Blog Cleaning

Cleaning Hacks: How To Clean The Hard To Clean Things

Cleaning can often mean a lot of physical labour and a huge amount of time. Not anymore. Learn to clean like a pro.

We have all spent hours dealing with tough to clean stains and spots around the house. There are some things that no amount of scrubbing can get truly clean. Well, you think so. There is a clever person somewhere who has discovered how to clean just about anything without too much physical input. In this post, we will learn from these genius cleaners some really neat cleaning hacks that will teach us to clean even the most dreaded of things in a jiffy.

Nightmares of Cleaning

There are many things within our house that give us the nightmares when we think of cleaning them. They take a lot of time and effort to be really clean. Sometimes you just wish that you could throw these things out and bring in new ones, rather than clean them. But, sadly, most of these things are expensive and cannot be replaced in a hurry. Hence we have to clean them come what may. Some of these nightmares of cleaning include:

  • Ovens
  • Cooking Stoves/Hobs
  • Grills and Barbecues
  • Tiles and Grouting
  • Kitchen Hoods

Set your nightmares to rest now. Learn how to clean these difficult to clean things easily.

How to Clean ….

Some of the tips shared here involve baking soda. We have already discussed the power of baking soda as a cleaner in a previous post. If you have been reading blog posts, you could not have missed it. Besides baking soda, we will learn to use some other common household products to clean up hard to clean areas. So let us roll up our sleeves and get down to tackling that dirt!

Burnt Pots and Pans

All of us have kitchen accidents. Food that is burnt and stuck to the pan is one of the most common accidents that happens in the kitchen. Cleaning a pot with a layer of burnt food on it is not an easy task. All of us have spent hours trying to scrape up the burnt food off the pan and cursed ourselves for letting it get burnt. Here is a quick way to clean up all the burnt bits off the pan.

Add some boiling water to the pan. It should be enough to cover the entire burnt area. Add two tablespoons of baking soda to it. Set the pan aside for a few hours or overnight. Now clean the pot, all the burnt and scorched food will come off easily without any effort. Give the pan a good scrub and it is sparkly clean again!

Dirty Oven

One of the hardest to clean appliances is the oven. There are many commercial cleaners available but these can be expensive and some of them do not really deliver on the promise. So here too is the baking soda to the rescue. Remove all the racks from the oven. Soak them in warm soapy water for a while then use a scrubber to dislodge stuck and burnt food. Leave to dry.

Meanwhile, prepare a paste with the following ingredients: Enough baking soda to coat the entire oven A few Drops of dish washing liquid Enough Vinegar to make a paste with baking soda and the dish washing liquid

Combine all the ingredients together and apply a thin film of it all over the oven. Leave it on for a few hours or overnight. Clean with off the paste with a wet dish cloth. Scrub at the tough spots with a scrubber. Wipe clean. Replace the racks. Your oven is spotlessly clean and ready to go. A little tip for the spills on the floor of the oven. Use a Teflon baking mat to cover the bottom of the oven. All spills will be taken care of. Just remove the mat every few days clean in warm soapy water and replace again for the next batch of baking!

Microwave Ovens

While on the topic of ovens, we should not ignore the microwave ovens either. Though they rarely get as dirty as the conventional oven, they still need a clean once in a while as grease builds up over time. Thankfully it takes little to clean the microwave ovens. Add some water to a microwave safe bowl. Add half a lemon to the water. Boil the water on high for 2 3 minutes. Then let the water sit in the microwave for a few minutes so the steam can build up and do its work of loosening the food particles stuck to the insides of the oven. Now remove the bowl and clean the inside with a soapy dishcloth. Scrubbing over the tougher spots. Wipe it clean with a damp cloth. Not only will the microwave be sparkly clean, it will smell good too. The lemon acts as a deodorizer and removes all the stale food odour from the oven.

Cooking Hobs/ Glass Top Stoves

Cleaning cooking tops can be tricky, especially if you do not clean it after every meal. The grease and food particles can be hard to get rid of if not dealt with instantly. If you have neglected the cooktop for a while and it needs a good clean, you can use baking soda and vinegar to clean it up quickly without much effort. Apply a paste as described above for ovens. Leave for a while and wipe clean with a damp cloth. Use a scrubber on the hard to clean spots and your cook top is clean again. Take care not to scratch the surface when scrubbing off tough stains off the glass topped hobs and stoves.

Grills and Barbecues

Here is another cleaning nightmare waiting for you. But this too can be tackled either with rubbing alcohol or with the vinegar, dishwashing liquid and baking soda paste as described above. Use a wire brush for the hard to reach and tough spots on the grill and the barbecue.

Kitchen Hoods

This is perhaps the most dreaded item to clean in a kitchen. It is filthy and greasy and very hard to get completely clean. But there is a hack for this too. Remove the grill and the filter. Soak it in warm soapy water for a bit and then give it a thorough clean with a scrubber and a brush. For the main unit, take some rubbing alcohol on a rag and wipe the greasy areas with it. Watch the grease melt away as you wipe it. Rubbing alcohol helps cut grease out instantly. Repeat the process till the hood is completely rid of the built up grease.

Water Rings on Varnished Surfaces

This is perhaps the worst nightmare of all. Expensive lacquer polish and varnish on wooden furniture destroyed by water marks and rings. People will place glasses and mugs casually on lacquered furniture without thinking of the consequences. You end up with ugly marks on your beautiful furniture that is hard to treat. Or you thought is hard to treat and expensive to repair. Lacquer polish is very expensive and not everyone can afford to re-polish a piece of furniture every time someone carelessly rests a damp cup or glass on it.

Now you can treat those ugly rings without having to spend a fortune on polishing it again. Here is how to do it. Just take a blow dryer or a blow gun. Set it on high and hold it close above the mark. Let the hot air do its trick. You will observe the mark slowly disappear. It may take up to 20 minutes for the mark to completely disappear, so this requires a bit of patience. Once the mark is gone, rub the entire surface with a little linseed oil to seal in the varnish.

Sofa and Couch

The sofa and couch in the living room can get extremely dirty with food crumbs, lint and spills. This is another nightmare to clean. Not anymore. Use rubbing alcohol to deal with any food spills. Apply a little rubbing alcohol to the spill and then gently clean the area with either a damp cloth or a soft brush to get rid of the greasy stain. Use a bit of sticky tape or a lint brush to pick up all the crumbs and lint from even the hard to get to areas between the cushions. Now sprinkle some baking soda generously over the sofa and leave overnight. Use a vacuum cleaner to pick up all the baking soda and remaining dust and dirt off the sofa. Your sofa will get a new makeover. Not only will it be clean but also smell nice.

Cleaning Tiles

You have two options to clean tiles. You can use a strong solution of regular toilet cleaner and water or you can use a paste of baking soda and vinegar to clean the tiles. Either will take care of those water marks and splashes. Just apply the solution or the paste all over the tiles. Leave for a few minutes and wipe clean with a wet cloth or sponge. It will also help to clean the grout between the tiles. You may want to use a soft brush to clean the grout.


Clean showerheads painlessly. Just take a plastic bag fill it with a little vinegar and tie it around the showerhead so that it is submerged in the vinegar. Leave for a few hours. Now take off the bag, use a hard brush to take off all the built up crud.

If you have a maid, you can teach these skills to her to cut down her cleaning time and save yourself some money. If you live in Dubai and require a maid or a cleaning service, there are many good agencies offering domestic services. Hiring a cleaning service or a maid online in Dubai is now easier with You can look at a number of agencies and the services they offer on the website and pick up one that is closest to your home and matches your criterion. You can book a maid online and keep track of all the work you have assigned to her through the app.

[Read our blog] for more informative and entertaining articles on babysitting, cleaning and caregiving. Keep up with our favourite working woman Natasha and her experiences of living in Dubai through the Chronicles of a Working Woman.

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