Student Advice Service – Money Matters

News from the Student Advice Service at the University of Brighton

Clean home, clear mind? Freshen up your home for less

Who knew that our homes would become EVERYTHING to us – where we live, where we eat, where we work, where we teach, where we study, where we play and where we wind down.

Our homes are getting used to the max and all this hunkering down causes mess! So here are some budget eco cleaning tips and hacks to make lockdown cleaning a bit easier:


Firstly identify your MIAs – Most Important Areas – if you can’t regularly clean everywhere thoroughly. In this way you maximise your time, minimise your stress and focus your cleaning efforts where they matter the most.

Bulk-buy ingredients

Decide on what concoctions work best for you and your home and then purchase your most used ingredients in bulk. There’s an initial outlay but it is money saving in the long run and lockdown friendly with reducing shopping trips.

The main ingredients tend to be bicarbonate of soda, white wine vinegar, lemons, essential oils, microfiber cloths, most of which have a long life span.

Computer, laptop

Dust is attracted to metal surfaces. For a quick touch up, wipe the area clean with a microfiber cloth spritzed with water. For hard to reach areas make a make-shift duster by wrapping a dampened paper towel around a spatula.


You may be spending more time on your bed or in your bedroom over lockdown. For a fresh smelling mattress strip all bedding sprinkle baking powder onto your mattress and leave for about 1 hour and then vacuum it off to leave it smelling like new. Most standard mattresses also benefit from being turned and/or rotated.


Hours spent binge watching the latest show whilst chomping down on quarantine snacks will take it’s toll on your sofa. Try and do biweekly vacuums with a skinny nozzle attachment for those crumb crammed crevices or failing that use you a rag and your fingers to loosen the crumbs.

For stains on fabric upholstered sofas, spray a cleaner that is 3 parts warm water, 1 part vinegar and a little soap detergent. Leave for 2 mins and then scrub with a dry clean towel.

For leather sofas, clean with equal parts vinegar and water followed by a dry wipe. Leather sofas can also be buffed with a soft cloth and a conditioning spray made up of 2 parts olive oil and one part vinegar.

Always TEST on a small patch first before committing your chemical free mixture to your sofa!


Before cleaning the microwave place a large bowl of water and the juice of half a lemon in the oven and put on high for 3 mins. Leave to stand for a further 5 mins. This will loosen caked on food so the inside can be easily wiped down with a cloth.

Food containers

Remove stains from all those leftovers by cleaning the container with washing up liquid and water before sprinkling with baking soda. Give it a good brush around the container and then rinse and repeat until it is clean.

Make an all-purpose cleaner

Winner of the 2014 Great British Bake off , Nancy Birtwhistle’s recipe is, 150ml water, 60ml white vinegar and 40ml surgical spirit, with essential oil for fragrance. “It’s non-streaky and quick-drying” and can be used as a kitchen cleaner for worktops, the hob, cupboards and the bathroom, as well as being good for mirrors, glass and inside the car. Store in repurposed spray bottle.

Toilet and shower drains

Gunk can be easily removed with a simple DIY cleaning solution. Mix 2 parts water with one part baking soda and one part white vinegar to create a chemical free mixture and can be stored in a repurposed washing up liquid bottle. It can be used to attack mildew on tiles and to remove soap residue and limescale on shower doors along with a squeegee.


Toilets can be cleaned with baking soda, sprinkle some into the bowl and give it a good scrub with the toilet brush, leave for 10 mins and flush.

All of us have experienced our stress levels rising during these times of confinement, but hopefully these tips will help reduce the mess starting to close in, if not the walls.

If you have got any questions for Student Advice,  please contact us

Stay well

Student Advice Service

Helen Abrahams • February 19, 2021

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