Mrs Hinch’s top cleaning hacks
If only the spring clean was it for the year. Just that one big clean. But alas, as well as the daily jobs and the weekly jobs, our homes could do with a deep clean at the start of every season. Fortunately, we now have clever Mrs Hinch cleaning hacks to help us rattle through that list of summer cleaning jobs in no time.
Summer is a great time for a big clean, as you can fling open all the windows and doors, get those rugs out on the line for a good beating, and throw all the cushion covers in the washing machine, since they’ll dry outside in no time. It’s also a good time to tackle the dust behind the radiators while they’re redundant. That’s why the interior experts at Stelrad, one of the UK’s leading radiator companies, have pulled together their top cleaning tips for those awkward places that many of us forget about or avoid. So let’s get Hinching!
1. Windows and window frames
Following a summer of fun in the garden, water splashes can create unwanted marks on windows and window frames. Clean your windows by vacuuming up any loose dust and dirt before making up a solution of warm water and washing up liquid. Add a dash of vinegar to cut through any soapy residue. Then simply use one cloth to clean, and another to polish and dry. Mrs Hinch favours a Minky glass cloth. A squeegee comes in handy when tackling large panes of glass.
2. Cleaning baskets
That jumble of cleaning products under the sink can make cleaning frustrating. By storing your cleaning products in baskets, you can just grab and go. Go one step further by dividing up your cleaning products by room – have a basket for each and you’ll never lose anything or spend ages rummaging through cupboards looking for the polish. Mrs Hinch uses cheap storage baskets from PoundStretcher.
3. Behind the toilet
It can be easy to overlook this area, but dirt and dust really gathers here. To clean those areas that a mop or vacuum won’t reach, simply don those rubber gloves – there’s no better way to tackle this area than by hand! Remove as much dust as you can with a dry microfibre cloth first, then clean with a solution of bathroom disinfectant and warm water and scrub with a sponge. Mrs Hinch favours Zoflora Concentrated Multipurpose Disinfectant, which kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria and smells great.
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4. Door scuffs and grime
Doors can be susceptible to scuff marks, dirt and grime which can be tough to clean. Luckily, Mrs Hinch has shared a great door cleaning hack: simply dilute a cup of fabric conditioner with water and go over the scuff marks with a scouring pad, cleaning in circular motions. Your door will soon look freshly painted again.
5. Narrow blinds
Cleaning a blind slat by slat is super fiddly. To speed up the process, turn your kitchen tongs into a blind-cleaning tool by attaching a clean microfiber cloth to the tongs using rubber bands, creating a flat surface area. Now close the tool over each slat in turn, pulling it across the entire length to remove any dust. If your blinds are really dusty, try wiping a tumble-dryer sheet over each slat first to remove most of the dust. ‘The reason I use tumble dryer sheets is that they are anti-static so they pick up all the dust. You don’t need to wet them or do anything,’ says Mrs Hinch.
6. Dishwasher filter and screen
You can’t expect sparklingly clean dishes if your dishwasher is dirty! An old toothbrush is the best tool for cleaning a dishwasher. Simply dip it into hot, soapy and water and use it to scrub off any build-up on the removable filters and screens, rinsing with clean water once finished. Then, as a Hincher from the Mrs Hinch Cleaning Tips and Tricks group on Facebook suggests, add a cup of white vinegar and a cup of bicarbonate of soda to the top rack and simply running the dishwasher on its hottest cycle. Another suggests adding half a lemon to the top rack, too.
7. Mattress quilting and trim
We spend one-third of our lives asleep, which means a lot of time on the mattresses. Changing your sheets regularly might not be enough to keep your bed free of nasties. To keep your mattress clean and extend its lifespan, use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum to suck dirt and dust out of the folds and crevices in your mattress, paying extra attention to the tricky to reach spots. Mrs Hinch has also been known to sprinkle bicarbonate of soda – an odour eliminator – onto her mattress, leaving it for an hour and then hoovering it up. Tackle any stains with a spritz of Astonish Fabric Stain Remover Spray.
8. Tackling those taps
Although your porcelain sink may be gleaming, taps are notoriously tricky to clean, with limescale and bacteria creeping into all those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. But a lemon can help. Simply cut a lemon in half, rub it all over the tap and leave the citric acid to do its thing. Then grab an old toothbrush, dip it in hot soapy water and scrub away any stubborn muck. Some Hinchers swear by rubbing a wet 2p coin over the really stubborn limescale on taps.
9. Ceilings and mouldings
It’s all too easy to ignore dust and spiderwebs in those hard to reach corners and crown mouldings up on the ceiling. After all, how often do you look up there? But a long-handled duster, dry sponge mop or broom soon deals with dust and cobwebs. A hand-held vacuum with a long nozzle will also help you get rid of the bulk of a spiderweb.
10. Cabinet tops and tall furniture
Another spot that’s out of sight, out of mind, and therefore often neglected, are the tops of cabinets. A duster with an extending handle and pivoting head, like the Swivel Duster from The Range or Swiffer XXL Starter Duster, will make this much easier. The tops of kitchen cabinets, however, are a different matter altogether! The combination of grease and dust settles into a hard-to-shift gunk. A good way to tackle this is to create a cleaning solution with one-part baking soda, two-parts warm water and lemon juice. Spray onto the kitchen cabinets, leave for three minutes and then use a scouring sponge to scrub the grease away.
11. Behind the radiators
Last but not least, that dust that gathers behind the radiators can be really tricky to tackle. While it’s easy to turn a blind eye, it’s also not that hard to banish, if you know how… In the Mrs Hinch Cleaning Tips and Tricks group on Facebook, one Hincher advised using ‘a hairdryer to blow it out’, but added that it’s a good idea to put newspaper down before doing so – ‘you’ll be amazed what comes out,’ they added. You can also buy a long-handled duster to poke down through those pesky radiator columns. Pick one up for under a tenner from the likes of Amazon, JML and Lakeland.
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