I don't know about you but every once in a while I just get a bee in my bonnet and enough energy run through me to take on a monster clean throughout our home. After years of trial and error, I think I now know what I like to use, what works for us and what makes cleaning easy, because let's face it cleaning sucks.
I thought I'd share ten products and items that I will have close to hand or shoved in a cleaning caddy when doing my big cleans, that may just help you with yours. Here goes!
1. Bin bags
An obvious one for starters, but I always start with two bags on the go. One bag for rubbish as I go around and one for items to go to the charity shop, just try not to mix them up! Any recycling I pop to one side to put in the correct bin at the end. I tend to carry a whole roll around with me as they fill up super quick! It's kind of gross how much actual rubbish we can muster up in a quick lap around the house.
2. White vinegar
Now I must say as much as I love actual vinegar on food, white vinegar for cleaning isn't my favourite smell in the world but it's one of my favourite products and very very cheap! If you aren't familiar with this product for cleaning, then it's great for bringing mirrors and surfaces to a beautiful shine, the vinegary smell soon goes but the results are amazing and it just cuts through grime and hard water deposits so so well. You can buy sprays to use direct on surfaces as well as great big bottles that you can mix with warm water for cleaning your floors beautifully. A quick once over bathroom areas, mirrors and windows and you're done, so this is a cleaning staple for me.
3. An old towel or two
Do you ever wipe your surfaces and get left with those annoying dusty gatherings and speckles that just move around with the cloth? Well the answer is to carry a dry towel around with you that you can just use to remove those annoying clingy bits after you've cleaned. A quick shake off and it's ready for the next cleaning task, but it's just perfect for areas like bathrooms where each shiny surface loves to just cling on to those fluffy little bits and bobs.
4. Hoover & attachments
So another obvious one, but I'll explain why I'm mentioning it... So we have two hoovers, one is a cordless Dyson, perfect for quick daily hoovers, removing webs or quick spot cleans through the day. The other is my trusty Henry hoover that comes out for the big jobs with all the attachments in tow. I know not everyone will have room or funds for two hoovers, so I always say if you can only have one, choose a Henry. Yes they are bulky, yes he follows you round like a noisy creep, but he is hardcore, he does all the jobs you need and he's an absolute work horse! Always try and hoover floors and surfaces first too before adding wet products, as it just makes it so much easier!
5. Donation bag/box
You could just use a box or something for the charity shop, but I just like to hide it away in a bin bag from the off so I'm less likely to take it back out. Having a real place to put things that have been outgrown or are no longer needed, means that they can instantly 'go' and not risk going back into drawers or tidied away. The things we don't need have to go, but it's OK to 'quarantine them' for a while before they go, so have a bag on hand during your big clean and I bet you'll find things to fill it with!
6. Paper towels/washable cloths
I love cleaning wipes but there is no doubt they are just such a waste and terrible for the environment, so we are trying really hard to use less. Instead of disposable wipes, we use simple sprays and paper towels or washable cloths, as we can use more, clean more and have a tiny bit less of an impact on the world from our waste. I also find that real cloths or paper are much better at scrubbing away stubborn marks and stains.
7. Face mask
So many times I've jumped into a big clean and only realised afterwards that I've breathed in far too many chemicals such as bleach. Although we try and use more natural products where we can, if I am using strong chemicals I make sure I'm wearing a mask for that few minutes now as it stops me getting a sore chest later on. I also make sure to carry a bottle of water round with me as cleaning is very thirsty work and you can soon burn out!
8. Empty basket or box
If I'm cleaning upstairs I'll have a box of stuff that should live downstairs, and vice versa. This way as I'm whipping around cleaning, I can chuck anything in there that isn't in the right place and quickly pop in its rightful place at the end. Likewise the kids clothes and toys can appear in all kinds of places, so I'll pop these in a box or pile to put back in their rooms.
I don't know why but whether it's cleaning, running, driving a long way it always goes quicker with music. Good energetic music that you love can really give you a mighty boost to power your way through the cleaning. There are many cleaning playlists on YouTube etc and just make sure it's upbeat to keep you positive and focused on the job at hand.
I find brushes so helpful for cleaning as they just get into hard to reach areas without a struggle. Our toilet has a really awkward shaped bowl, so the actual toilet brush isn't really any good for under rims etc, so I have an old washing up brush that's smaller, more square shaped and much better at getting in all the awkward parts. I also have a tooth brush I use just for cleaning and getting in between tiles and smaller areas like taps. Be sure to make sure these aren't mistaken for regular brushes, but if you don't yet have any in your cleaning kit, it's time!
What are your cleaning essentials when taking on a monster job?