It’s taken it’s blinking time, but Spring has finally sprung and it’s got me in the mood for sprucing up the house.
I operate on three levels when it comes to cleaning:
- The 20 minute ground floor dash with a packet of cleaning wipes that makes downstairs look acceptable, as long as you don’t look too closely or open any cupboards.
- The mad one hour runaround when visitors are about to arrive – the hoover and mop will come out, there’ll be a bit of dusting and the bathrooms will get some TLC.
- The full-on deep clean of the whole house which can take 3-4 hours.
Levels one and two are the most regular occurences. I’d like to say I do a level three clean once a week, but frankly i’d be lying. It’s more likely to happen when people are coming to stay and will therefore see all of the house 😉
So I seek out products that are going to cut corners and do a brilliant job for not a lot of effort, and I thought i’d explore what’s out there and report back to you lovely lot.
Without further ado here’s the lazy girl’s guide to some of my hero cleaning products, just in case you want to re-stock your cleaning cupboard at the start of the season:
Lakeland Steam Mop
I have ALWAYS had an irrational urge to acquire one of these gadgets. I’m not sure why… but let me tell you I’ve not been disappointed by the reality. It’s very simple – just pour water in, plug it in, stick a fresh pad on the bottom and zoom around the floors with the power of steam.
The noises it makes make it sound like an iron – you need to go over stubborn areas a good few times, but it leaves a great finish and when you’ve got small children who hang out on the floor quite a lot it’s very comforting to be able to feel like you’ve really cleaned the floor; without lots of chemicals just steam. I guess the only thing missing is a bit of a fresh smell that you’d get from using a floor cleaning product.
Reasonably priced and not big and bulky either. It comes with three pads which are machine washable. It’s best to sweep/hoover the floor first then get to work with the mop. Very satisfying seeing what you’ve picked up with the pad. No unruly buckets of muddy water to throw away and it dries pretty instantly – with small children tearing around this is also a bonus.
Oven Mate stainless steel clean and polish
Now this is outstanding stuff – I have a massive stainless steel fridge freezer that i’ve never quite been able to find the right product for. Spray liberally, then wipe, then buff up and it leaves a flawless finish with not much effort. Also brilliant on the extractor fan hood which is normally a right old fanny on to clean as it gets really greasy and is very tall – and the front of the oven. This is AMAZING – Lakeland does it again. \
Milton antibacterial surface spray
Comforting brand you associate with sterilising baby equipment – great fresh germ busting smell – love it. It’s not just for changing mats though, this is now a permanent fixture at my kitchen sink for spritzing the work surfaces and keeping them fresh and germ free. Doing the research for this feature has made me realise how much I value the fragrance of a cleaner. I had to stop using the apple scented Dettol stuff as it reminded me too much of cleaning up after our dog when she was really poorly. Smells have SUCH powerful memories!
Widely available in the baby aisle of the supermarket £1.40
Work Top Wonder
If you’ve got marble work tops and find it hard to get them all shiny this is the product for you. Clean your worktops as usual but finish with a spray of this followed by a buff up with a cloth – your work tops will look showroom new. It’s quite pricey but one can will last for ages.
Bar keepers friend
No it’s not a sneaky way to drink spirits on the sly, but a cleaning product that cuts through grime pretty effortlessly. It works a treat on stainless steel, glass, chrome, brass, copper, aluminium, porcelain and tiles. It gets its cleaning power from Oxalic Acid which is actually found in rhubarb, and it is this unique formulation that produces such a deep clean. It’s not one i’d heard of before but i’d definitely recommend it.
Robert Dyas £2.99
This is one of those products that will have a go at cleaning everything. It comes with a little sponge that you get damp, wipe it around the solid soap like cleaner then apply – rinse off then buff up. Works on all sorts from sinks, surfaces but I also cleaned my Gran’s vintage silver cutlery with it with amazing results. It’s one of those products you’ll get out to clean anything from trainers to the fiddly bars on your bathroom radiator. There’s no nasties in this at all – very natural and will last AGES. It also doesn’t take up much room in your cleaning cupboard.
Aka the pink fluffly cloth of wonder, it’s the same size as your hand, fluffy one side, smooth the other, amazing for giving everything a bit of a wipe down and leaves a gleaming finish – computers and tablets, TVs, shelves, the microwave, kitchen cupboard doors – then just rinse it through and start again. I give mine a weekly going over in the washing machine (minus fabric softner) This is ESSENTIAL.
Mr Muscle bathroom and toilet
I have been buying this from the supermarket for the last couple of months as it’s been on offer. This is definitely a case for not getting supermarket own stuff – it really cuts through the scum that builds up in bathroom and leaves a very pleasing orangey scent behind, not a harsh chemicaly one. This is definitely a performer!
Widely available at the supermarket £2.00
Lime lite spray
Does a great job of cleaning that annoying hard water white scum off shower heads, taps and showerscreens – we live in a hard water area so it’s a constant battle with the tell-tale white residue.
However it’s one of those products that you’re warned to use in a well ventilated room and for good reason. One spray of this onto the shower screen and it immediately caught in the back of my throat. I’m asthmatic so have to be careful with things like this, but if you’re made of sturdier stuff i’d still recommend it performance wise as it gives great results.
Widely available £2.72
OXO Good Grips Dust Pan and Brush
I love the modern design, soft bristles and the ergonomically designed handle fits snugly into the palm of your hand – does a great job.
OXO Good Grips Any-Angle Broom
You can adjust the angle of the head of the broom making it good for getting into awkward nooks and crannies. Again OXO always delivers on design – sleek and just fine to leave on view in the corner of the kitchen. Light to handle, so great for giving a quick juj under the table after every meal.
Available online from Amazon and Lakeland £20.00
OXO Good Grips Compact Sink Set
I’ve never had a proper place to keep washing up paraphenalia. I had been using an old plant pot but it just gets so gunky in the bottom so you constantly have to disinfect it. This is wonderful. Small and neat, room for a sponge scourer and a brush both of which are part of the set and very good quality there are too. There’s a nifty drip tray underneath with a pouring spout so you can get rid of any excess water, preventing any nasty build-up. It’s a bit pricey this, but i’m hoping that means it’s built to last.
John Lewis £19.50
I was sent this last year and i’ve been using it non-stop ever since. Love having washing up liquid in such a handy dispenser – it means you use less of the squirty stuff as it just froths up with what you need straight away. It’s also good for cleaning the hob or surfaces if they’re really filthy after an enthusiastic cooking sesh.
Widely available £1.40
This is a beast – but perfect to hire if you want to give your carpets a deep clean a few times a year. We have cream carpets upstairs in our house which pick up all those lovely stains you get when you’ve got small children – wee, poo, sick and the dreaded sticky patches of calpol that gather in pools when a child clamps their mouth shut just as you’re about to drive that teetering spoon of liquid in… I think we’ve all been there!
You can hire a Rug Doctor – find out more here
Thanks to all the companies who sent me samples to test for this review. All the views here expressed are mine and are my honest opinion.
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