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Cleaning Tips for Common Household Problems

Faridah Wu

Thu May 29 2014

cleaning tips for common household problems

EVERY house gets dirty, and sometimes soap and water isn’t enough! From blocked sinks and burnt pots to make-up stains, Faridah Wu shares some cleaning tips for when you find yourself in a bind.

cleaning tips for common household problems

It can happen at any time. Maybe you were in a rush or you weren’t quite paying attention. But either way, now you’ve got a stain on your shirt or you’ve burnt the bottom of your pot. Maybe your sink is blocked and you’re staring at a whole lot of water that refuses to flow down your sink.

Here are some quick cleaning tips for common household problems. Store this article somewhere safe because you never know when you’ll need to whip it out and figure out how to clean your house before a guest arrives!

Blocked sink

So you’ve moved in for a while now, and all of a sudden the water in your bathroom or kitchen sink isn’t flowing down any more. It might be moving more slowly, or worse, it might have stopped completely.

While you can lodge a maintenance request, especially if you’re living in a rental apartment or a unit in student accommodation, you can also try these tips to unclog your sink.

Most cleaning brands would offer cleaning gels or crystals that help clear blockages. They work by destroying leftover grime, soap or hair that remain somewhere in your sink’s drain. Be sure to follow the instructions and wear gloves while handling the product.

Image: Faridah Wu

Store-bought cleaners such as Mr Muscle work well to unclog drains and can be found in any cleaning aisle of supermarkets. Image: Faridah Wu

Alternatively, you could also use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Simply pour half a cup of baking soda down the sink, followed by half a cup of vinegar. The mixture will fizzle immediately, so just pour hot water down the sink once it dies down.

Burnt Pots

Keep that vinegar and baking soda, because they are going to come in handy! If you’ve left a pot on the stove for too long, don’t worry. Just add some vinegar and water to the pot, and bring to boil. After that, turn off the stove and add some baking soda.

Let the mixture fizz, then pour it away. Scrub the pot, and the burnt stains should come off easily. Add a little baking soda for the more stubborn marks.


1. Make up

Don’t you just hate it when your lipstick gets smudged on your sweater just as you take it off? Or when you absent-mindedly rub your eye and come away with some eyeliner or mascara on your sleeve? Just soak the stain in water, then dab some laundry detergent on the stain before throwing it into the washing machine. Set the hot water to the highest temperature that your clothing item can withstand. Simply repeat if there are still remnants of the stain after washing.

2. Blood

As for period stains (boys, you can skip to the next point now), blot the stain as much as possible before washing. Daiso has a detergent in a pink bottle that works as a miracle to remove period blood stains. Just add some directly to the stain and hand wash it under running water, and just watch the stain wash off!

3. Microwave residue

cleaning tips for common household problems how to clean a microwave

What would an international student’s life be like without a microwave? From heating up leftovers, warming up a drink, to even cooking dishes, a microwave is totally indispensable.

Somehow, there will always be stains on the inside of a microwave. All you have to do to get rid of them is microwave a bowl of hot water for 5 minutes. Adding lemon or baking soda to the water is optional, but would definitely help. After that, just wipe down the interior of the microwave with a clean cloth.

Have you got a cleaning tip to share? Do you have any other household cleaning problems that need solving? Let us know in the comments below!