Let’s face it, BoJo and his lockdown number 2 is frustrating to say the least. Just as we all felt a small semblance of normality approaching, we have been thrust straight back into uncertainty and the feeling of loss of control can be all consuming for many of us.
Finding things to occupy yourself, carving out time for you and your loved ones is ever more important as the toll of the pandemic grates on.
Getting your house ready for the Winter months ahead will be extremely important over the coming weeks and months. My children are in and out of our home numerous times a day, not to mention the puppy bringing all manner of things inside the house.
What better way to spend the next few weeks (when we can’t really go anywhere) than focusing on de-cluttering, organising your home and giving it a good ol’ clean. You never know you may be able to make a bit of extra cash on the side for when lockdown lifts, perfect time for Christmas or bolstering your income during this incredibly financially challenging time.
Here at MyFamilyClub, you know we love a tip/hack or two! We’ve rounded up the best cleaning tips and also reviewed a range of cleaning products to keep those germs at bay and leave your home feeling fresh and light despite the darker nights drawing in.
Cleaning Tips from Lindsey ‘Queen of Clean’ Crombie
Lindsey ‘Queen of Clean’ Crombie says “knowing where to start when cleaning your home can be tricky, it may feel overwhelming and even though we all have more time on our hands, the procrastination can take over and cleaning is put to the bottom of the list.
So, stick an upbeat playlist on and use these eco-friendly tips to get you started”
Try starting with the room that is bugging you the most, this will give you a great sense of achievement when you’ve completed it and the rest of the house won’t seem as daunting if you’ve got that room out of the way.
Look at what is on display in your home, do you have items on display that are just filling spaces and can only be described as a mess? Assess what you really love, and which has sentiment and if there are pieces that, as Netflix’s Marie Kondo says, do not spark joy, think about throwing them away. Create piles of ‘maybe keep’ and ‘definitely chuck’, once you’ve finished the de-clutter, revisit your ‘maybe keep’ pile and think long and hard if you could actually add some items to the ‘chuck’ pile!
Once you’ve sorted what’s on display, delve into cupboards, draws and even the loft and use the same method.
The Forgotten Areas
We all probably do a weekly clean where we mop the floors, wipe down the kitchen work surfaces and spritz the bathroom, but it is the forgotten areas of the home such as skirting boards, light bulbs and radiators that attract a lot of dust! Use everyday household items such as a fluffy sock and kitchen tongs to get behind those hard to reach radiators, with the classic feather duster coming up trumps for lampshades and bulbs, the house will be glowing by the time you’ve finished!
Deep Clean the Carpets
You may vacuum every week, but are you aware of the dirt and grime that builds up in carpets over time? Move your furniture around to make sure you hit all the hard to reach places and for any stubborn pet hair, pop on your rubber gloves and use them to ‘roll’ the carpet, the hair will easily lift off! For stains that have lingered on the carpets for a long time, carpet cleaners will remove them and leave your carpets feeling brand new!
The laborious task that nobody wants to do, cleaning the oven. The build-up of oil, grease and burnt cheese on the bottom of the oven can prove a difficult task to remove, but the satisfaction of the sparkling oven after the clean is like no other. While you’re at it, you may as well start on the microwave also! Use an old toothbrush soaked in oven cleaner to get to the hard to reach nooks and crannies, you can also spray this in the microwave and leave overnight and then wipe away with a damp cloth in the morning for a more intense clean.
Do the fridge clean the day before your weekly shop so you don’t have to stack up piles of food while you’re cleaning, be sure to look at any sell by dates and chuck away items that have gone off. Take out the shelves and wash them separately in the sink and leave to dry, then spritz the inside with a multi-surface cleaner to ensure any old food is wiped away! Make sure you pay close attention to the outer surfaces of the fridge also; germs can harbour on these areas easily.
It’s time to tackle the dishwasher. Baking soda works wonders as a natural cleaning agent. Sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher before running a hot washing cycle. Inspect the drain on the dishwasher also, be sure to remove and gunk and build up, once you’ve done this your plates and glasses will have a new lease of life and be left glistening!
The bathroom may be one of the most satisfying rooms in the house to clean; sparkling taps, fresh smelling towels and good as new grouting, but it can take some time for it to get to this point!
Start with the hardest of tasks, removing mould from tiles, mix baking soda with white vinegar and salt, spray on to the tiles and leave for 10 minutes, then wipe away! Use essential oil diffusers or an eco-friendly room spray to cover up the vinegar smell as well as giving your bathroom a spa like feel, even add a few drops of essential oil onto loo rolls and towels for an extra luxurious scent.
To make sure your taps, sink and showers are left shining, try using lemon juice; decant into a spray bottle, leave on for 10 minutes, wipe away using a foam cloth to avoid lint residue.
Make it Fun
If you’re at home with the kids and at a loss of how to entertain them, encourage them to join in on the cleaning! Reward them with treats for completing their chores or entice them with another fun activity after they help you, and most of all have fun, a family that cleans together stays together!
Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray – 200ml
I absolutely love this product as it gets rid of unpleasant smells and replaces them with a lovely, long-lasting smell with a blend of 41 essential oils. After recently becoming the owner of a puppy, I was keen to try Puressentiel purifying air spray to see how effective it is compared to other odor eliminating sprays.
As someone who suffers from breathing problems and allergies, I am quite fussy when buying air purifying sprays due to the chemicals used so this being 100% natural is a massive bonus.
The product gets rid of bacteria, viruses, microscopic fungi, unpleasant odours, etc so is perfect for the Cold and Flu season.
Gtech HyLite Vacuum Cleaner
After reading claims that the Gtech Hylite is the smallest, lightest and most compact vacuum cleaner in the world I was excited to give this a try and see how it compares. Having used Gtech products in the past I had high expectations of the Hylite.
Setting up and charging the Hylite was a breeze with the battery fully charging in 2 hours. It’s ultra-lightweight and easy to maneuver design made it ideal for tackling the sofas and stairs which and overall I found the suction to be enough for covering these areas sufficiently.
The Hylite works well on tiled floors and hardwood but I did find that when tackling carpets it took more effort than usual which considering the battery life is limited to 20 minutes, is a concern for me.
I would highly recommend the Gtech Hylite vacuum cleaner for those who live in small homes and require a small and compact cleaner which can be stashed away in a draw when not required.
Additionally if like me you are someone who suffers from breathing problems, the Hylite could be a perfect solution due to the use of small compact dust bags rather than bagless. This makes disposing of the dust and dirt a lot easier.
Retailers: Amazon, John Lewis, Argos, GTech.co.uk
Neo Direct 10 in 1 1500W Hot Steam Mop Cleaner and Hand Steamer
Having used steam cleaning mops for a number of years now, I found the Neo Steam cleaner to be very easy to set up and packed full of accessories making it ideal for a number of surfaces. Once switched on I was surprised at how fast the steam was available and its 400ml water tank compares well to previous steam cleaners I have used.
When steam cleaning the sofas and carpet I found the Neo Steam cleaner to be very effective with a good, constant level of steam. However, I did find that when using in larger rooms the power cable was not long enough which meant using an extension cable.
The Neo is a great all-round steam cleaner which is easy to use and so far has worked a treat on both my kitchen floor, sofas and carpets however I feel that the power cable is a little to short which can be frustrating at times.
Overall the Neo Direct 10 in 1 1500W Hot Steam Mop Cleaner and Hand Steamer is a good all-rounder and comes at a very affordable price.
Bio-D Cleaning Products
Bio-D offers a range of cleaning products suitable for all types of cleaning tasks around the home. Made in the UK from ethically sourced ingredients and 100% recyclable packaging, these products are some of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly cleaning solutions on the market. You can read more about the company values here and they make a pretty impressive read.
We tested a selection of products from the Bio-D range to see how they perform around the home.
- All-Purpose Sanitizer
- Bathroom Cleaner
- Laundry Liquid
- Fabric Conditioner
- Washing-Up Liquid
- Sanitizing Hand Wash
A happy and sparkly house with ethically sourced and natural ingredients, this ticks all the boxes for me as I really detest the smell of harsh cleaning chemicals. The products are also vegan and cruelty free. My 7-year old son absolutely loves the smell of the hand soap.
My favourite product is the Laundry Liquid. I usually buy my laundry detergent and dishwasher tablets from SMOL and have a monthly subscription and I actually found that I was using the Bio-D one more frequently. The lavender smell is really lovely and clothes come out smelly wonderful.
Definitely a convert to this brand.
Cost: From £2.50 upwards
Retailers: Big Green Smile
We also tested…
We also used OzKleen Kitchen Power which is a multi-surface cleaner and environmentally friendly. Costs £3.99 for 500ml and can be bought at Robert Dyas, Amazon and a range of well-know retailers.