Old-fashioned Cleaning Tricks that Still Work's featured image

Inheritance comes in all shapes and sizes: large sums of money, treasured heirlooms, secret family recipes like Granny’s shortbread or Uncle Bill’s BBQ rib glaze. Once in a while, an indispensable pearl of wisdom trickles down too, such as strange and wonderful ways to clean your home. Here’s a list of some old-fashioned cleaning tips we’ve put to the test – consider it an inheritance from our MOLLY MAID family to your family!

Make your own Rhubarb Patch 

This is going to sound like a tall tale, but stewed rhubarb can get rust stains off your clothes! Believe it or not, all you have to do is spread the jam-like substance all over the stain and leave it for a few hours. Wash off the rhubarb and then wash the garment like you normally do. The recipe for the rhubarb hack is super simple: chop up 2-3 stalks of rhubarb, including the leaves. Cover them with a bit of water. Boil for 10 minutes, and let cool. Add the fruit stew to stained clothing.

Some Egg-cellent Advice 

As handy as they are, thermos flasks become instantly faithful to the scent of whatever you pour into them. Luckily, it’s easy to remove strong scents like soups, stews or coffee from your thermos with just a few kitchen staples. Once you’ve emptied and washed your thermos, add eggshells from two eggs, and fill your thermos up with white vinegar. Leave it overnight, then rinse with hot water in the morning and the odour should be gone!

Vinegar: The Modern Day Do it All

These days, with a cleaning product designed for every single item in your home, walking through the cleaning product aisle can be chaotic and expensive. But did you know that white vinegar (which is a fraction of the cost of any cleaning product) can remove lime scale, clean your windows, polish stainless steel and sanitize your major appliances, you’re your dishwasher and washing machine? To remove the slime, sludge and mould that gathers in a front-loading washing machine door, pour about a teaspoon of white vinegar on a microfibre cloth and wipe the bellow seal – watch that gunk disappear!

DIY Air Freshener 

In the olden days, there was no such thing as room freshener sprays or fragrance diffusers. They may have been short on consumer goods, but they weren’t short on imagination when they came up with the scented light bulb trick. Lightly soak a cotton ball with pure vanilla extract (don’t use artificial vanilla extract). Rub the cotton ball all over a cold light bulb. Twist the bulb back in place, turn on the light switch, and as the light bulb warms up the room will begin to smell delicious! You can use any essential oil (only use 1 or 2 drops of oil) or your favourite perfume (only use one spray).


(Photo by Annie Spratt)