As a self-managing landlord, cleaning your property can be a right pain. With everything else on your list, scrubbing stubborn stains and dealing with dreaded mould is a task you’d rather avoid.
To make your life that little bit easier, landlords across the country have shared their secret hacks and top tips for giving your property a good old spring clean.
Marks and indentations left by furniture in the carpet are a real nuisance. One way of getting your carpet back to normal is to use ice cubes – who knew? Placing them over the marks will lift them right out, however, be conscious of your carpet type as ice cubes on hessian carpets may cause browning – so watch out!
If you’d rather give the ice the cold shoulder, a handheld steamer is also a nifty way to get rid of those pesky dents and return your carpet to mint condition.
“I had red candle wax on cream carpet! To get it out, I put a damp towel on the wax, ironed over it and pulled the wax right off – not damaging the carpet at all! “Natalie, Operations Manager at LettingaProperty.com
If you allow pets at your property (or perhaps you just have a very hairy tenant) your carpet may need some serious TLC. Using a hard-bristled brush will easily remove hair from cats, dogs or humans and lift the pile of your carpet at the same time.
When supplying your property with appliances, you want to keep them in good condition.
The last thing you want to do is give your next tenant a microwave with your last tenant’s spaghetti stains still stuck to the sides of it – so here’s a few tips to keep in mind.
Oven Pride is a popular one for – you guessed it – ovens and grills. Simply put your wire racks into the bag with the solution and use the rest to clean the inside of the oven. For the hob, Brasso works wonders on ceramic plating.
If you’ve not got time to nip to the supermarket, one landlord has recommended using a dishwasher tablet to wipe your oven. Simply wetting the tablet and sliding it across the glass panel will lift the grime right off.
It seems that bicarbonate soda is the holy grail for cleaning-savvy landlords. Putting a bowl of water with two tablespoons of bicarb in the microwave for 2-3 minutes will remove nasty smells and make it super easy to wipe away the splatters and mouldy bits of food. Yum.
The brilliant bicarbonate can also be used to remove the dirt from your washing machine. Add a bit of lemon juice or diluted fragrant disinfectant and it will be freshly clean and ready to be neglected again for another 12 to 18 months.
Cleaning your windows can be a hefty task, but using a mixture of washing up liquid, warm water and white vinegar will leave your glass glistening. Be sure to avoid making too many soap suds and use a non-abrasive sponge or clean squeegee blade.
To get that streak-free finish, use a microfiber cloth to wipe dry and avoid washing them on a sunny day.
Take a look at this genius tip from landlord Helen.
“When you clean your windows, do the inside vertically and the outside horizontally. That way you’ll know what side the smears on!”Helen, Landlord
Did you know that cleanliness (or lack of) is the main cause of deposit disputes? You can save yourself the trouble by booking your Inventory and Condition Report today for £109 (inc VAT).
Purchase a full inventory and schedule of condition here.
The scent of your home is very important. Flashy kitchen fittings, chic flooring and high-tech appliances may impress potential tenants – but if they stop by for a viewing, being greeted with a bad smell will certainly put them off.
Again, its back at it with the bicarb-and-bowl combo. Place it in whatever appliance is giving off that awful stench and it’ll be funky fresh the very next day.
If you’ve had enough of the bicarbonate soda – landlord Mary Latham has a great coffee trick that will give your property a much-needed pick me up.
“Dry some coffee grinds and put them into the feet of stocking or tights. Hang them in rooms or cupboards and the grinds will absorb any unwanted smells!”Mary Latham, Landlord
If you really want to, Mary also recommends putting the coffee grinds into a plant pot, sprinkling in some seeds and growing your own mushrooms.
Limescale can be a tough one – literally. Many shower heads, kettles, toilets and taps have fallen victim to its wrath, but despite its rapid build-up, limescale isn’t always easy to get rid of.
To lift the limescale from your taps, one landlord recommends simply rubbing a two pence coin around the affected area.
You may be thinking ‘how on earth does this work?’ Does a magical genie appear from the spout to mystically remove the grime from within? Not quite. But the transformation is miraculous. Take a look!
It seems like taps are a tricky one. Another landlord suggests filling an uninflated balloon with vinegar or limescale remover, stretching it over the spout and leaving it for a few hours to leave your taps shining.
Here’s a handy tip from landlord Sue.
“I checked out a tenant who had cut a lemon in half and stuck each half on the tap ends overnight. Removed all limescale a treat!”Sue, Landlord
As the old saying goes: when life gives you lemons, chop one in half and shove it on your tap.
The inescapable monster that all rental property owners despise: mould. Sometimes, it seems like no matter how many hints you give about not hanging washing indoors – tenants still forget to crack open a window and the mould creeps in. It can often feel like talking to a brick wall – a mouldy one at that – but don’t fret, there are a few tricks you can use to defeat the mould monster.
“For mould around baths and shower cubicles, roll 6-inch strips of toilet paper, put it on the affected area, pour on bleach and push down. Wait 24 hours and it will have disappeared!”Nick, Landlord
Making a paste out of bicarbonate soda and bleach also does the trick. Leave it on the mouldy area for 24 hours and voila – mould be-gone!
Many landlords recommend the quick and easy option of specific anti-mould products. Astonish Mould and Mildew Spray is a popular contender, along with HG Mould Spray and Cillit Bang Black Mould Remover – but make sure you open a window before using!
All jokes aside, having mould in your home can have a serious effect on your tenant’s health. Sure, opening the bathroom window after a shower can help to combat damp – but as the landlord, you have the ultimate responsibility of keeping the building adequately damp-proof and mould-free.
Find out what you need to do to prevent mould growing in your property and keep your tenants safe here.
For any toilets that don’t seem salvageable due to limescale (or other unmentionables), leaving spirit of salts overnight will have them looking brand new.
Spirit of salts contains hydrochloric acid, so if it’s your weapon of choice when tackling the toilet, be sure to protect your skin and eyes and don’t breath it in.
A much safer option is to use the family favourite: Coca-Cola. A combination of cheap cola and bicarbonate soda will lift any ghastly stains right out. Your toilet bowl will be unrecognisable, but it might make you rethink your drink of choice after a hard day’s cleaning. Yikes.
“For toilets blocked with nappies or sanitary products, pour in a mug of fabric conditioner and leave overnight to soften and separate the fibres. To finish the job, pour in a litre of cola, leave for a couple of hours then flush!”Mary Latham, Landlord
Got a landlord hack to share?
So there you have it, the nifty tricks that landlords are using the keep their properties spic and span.
If you have a life-changing landlord hack of your own or decide to give one these a go, share it with us in the comments below!