CNY 2020 is right around the corner! But before you can start chowing down on pineapple tarts or collecting red packets, you’ll need to do some Chinese New Year cleaning. Da sao chu, or the home cleaning tradition, begins days before CNY and is believed to sweep away the bad luck of the previous year.
Hoping to welcome Chinese New Year 2020 with better fortune? Today’s your day. We’ve got a list of easy CNY preparation DIY home hacks, so read on.

Kitchen Tips

1. DIY Home Hack: Make Your Stainless Steel Surfaces Shine Again

Wondering how to get rid of stubborn sauce or hard water stains? You’re not alone. Before splurging on expensive over-the-counter cleaners, try using something that you likely already have in the kitchen: a lemon.

Not only can this fruit remove rust from stubborn stains in the kitchen, but it also doubles as a natural fragrance. Think about that fresh, natural citrus scent that lingers long after you’re done cleaning.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lemon
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • 2 hand cloths
  • Baking soda
  • Bowl


  1. In the bowl, combine 4 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 cup of water
  2. Use a cloth to rub the mixture onto the stainless steel surface
  3. Wipe the area clean with a dry towel
  4. Dampen the cloth with lemon juice to clean any limescale deposits off the surface
  5. Apply water to the area and wipe dry with a clean cloth


2. DIY Home Hack: Remove Microwave Stains

Look inside your microwave. Spot any food stains?

Most of us use the microwave daily but when it comes to cleaning it, this is one appliance that is often overlooked.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 bowl filled with water
  • 2 teaspoons of white vinegar
  • A few drops of essential oil for fragrance (optional)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 hand towel
  • Orange peel (optional)


  1. Fill a bowl with water, 2 teaspoons of white vinegar, and a few drops of essential oil
  2. Microwave the bowl for a few minutes to let the inside of your microwave ‘steam’
  3. Create a lemon-water mixture
  4. Dip your hand towel in the mixture and wipe the insides of your microwave

Another easy way to clean your microwave:

  1. Place the orange peels in a bowl with water
  2. Heat the mixture in the microwave for 1 minute
  3. Wipe the inside of your microwave with a clean cloth


3. DIY Home Hack: Get Rid of Stubborn Stove Stains

If you’re frying up some dumplings, you’ll be left with a layer of grease stains. You can scrub all you want, but they won’t go away easily.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Surface cleaner
  • Cling wrap
  • Hairdryer
  • Clean cloth


  1. Scrub the stain with a surface cleaner
  2. Cover the area with cling wrap while it’s still wet
  3. Use a hairdryer to blow dry the area for about 2 minutes
  4. Remove the plastic and give the surface a wipe


Living Room and Bedroom Tips

4. DIY Home Hack: Declutter Your Home

There’s a reason that decluttering is the single most important task when staging your home: it makes a huge difference to the atmosphere of the place. Clearing out all that junk should be your topmost priority for the New Year.

Quick tips:

  • Start by getting rid of expired items around your home
  • Sort through old show pieces that have faded or show signs of ageing, like dull photo frames
  • Sort through old clothes that no longer fit
  • Sort through the shoes you haven’t worn in months
  • Sort through old children’s books and toys your family has outgrown

Instead of letting these things collect dust and take up space in the closet, donate them to someone in need. Once you declutter, you’ll have less to clean and your room may even feel more spacious.

In the words of Marie Kondo, “Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest.”


5. DIY Home Hack: Get Rid of Dust Bunnies

These pesky little buggers don’t quite deserve such a cute name: dust bunnies are a household nuisance and not easy to get rid of.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Nylon fabric (optional)
  • Sticky tape
  • Vacuum
  • Clothes hanger (optional)


  1. Run a vacuum through the room
  2. Wrap tape around your hand with the sticky side facing outward
  3. Pat this on carpets and in corners to pick up dust bunnies and left-over dirt


Another easy way to get rid of dust bunnies:

  1. Wrap nylon fabric or sticky tape at the end of a clothes hanger
  2. Reach into the nooks and crannies of your home
  3. Pull out dust bunnies and dirt particles that have collected over the years


6. DIY Home Hack: Clean All That Glass

Cleaning glass, especially that of windows and sliding balcony doors, is definitely a once-a-year affair that you can’t miss. Try making this homemade glass cleaner as an eco-friendly and less toxic solution compared to store-bought alternatives.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 bowl of warm water
  • White vinegar
  • Clean cloth or old newspaper pages


  1. Combine white vinegar and warm water in a 1:1 ratio
  2. Squirt the mixture onto your glass surfaces
  3. Use a cloth or old newspaper to wipe the area clean


7. DIY Home Hack: Remove Watermarks from Wooden Surfaces

Ah, those dreaded white water rings. Make your coffee table look like new with just a few household items and a quick wipe.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A blow dryer
  • Clean cloth
  • Olive oil


  1. Use a blow dryer to heat up the stained area until the watermarks start to disappear
  2. If the watermarks don’t fade naturally, use a dry cloth to rub the marks while the area is being heated
  3. Once the watermarks are gone, rub olive oil on the area. This will recondition the wood and also give it a shine


8. DIY Home Hack: Make Leather Furniture Look New Again

After you’ve shined the wooden table with olive oil, leave the bottle out for the leather couch.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Olive oil
  • Hand towel
  • Paper towel


  1. Pour a small amount of olive oil onto a hand towel
  2. Wipe your leather furniture (this will add a shine)
  3. Use a paper towel to wipe away excess oil


Bathroom and Laundry Room Tips

9. DIY Home Hack: Remove Rust from Pipes

Aluminium foil isn’t just for the kitchen; it’s for the bathroom too. It’s only natural for the pipes under your bathroom sink to disintegrate with time. If these aren’t taken care of soon enough, you’ll be faced with leaky pipes and you won’t be able to avoid a hefty plumbing bill. Try our easy method to avoid letting the rust on your pipes spread.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Water
  • Aluminium foil
  • Microfiber cloth


  1. Place a small strip of aluminium foil (similar size to the area you’d like to clean) in water
  2. Gently rub the wet foil on the areas with rust
  3. Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe away any remaining rust
  4. Do this quick maintenance once a year to keep your pipes rust-free.


10. DIY Home Hack: Clean the Toilet Without Scrubbing

We’ve all heard of bath bombs, but how many of you have tried a toilet bomb? Yes, these really do exist. And they’re quick and easy to make at home.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Citric acid
  • White vinegar
  • Ice cube tray
  • Essential oil for fragrance (optional)
  • Airtight container


  1. Mix baking soda and citric acid (2:1 ratio)
  2. Spray on a few squirts of white vinegar and mix it all together. You want a somewhat “sticky” but not an overly crumbly consistency.
  3. Pour this into an ice cube tray
  4. Add a few drops of essential oil
  5. Let the toilet bomb dry (it may take a day or two), then store it in an airtight container until ready to use
  6. The next day, drop one of these into the toilet and watch it fizz away

This is the quickest way to deodorise and clean your toilet bowl of any light stains without scrubbing. Just note that with harder stains, you might need to scrub after the toilet bomb dissolves.


11. DIY Home Hack: Deep Clean Your Washing Machine

We’re always throwing in dirty clothes into the washing machine. But what good is a washing machine if it’s dirty to begin with? With all the new clothes you’ll be wearing for your family visits, it’s the best time to give your washing machine a good cleaning.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Distilled white vinegar


  1. Start your washing machine and set it to a 10-20 minute washing cycle
  2. Pour in some distilled white vinegar and let the cycle complete

Now that you’re armed with our favourite Chinese New Year home cleaning hacks, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Happy CNY 2020, everyone!


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