the pan looks like you would never use it in a lifetime it can be made to factory new condition.

Just place it in a self-cleaning oven (not continuous clean) when you do a clean cycle. The high temperatures will burn the food to a dust and then a simple wash and dry and season as if it were new.

Bob Chochinov

To keep tiles, basins and baths shining and to help prevent limescale and dirt building up between cleans - use furniture polish.

Clean the area in the usual way and dry it. With a clean cloth use furniture polish (as cheaper brand as you like) to lightly 'polish' the area and keep it sparkling!

Peta Dunn

Clean stained sinks by pouring soap powder into it, rub gently with cloth and rinse well.

Saragh Shoemake 

Baby oil can be used to clean granite or stainless steel.

Use an old toothbrush to clean behind taps which are close to the wall or other hard to reach places.

Saragh Shoemake

Baby sterilising fluid can be used to clean work surfaces, chopping boards, bread boards, mugs, teapots, dishes.  After use the same solution can be used to freshen up dishcloths, sponges, vegetable brushes etc. (take care not to splash fabric etc.) and then, finally, pour down drains to keep them smelling fresh.

Lin Vickery 

Keep the water in which an egg has been boiled to clean up the spoon afterwards.

Don't use hot water to clean up egg or milk as this "cooks" them and makes them stick to the container.  Rinse under cold tap before washing in warm, soapy water.

 Lisa Elder.

To clean up a broken egg pour a handful of salt over it, leave for a few minutes, the salt will harden the egg enabling it to be cleaned up more easily.


Watermarked aluminium pots and pans can be cleaned by boiling up tomatoes (tinned or otherwise).

 Alethea Amsden.

I thought I would send you this tip I got from a professional cleaner. If you have brushed aluminium in your kitchen e.g. cooker hob and you find it hard to make it look really good, mine watermarks easily, just before the mother in law comes round, put a little bit of baby oil on a cotton wool ball and rub it gently over the surface, it looks great. not a permanent solution but a great tip.

Lois Prismall

When we moved our stove changed from a glass cook top to an enamel gas burner.

The glass stove top cleaner works great on the white enamel no scratches at all. Also works great on the inside of the glass door of the pellet stove.

I've found no differences between brands or pricing. I use the least expensive.



To avoid white watermarks in pans when boiling puddings, eggs etc., add a little vinegar to the water (cider vinegar is less potent if you don't like the smell).

 Alethea Amsden.

Many modern deep fat fryers are dishwasher proof (check the instructions first!). This is best done after every fry up or at least every couple of weeks, because otherwise you get a sticky layer which the dishwasher can't get off.

If, however, you left it a bit long, how do you get rid of the sticky layer? I found that you can scrape most of it off with a plastic utensil (not metal or you'll damage the non-stick coating).

The last residues come off really easily if you rub them with a little plain flour. It sticks to the residues, stops your fingers sticking and is mildly abrasive but won't damage the pan. A quick rub and the job's done.

Peter Lapinskas

To make cleaning grill pans easier half fill the pan with water prior to commencing the grilling, afterwards to clean just tip the remaining water down the sink and wipe out with a damp cloth with a little bit of dishwashing liquid.

This tip was sent in by a professional (Paul Harratt).  I did query whether this had any effect on the food being cooked as I thought it may partially steam the items in question.  Paul assured me this was not the case, however, I must confess when I tried it out I could not get the food being grilled to crispen as it would normally.

Cleaning Oven/Stove Shelves.... those grids that go black - Go to local Do-It Yourself store... get an 'underbed plastic storage box'. Best done outside, near a drain..., wear rubber gloves ... part fill with water, add a tub of caustic soda. Place shelves / pans in overnight, soaking in caustic. Remove shelves in morning, wash off...bright and shiny!!!.

Warning - caustic soda should be handled with extreme care.


The following solution has been provided by Martha S -

Use this method for the easy way to clean oven shelves, chip and fry pans, grill and roasting pans and barbeque grills and racks.

You need some strong black bin liners, rubber gloves. A bottle of household ammonia - this is not ordinary bleach and you wont find it on the supermarket shelves - though an expensive product called 'ovenpride'works in a similar way! Go to an old fashioned hardware/housewares shop. The bottle of liquid comes in a childproof sealed container and costs about 2.

Method. Put the gloves and apron on. Work in a well ventilated area, best outside. Put racks and, pans in the bag - not too many at once and slug in some of the liquid. Tie the top of the bag. Leave for a few hours - overnight would be good. Rinse off gloves and remove.

When the items are done. Put gloves on remove the items and wash them well, you wont need to scrub, the gunge and grease will just slide off. 

Rinse bag and dispose of responsibly.


DO NOT do this job around young children or pets. Keep the product right away from them in the locked container.

DO NOT attempt to do this job if you are a severe asthmatic, get someone else on it while you go out!

Ammonia is very fumy be careful work in a well ventilated space.

You'll get very clean and sparkling results on your pans and racks.

NEVER mix ammonia and bleach - this can prove fatal.


Use White Spirit to remove sticky brown fat from cooker area. Apply with a cloth wetting/working in the area, the grease is easy to remove after a min or two. After cleaning of with rags finish off with water and washing up liquid. (White Spirit is what is used for thinning household oil base paint, it's not turpentine substitute but that may even work.)



Do not use around naked flames.  White spirits can also damage some plastics. 

See Kitchen Safety tips


Washing powder has a fat base, this tends to build up in the machine and pipes. May even smell nasty. Take 3 lb bag of ordinary washing soda, throw in machine, do full hot wash. If you don't want to be embarrassed, don't look now.... The colour of the water when I first did this was grey-black!!!!So, I repeated the wash with more soda, and it looked very clean, no smell at all. Even cleaned the drain nicely.

Colin Bell 

Be careful when handling washing soda and it can irritate skin and eyes.  Also this does seem and huge amount to use especially as washing soda is the main ingredient of many laundry products and I am not sure whether, after time, this would have a detrimental affect on washing machines.

The manufacturers themselves also warn that Super Washing soda should not be used on aluminium surfaces, no-wax floors, fibreglass sinks, tubs or tiles, or wool or silk fabrics and should not be used to clear blocked drains.

Many years ago I experienced a blocked drainage pipe which turned out to be caused by the build-up of washing powder.  It can fur up the inside pipes like arteries and becomes rock hard, like concrete, until it eventually blocks completely.  Since that time I have always used washing liquid rather than the powder.

Krud Kutter removes almost anything and is non-toxic, biodegradable, non-flammable and non-abrasive. It is great to clean stains off glass, latex paint and wallpaper adhesive, almost anything!

J. Trester

My cleaning tips are to clean a dirty tide marked bath use Swarfega Hand Cleansing Gel put on a soft, damp cloth or soft pan cleaning cloth, not to hard to avoid scratching the bath. and then rub it all over the tide mark areas of the bath then wash it out with warm water.

Stephen Mclean

Stephen used this on a plastic bath with no ill effects but, as always, we cannot guarantee results - test on a hidden area first to ensure no adverse effect.

Always good to get personal recommendations for particular products.

Cleanspiration is a hub of cleaning tips and advice. Simply select the room you need to clean, then the type of surface and follow the guides.











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