As someone who has always had a weird love for cleaning, and was an employed cleaner for a few years, watching Instagram explode with a massive buzz about cleaning has been interesting to watch.
But with all the different accounts recommending products, what actually works? What should you buy? What has been tried and tested (by me) and makes life easier?
THE BIG INSTAGRAM CLEANING ACCOUNTS
It would be impossible to talk about Instagram and cleaning without mentioning Mrs Hinch. Now at 2 million followers and ever growing.
I do watch her stories sometimes, although don’t follow her. A lot of her cleaning is cleaning things that aren’t that dirty. And where is the joy in that!
But she has 2 million followers now, copying and following her cleaning. With many reporting to her it has improved their lives and homes.
My first big cleaning account discovery though was Little Miss Mops. She is a professional cleaner, instagram storying her way through big change of tenancy cleans. So you get the joy from seeing the before and after photos and find out what products she has used.
I discovered a lot of new cleaning tips and products from her account, and as I mentioned the joy of seeing a really limescaled bathroom being brought back to shiny by her.
Now I haven’t been able to follow the days she does, (certain areas on certain days – all in the blog) due to dog, work, this house, boys and just life. BUT what I have found a life changer are her level one jobs.
The level one jobs you do every day (in theory alongside her daily different zones)
- make the beds
- clean the bathroom(s)
- at least one load of washing
- hoover the main traffic areas
On a really good day I have this done before the school run, but if not I try and do all of these every day as a minimum.
It has meant my bathroom never really gets dirty, and you can always walk in to it being clean.
But a big part for me is the awareness of just doing a bit at a time. And so the house is never a total disaster area.
In theory we need to hoover twice a day here, as I said dog, cat, boys, mud and all on a navy carpet that basically shows up if you breathe on it.
Do I manage it every day? Hell no. But it’s an aim.
The Team Tomm Facebook group is also excellent for tips and asking cleaning questions. (my kind of happy)
THE CLEANING PRODUCTS
My husband tried to tell me the other day the amount of cleaning products we have in the under sink cupboard was ‘ridiculous’.
He is now living in the shed, means I have more room for cleaning things in his half of the wardrobe.
But yes I do have lots, but it is all used, I try to balance with eco products, I recycle packaging after (when I can) and a lot of it is cheap and for specific purposes (have I managed to justify it?)
So here are the things which I have tried out, what I re-buy, what I didn’t love and all the rest.
De-greasers – Elbow grease v Cif Power & Shine
I discovered Cif Power & Shine from Little Miss Mops who raved about it and used it on her change of tenancy cleans on hobs and ovens.
It is really great, you can spray and leave and then oven doors just wipe off. And if your oven / grill isn’t thick burnt on black, with this and a scraper you can get the oven clean. For tiles and anywhere in the kitchen that gets greasy on, try this. I don’t use it as an every day kitchen spray but bring it out for when the oven needs cleaning inside.
I was sucked into buying Elbow Grease after hearing rave reviews on the Team Tomm Facebook group. But I have to say I haven’t found it great. It is cheap, and others seem to love it, but I won’t be rebuying.
HG Professional Limescale Remover
This was another discovery via Little Miss Mops who uses it on the worst limescale on taps and in bathrooms.
It really works, and for me better than viakal or other limescale removers. You put it on a damp sponge and when it hits the limescale it fizzes up. Leave it there for a while then it will leave the area shiny.
This is the liquid and not the spray bottle that is similar.
Bar keepers Friend Powders & The Pink Stuff
These do similar things, but one is a powder and one a cream. Both remind me of old fashioned Vim cleaner that was a powder.
But they are both slightly abrasive without being really scratchy.
Bar Keepers friend is excellent on (stainless steel) sinks and oven hobs. My hob is glass and it doesn’t scratch it. It is also fantastic on glass shower screens.
The only downside is it is a powder so not as easy to use as a cream.
The Pink Stuff is a tub of cream, you put it onto a cloth or sponge and then scrub away. it has lots of uses, I have used on cupboard doors, burnt on bakeware, grill pans etc.
Do you need both? Probably not, but they last for ages and aren’t expensive. If I had to pick one it would probably be the bar keepers powder.
Mrs Hinch’s most favourite thing!
There has been a lot of talk about the product, it being dangerous, people being gassed by it, animals having allergic reactions etc.
For me it is about using it sensibly.
As per the instructions. Don’t mix it with other cleaning products. Don’t use neat around animals. Don’t put it in flammable things as it is flammable.
I dilute it into a spray bottle and then use it to disinfect areas. It is great for spraying in a smelly bin, leaving then wiping out. It kills any smells.
I also sometimes spray onto the kitchen work tops and leave and then wipe off. It doesn’t work as a cleaner as in getting food off, but it kills germs.
Another use is on plastic shower curtains, either spray some on, or put a cap in the washing machine with the shower curtain.
The one in the photo is the pet version, you can use (as per instructions on all pet stuff)
I found out about Splosh products in the Team Tomm group. And we have been using and repurchasing for 4 months now.
I really like the laundry products, as they are all really compact to store. And are all effective at cleaning. We use the powder and biological liquid, and fabric softener.
I also use the bathroom and kitchen sprays for every day clean and wiping down. Both smell nice, not as over powering as others (method) but fresh.
You order refils on the app / online and they are posted free.
You can see on the bottle-ometer on the site how many bottles you have saved through buying refills.
You can get a £3 discount off your first Splosh purchase, provided you spend £15 with the code JYBSFN5MXG
I bought my first glass e cloth in 2012 and raved about it here. And I still love them now and have a ‘few’ (6) of them. Brilliant for windows, glasses, inside the car, front of tvs / laptops/ tablets /phones.
Just use any other clean cloth (no fabric conditioner) damp and clean the item. Then dry with the e-cloth glass cloth and job done.
I also own the little green cleaning pad (kitchen whizzy) which I use generally in the kitchen, a washing up pad and most recently the scourer for the range. All great, and go in the washing machine several times a week.
I haven’t bought the normal micro-fibre cloth from them as I use lots of cloths every day and it would be too expensive. Instead I use these ones from amazon (affiliate link.)
As I have mentioned I had a dog that loves mud. And we have 2 brown leather sofas so I have tried quite a few leather cleaners. Left to right of the photo.
Dirtbusters leather cleaner & conditioner (the bottle in photo was the conditioner I have finished the cleaner – affiliate link) The cleaner was great, but expensive for what it was. The conditioner really works if you have more time to spend on the sofa.
Stardrops leather cleaner – this was £1 and I will be re-buying once used up. Works really well for a spray and quick wipe over.
Leather silk – this I didn’t find good for cleaning, but for using after the sofa is clean to get an amazing shine (the dog has possibly slide off the sofa after)
Wheelers leather cleaner – this was ok – not that cheap and nothing special.
White vinegar & Bicarb
The eco friendly dream team. I use these mainly for cleaning the washing machine. Loads of other uses for them too.
For washing machine cleaning you can spray the vinegar in the drawer, inside where the drawer comes out and in the drum. Pour on some bicarb and watch the fizz.
Do you need one of these? No (I MEAN YES ITS AMAZING!!)
OK so you can use an old toothbrush, yes of course. But this is so brilliant for tackling loads of jobs. Inside the washing machine drawer, the roof bit that goes black. Fantastic at that. Around taps, the dishwasher filter, around the edge on the sink where it meets the worktop.
I have no regrets over getting one.
Simple Solutions Stain Remover.
If you have a cat or dog that has accidents, this is the best thing to deal with it.
I had a cat that had serious weeing in the wrong place issues. The cat version I went through lots of bottles. It works, the smell of wee is gone.