Ah landlords. They’re like the parents you never asked for when you moved out of home. But the key difference between landlords and your actual family is that, if they don’t like how you’re living, landlords will actually chuck you out – yikes.

In addition to pedantically chasing you on rent-related matters, part of their extensive Fun Police duties also entails unwelcomed property inspections – which can end up being a pretty exxy exercise for you and your housemates.

So, to save your house a few buckeroonies – because renting is expensive enough already – we spoke to Elke Keeley, Co-Founder of UrbanYou, to compile a list of genius hacks you can file away until your next inspection or the aftermath of a seriously LIT house party.

1. Apparently, cola is a surprisingly good toilet cleaner – who knew?

If you choose to drink cola, you probably also choose to ignore just how hectic that stuff can be for your insides. But the one upside of the corrosive ingredients is that the soft drink bevvy also doubles as a kickass cleaning fluid in an hour of need.

“If you’re out of disinfectant but need to give the toilet a once over, grab a bottle of coke, pour it into the bowl and let it work its magic. This stuff can get stains off roads, so it’ll work wonders in the loo” says Keeley.

2. Red, red wiiiiine – be gone

Red wine – the booze we love and loathe in equal parts. Your fancy dinner vibes can quickly go downhill if someone accidentally spills the stuff all over the floor. But, despite being told that red wine is practically impossible to remove, it turns out there’s still a way to make it budge, it just takes a few more steps.
“Absorb as much of the stain as possible using a paper towel or absorbent cloth. Dab and pat the stain, never rub as this will engrain the stain further into the surface,” explains Keeley.
“Also, try not to let the stain dry by adding cold soda water to the area. Avoid anything hot as this will set the stain in place. If the stain does dry out, it will be much harder to remove. Use salt to help absorb the red wine, leave this for as long as you can.
“Apply washing powder or a powder detergent to the area mixed with water to create a paste. Continue repeating the process until the stain has lifted.”

3. Banish tacky water rings from your wooden table

You know when your mates leave their frosty VBs on your wooden coffee table cusing those huge, ugly rings to be left behind? There’s a trick to get rid of it.

“Mix two parts baking soda with one part water and gently rub on the spot until it’s completely disappeared,” Keeley says. “Alternatively, blast the area with a hair dryer until it fades.”

4.  What about pesky grease stains?

That late-night pizza order was a good idea until someone decided to drop it all over the furniture.

But don’t fret, those grease marks are easily removed. Just mix up equal parts cornstarch and water, leave overnight (or as long as possible) and clean up in the morning.” 

5. Coffee is the perfect antidote to puke

Vom is one of those very gross facts of sharehouse life. Whether your housemate gets a virus, or someone has a little too much fun at your summer bbq, it’s only a matter of time before someone barfs in your place.

To save yourself a manky clean up later, “take some ground coffee beans and layer them over the stain,” advises Keeley.

“This will help with the smell and drying the area out so you can quickly remove all evidence.”

6. Wax on, Wax off

Every share house has that one person who absolutely froths candles, and no waxy friend is immune to spillage. If you have hard floors, a bit of hot wax isn’t a big drama because you can just chip it off as soon as it dries, but if you have carpet, this same mess can be an absolute nightmare to remove.

Here’s Keeley’s snazzy hack for cleaning it, stat: “Grab some ice out of the freezer and wrap in a tea-towel. Leave sitting on top of the wax for 20mins and then scrape the wax away with a credit card.”

7. Banish rank mattress smells

Got a suss mattress hanging around? If so, my instinct is to just throw it out, but it’s not always that simple, especially if the mattress isn’t yours.
One way to get the bed smelling slightly less offensive is to “take some of the vodka and add it to a spray bottle,” explains Keeley. “Spray a light layer over the mattress to kill any nasty smells.”
Image: Annapurna Pictures / Atlas Entertainment