Candle wax and chewing gum can both be tricky to remove but ice cubes can help freeze sticky stains so that they become brittle enough to be picked or scraped.
You can achieve the same result by placing the stained item in the fridge to cool.
Toothbrushes can be used for different tasks depending on their state.
Old toothbrushes are perfect for scrubbing mould stains off grout and tricky-to-reach cracks, while new toothbrushes can brush powders off oily stains.
For these delicate tasks only use soft brushes to avoid damaging fabrics.
Rubber gloves 橡胶手套
Rubber gloves have long been used to protect hands while cleaning – but they can also be used to remove pet hair from sofas or car upholstery.
Rub the gloved hand over the furniture to create friction that will help the fur stick. To remove the fur from the glove, simply dunk your hands in hot water.
Soda water 苏打水
One of the better known cleaning heroes, soda water is perfect for forcing pigment-based stains such as red wine out of fabrics.
However only use makes that are low in salt otherwise you may inadvertently end up setting the stain.
Nail polish remover 洗甲水
A manicure spill can be disastrous but nail polish remover can be a fast-acting way to remove the stain, as long as it’s small.
A blunt knife is ideal for scraping off any solid or bulky part of a stain. However take care not to scratch or damage the surface.
Paper towels 纸巾
As well as cleaning up spills and soaking up water-based stains, paper towels can also be used to tackle dried candle wax.
The Good Housekeeping Institute advises: ‘Place a paper towel over the wax spill (once it’s dry), and gently iron over with a cool iron. The wax will lift into the paper towel and away from the fabric.’
However be wary of using patterned or coloured towels as they could transfer dye.
Cotton buds 棉签
Delicate items require delicate tools and cotton buds can be the perfect fit.
They can also be used for a range of other handy household chores, including applying vegetable oil on to stuck zips and clearing dust from between dirty keyboard keys.
Sticky tape 胶带
Sticky tape is ideal for lifting pollen particles off clothing and carpets.
This method also works well for removing other dry debris, such as pet hair.
Less common than the other items but no less helpful.
Glycerine is helpful for loosening tough stains.
The Good Housekeeping Institute advises diluting it with one to two parts of water and allowing it to soak for an hour before washing as normal.