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Share your cleaning pearls of wisdom with Mr Muscle and you could win a £250 John Lewis voucher. NOW CLOSED

(145 Posts)
AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 02-Sep-13 16:23:53

MNers have been testing the brand new Mr Muscle Touch-Up Cleaner. You can see what they thought of it here.

Here's what Mr Muscle say about the product: "Mr Muscle® Touch-Up Cleaner offers a fast and convenient solution to kill 99.99% of bacteria* and to clean the most frequently used surfaces in the home. The inventive new design makes it easy to clean surfaces and kill bacteria; simply push down on the pump to apply the formula onto a cleaning material such as a paper towel, cleaning cloth or sponge. Then, just wipe the surface clean."

As such, Mr Muscle would like to hear about Mumsnetters' top household cleaning tips and thoughts on alternative cleaning products.

So, what cleaning advice would you like to pass on to fellow MNers? Who takes responsibility for cleaning in your home? Do you have a secret to making taps shine like new? Or perhaps you have a fool-proof formula for streak free windows?

How do you/ your DP try to make cleaning more enjoyable/ less tiresome? Maybe you've developed an efficient time-saving routine? Do you take turns doing the most boring chores? Maybe you've even perfected some good tactics to avoid cleaning all together?

What features do you look for when buying a new cleaning product? Do you take into account how sustainable the product is?

Whatever your cleaning tips are, Mr Muscle would love to hear about them. Everyone who adds a comment to this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £250 John Lewis voucher.

Please note your comments may be used (anonymously of course) by Mr Muscle in PR and marketing materials, their website and possibly elsewhere so please only comment if you're happy with this.

Thanks and good luck,


(* When used as directed on the pack)

HeySoulSister Mon 02-Sep-13 18:29:15

I use glass wipes on any crome,china and shiny back the shine and removes annoying fingermarks and water streaks...

CatAmongThePigeons Mon 02-Sep-13 18:36:26

Damp microfibre cloths can clean practically any surface including glass and wood. It's resuable and keeps flying dust particles to a minimum which is great for those with allergies.

Theimpossiblegirl Mon 02-Sep-13 18:41:25

I use wet wipes with added shea butter to clean my leather sodas. Actually I use wet wipes to clean a lot of things. We share the chores in this house, with the children doing their rooms and other jobs.

manfalou Mon 02-Sep-13 22:29:44

A steam cleaner is great for SO many things... we've used it on the floors, worktops, bathroom, windows (stuck on bird poop for example), leather sofa, pram, babes rocker chair, clothing.... The best thing about it is that no nasties are involved.

A fool proof mixture my mum taught me for window cleaning is a small bowl of warm water, a quick squirt of washing up liquid and a good glug of white vinegar. Not the best measurements but when youve done it a few times you know the amounts as you're pouring.

I like products that can do more than one job to keep costs to a minimal and space to a maximum, I like things that are aimed at killing bacteria and are safe around children including a child safety cap. Smell is important, Dettol apple antibacterial spray gives me the biggest headache because its too strong for example. Double concentrate products are also a bonus to save money and space, plus you can make them stronger/weaker without adding more of the product but taking away...usually..water

Me and my partner have our own little 'jobs'... I do the kitchen, he does the bathroom, I sort out the washing and ironing, he cleans the sofa. I hoover and dust, he does the windows, I change the bedding, he takes the bins out.... Im onto a winner in my opinion! the kids don't help out as they're too young but maybe i'll get them doing chores for pocket money in a few years.

Patilla Mon 02-Sep-13 22:41:28

I keep and old toothbrush available in the bathroom and when I spot a bit of dirt lurking somewhere I can scrub it quickly to stop it getting worse.

Bubbles85 Mon 02-Sep-13 22:52:34

Try using newspaper to get rid of streaks and watermarks from windows. I use this on my car windscreen too and it works a treat!

Do all the messy work in the kitchen on the surfaec above the dishwasher - swoop all the small crumbs/flour/suagr in when you've finished.

Clean the bathroom when it's steamy - half the work.

ShatnersBassoon Mon 02-Sep-13 23:05:15

Soda crystals are excellent for dissolving grease and soap/dead skin scum and cost pence. I wouldn't be without them.

dahville Tue 03-Sep-13 11:10:54

I've found having two children a real eye opener in terms of time I have to get things down so the most important tip from me is to stay organised.

I find spending a little time in the morning and then in the evening each day lets me get all the jobs done. There are things that need to be done each day, e.g. laundry, running/emptying the dishwasher, sweeping the kitchen floor and then I try to loosely schedule tasks for each day - changing bed linens, cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming X room, dusting.

MadMonkeys Tue 03-Sep-13 14:22:01

I do the vast majority of the cleaning. I find any basic cream cleaner does the job on sinks, baths, tiles etc. The harpic toilet cleaner in the black bottle is the only things that effectively cleans the loos including removing limescale. bsr keepers friend is great on stubborn marks in all sorts of places. Other than that it is amazing what water can do - leave things to soak and the job is much easier.

We share the cleaning, though I do a bit more being at home more than him.

Keep a pack of disposable cleaning wipes in the bathroom and give the sink & toilet a quick wipe each morning (right after brushing teeth, etc.) as it makes a big difference.

Get rid of as much clutter as you can. It just makes it harder to tidy up.

For laundry we have a double basket so darks in one side, lights in the other. Kids stuff goes in a different laundry bag because dd1 has to use different detergent to me.

WholeLottaRosie Tue 03-Sep-13 22:26:08

I don't know what their proper name is but basically a washing up sponge attached to a hollow plastic handle that you are meant to use for cleaning dishes...fill the handle half with washing up liquid and half white vinegar and give it a really good shake.
It makes a fabulous shower and bathroom cleaner; tiles, shower doors, the lot. Because the white vinegar is combined with the WUL you don't end up with a bathroom that smells like a chip shop. The tool itself is small and handy enough that you can keep it in the shower and give everything a quick going over each time you use it.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Tue 03-Sep-13 22:31:04

The flushable toilet cleaner wipes are great - not only because I no longer find DH washing the sink with the same cloth that he's just cleaned the loo with envy <vomit.

N.b. DH very rarely does any cleaning and seems to know how to make me even more reluctant to ask him to do any more!

RubyRR Tue 03-Sep-13 23:19:46

WD40 for polishing metal hob and shiny metal containers, I love the smell and it looks so shiny afterwards it's my favourite job to do even when I've forgotten to clean glass hood above first and I have to repolish.

Iwaswatchingthat Tue 03-Sep-13 23:26:33

I am not keen on cleaning so try and make the chore go faster by using he kitchen timer. E.g I will allow myself ten minutes to whip round the bathroom. When the beeper goes my time is up!!!

It is like I am racing against the clock and helps me stay focused. Also means it is over with fast - plus it combines as a pretty good workout! Speed hoovering anyone???!!!!

rootypig Tue 03-Sep-13 23:34:20

Sorry Mr Muscle. My top tip is to step away from the horrid chemicals. Soap and hot water for me, in most circumstances. I like Method non toxic cleaners too.

Oh, and sterilising tablets down the loo to remove stains.

worldgonecrazy Wed 04-Sep-13 10:06:52

If you have anything that you want to sparkle, wash as normal and then rinse with very cold water. It works on drinking glasses too.

wheretoyougonow Wed 04-Sep-13 10:08:43

My top tip is always play music when cleaning. For me it seems to make it just slightly more bearable and the rhythm will get you cleaning a bit faster (no Adele!)smile

LaVitaBellissima Wed 04-Sep-13 10:26:15

If you live in a hard water area and have glass shower doors or wet room walls. Keep a plastic window scraper in the bathroom and wipe down after every shower, it stops all the horrible white water marks.

Turnipvontrapp Wed 04-Sep-13 10:26:18

Don't do too much of it as its a pointless task and will look messy and unclean as soon as the kids get home!

If you really have to, then do a bit every day and get the kids to help.

blondieminx Wed 04-Sep-13 10:29:08

The best cleaning tip I ever got was "clean while" - so clear away dishes/wipe surfaces while the kettle boils.

Put dishes into soak straight away so they are quicker to do

Tumble dryer sheets are v good on bathroom chrome.

FLYlady keeps me on the straight and narrow!

I do the majority of the domestic work in our house (bathrooms, most kitchen stuff, all laundry, general housekeeping incl shopping, menu planning and cooking) DH washes up and puts the bins out and runs the Hoover round at weekends. He works 5 days per week but I do just 3 (and I'm a lot quicker and more efficient).

ImFineThankYou Wed 04-Sep-13 10:44:43

Never leave a room empty handed, that way things stay tidy.
Have a place for everything then you feel organised.
Baby wipes on taps then rinse off and dried take off so much grime, toothpaste, watermarks.
Clean the shower while your conditioner is working.
Clean the bathroom while kids are in the bath.
Doing a little bit often is better than doing a whole lot once in a while.

asuwere Wed 04-Sep-13 10:49:01

My only tip is little and often and never put something off - if you see something that needs cleaned, just do it then otherwise it will be forgotten.
I have slightly lower standards than I did before I had DC but I try to make sure I maintain a certain level of cleanliness. As already said, I try to do jobs while I'm doing something else - clean the toilet/sink while kids are in the bath, clean microwave while waiting for last child to finish meal so I can do their dishes!
I do pretty much all the cleaning just now but I return to work in a couple of weeks and DH will be home for 3 days a week so we'll see if he starts taking over anything (not holding my breath for that though!)

wholelottarosie Love the tip about the dishwashing doo-dah in the bathroom, think I'll be using that one smile

CheeryCherry Wed 04-Sep-13 11:18:38

I do most of the housework as I work part time, but DH does the bins, hangs out washing etc. My main top tip is to do little but often. When my Dcs were little, I would clean the bathroom during bathtime or potty training. When I'm on the phone, or waiting for the kettle to boil etc, I will tidy, wipe down, sort recycling.
My Dcs also do household jobs, I will list 3 things that need doing and they choose one and do it. As they're all being asked, at the same time, I don't get complaints. Team work is the way to go!
I like trying new products, and do so if they're on offer. I do like disposable but eco friendly products, but also like a good scent.

ILoveAFullFridge Wed 04-Sep-13 11:32:21

Sorry, Mr Muscle, but my tip is "A woman needs a Mr Muscle like a fish needs a bicycle."

I do virtually all my household cleaning with diluted liquid soap, vinegar, vodka, and the occasional drop of Miltons.

Nothing like an allergy to teach you that we really do not need most of the stuff in the household cleaning aisle.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Wed 04-Sep-13 11:44:26

Clean up as you go - wipe up spills immediately. (impossible to teach DH this one)
Teach your toddler how to use a dustpan and brush and pretend it's fun.
Encourage your toddler to help vacuum the stairs using the nozzle (they can progress to doing more as they grow). Get a Henry and talk to him (hard not to).
Try to stay on top of things and keep organised. Streamline your cleaning products.
Hide the bleach near the toilet so it's no hassle to clean it daily.

JustBecauseICan Wed 04-Sep-13 11:51:52

Hoover every day, especially those mingers with sticky laminate <shudder> floors. People with laminate/wood seem to think that carpets are dirtier but actually allergists have shown that unless you keep your laminate pristine they are far more likely to release dusty nasties into the air.

I am in Italy so have tiled floors and if I don't hoover and/or Swiffer every single day it is disgusting.

RedBushedT Wed 04-Sep-13 12:10:28

After you've had your shower, before you get out, spray your bathroom cleaner and scrub the shower enclosure down. then you can rinse the shower enclosure, and yourself, before getting out.

I use baby wipes for a quick tidy over on surfaces in the bathroom too. But don't ever use them on laminate flooring! The oils make the floor lethally slippery! wink

WowOoo Wed 04-Sep-13 12:10:30

I like to use lots of different things for cleaning, but I'll often make my own with bicarb or vinegar and just use hot water and a soapy flannel unless it's gone off food or toilet related!

I'm another who likes to clean up quickly.
I'll always try to encourage the children to clean up after themselves and do whatever they can to make less work for dh and I.

My mottos are :
If you can do it yourself, you do it. (put clothes away, help me load the washing machine etc for younger ones)
If you make the mess, you clean it. (so my 7 yr old who has spilt cereal has to try to sweep it)

**Some days I'm too tired to lecture my children or Dh. I can't remember my mottos either. So, I send them into the garden to let me get on with it my way!

ouryve Wed 04-Sep-13 12:11:31

Advice? Get rid of the kids. They're back at school, today and I'm finally managing to tackle the paper and shoe avalanche in the far corner without standing on anything plastic and sharp in the process. During the holidays, tidying up after them has been a bit like trying to get rid of the chocolate in Candy Crush Saga. You clear a bit of floor, turn to grab the Dyson, and when you turn back, the floor's been obliterated, again.

starfishmummy Wed 04-Sep-13 12:14:55

Not obsessive about cleaning here, but do make sure that I wiles up any spills as soon as possible - its usually much easier to do it straight away ( dries on) and reduces the chance of it being spread.

PaisleyPashmina Wed 04-Sep-13 12:28:16

To make cleaning more enjoyable, my family have a competition to see who can do the most jobs in a set time frame (usually 15 minutes/half an hour). The winner gets to choose what we have for dinner or what film/tv to watch.

Cleaning doesn't seem like as much of a chore as watching Star Wars for the 500th time does wink

Spirael Wed 04-Sep-13 12:33:50

Each weekend we make a list of all the jobs that need to be done, then each person chooses something off the list and works on that job. Since we all prefer and avoid different jobs, most things are done without complaint and you feel like what you're doing is better than what someone else has to do!

Elainey1609 Wed 04-Sep-13 12:49:30

I do the majority of housework
Put the music on and dance away in the comfort that no one is watching

Never leave the room without something in your hand
I use baby lotion to clean leather sofas
Put a touch of vinegar in my window cleaner - use newspapers to clean then
Use laptop screen cleaner on tv screen and mirrors

givemeaboost Wed 04-Sep-13 13:57:36

I try to make cleaning more enjoyable by doing it whilst listening to music, I have a routine of basic cleaning that happens everyday but only do extra cleaning when i notice something looks particularly dirty. I am a single parent so no one to share cleaning with although sometimes i can persuade the kids to help out- little jobs like hovering or loading the dishwasher/washing machine. I try and clean behind me as I do jobs eg cooking dinner, so that its not so much to do once ive finished the job im doing. If the kids make alot of food mess on the kitchen floor and its late in the day, i admit i usually leave it till the following morning, then then food has dried out so can be swept up without getting mushy food all over the broom! Thins like mopping the floor I try to limit to a few times a week otherwise id be doing it all day long! For taps I usually clean with antibac then leave to dry, when dry, buff with a tea towel. Windows I normally use washing up liquid and water, but window spray and a scour pad if its particularly dirty/greasy, i squidiee off and it never leaves smears. Using Vinegar and newspaper are also good for a streak free shine.
When looking for a cleaning product i try to go for the cheapest with the same properties as the expensive brand, often stuff that is on offer too, I never look at how sustainable the product is as from experience those sorts of products are usually out of my budget.

nextphase Wed 04-Sep-13 14:27:04

Have a few products that will do multipurpose cleaning, so you can always find wht you want, and not have a cupbaord stuffed full of different things.
Also helps you to know what your running out of!

BellaVida Wed 04-Sep-13 14:37:18

My top multi purpose cleaners are baby wipes- carpet spills, finger marks on doors, minor scuffs on walls, stickiness on the floor, great for damp dusting.

I was have some with me, at home or on holiday!

K8Middleton Wed 04-Sep-13 14:46:12

Listen to a really good radio programme while you clean. I like to listen to Weekend Woman's Hour or something from iPlayer. Then I don't get too bored and I know I have to get it all done in the hour but it's only an hour.

I migrate my sponges: new for washing up, then kitchen sponge when it starts to look a bit iffy, then after the kitchen it becomes the bathroom sponge before binning.

Clean the loo last thing at night so your cleaner has time to work.

Every so often sweep the children's bath toys into the bath and chuck in some Milton and leave for a couple of hours.

I also repurpose toothbrushes like pp. They are great for doing fiddly bits like tile grouting. I also like microfibre clothes for glass and surfaces.

But my best tip is to avoid the need for cleaning as much as possible by ventilating rooms to prevent mold; wiping down the shower when you get out to prevent water marks; painting kitchen and bathrooms with suitable paint to help prevent mold and stand up to a bi-annual wash down with sugar soap and water; replace sealant annually around sinks and baths; brighten up your grouting with a grouting pen because if it looks bright and new it looks cleaner for longer.

tanfastic Wed 04-Sep-13 15:38:13

Two words: wet wipes smile

redgate Wed 04-Sep-13 15:58:31

I have one of the hanging shoe holders, with lots of clear pockets in - on the back of my utility room door, keeps all my cleaning stuff tidy, easy to see, but out of lo's reach

starlight36 Wed 04-Sep-13 16:37:26

Little and often is the only way I can keep our place clean with two DC under 3. I try to clean up messes as soon as they happen as it is usually much easier to wipe away fresh stains than old dried in stains.

Iwaswatchingthat Wed 04-Sep-13 16:42:36

I like your tip - it is one I may borrow cos it does not involve cleaning, just cleaning prep which is the part I love!!! grin

flamingtoaster Wed 04-Sep-13 16:44:31

My tip for streakfree windows is to wait until after a rainstorm and go out and squeegee them!

I use vinegar and bicarbonate of soda as much as I can as the perfume in a lot of cleaning products gives me a headache.

I try to clear up as I go along so things are easier to do. I do most of the housework but DH hoovers at the weekend.

FreckledLeopard Wed 04-Sep-13 17:06:19

I do the majority of housework - our au pair and DD help too.

I learned a few tricks from 'How Clean Is Your Home' - in particular I always remove limescale by soaking kitchen roll in lemonade/tonic water (anything with citric acid in) and leaving it to soak the stain off.

Other than that, though, I use conventional sprays and cleaning products. I find things are cleaner and shinier than if I use a natural product.

MaxinePeakedistrict Wed 04-Sep-13 17:20:10

I am stupidly happy this week having finally found a product that leaves my windows smear-free, Flash Clean and Shine multi purpose cleaner.

Windows are just about my most detested housework job so I'm really pleased. Just washed them down with a few drops in some hot water then buffed them dry with a microfibre cloth.

Also love my steam mop for the kitchen floor - takes half the effort out of it.

NumTumDeDum Wed 04-Sep-13 17:32:54

I keep a cleaning kit upstairs which has the barhroom cleaners, glass cleaner for the mirrors and dusters for the bedrooms. Saves me lugging stuff upstairs whenever I need to clean and means I'm more likely to do it when I notice it rather than think, oh I'll get the stuff and then get sude tracked.

Tinlegs Wed 04-Sep-13 17:48:06

My top cleaning tip is don't buy Mr Muscle..marry him. Divide up all jobs equally and, as the children age, divide them again. Pretty soon you will be able to sit and drink coffee and take on a purely supervisory / quality control job.

We have assigned jobs / rooms so we know who is to blame for any crud, dust or whatever. I buy the wipes I can throw away so the dust leaves the house, as well.

We use newspaper and cider vinegar to clean windows. It's cheaper than glass cleaner and leaves no irritating streaks!

AFishWithoutABicycle Wed 04-Sep-13 18:22:28

I would really like you to make a product that's gentle for high chairs, children's toys and stuff. My dd gets rashes so I use baby wipes but I don't think they kill bacteria very well.
My top tip would be Lego in the dish washer. Comes out lovely!

missorinoco Wed 04-Sep-13 19:16:31

If the children are interested give them a duster or the feather duster, that is fought over on our house. Little ones will use part of the vacuum hose with an attachment end whilst I use the (shorter) main device. Encourage/ make the children tidy before you clean. It will halve the time taken.

Try to clean behind cots/beds at least monthly. It makes it more arduous. Ignore behind the king sized bed until you move house.

Don't forget the fittings around light switches. They take seconds to clean and make a huge difference.

Pull out the bag of attachments that came with the vacuum cleaner. They are amazing for carpet edges and awkward corners.

Wet wipes are amazing for mildew.

LaTrucha Wed 04-Sep-13 19:17:15

An old toothbrush is your friend for hard-to-reach places, like the bottoms of taps. Gets out all the scuzz very easily.

AllSWornOut Wed 04-Sep-13 19:47:00

DH does all most of the cleaning in our house but I do find he neglects the little things, like limescale on taps. For these small jobs I find micro fibre cloths and wipes for the more stubborn stains work a treat and let me multitask by doing the cleaning while I'm having a shower or brushing my teeth.

I don't do complicated.

RubySparks Wed 04-Sep-13 20:00:30

Share jobs with everyone in the household, little and often
Get everyone to take their own things back to their rooms to keep down on clutter
Washing machine on at least once a day to stop laundry piling up
use natural products if you have a septic tank (we do)
Wipe down shower with window wiper after use
Use window vac for windows, shower anywhere... Thought I wouldn't like it but actually window vac is brilliant!

I use white vinegar for removing limescale in the kitchen and bathroom
For cleaning and removing limescale below the water line I pump a toilet brush in the water to force all of the water around the U bend and then top up over the limescale with bottles of white vinegar, sometimes I leave it overnight but usually I add a kettle full of hot water and it leaves the toilet sparkling clean.

choccyp1g Wed 04-Sep-13 20:18:15

Use biological washing powder to clean the sink.
Clean and tidy as you go.
Keep a Henry upstairs and downstairs.
Use the upstairs Henry (with the pointy attachment) to suck up mosquitos if they are keeping you awake at night.

BornToFolk Wed 04-Sep-13 20:42:28

Most cleaning jobs can be done with a bit of Stardrops and a microfibre cloth.

I'm also a big fan of white vinegar. It's brilliant at getting rid of water marks and I use it in laundry too.

Having said that, I am a bit addicted to anti-bacterial wipes. So convenient for quick clean ups!

GiraffesAndButterflies Wed 04-Sep-13 21:14:43

When cleaning the loo- slosh as much water round the bend as you can, before putting bleach down. That way you can reach the normal water line to scrub it, and whatever product you're using is more concentrated. (Haven't read all the posts so I hope that's not been said)

DH and I tend to do each other's most hated household tasks. So he cleans floors more often and I do more laundry. Other stuff gets divided up as and when.

chocolatemartini Wed 04-Sep-13 21:30:43

Pay people to clean! I don't have much spare money, we went without a holiday this year and last, I rarely buy clothes and when I do, mostly second hand, but I would live on cold beans before giving up my wonderful cleaner. Her three hours a week allows me to keeps things ticking over smile

Yakky Wed 04-Sep-13 21:55:15

Vodka as a cleaner?????
I can think of far better things to do with it than drink!
You must be rolling in dosh if you can afford to throw Vodka down the toilet(literally).

ladygoingGaga Wed 04-Sep-13 22:02:11

I second using white vinegar, always have several bottles in the house, great for cleaning windows, using newspaper to remain streak free. For the inside panes that don't get as dirty I just quickly wipe over the glass with the used newspaper from the outside panes.
I put a splash of vinegar in the washing machine one a month, it keeps it smelling fresh believe it or not, and prevents lime scale!

lagoonhaze Wed 04-Sep-13 22:34:28

Cleaning.....well washing. Stick a load on and use delay timer to make it come on in morning so its finished when you get up. Do it every day or so and washing doesn't mount up.

If visitors coming dirty dishes in washing up bowl with liquid/hot water.
Toilet cleaner down pan, quick wipe over of sink/taps.
Quick hoover. Instantly makes things look better.

Fraxinus Thu 05-Sep-13 00:35:03

Lower your standards and keep trying!

NomDeClavier Thu 05-Sep-13 00:40:34

For burnt on food fill the dish with a dishwasher tablet and boiling water, leave to soak (ideally overnight) and wipe clean.

If your sink, bath or shower is really blocked with hair, squeeze a tube of cheap hair removal cream down the plug hole and leave it to work.

Have a ticklist of daily, weekly and monthly jobs. This will avoid the sudden realisation that you've neglected something, like the spare room, for 6 months and have to spend hours doing it before your PILs arrive to stay for the weekend.

MrsDinoRawr Thu 05-Sep-13 07:01:45

Baby wipes! Great for stainless steel. I always do the front of the cooker, microwave, toaster, fridge and kettle with them. They sparkle! Also great for removing the sticky residue left by shop stickers.

MrsDinoRawr Thu 05-Sep-13 07:05:32

Also I will only buy things when they are on offer. I used to hang shirts to dry on clothes horse then fold when dry.DH puts them on hangers to dry and they need far less ironing.

littleoaktree Thu 05-Sep-13 09:42:43

Baby wipes are amazing for lots of things particularly getting muck off fabrics/upholstery. Ds1 had his first day at school yesterday and came home with lasagne down his tie - a baby wipe cleaned it off very successfully and he looks as smart this morning as he did yesterday morning without me having to wash his tie last night - result smile

PostBellumBugsy Thu 05-Sep-13 09:45:27

My top tip for cleaning is to be tidy and clutter free. It takes no time at all to keep a house clean if it isn't covered in clutter. I try to keep my kitchen and bathroom surfaces as clutter free as possible - then it is really easy to wipe them down.

Windows - vinegar and newspaper.
Carpets & upholstery - really come up well with the steam cleaner
Limescale - citric acid crystals or vinegar

Little and often would be my other top tip. Much easier to keep on top of things than wait until it is a massive undertaking.

owlface Thu 05-Sep-13 13:48:53

I use the paper you get for packing when you move house to clean windows. It is just like newspaper but with no ink! And also means it gets a reuse before recycling.
I try to only use eco products for cleaning as I don't want to use chemicals and perfumes constantly, but I do chuck some drain cleaner down the shower sometimes as it gets clogged up with hair (post natal fall out!) and that keeps the plughole draining freely.

webster147 Thu 05-Sep-13 18:16:09

I try to make cleaning more enjoyable by listening to some dance music, you forget your cleaning and it's great exercise too !

I always keep old toothbrushes as they are fantastic for cleaning around taps, window sills and other hard to reach places.

When I'm looking to buy cleaning products I like to buy something that smells pleasant and is really effective.

MMMMMaria Thu 05-Sep-13 18:46:32

My top tip is to invite someone over as that is my best incentive to whip around cleaning the house before they arrive. Once a week is best : )

MMMMMaria Thu 05-Sep-13 18:47:52

but I also use the window cleaner to dry off the shower walls and once a week I put bleach in all the loos when I leave the house in the morning (but you have to remember to flush them before the kids come home and use them!)

wibblyjelly Thu 05-Sep-13 21:26:35

Although dh and I share the cleaning, I do more of the day to day stuff. I normally do a big clean on a Friday night, so then I can relax for the rest of the weekend.

openerofjars Thu 05-Sep-13 21:40:13

Get a stair basket and use it.

Clean skirting boards with baby wipes. I don't know what's in those things but they clean everything. Even babies.

Ikea sell packs of 10 face flannels for £3: use them as cleaning cloths when they're too grey and sad for cleaning faces any more. They're particularly good for windows.

Get the kids interested in helping with the cleaning from an early age. When they are really small they think it's a game, but unfortunately this doesn't last, so you might need bribery then.

mummyofcutetwo Thu 05-Sep-13 21:59:54

My Nana taught me to clean windows using newspaper and a little vinegar in the water instead of window cleaner. It works really well, with no marks or streaks.

ThePearShapedToad Thu 05-Sep-13 22:02:22

Clean the bathroom after a hot shower when everything is steamy- helps soften any grime and saves half the time!

Or spray mr muscle everywhere before getting into the shower, then afterwards just rinse clean!

mercibucket Thu 05-Sep-13 22:21:12

buy a steam cleaner, sit back and watch everyone fight to use it! kids love it grin

NomDeClavier Fri 06-Sep-13 07:30:30

Old baby muslins make wonderfully soft dusters for china and so on and dry glassware beautifully wink

CrayolaLola Fri 06-Sep-13 17:44:19

Keep a small box of tissues in the kitchen - I still get through a ridiculous amount of kitchen roll but tissues are handy for really little jobs like drying washed fruit or a quick wipe of the work top when you've made a coffee etc.

Wet wipes are great for cleaning the sofa, tiled floors and venetian blinds as well as getting the smears off of chrome stuff in the kitchen.

Bathroom shelves/tiles are much easier to clean when the room is all steamy.

Now & then, I also remove and soak the soap powder compartment of the washing machine in a mixture of anti-bac spray and soap powder - makes it lovely and clean and gets rid of that black mould that can sometimes build up.

Cleaning and wiping the radiators with diluted fabric softener keeps them looking good and they also smell lovely when the heating comes on.

Non bio soap powder combined with anti-bac spray is brilliant at cleaning stubborn stains from carpets - especially vomit... as I discovered in desperation when the dc's had norovirus last winter!

WafflyVersatile Fri 06-Sep-13 17:55:46

I'm sure Mr Muscle used to do a kitchen cleaner with orange oil but it doesn't seem to exist any longer. So my pearl of wisdom would be reinstate it or start doing one because that is the feature I look for when choosing one.

troutchicken Fri 06-Sep-13 18:29:09

cif or any non-brand on alternative is fab for spring cleaning / deep cleaning

use sparingly on damp cloth to remove dirty marks off emulsioned walls (great in kitchen near the bin!) and on PVC window frames!

desertbaby Fri 06-Sep-13 18:37:49

Since having two children I've discovered that almost anything can be cleaned with a baby wipe inbetween the re work!

littlemonkeychops Fri 06-Sep-13 18:41:33

I've made DD's bathtime the time to clean the bathroom. Seeing as i have to be close at hand anyway it makes good use of the time. I clean the shower/loo/sink quickly whild she plays, then give the bath a wipe over as soon as she gets out. We sing songs etc, makes a chore easy to tick off the list!

Jammybean Fri 06-Sep-13 18:53:12

My motto is little and often. I hoover our wooden floors every day mop once a week. I like multi use anti bac products that i can use throughout the house. The bathrooms are done a every couple of days. And I try to do the ironing after each load. There's nothing worse than 3hrs of ironing on an afternoon!

get an old antibacterial squirt bottle. put in water, a good splosh of vinegar, some lemon juice and a spoon of honey. shake vigorously and you have a fantastic window, screen and mirror cleaner. really does work.

primroseyellow Fri 06-Sep-13 19:38:08

I second the orange oil cleaner.

orangepudding Fri 06-Sep-13 19:42:04

Put your house on the market, it will ensure you do a deep clean and de-clutter!

timidviper Fri 06-Sep-13 20:42:52

I also try to do the little and often. A shower or sink wiped over each day after use will not need a deep clean as it never gets filthy. I have put the Mr Muscle Touch Up Cleaner in the bathroom for this and will feed back progress on the other thread soon.

E-cloths are great for areas like kitchens with different surfaces such as wood, granite, stainless steel

I use baby wipes on leather (it's all skin whether it's on a baby or a sofa)

Run a hot wash with a cup of soda crystals once a fortnight to stop washer smelling

Keep on top of the day to day stuff.

Employ someone to do the rest.

camtt Fri 06-Sep-13 21:49:05

clean when you're alone - less shouting and no-one messes it up straight away

don't let it all build up, keep doing a little at a time so that it doesn't get to the stage of feeling like an impossible task

if there's something you really hate doing, see if someone else can agree to take on that one thing, or outsource!

Lazycoon Fri 06-Sep-13 22:03:02

Antibacterial hand gel for everything smile Before my son was born I ordered a big bottle with pump (the one they have in hospitals). It meant to be for hands only. I ended up using it everywhere. Even cleaning my phone screen. Just need to apply it on something like kitchen towel or cotton pad.

Wipe as you go, get children to put one toy back for each new one they take out and out washing up brushes in the dishwasher to keep them clean

GetKnitted Fri 06-Sep-13 22:23:34

Only clean to music that makes you happy

TheIndisputableRuth Fri 06-Sep-13 22:37:53

Every year pils buy us a bottle of undrinkable drink -e.g. Cointreau which we have found brilliant for removing wax crayon marks on any type of wall surface and getting sweat out of underarm bit of shirts.


you use cointreau to clean? are you mad?

bloody heathen.

dear god! cointreau being used to clean crayon marks? hideous waste. tumbler, lots of ice, cointreau, heaven.

that is going to bother me for years.

ILoveAFullFridge Sat 07-Sep-13 00:16:09

Tell you what, Ruth, I'll swap you my vodka for your Cointreau.

Cleaning with Cointreau...I dunno...what is the world coming to.

BTW, whoever it was shocked AT&T splashing vodka down the loo: I don't. Bleach goes down the loo. Vodka goes in a spray bottle for glass and taps, or added to soapy water for general cleaning, or neat as spot treatemt in laundry.

vodka is one thing but cointreau ffs. i think this is the most horrified i've ever been by a post on mn.

aibu to feed my 6mo mars bars? aibu to kill my neighbours cat because it did a poo in my veggie patch? i've seen some things but calling cointreau undrinkable and using it as a cleaning product is beyond the pale i tell you.

K8Middleton Sat 07-Sep-13 01:01:59

OMG. What do you rub the Cointreau on with Ruth? Cashmere sweaters?!

shock shock shock shock shock shock shock shock shock shock shock shock

criminal. tbh MNHQ should track her IP address and allow us to go liberate that cointreau. it is inhumane for it to be in the care of such a heathen.

ILoveAFullFridge Sat 07-Sep-13 07:33:46

I woke up thinking about this! shockgrin

Cointreau undrinkable? Unthinkable!

nerysw Sat 07-Sep-13 09:09:07

There are loads of expensive cleaning products on the market but like some of the other comments I find old fashioned ideas like newspaper and vinegar for windows and soda crystals work really well.
I have to have the radio on (Absolute 90s is a winner!) and I try and get the kids to help with things too. I love my house when it's clean and tidy but it's not like that very often as I work part time and have a 2 and 4 year old!
The only thing I don't do is hoover, can't stand it.

domesticslattern Sat 07-Sep-13 09:29:23

My cleaning tip is to invite people round. It makes me do the clean of shame. We did a flat swap a few months back- my flat was spotless! Nothing like an incentive!

GetStuffezd Sat 07-Sep-13 15:09:41

Aldi do a product called Scrubstone - I have never found anything half as good for crap jobs like getting baked-on grease off the oven, or limescale off the taps. I don't know if they still sell it but if you can find it anywhere, grab yourself some.

pickofthepops Sat 07-Sep-13 15:34:55

Not sure if it counts but burning a nice candle when cooking something smelly. Masks the smell and is almost ! Like going to a spa.

DontmindifIdo Sat 07-Sep-13 17:30:35

best tip, get a cleaner...

failing that, there are few things that can't be cleaned with baby wipes, keep a pack close at hand.

CMOTDibbler Sat 07-Sep-13 18:15:07

I'm rubbish at cleaning. Well, no, I'm not, I'm rubbish at wanting to clean.
But I do keep on top of things on an everyday basis by small cleaning actions - I use a facial wipe in the morning, then run that over the sink and loo. Stack of microfibre cloths in the kitchen so a wet cloth will wipe over the surfaces nicely. 'dolphin' squirty microfibre mop (from ebay) makes a whiz round the hard floors really fast.

is1 Sat 07-Sep-13 19:40:07

I always clean the bathroom while the kids are in the bath and I use flushable wipes so I can clean the toilet immediately whenever it needs doing without having to go and get all the cleaning stuff. Another tip when cleaning the kitchen surfaces is to spray then leave for a few minutes. I always used to wipe off straight away but this makes life much easier.

mbb1 Sat 07-Sep-13 20:19:03

Meths and a sharp knife is great for limescale on black granite worktops.

lottytheladybird Sat 07-Sep-13 20:19:52

Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up all the bits left trapped underneath the fabric of a highchair, before wiping with a cloth.

Use an old (or new and unused) toothbrush to clean the bottom of your shoe should you tread on something nasty!

VivaLeBeaver Sat 07-Sep-13 20:50:06

I prefer throwaway type products such as disposable wipes. Can't be faffed with making sure cloths, etc are bleached like my mum used to do after cleaning.

So I'd use spray type stuff and then a kitchen roll or if I wasn't using spray I'd use wipes.

To be honest dh does most of the cleaning.

DoItTooJulia Sat 07-Sep-13 22:38:53

Keep everywhere as tidy as possible first, then actual cleaning is much easier.

PuppyMonkey Sat 07-Sep-13 23:14:07

Get a cleaner - £30 for 3 hours and you never have to think about it any more. I've started doing my weekly shop at Aldi. Saves me at least £30 a week. %23maths

RachelHRD Sun 08-Sep-13 09:26:32

I use those washing up pads with the refillable handles and put anti-bac hand wash in them and use for cleaning sinks and showers - works really well!
Also use soda crystals for cleaning the washing machine and the sink drain.

EauRouge Sun 08-Sep-13 09:33:58

I have different coloured gloves for cleaning the loo and the rest of the bathroom so I don't get poo particles everywhere. I use an old brillo pad for scrubbing the loo and then bin it afterwards (don't the flushable ones clog up the sewers?).

Salt is great for scrubbing. White vinegar for the windows to get them really shiny, I pour a little bit in a spray bottle.

Tea tree oil is great for cleaning, it's anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. Smells nice too. Don't use it neat though! I dilute some in water in a spray bottle.

I clean my microwave by putting a couple of slices of lemon in a bowl of water and zapping it for a couple of minutes, then the grease just wipes off and any smells are gone. Don't put it in for 10 mins like my DH once did; all the water was gone, the lemon was a burnt lump and the bowl cracked in half grin

God, all that makes me sound like a right lentil weaver. I use bleach as well!

ICutMyFootOnOccamsRazor Sun 08-Sep-13 15:12:49

I always try to clean as things get messy/grubby, as I hate the house being dirty but also hate cleaning and can't face doing the whole house in one go grin. DH and I more or less share the cleaning - he quite likes doing floors and emptying the dishwasher, which I loathe, but I do almost all the tidying and laundry.

DontmindifIdo Sun 08-Sep-13 17:53:25

Viva, I'm a big fan of throw away wipes - agree it's too much hassle to remember to bleach cloths.

Also make sure you never put toys from the sandpit in the dishwasher - big, sandy, expensive mistake

DontmindifIdo Sun 08-Sep-13 17:54:14

but other than sandpit toys, a lot go through the dishwasher, far easier than trying to clean them by hand

chebella Sun 08-Sep-13 21:26:54

Lemon juice, white vinegar and hot water makes a mean floor cleaner and is Eco friendly if you have LO crawling.

Wearytiger Sun 08-Sep-13 21:44:25

My best and only cleaning tip - keep two sets of wet wipes permanently on the high chair, one for the chair, one for the child. Wet food us far far easier to wipe off than dry, encrusted food!

Madlizzy Sun 08-Sep-13 22:55:40

If your microwave is a bit manky inside, put a bowl of lemon juice in water in there and nuke for a minute then leave in there for 10 minutes. It just wipes off.

Furball Mon 09-Sep-13 08:14:25

If you have dishwasher - put your cloths in everywash, keeps them clean and stop them from festering.

use a blob of cheapo washing up liquid and a sponge with a scourer on one side (19p for 5 in tesco!) to clean bathroom sinks and bath, rinse, then dry with a microfibre cloth. takes a few minutes and come up like new with no chemical smells.

put a sheet of foil on the bottom of the oven to catch and spills etc, replace when needed.

SisterMatic Mon 09-Sep-13 18:56:17

I use baby wipes a lot too, especially good for damp dusting

Silverfoxballs Mon 09-Sep-13 22:33:42

Denture tablets left overnight in the loo, just don't drop your pearly whites down the S bend as well.

Furball Tue 10-Sep-13 08:32:18

YY to denture tablets and they are also good down plugholes as well

Dylanlovesbaez Tue 10-Sep-13 09:09:06

I try the clean while method but I hate cleaning! I'm so lazy! I do use white vinegar for cleaning my glasses though. I live in a hard water area and this works!

Kerosene Tue 10-Sep-13 10:58:32

Soda Crystals and white vinegar will shift anything. Baked-on mank, bathroom mank, you name it. A bag of soda crystals costs a quid, and Amazon will bring me 10l of white vinegar for £8 - I last bought some in May, and I'm still working my way through the first bottle, so pretty cost-effective and you could probably get cheaper stuff too. Drop some citrus peel in the vinegar to take away that smell.

I also like the Unfuck Your Habitat method - no cleaning marathons, just 20 minutes at a time then take a break. I can't often face doing a marathon clean and when I do it's always to a fairly crap standard, but I can find time for a 20-minute kitchen blitz and be looking for stuff to clean to pad out the allotted time.

DontmindifIdo Tue 10-Sep-13 12:06:40

ooh, has anyone mentioned hair removal cream (like veet) down shower plug holes to unblock ones full of hair? Very useful tip!

loubielou31 Tue 10-Sep-13 13:58:26

Little and often, My Grandmother always said "Don't put it down, put it by (away)! All these little mantras help keep the house clean.
My best tip is get other to do it. The children actually quite enjoy dusting and cleaning, they get through a lot more Mr Muscle spray and window cleaner than I would and the results aren't perfect but I have learned to lower my standards and let them do it.

loubielou31 Tue 10-Sep-13 13:58:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

loubielou31 Tue 10-Sep-13 13:58:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

loubielou31 Tue 10-Sep-13 13:58:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

loubielou31 Tue 10-Sep-13 13:58:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

loubielou31 Tue 10-Sep-13 14:23:46

Sorry for my multiple posting, it's not even a very good tip so certainly not worth reading five times.

Harpy0728 Tue 10-Sep-13 21:07:01

I've been using the mr muscle bathroom to clean up bits and pieces as I need to. I has been quite handy to have and looks nice in the bathroom.

TMOT Thu 12-Sep-13 18:13:25

My best tip for housework is to marry someone who loves to clean. Makes life a lot easier.

On days when I have to clean I like to keep it simple and use a good all multipurpose cleaner or a wet wipe

FunMeFit Thu 12-Sep-13 21:28:28

I don't like a lot of cleaning products that are currently on the market. As a mother to two under 3's, I worry about chemicals found in many products as little fingers get everywhere! I'm all for products that don't pollute or have harsh chemicals so I like to clean with white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and various other non-toxic options. I do however use cream cleaner for the bathroom as it seems to get off all that nasty lime scale. But generally, the more gentle and less toxic, the better smile

CointreauVersial Fri 13-Sep-13 22:41:50

I use window/glass cleaning spray on just about anything - it's great for cleaning stainless steel, shining the hob, cleaning iPads and keybpards, or for squirting on a duster to wipe down furniture. I cleaned the door of my fridge with it yesterday.

love the name cointreau - that wasted cointreau still keeps me awake at night sometimes...

babsmam Sat 14-Sep-13 19:43:36

don't leave it 6 years between oven cleans - whistles in a none slatternly way as leaves kitchen....,shock

DanglingChillis Sun 15-Sep-13 14:52:42

My top tip to avoid cleaning is to employ a cleaner.

Doubtfuldaphne Sun 15-Sep-13 21:24:31

On chrome and shiny things, try a very small amount of baby oil on a dry cloth. It is AMAZING. No streaks and beautiful shine!

AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 17-Sep-13 09:40:21

Thanks for all your comments! The winner of the prize draw is openerofjars - congratulations! I'll PM you for your details shortly smile

openerofjars Tue 17-Sep-13 19:59:39

Oh wow, thank you! That will help so much with Christmas, phew. Bacon saved.

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