Know it’s time for a spring clean but dreading the slog? Breeze through your cleaning with these game-changing hacks for brilliant results in next to no time.
Before you begin
Start off by deciding what level of clean you want to achieve and what needs the most attention. Then make a quick plan of action, room by room, to keep you on track.
Also, time yourself. It’ll help you stay focussed and speed through the task as well as show you how long each task takes. Knowing that disinfecting the bin is a 5-minute job might just persuade you do it more often.
Handy household ingredients
Nothing slows a clean up down as much as not having the right tools for the job, so it’s worth knowing about a few nifty alternatives that you’re bound to have to hand. Top of the list has to be bicarb and vinegar with their endless cleaning uses .
Good for more than spreading on a sarnie, mayo is a whizz at getting rid of ring marks on wood, while ketchup works well on all kinds of metals. And if you need to get rid of limescale build up in a kettle, boil some water with a slice of lemon in it and – ta-da!
Coke’s mild acidity makes it great for cleaning, especially toilets . While we’re on bathrooms, toothpaste shines up taps a treat. You can even use a toothbrush to tackle tricky to reach areas (remember to dedicate one to the job, else – eurgh!).
Buy time by doing two jobs at once:
- Clean the sink, mirror and tiles in the bathroom while waiting for the tub to fill
- Scrub the splash back, clean the sink or wipe down cabinet fronts while the oven’s heating up.
- Dust a room while you chat on the phone (while wearing some mop slippers! Too much?)
One tool, many uses
The combination of steam and heat effectively kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses*, so it’s the perfect way to tackle furniture, curtains and soft furnishings, to freshen up bed linen and to sanitise pet bedding. Full steam ahead for spring cleaning!
Do it right
Is there a right way to vacuum? Yes, there is. Apparently we should be vacuuming a room vertically and then horizontally and not rushing it. That way every scrap of dirt and dust gets dislodged and captured. If a job’s worth doing…
Speed through mountains of ironing with a steam generator iron. More steam pressure = less ironing time. Fact.
Win the battle with dust by using a microfiber cloth; its electrostatic charge attracts dust instead of moving it around like traditional dusting cloths. Also, sticky tape works wonders on a dusty lampshade.
Lighten the housework burden
The easiest way to save hours of cleaning is to prevent it from building up in the first place. Try tricks like two doormats at your front door; one outside and one in will capture even more dirt from being traipsed through the house.
Keep a squeegee in the shower to wipe down the door and tiles after every use to banish soap scum and hard water marks. Spraying the walls with a diluted vinegar solution afterwards will help to stretch out the time between shower cleans.
And finally, never leave a room empty-handed. It’s one of life’s great mysteries how much stuff moves around the house in just one day; this way you’ll stay on top of it.
Armed with these tips, you’re ready to make a clean sweep of the spring blitz!
*Viruses: External tests, Sept. 2020, on BCoV-1 and Murine Norovirus on cotton fabric. Bacteria & germs: External tests on Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumonae, Escherichia coli. Under careful condition of use.