What's the best motivational tool for keeping your house tidy? It's easy – just make sure you have at least one visitor (preferably one of your more grown-up friends or your mum) to stay every month.
You can see how it works. There's something, how shall we say…distasteful about letting a loved-one see your pants sitting on the radiator or hairballs rolling across the bathroom floor like tumbleweed.
The issue, of course, is finding the time to hide your grubbiness. Tidying is boring and cleaning is about as much fun as school netball. That's why we're always on the lookout for a good quick-fix. If there's an ingenious way to make household chores easier (and save money in the process) we'll snap it up quicker than a game of snap. And that's pretty snappy.
And we're not the only ones. A survey by online bed and bath retailer Dapw.co.uk has revealed the UK's most popular household tips - and it seems we all love a good shortcut. From cleaning advice to keeping things neat and orderly, here are ten of our favourites...
1. Clean the loo
Pour half a large bottle of the cheapest coca cola down the toilet and leave for an hour. Flush away and the bowl will be left shining and clean.
2. Keep your white bed linen white and fresh
Add the juice of a fresh lemon to your wash cycle.
3. Remove chewing gum from clothes
Dab on some lightly beaten egg white. This causes it to crumble and lose its gumminess, and it can then be sponged away on most fabrics.
4. Keep an open bag of salad fresh
Put a piece of kitchen towel inside. This will absorb the moisture and the salad will last longer.
5. Reduce dust mites
Run the vacuum over your mattress every time you change your bedding.
6. Stop bananas going brown
Pull them apart before displaying them in your fruit bowl. They'll ripen and go brown slower.
7. Make candles last longer
Put them in the freezer a couple of hours before burning. Chilling the wax slows down the time it takes before it burns through. It can also cause some candles to drip less.
8. Get rid of unwanted kitchen smells
Bake some orange peel in the oven for 10 or 15 minutes.
9. Store bedding sets neatly
Place matching duvet cover and pillowcases inside one of the pillowcases to make it easier to find the set.
10. Clean a really grimy tiled floor
Mash up some dishwasher tablets with hot water into a runny paste. Scrub onto the floor with the mixture and leave for 30 minutes. Scrub off with a stiff brush and wash.
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