Cleaning Tips

7 top tips for scrubbing up your dream home

We know how much you First Time Triers want to get your foot on the ladder - that’s why we were surprised by the results of our recent survey.  We spoke to 2,000 First Time Triers and discovered that over a hefty half of you would be put off buying your dream home by sinister smells, one third by unsightly stains on the walls and 25% by general grubbiness. 

But where a pessimist thinks ‘pongy’, we see potential. A rough-around-the-edges property gives you a great opportunity to negotiate a good deal and put your own stamp on things.

While there are plenty of off-the-shelf products you can buy to get rid of the smells and the stains, we’ve put together a list of cheap but effective methods that will not only leave your new house squeaky clean but could also improve your quality of life.

Break the Mould

If the walls of your dream home are more mildew than mansion, add some bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to a bowl of water and go on a fungal killing spree!

Scale the Wall

Marks on the walls? Stir half a cup of white distilled or apple cider vinegar and a quarter of a cup of baking soda with eight pints of warm water in a bucket. Wipe this special solution over marked and stained walls with a sponge or cloth, rinse with clean water and soak up the results.

Freshen the Floor with Flower Power

Half a cup of chopped lavender flowers mixed with a cup of baking soda can relieve your carpet of any nasty whiffs. Sprinkle this wondrous concoction around like the domestic god or goddess you are, then vacuum it up and enjoy a fresher fragrance!

A Peace Lily’s for life, not just for Move-In Day

Start to scoot those smells from the house from day one with a little help from some house plants. Plants like peace lilies, Chinese evergreens, spider plants, English ivy and bamboo palms can drastically improve the quality of air in your home. Meanwhile, growing rosemary will release a continuous burst of essential oils into the kitchen, lavender will work as a natural relaxant in your bedrooms and bathrooms, and pots of mint around the house will make the air more breathable and ward away pesky insects.

Go Loca for Coca!

Did you know that fizzy cola can work wonders on your bathroom porcelain? Pour some full-fat, popular-branded cola into your loo and leave it for an hour before attacking it with a scrubbing device and watch in amazement as it starts to look sparkly clean.

Shampoo the Shine into your Sofa

If you’ve scrimped on your sofa to raise the deposit, here’s a little homemade remedy that can breathe new life into your faithful old couch. Make your own fabric shampoo by combining a cup of biodegradable soap and some warm water. Scrub-a-dub-dub by dabbing with a sponge and kick back in squeaky clean style.

Magic Carpet

For tough carpet stains, try making a paste using a tablespoon of white vinegar and a tablespoon of cornstarch. Rub it into the stain using a dry cloth, let it set for two days, then simply vacuum the stain away.