Only two days to go until the big day and I’m way behind on my usual preparations. We all had the Norovirus last week and I spent most of my energy trying desperately to remove the smell of vomit from the girl’s bedding and our carpet (bicarbonate soda, vinegar spray, & Carpet 1001 to the rescue). Thankfully, dipping into Lynsey Queen of Clean’s book How to Clean Your House at Christmas has given me a much-needed dose of motivation. It also has a section on recipes to make your own natural cleaning solutions which I find fascinating and hope to make in 2020. So grab your festive Minky (yes, that’s a thing) and let’s obliterate your Zoflora stash. It’s time to get ready for Christmas…
I know a lot of people on Twitter were ripping into Mrs Hinch’s Activity Planner. I saw a lot of nasty little tweets about anyone who bought it (honestly, let people live – anyone else find Twitter full of negativity recently?) but, you know what, I love it! I especially like the section where you write out the week’s ‘Hinch List’ as I’m obsessed with lists in general. Any notebook/memo board/diary/app that helps me to organise and keep track of all the balls I’m constantly juggling as a working mama gets a thumbs up from me. As I mentioned, I’m way behind on preparations. I had a whole bunch of cleaning jobs to do around the house spread out over a week to give me plenty of time but, thanks to the Norovirus, I’m cramming as many 5 minute jobs as possible into the next two days…
- Clean Your Burner and Pop in a New Wax Melt – The strongest wax melts I’ve purchased so far are the ones from Ava May Aromas. Before you come to the conclusion that I have well and truly brainwashed by the Hinch (to be fair I have and I’m living my best life because of it), they smell incredible. They do take a while to arrive (they are a small business after all) but the bars are well worth the wait. I’m currently burning Snow Fairies as it smells exactly like my favourite Lush bath bomb. It instantly makes my house a more cosy place to be before I’ve even started to clean. Minimum effort, maximum result – my kind of ‘cleaning’.
- The Power of Zoflo – The hype is real. Zoflora has a million uses but simply throwing a few caps in some warm water and giving your floors a quick once over before bedtime is such an easy way to leave your home smelling festive and your floors squeaky clean in minutes. There are a lot of fragrances to choose from. Linen Fresh is a safe bet as it’s clean and light and probably the least controversial. As for the festive ones, I’m on the fence about a lot of them. If you like a spicy, more traditional, Christmas scent then you’ll love Festive Fireplace, Warm Cinnamon and Winter Spice. Cranberry & Orange is a little sweeter and Winter Morning and Sparkling Spruce (my personal favourites) are light and fresh so to me smell a lot cleaner. If you’re on top of your wrapping and have time to kill, why not complete a Zoflora Hour? Check out my story highlights here to watch me complete mine. You basically visit the Usage & Tips section on the official Zoflora site, chose a room and select a couple of 5-minute tasks. These range from wiping down the remote controls, door handles and radiators to refreshing the welcome mat and soaking your toilet brushes. All simple tasks, which we often forget to do, that leave your house smelling incredible whilst combating the spread and reproduction of bacteria and germs.
- Refresh the Sofa – If you have any pets that love to lounge on your sofa, giving it a quick refresh to get rid of the smell is probably a good idea if you’re expecting guests. I use the Stardrops White Vinegar Spray to remove any stains and watermarks and either my Astonish Fabric Refresher and Carpet 1001 foam, both of which you can find in B&M for under a £1, to instantly hide any wet dog smell.
- Don’t Forget the Bathroom – I find that the Astnoish Toilet Tabs (literally a bath bomb for your loo which fizzes and does all the hard work for you) and a quick circle of Toilet Duck around the rim will do miracles. I also stick a capful of Zoflora in the toilet brush holder and give everything a spray with my trusty Dettol to help kill the cold and flu virus – I also use this on door handles, mattresses, toilet seats etc.
As for any other products that are handy to have in your ‘Narnia’ (aka cleaning cupboard) I can’t recommend the following highly enough –
- The ‘Priminky’ – Primark has its own version of the infamous sponge. The original is around £2.50 and, in my opinion, doesn’t last long at all. The Primark version retails for only £2 for a pack of 2. They’re just as good… if not better! I got the Christmas Minky in my Secret Santa at work and it’s cute but I don’t really rate them if I’m being honest. I think they’re way overpriced and overrated *cleaning community on Instagram collectively shudders*
- The Pink Stuff – This is a cleaning paste that retails for as little as 99p. I’ve used mine to clean my hob and sink, remove sticky residue, scrub my bathroom tiles, clean my oven, remove grime from my front door, remove rust from my kitchen tap, remove pen marks on my dining table, clean the hinges of my cupboard doors and even clean my Converse. I also use the spray for cleaning my worktops & their cream cleaner for my bath, but the original paste is one of my all-time favourite products. Use it with an old toothbrush and you’ll be amazing at what it can shift.
- Method All-Purpose Cleaner in Wild Rhubarb – Although this spray is a little pricey (£3), it’s made with a new naturally derived lactic acid formula that smells like wild rhubarb, not chemicals! It kills 99.9% of bacteria, dissolves dirt & grease and leaves my kitchen worktops sparkling clean and shiny. They have a floor cleaner which you simply squirt on to laminate (no water needed which is a total time saver) and a shower spray which you use after your morning shower to help prevent soap scum and hard water forming, again, with very little effort.
- Elbow Grease – I rate the entire collection. I use the washing up liquid in my Dishmatic (a cleaning brush which you put your washing up liquid directly inside), the original spray cuts through grease effortlessly, the oven cleaning kit is only £1.99 and really effective and the Elbow Grease Scrub Mate is a dupe of the infamous Scrub Daddy sponge which removes stubborn marks and dried on food in seconds without scratching your surfaces.
So, have you watered your Christmas tree, stocked up on batteries, decluttered your fridge, refilled the toilet holders and de-pooped your garden? That last one is for dog owners only. Well, even if you’ve not – sod it! Put your feet up, crack open a box of Lindor truffles (you know the ones) and enjoy the chaos of the next few days.
If you want to see all the products I mentioned above in action, check out my Instagram here and click on the highlight buttons to see all the before and after videos and photos.1