I am one of these weird people who has never caught the Mrs Hinch bug. I mean I am a serial cleaner who goes through bouts of extreme deep cleaning regularly and cannot work in messy surroundings despite my creative impulse to make rather than clean, but I just didn’t get the sudden infatuation with her.
My sister first pushed me in the direction of ‘hinching’ when she caught the obsession and I hate to admit, that after joining the Facebook group, I stopped going in there after one day. A lot of the tips and tricks made me cringe and really question the sanity of some people. I mean choosing to soak dirty cloths overnight rather than just actually wash them in the machine. Opting out of cleaning things properly for a good old ‘overnight soak in zoflora’ as though it was suddenly a new trendy product. Using chemicals meant for laundry in wax warmers, to inhale all manner of toxic fumes in a bid to make your home ‘smell nice’.
What sort of lunacy is this?
Now I am not dissing Mrs Hinch, as I am sure she has a whole manner of great ideas and her enthusiasm got a lot of people bulk buying cleaning products to create Instagram photos and earn gold points for their collection of Zoflora……yes that’s mild sarcasm. She did seem to push the cleaning challenged into trying to get all domestic, and the formerly borderline unhygienic homes got a little nicer. I respect her methods of getting people hyped up to don pink rubber gloves and get intimate with their loo bowls, it’s just I was already a hincher in my own right. I think that is maybe why it went right over my head and I didn’t really click with this whole new ‘Hinching’ affair.
For decades I have carried with me some age old tips, handed down by granny (my family are all serial cleaners and OCD is a mental health issue that has been passed down the generations. I myself have it.) I am always keeping my ear to the ground for legitimate tips that seem to be proven to work rather than the hype to just buy every chemical under the sun. I especially love when the tip includes budget products available to the many and very little effort. Things we can get easily, keep to hand without mass buying, use when required and really work without question. I tend not to jump to buy something until i repeatedly hear the same good results over and over , and then I usually try it for myself.
So here are some of my favorites from the past few months that for me , most definitely work.
Koh – eco cleaner which is pretty new to the market.
The initial kit is a bit pricey but it makes up several bottles of solution and the cloths and sponges you get with them are worth it. This is a constant in my arsenal and it best deals with grease, tough grime and hard to shift grime. Great on cookers, around the cooker where grease builds up and great on white PVC windows and doors. I have been using Koh for about 6 months now and have gone through maybe 4 refills of the solution with still plenty left. I use it on the hard to shift stuff and honestly have zero complaints. It’s subtle in smell, doesn’t irritate my breathing or skin (I am very sensitive) and always get’s the things clean that other products fail on. It particularly keeps the white tiles behind my cooker, grease free. I have cleaned my oven doors effortlessly with this , multiple times.
The pink stuff – in both cream and liquid. (My new favourite)
I am new to this and just spent two days deep cleaning my entire kitchen with these products to really test it out. I am one of those folks who have to thoroughly road test something before I recommend but these products got me so quickly that I feel confident in saying I love them. My favourite part is that it is super cheap, available in home bargains and B and M for around £1 and under, and even though I used them on absolutely everything, I have more than half left. The paste excels at the tougher grimy stuff, chrome and silver metal finishes and really ground in dirt. I just rubbed a sponge over the surface and applied directly to what I was cleaning. And I mean I cleaned EVERYTHING!! I even got on my hands and knees and scrubbed my textured vinyl floor with this.
The liquid was gentler and I found it great on moderate daily grime much like other cream cleaners. A bit better than cheap brands and a good rival for CIF with less smell and less irritation to my hands. Smell was so subtle I honestly couldn’t smell it most of the time. My skin didn’t react to direct exposure, even after 2 full days of using it and rinsing it constantly over my hands. Which is unusual for me. I have rubber glove allergies so that’s really important to me with a product I want to use again and again.
Milton sterilising fluid and tablets
These are an old favorite for removing stains in clothes but the reason I recently bought the tablets again was a tip that they are amazing on bleach safe carpeting and rugs. I have 2 rugs that were in need of extreme cleaning. I have shampooed them previously and despite working hard I never really got them bright and fresh like when they were new. This time I popped in some Milton tablets into my shampooer and with practically zero effort shampooed both rugs back to cleaner than they have been in a long time. I soaked the harder to move stains with some of the solution, let sit for a minute and proceeded to shampoo and got both looking so clean I could not be happier.
Other uses include – using the solution neat directly on white clothes with stains for a few minutes before laundering. Popping into your dishwasher or washing machine between uses to clean and get rid of odors. Diluting into a spray bottle and using as a mild cleaner on surfaces. The downside is that your house will smell of a local swimming pool but I happen to find that smell really nice when it comes to the kitchen and the sense of clean it gives me. I get no reaction from using it near my skin and it’s cheap , easy to find in most shops although for the tablets I had to go to ebay. I got 28 tablets for 2.99 and free postage.
Yup good old fashioned salt. Mix it with washing liquid to create a gritty paste on really dirty surfaces, chuck a cup into your dishwasher with hard to clean dishes for extra oomph. Pour it over oil spills to absorb the fat and then you can simply use a brush and pan to remove them before cleaning as normal. Dissolve salt in water for a sterile solution to clean wounds and help with dental issues. I keep 2kg bags of salt in my cupboard as I find it works on so much.
When I had a newborn our house caught a flea epidemic from an adjoining neighbors house. As I had a toddler and a baby i could not use flea products so instead a mixed a 50 50 powder of bicarbonate soda and salt and covered every surface in my house before bed every night. I would hoover it all away next morning. I did this three time sin one week and we got rid of every flea in the entire house. The salt dehydrates them while the bicarb is so fine it sticks to them causing abrasions which help kill them as the salt and bicarb penetrate. You basically hoover up dead fleas. It does take effort but it’s both kid and pet friendly and costs next to nothing.
I know, I know…… I can hear the gasps of Hinch enthusiasts inhaling, all over. It was around long before Instagram made cleaning a social event, trust me. I use Zoflora for one purpose only though, preferably the grapefruit as that is my favorite, although I currently have tropical and the linen ones. I mix my Zoflora, couple of teaspoons into bicarbonate of soda to make a paste. This paste is an absolute legend on textiles where something liquid has been spilled and smell won’t clean out. So milk, urine, sick, on carpets, mattresses. You spread the paste very generously over the area which smells bad (obviously after first cleaning the spillage away best you can) and leave it overnight, the longer the better. The bicarb absorbs the smells while the zoflora disinfects and scents the area. You get your hoover out when it’s dried up and returning to powder and just hoover it away.
I have a son who used to have bed accidents and I can tell you I have used this on his mattress several time sin the past and never had any sort of lingering urine smell from his room after using. It hands down beats anything I ever tried in the past and still sue this when my dog has little accidents in the house.
Cheap stain remover for clothes
Those huge tubs of oxy powder and such, they are awesome in more than just your washing machine. Add them to buckets of hot soapy water for the floors, add to the dishwasher to help boost and clean it out when doing a rinse cycle, dilute it in water bottles to spray on carpets for spot cleaning. Mix it with Zoflora or disinfectant to make pastes in the way you can with bicarb and tackle stains and hard to clean areas on textiles. You can toothbrush it in and rinse it out when you battle your grime.
I know the plastic police will probably put me on some sort of hit list for this one but as I have yet to find an equal alternative then I am sticking with them. these are miracle wipes and can tackle anything from arts and crafts spillages, to house cleaning and kiddo’s. I once used baby wipes to take black printer ink out of my carpet, and it was not a little spill either. My mum and I went through two packets on a terracotta carpet and all that was left was a faint shadow of ink where it had gotten so deep in the pile we couldn’t get into it. I wipe down woodwork, surfaces and really stubborn stains with these and they never fail to remove. I use them with acetone on my nails, rinse them and use them to clean my entire bathroom and loo for mega quick cleans when guests give you a 3 minute arrival warning. I clean windows with them.
I keep them handy for absolutely everything and always carry a pack wherever we go. For camping they are a godsend and I have used them to clean out filthy pots when camping before then using my valuable dishwater to give the pot a rinse. My kids are well beyond baby wipe years but we all still buy and use them.
They take out most stains you would never think of using them on, cant remove the worst grime and instead of buying house hold cleaning wipes for various surfaces, I find these work on them all and do not damage surfaces either. Some of the wipe chemicals can affect wood and laminates but these are pretty safe for everything. I quick clean floors with these when I have small spill areas or mucky footprints and as you can buy them as little as 50p a pack, then it’s a win win.
Okay these are not so much in the budget friendly bracket but I still had to add them, for a few reasons. firstly, these are eco friendly options and they smell absolutely amazing. I particularly love the wild rhubarb and use it on my surfaces a lot. this not only cleans really well but leaves my kitchen smelling great for hours. I have used this on tiles, cookers and such and it does a great job at handling tough grime.
I get no allergy reactions to something that smells this strong although be warned my friend does get issues with how strong t smells when I spray it. She is okay with it after I am done and enjoys the scent it leaves but she has to leave my kitchen while I am using it. So I am guessing it will affect people with breathing issues or lung sensitivity like she has.
I don’t need air fresheners downstairs when I use this as it does leave a nice smell for a long while after. I use it on my bathrooms and living areas, not just my kitchens and find it works well as multi purpose. I have a few of the method products but this and the matching scent floor cleaner are really the only ones I reach for. The smell is my absolute favourite thing to have in my house and I get comments as to how nice my house smells when I have been on a cleaning spree with it. A good thing to watch for is the 3 for the price of 2 offers method seem to have regularly which cuts down the cost to a more manageable one. It lasts a long time as you need very little to clean. I also love that the spray bottles are reusable. some brands that no longer function if you take the lid off, these are a good size and can b washed out and filled with some of your home made solutions. I dilute Milton and water into one for when I feel I want to sterilise areas. I have another with diluted fabric friendly floor cleaner and salt for carpet and upholstery spot cleaning.
So that’s my short list of things I have in my go to housekeeping cart this past few weeks and will be using them for a while yet. I have other tips and tricks for products, not just cleaning and hopefully will revisit these in the future. If you have any tricks, tips or product suggestions then leave them below and I will have a look x I love trying out new things to keep my house cosy and welcoming so don’t be shy.
Let me know what your go o cleaning products are.