My top 10 must have cleaning essentials
Everyone has their favourite cleaning products. If it works for you then don't change it!
Each house requires different cleaning methods and it's important to use the correct products to achieve the best results, that makes your house look, smell and feel like home, without too much effort.
Cleaning can be a very rewarding and therapeutic way of ridding yourself of stress, especially now we are re-entering the world from our lockdown lives. This also means cleaning could be even more important to you, than it might have been back in January.
Cleaning also doesn't need to be expensive. Do you have a cupboard full of different cleaning materials that have not 'cut the mustard' for you? I did too! After trialing numerous different products I now always stick to my usual basic kit. All the products I carry in my day to day caddy are easily accessible, effective and reasonably priced.
Not only does a clean home improve your daily living standards but it gives you a sense of pride. There is nothing quite like soaking in some bubbles at the end of the day in a sparkling clean bath!
So here is my top 10 essential products to have in your store cupboard...
#1 White vinegar
Fantastic and definitely a must have for glass and shower screens. It has many other uses including; Stain removal on laundry, can be used to buff some stainless steel, removal of water marks and early stage limescale on non porous surfaces.
'Stardrops white vinegar spray' is one of my favourites because it is cost effective, it goes a long way and although it does have a vinegar smell, it is not as strong as regular cleaning white vinegar and the smell is quickly absorbed. You can currently pick up one of these for £0.79 which is an absolute bargain, I always achieve crystal clear glass, it has never let me down! Remember, don't over spray, start with a couple of bursts and add more if needed.
#2 Glass Cloths
Next time you are in the shop I'd recommend you invest in cloths especially manufactured for glass. The ones I use are in a pack of two, one cloth to work in the product (white vinegar) and one to buff. Believe me, your shower screens will love you for it. It is also good for using on bathroom tiles and most shiny surfaces.
I have tried numerous glass cloths and for me, nothing does the job better than these. Use the ribbed cloth to work in your white vinegar and remove the soap scum, then whilst the glass is still slightly damp, buff with the smooth cloth. Take a sideways look at your surfaces to check for streaks.
£1.69 per pack at the moment, I wish I knew how good they were in the beginning, I could have saved myself a lot of frustration and money trying to achieve the high shine I really wanted.
#3 Bathroom cleaner
In my experience, using a specific bathroom cleaner is much better than a multipurpose household cleaner. It will cut your scrubbing time down as it contains all the correct ingredients to breakdown soap scum and dirt. It should also make your taps gleam with little or no buffing needed.
I don't know what I would do without my flash bathroom cleaner. Sometimes the oldies are the best. It really is the business. It cuts through tough bathroom stains leaving a fresh, clean scent. Make sure you rinse the product from all surfaces (including taps) after scrubbing. This will give you your shiny taps and if you want shinier than that, a quick buff with your glass cloths will ensure they gleam!
And don't be trigger happy, this little diamond goes along way.
£1 for 450ml at B&M
#4 Kitchen cleaner
It's so important to make sure your kitchen is clean and sanitised. Spray surfaces and leave to work for at least 5 minutes before removing with clean kitchen roll. Only use a dishcloth to wipe it away if it is fresh, dry and clean. Dishcloths surprisingly can harbor lots of germs that can be spread around your kitchen.
Flash kitchen is a great all rounder. It smells amazing and is effective on most kitchen spillages. Remember to clean your taps too.
Selling for £1 in most retail outlets
A good one can make or break your cleaning! It needs to fast acting, have deep cleaning properties and cater for numerous cleaning emergencies.
I LOVE 'Elbow Grease'. It does exactly what it says it does. Effective on metals, fabrics and surfaces and a must have in your kit.
The price tag of £0.89 in most shops makes it a fantastic 'just in case' addition to your kit.
#6 Floor Cleaner
I have two floor cleaning products that I swear by. Both made by Flash and they always bring my floors up a treat.
First one to review is Flash All -Purpose cleaner - Crisp lemon. It states that it is the UK's number 1 floor cleaner and I can see why. It cuts through dirt and grime with ease and it really does smell of crisp lemons.
Follow the dilution instructions to make sure to get the full value from the entire bottle.
Retailing at a modest £1.99 for 2.050L.
My second floor cleaner is Flash Traditional with the scent of natural French soap.
It is as effective as my Flash All-Purpose but it smells divine. It fills your home with a gorgeous decadent scent.
It is slightly more expensive than Flash All-Purpose at £1.99 for 1LTR. But it is so worth it.
What can I say? Everyone knows about 'Zoflora'. It is available in many different flagrances. I generally use Fresh Linen. Who doesn't like the smell of fresh linen?!
It kills bacteria and viruses. Eliminates odours and keeps your home smelling fresh for longer. It has multiple uses, spray on door handles and taps, inside your toilets and sinks or mop your floors, to name a few.
Always read the usage instructions and do not use on polished wood. It is flammable if exposed to open flames and applied to direct heat. Be careful.
A little goes a very long way. £3.99 for 500ml. It makes 20 litres worth of solution. Give it a try and find your very own fragrance for your home.
#8 Furniture Polish
At the moment I really like 'Pledge Jasmine'. It's a multi purpose polish suitable for stone, metal, glass and wood. It dusts and cleans and removes fingerprints and marks with little effort. I always have great results using this product and is always in my cleaning kit.
It a good all rounder with a great price tag of £1 for 250ml. Always apply the product to the cloth to dust surfaces.
Another must is 'Wood Silk'. It is a blend of Beeswax and nutrient oils. It really brings out the natural grain and colour of the wood and replaces lost oils lost to heat within the home.
It is non silicone and can be used on gloss satin and matt wood finishes. It's good for reproduction furniture, natural interior doors/panelling, wooden block floors.
Please note, do not use on unsealed wooden surfaces which includes scratches on lighter coloured furniture in particular. Spray sparingly and buff immediately with a soft clean cloth.
The handsome price for this is £1.30 for 250ml.
#9 Cloths, dusters another stuff
It's fairly straight forward from here. For dusting and polishing you need a cheap pack of multi-purpose microfibre cloths.
On offer at the moment for £1. The pack contains 6 different coloured ones.
For wet cleaning, I use fluffy dishcloths. I rarely have a need for a Minky or Scrub Daddy, but they are handy for work that requires a little but more effort.
You can't go wrong at £3 for a pack of 10.
Another useful thing to invest in are some noodle dusters. They are available in different shapes and sizes. Two of my best are:
Tesco bendy duster
It is flexible, a real dust collector and it gets into hard to reach areas. One side is a flat duster and the noodle side (in image) is a buffer.
It's £3 from Tesco and the duster is removable so it can be washed, time and time again.
A Bamboo & Chenille Duster
A fantastic little bit of kit for general dusting. It has a pointed edge to reach corners and is super soft. The head is also removable for washing.
This is retailing a £4.99 and with the right care and attention, will last for ages!
Top tip: Never add fabric conditioner to your load when washing your cloths.
#10 The BIG purchases
Your vacuum cleaner
I use Shark vacuum cleaners. For me, they are the best. They offer versatile vacuuming with little effort.
I currently have the Shark Anti Hair Wrap upright vacuum cleaner with powered lift-away XL. It has an extra large floorhead and dust cup. The main body can be removed to hoover under furniture, 2 lift away options, pet attachments and various tools.
This retails at £249.95 and I wouldn't be without it.
On the other hand, my colleague uses a Henry Extra and she receives many compliments on how fantastic her clients carpets look after using Henry.
Cute Henry retails at £159.
Vacuums cleaners are very much down to personal preference. You may have pet hair to deal with, young children living in your home or your carpets don't have heavy volumes of traffic and you simply do not need anything heavy duty.
My advise is to research what you require your vacuum to do, review your budget and spend as much as you can afford. It's a commitment buy and not easily replaced, so take your time when choosing.
Vileda Turbo Spin Mop wins!
You can control the amount of water usage with the spin facility. It is more pricey than the average mop and bucket at £34.99. If you have large area to mop this would be a good buy and a time saver.
If your budget doesn't stretch to the above option.
Buy yourself a basic traditional mop and bucket. It will do the job! Do try to purchase a microfibre mop head if you can.