If you follow me on Instagram, you’re probably already aware of my obsession with cleaning and my love of Sophie Hinchliffe aka Mrs Hinch. I’d love to call cleaning a hobby, however, I have a toddler, a baby and a husband that doesn’t do as much as pick up his own dirty socks off the floor; so really it’s a bit of a necessity. Gone are the days I’d spend my money on night’s out, booze and eyeshadow palettes I’d use twice, now I spend my money on cleaning supplies, rose gold trinkets and boxes of Pop-Tarts at B&M, and quite happily I may add. Her Instagram account was especially comforting throughout my pregnancy. I’m a bit of an introvert and maternity leave completely cut me off from the outside world. Unlike so many other influencers or Instagrammers, I found her incredibly relatable, funny and a breath of fresh air. As lovely as the girls probably are, I could no longer relate to the bloggers toting designer handbags outside Peggy Porschen or celebrities flogging undeclared ads for skinny-laxative-milkshakes.
When I found Mrs Hinch, I also discovered a whole community of women like myself. Many with families, taking pleasure in simple things like a limited-edition Zoflora or the lastest cleaning gadget. I’ve spoken to many women in the ‘cleaning community’ who suffer from anxiety and depression or first-time mums feeling over-whelmed and we’ve bonded over our love for all things Hinch. I used to hate having to clean/iron/organise after I came home from work but now I have an online community where I can go to have a giggle and not feel completely overwhelmed, bored or stressed out while doing them. It also gives me a much-needed kick up the arse to take out the hoover and not fall into a Paw Patrol induced coma.
Over the past couple of months, I tried a lot of different cleaning products which have made running my chaotic home a little less stressful. It’s definitely easy to get carried away. The shelves of B&M and Home Bargains, for example, are absolutely crammed with things such as carpet cleaner foams, Scrub Daddy’s and Magic Erasers. As much as I love stocking my Narnia to the max, there are a few holy grail products that can tackle a multitude of cleaning conundrums for as little at 89p…
- 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. Yes, the Minky is available in all sorts of pretty patterns, however, 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. It’s made from a tough polymer which changes texture – soft in hot water, hard in cold water. It’s incredibly effective at removing stains and stuck-on grime without damaging the surface. It helps elevate your sprays and pastes etc to another level.
- Zoflora – You just can’t beat a bottle of Zoflora. I dilute it down in a spray and wipe down all my surfaces with it including door handles, radiators, light switches, worktops, toilets – you name it Zoflora can kill germs and leave your whole house smelling amazing. I also wash my floors with it and change fragrances depending on what kind of mood I’m in. It’s affordable and a great multitasker.