The dull days of winter are great at ‘hiding’ the imperfections of a busy home. But, come spring the brightness of the suns rays seems to find a way of reflecting off every spec of dust, dirt and greasy finger print. I find myself closing doors to each room, hiding away the reminders of the dusting and wiping that needs doing. As much as I love a clean, tidy and well organised home the idea of the big ‘Spring Clean’ fills me with dread. House cleaning is a necessity but spending all day at it is not practical, particularly for families with young children including of the fury kind. If each member of the household has daily responsibilities and are held accountable to fulfilling them, it will help to stay on top of house cleaning. The most effective house cleaning products also helps to cut down time spent bringing sparkle to the home.
Working everyday of the week means that time available to house clean is minimal. I have therefore learnt to do regular, thorough cleaning rather than an ‘all-in-one day’ effort. De-cluttering the home and multi-tasking have helped. So too has the ‘put away after use’ culture I have endeavoured to create. A few statement ornaments on shelves and windowsills rather than a number of small decorative items makes dusting a breeze – I used to be great at collecting knick-knacks on my travels and put them on display, but they have all gone to the charity shop!
My mother was the envy of many with her ability to multi-task a behavioural trait I have tried to mimic. It was her ability to clean as she went about her busy daily schedule that helped her stay on top of the housework. Here are a few tips:
- Waiting for the kettle to boil – use the time to wipe down kitchen surfaces or hob, clean greasy finger prints from cupboard doors, empty dishwasher and pack away items on the draining board.
- Taking a bath? – keep a floor cloth in the bathroom to wipe the bath clean after use and as the water drains out.
- Moisturise your body after a shower? – while you wait for the moisturiser to be absorbed into your skin, wipe the water droplets off the glass and tiles of your shower cubicle. By doing this your cubicle is less likely to get soap-scum and mould build-up.
- What do you do when the adverts come on during your favourite TV show? – my magic magnetic duster comes out and I dust away all lounge and dining-room surfaces (including the multitude of spider webs that seem to gather in no time at all).
- Dinner cooking on the hob or in the oven? – if the food doesn’t require regular stirring and constant attention, I use the ‘waiting time’ to sweep the kitchen and utility floor (with a pet dog it is a never ending job!).
- Ironing – if the pile isn’t too high, it can be quite relaxing either done while listening to music, an audio book or the TV.
- Pets? – we hose our border collie down after his walk and use super absorbing pet towels to dry him off thoroughly before he enters the great indoors! This has greatly reduced the amount of dust and dirt in the house. We also give him a regular brush down to minimise the volume of hair that falls to the floor.
Vacuuming the carpets usually has it’s set time but the more often it is done, the cleaner the house seems to feel.
House cleaning products that are a must have
My favourite cleaning products include the Mrs Gleam’s range which are non-toxic, environmentally friendly and very effective at getting the job done.
- Kitchen cleaner and degreaser – fill a plastic bowl with hot water to rinse your cloth after each wipe. Mrs Gleam’s kitchen cleaner is so effective at getting rid of grease, oil or fat-based spills. The degreaser cuts through grime with ease to leave your hob and kitchen surfaces gleaming. Safe to use on most kitchen surfaces including enamel, chrome, stainless steel, aluminium, ceramic, granite and marble. Mrs Gleam’s Degreaser gets to work quickly and lifts grease fast. Armed with a wet cloth and kitchen degrease a spray and wipe of cupboard doors, handles, fridge door, hob, appliances and draining board will leave your kitchen looking great without the pungent small of caustic house cleaning products.
- Laundry detergent – why would this make a difference to your cleaning chores? Laundry detergent in powder form has the potential of leaving residue on clothing. This can happen when washing on a cold cycle or adding too much to the washing machine drawer. As the laundry dries the residue falls off the laundry on to the floor or carpet (unless you run your laundry through an extra rinse cycle!). More dirt to vacuum or sweep up! The bleach found in many powder detergents has the potential to cause the colours of clothing to fade with every wash. A liquid laundry detergent is effective on cold or hot cycles and doesn’t clog-up the machine drawer. Mrs Gleam’s liquid laundry detergent comes in a bottle which allows for accurate dosing. Unlike some liquids that rely on a dosing cap. These can lead to overdosing because he measurement lines are rarely marked clearly.
- Laundry spot and stain remover – a spray and a light rub to work it into the stain is all that is needed to get fresh stains out of fabrics. Mrs Gleam’s laundry stain remover has been tested on a variety of stubborn stains such as cooking oil, make-up and mud. It is bleach and peroxide free. Highly effective at removing stains from almost all clothes and fabrics whilst protecting colours. Our daughter is a lover of fake tan and have had the put Mrs Gleams stain remover to the test a few times. This morning it was fake tan on the white bath mat. A spray and rub removed the mark fully – thrilled!
- Oven cleaner – also ideal for getting burnt on food and oil from roasting pans.
A house free of clutter and objects that no longer have a real purpose in your life helps speed up the cleaning process. The fewer the objects that need lifting to clean or dust, the faster the cleaning. Keeping to the ‘no shoes in the house’ policy stops mud and dirt getting past the door.