Unfortunately, I am not a lover of cleaning . I find it satisfying once it’s done, and actually doing it as not as bad as thinking about it, but it’s not what I’d call fun. That said, I aspire to a clean house and I still have cleaning products which I like. Here are a few of my favourites!
Magic Eraser Sponge
Removes marks from hard surfaces which you didn’t think were ever going to shift. Originally invented as acoustic insulation, apparently, it turned out that when damp it becomes a cleaning wonder-product! No nasty chemicals involved.
What not to clean with it: It works because although it feels smooth, it is rough at a microscopic level. So it is removing dirt through abrasion. This does mean that you should use caution when cleaning shiny surfaces – the patch you are cleaning might end up clean, but dull. Don’t use it on the key scratches around your car door handle, like I did ;) It will take marks off a painted wall, but if you rub too hard and too long it is going to take the paint off.
Tip: look for it in you local pound shop or discount shop (eg: Home Bargains – that’s where I get mine). I’m happy to pay £1 for a block about 15cm x 10cm x 4 cm. Don’t pay £1 in a supermarket for a block the size of a bar of soap: you’ll be overpaying.
Maybe every last person in the UK uses these now, but if you don’t I suggest leaping on that bandwagon. They are great for cleaning shiny stuff like windows and stainless steel, leaving a satisfying gleam. They’re also fantastic for dusting, because they hold onto the dust instead of just shifting it around – then you can just shake it out through a window.
What not to clean with it:
Really gunky, grubby, filthy or oily stuff. These cloths have a lot of surface area microscopically, so they are designed to grab things and hold on. You’ll find it pretty much impossible to clean thick gunk out of them.
Method Daily Shower
This is for spraying on your shower screen, tiles etc to stop limescale building up on them. It really works. And it smells all lovely and fresh. It won’t clean the limescale off a surface, but once you’ve got that surface clean you can spray this on after you shower and it really keeps the limescale from building back up. It’s a nice environmentally conscious company to buy from.
Tip: I also like to use this to clean my bathroom mirror, because it has the added bonus of stopping the mirror from steaming up as much. “Who cares??” I hear you ask? Well, me: my husband shaves after he showers and if the mirror is steamed up he’ll swoosh his hand over it to clear it, and then after it dries there’s a big swoosh mark which means I need to clean the mirror again. If I use this, no steam, no swoosh, less cleaning for me!
Dettol Surface Spray
I like it because it is “safe to use where food is prepared”. I did try to usurp it with a cheaper competitor once, but the cheaper competitor smelled chemically and was not “safe to use where food is prepared”. This Dettol stuff smells almost of nothing (unless you buy one of the flavoured versions, like the Lime & Mint in this photo…still nice). I use it everywhere: kitchen surfaces, bathroom sinks, loo seats, door handles etc.
My optimal price to pay is £1 per 500ml bottle (or £1.50 for 750ml). I’ll only pay more if desperate.
I used to be cursed with clothing stains that wouldn’t come out. How does everybody else do it…white socks, and tops unblotched with stubborn pasta sauce? Then I finally came across this Vanish bar. I’ve used the oxygen bleach version, but this stuff takes the biscuit. Wet the stain, and rub this stuff on. Often, the stain will just magically disappear in front of your eyes (like the ones on my unwashable outdoor cushion covers – d’oh!). Or, you can wet-and-rub before putting the offending item in the machine, and it comes out clean! There are a couple of marks which haven’t succumbed to the Vanish Bar skills, but they are in the minority these days. I love that this is a soap bar: long lasting, minimal packaging, and comfortingly old-fashioned looking. It’s also cheap!
I googled how to clean upvc window frames and doors. Some people recommended a normal cream cleaner, like Cif. Some people recommended varying brands of upvc cleaner. In B&Q they were selling this upvc cleaner so I thought I’d take a punt. I’m glad I did. I can’t speak for normal cream cleaners, as I didn’t try them, but this stuff definitely does the trick. You put it on with a damp (microfibre, of course) cloth, and you buff it off with a dry one. It gets rids of things no amount of elbow grease + washing up liquid will shift. Spider poo?* Adios. Mysterious black scrapes? It’s been emotional. General grime? I wish I could say I’ll miss you. Upvc is an ugly medium, but if we must use it, at least let it be clean.
*You’ve never seen spider poo before? Maybe you have but didn’t know it. It looks like little reddish-brown dots…like a few tiny splashes of fence paint somehow found their way onto your gorgeous upvc windowsill.
And on that poo-related note!….