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Don’t bin it – clean it!


A lot of items get needlessly binned when all they need is a good clean! But how do you clean those fiddly items? Our guide, ‘Don’t bin it – clean it!’ takes a look at some of the most common items that are needlessly binned and how to give them a new lease of life.

Draining boards

Plastic draining boards / dishes racks are especially susceptible to becoming mouldy and germ-ridden. As your dishes dry, and any remaining suds drain off your cooking utensils; your dishes rack is standing in less-than-clean water. This collects in the underside of the drainer, and gradually coats it in a mildew-like slime.

Homeowners can slow this process by lifting the draining rack after finishing drying the dishes and wiping away any water or food matter that may have collected, allowing your drainer to air and dry. However, invariably, you will find that over time, that undesirable slime-lime substance will still form in those hard to reach areas on the underside of the draining rack.

Rather than binning the draining board (as tempting as it may be); cleaning draining racks is a simple and hassle-free process.


Image: Credit to Berents /

What You’ll Need:

  • Sink or washing-up tub
  • Warm water
  • Washing up gloves (to protect your hands from the diluted bleach)
  • Cloth or sponge
  • An old toothbrush
  • Bleach

Step One

Fill your sink with some warm water and add a small amount of bleach.

Step Two

Soak your draining rack in the water for approximately 20 minutes (allow for longer if the mildew is particularly bad).

Step Three

Using your cloth or sponge, wipe away the majority of the slime. This will reveal some of the harder to clean areas, which can be reached with your old toothbrush.

Step Four

Once thoroughly cleaned, rinse your draining board with clean water. Allow the board to drain, then, using kitchen paper, attempt to dry the divots in the underside of the rack.


Image: Credit to Nickeline /

Bath Toys

Bath-time should be a fun experience for your children. Parents often submerge bath toys in their child’s bath water before squirting the toy towards the child (much to the child’s entertainment!). However, after regular use, parents may find that the bath toys expel black mould when squeezing them. Owing to the fact that young children are often prone to chewing their bath toys; it is vital that any mould is removed to reduce the possibility of harmful bacteria forming.


Image: Credit to MCarper /

What You’ll Need:

  • Sink or washing-up tub
  • Warm water
  • White wine vinegar
  • Small brush

Step One

Make your cleaning solution; this should be two parts of warm water to one part of white-wine vinegar. The vinegar is naturally acidic, which will aid in the removal of the mold.

Step Two

Squeeze the bath toys to rid them of any water residue, then allow them to soak up the vinegar solution.

Step Three

Allow for 10-15 minutes soaking time. Swirl the solution inside the toy to ensure that all of the interior has been reached.

Step Four

Using a small brush, scrub the toy, paying particular attention to the toy’s interior where most of the mold will form. The toy usually has a small access point where the water is taken in. A small wired brush may allow for more control – think a larger scaled tee-pee brush.

Step Five

Rinse the toys in clean water and allow the toy to dry. Toys should be dried thoroughly before use.

Your Trainers

Trainers and shoes can appear a whole lot older and more haggard than they really. Washing them can give your footwear a new lease of life. This can also help to remove pungent odours should the trainers have gotten wet, and can help to remove bacteria should the owner be suffering with Athletes Foot.


Image: Credit to Gilmanshin /

To clean your footwear, place them in your washing machine with a couple of bath towels – this will help to balance your wash load and will stop them from banging around in the machine. Add your regular amount of washing detergent, and maybe a scoop of an anti-bacterial product such as Napisan (this acts as a sanitiser, keeping your washing machine fresh for future use.) Set your washing machine on a cool wash and you’re set to go!

Greying Teddies

Place the teddy in a mesh laundry bag. On your washing machine’s settings, select ‘wash and rinse’. Using cold water will prevent any glue melting in the teddy. Also ensure that you use half the regular amount of washing detergent as to not damage the teddy. Once finished, you can set the machine on a second rinse cycle, which will help to remove all the soap. Then, you can peg the teddy on the line and allow it to dry naturally (fluffing the fur occasionally).


Image: Credit to melis /

Make-up brushes

Make-up brushes are simple to clean. All you need is some warm water, baby shampoo and paper towels.

Step One

Running the warm water, point your brush down towards the sink. When you wet the bristles, be careful not to get the area in which the glue attaches the bristles wet.

Step Two

Squeeze a small amount of baby shampoo onto the palm of your hand. Mix it into a lather using the damp brush bristles.

Step Three

Rinse the brush clean in warm water, again avoiding the glued area.

Step Four

Squeeze the bristles to remove excess water, then dry with a paper towel, remembering to reshape the bristles as you dry them.


Image: Credit to symbiot /

Shower Curtain

Shower curtains can become mottled with mildew over time. Orangey patches can appear alongside black specks on the surface of the curtain. However, the curtain needn’t be binned – it simply needs washing in the washing machine.


Image: Credit to nikitabuida /

Cleaning a shower curtain is simple. Place it in your washing machine with a couple of bath towels – this will help to balance your wash load and will also help to minimise creasing. Add your regular amount of washing detergent, and maybe a scoop of an anti-bacterial product such as Napisan (this will encourage the removal of mildew and act as a sanitiser, keeping your washing machine fresh for future use.) Et voila! Your shower curtain is as good as new!

Feature Image: Credit to ipag collection /

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