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Filthy house - how would you tackle this I need any and all tips please

(31 Posts)
Lelivre Mon 01-Sep-14 10:45:51

We have just moved into our new home a few days ago.

Everywhere there is a film of dirt. This is almost sooty grey (no fire) in places (walls, windows, doors) elsewhere it's a bit more yellowy (walls) or scummy grey (bathrooms) or grey and yellow and greasy (kitchen surfaces everywhere floor to ceiling)

There is a stale food smell downstairs with a bit of a pet and cigarette whiff in it

Yet it is our dream forever home! It has cleaned us right out financially out to buy it, it's very dog-eared but we need to satisfy ourselves with getting it clean and then save up for new carpets and other updating.

The carpets have been cleaned professionally and very very well, last week. The rest is over to us.

How would you tackle this? What products would you use?

All the UPVC frames have a smudgey grey film. Plus algae and mould on the black seals actually on the glass part. This is challenging me a bit.

The other thing I'm not sure how to tackle is the walls as there is some 80s slightly spongy wallpaper with a crazed creases in the design which will be harbouring dirt so more than a wipe is needed.

I know this is long, if you are still reading any ideas are welcomed!

BellaVida Mon 01-Sep-14 10:55:56

I would go at it with a powerful steam cleaner. When we moved to our last house, the kitchen in particular obviously hadn't ever been thoroughly cleaned. Seeing the greasy yellowy stuff dripping off was very satisfying!

We did inside and outside cupboards, tiles, windows, window sills and bathrooms with it. I'm not sure if you could use one on the wallpaper you mentioned.

Lelivre Mon 01-Sep-14 13:42:49

Thanks - my hand steamer is broken but yes that is a good shout, I will try to borrow one...but I'm going to need some good cleaning products too for some of this I think. Any favourites?

SlatternLovesLots Mon 01-Sep-14 13:48:25

Personally I think fairy liquid is genius, it can be used on so many things, not just dishes. I use it for anywhere that needs grease dissolved.

mistlethrush Mon 01-Sep-14 13:51:01

We moved into a house that had been smoked in a lot when I was 10. The walls and ceilings were shiny with the nicotine coating (yellowy) and sandpaper wouldn't bite on the woodwork through it. Sugar soap got it off - arduous but effective.

I would also try a steam cleaner on frames, windows, cupboards etc - it could well take the wall paper off though.

CabbagePatchCheryl Mon 01-Sep-14 13:57:26

Stardrops! Brilliant for anything greasy. Our last house had a kitchen that clearly hadn't been cleaned in forever (elderly owners) and there was a layer of yellow grease on all the units etc. Stardrops are cheap and will cut straight through it.

White vinegar for mould.

Whiffy smell IME is usually carpets so I imagine that will dissipate now you've had them cleaned. Leave your windows open plenty. Get a reed diffuser in the meantime so the place smells nice. Oh and change the filter in the extractor fan in the kitchen.

HTH and good luck!

Lelivre Mon 01-Sep-14 17:20:34

Ah now there is part of the problem there is no extraction in the kitchen. And none of the toilet extractors work.

I've smelt the carpets and I think they are ok, I'm sure it's all soaked into the walls.

I've cleaned the oven today (I got splattered in gunk it was vile) and I am starting to get the grease off kitchen walls - I think it smells better already.

I love washing up liquid too, ok I will persist with that as it's been good with a scourer and some bleach.

I'm borrowing mums steamer tonight, also I will check our stardrops, I've not heard of it before thanks!

If anyone else has anything else to suggest I am all ears!

Tadla Mon 01-Sep-14 17:55:46

This sounds like our house when we moved in - a few years on and we are still trying to clean it!

I would suggest a large sponge that you would clean a car with and small kitchen scouring sponges over surface with fairy.

I used a flash kitchen spray with bleach added to use on the windows to remove some green mould dots (urgh!) from panes and then i used sponge and fairy liquid water on pvc frames.

I am still shocked at the dirt we found when we moved in.

We washed down walls with large sponges and fairy and to be honest, had to pull up a lot of the carpets. Smell wouldn't have went otherwise.

Windows open for air flow as much as weather allows always help room smells.

Tadla Mon 01-Sep-14 17:57:57

oh yes, we have algae behind window seals and think the only way is to have a window company replace - its amazing what you don't notice when viewing. we haven't done that yet though but this is what FiL tells me.

Timeforabiscuit Mon 01-Sep-14 18:01:08

Nothing to add but congratulations on your dream home, I'm sure it will be wonderful once the grime is gone and you've out your mark on it grin

TranquilityofSolitude Mon 01-Sep-14 18:04:42

Zoflora can be useful to cover unpleasant smells. I like the citrus one but the floral ones are nice too. I add a capful to water for washing floors and surfaces, and also make up a dilute solution to spray in the bathroom when I'm cleaning the washbasins etc.

douchbag Mon 01-Sep-14 18:07:57

For the upvc windows you can get a professional solvent cleaner that brings out the white. X

minkah Mon 01-Sep-14 21:25:31

Put sink unblocker own every plug hole and follow up with tons of bleach and kettles of hot water.

Put fresh lemons in your rinsing water for post steam cleaning wiping.

HG mould spray really works. Get it in Robert dyas or from amazon.

Windows and doors open as much as possible and treat yourself to some lavender plants by front door, back door, window boxes!

Good luck in your new home, congratulations on finding your forever home!

Sandthorn Mon 01-Sep-14 22:04:22

Congrats on your new home!

Also a fan of washing up liquid; stardrops with ammonia is good for washing down greasy, yellowed or smelly walls; orange mate good on grease and smells amazing.

The scummy bathroom needs something mildly acidic. I've used HG limescale remover: soaked kitchen towels in it and plastered them over the limescale, covered with opened-out carrier bags to trap the moisture, and left for several hours. Repeat if it's really bad. Any last traces of scum should come off with some good old-fashioned cream cleaner.

lavenderhoney Mon 01-Sep-14 22:12:22

I have just moved and its filthy. I don't think they picked up a cloth ever. When I viewed it, it was like the Marie celeste. My builder swears by sugar soap, and I guess one room at a time with rubber gloves, sponge would work, even ceilings.

Shake and vac is quite good as well, but take on one room at a time to totally redo. I started with the bathroom as i like to be clean in a clean room.

Fairy washing up liquid is brilliant on everything.

Lelivre Tue 02-Sep-14 08:28:04

Timeforabiscuit and others, thanks for the kind congratulations smile

We are so glad to be here, it really is perfect for us if I could just get it clean and fresh. The zoflora idea is brilliant I didn't know they did a citras one, the floral one takes me back to childhood sickness bugs so I tend not to use it, but citrus sounds great! I'm going to experiment with that and stardrops, I hope to have the steamer today.

BucktoothedGirlinLuxembourg Tue 02-Sep-14 08:46:12

Also Cif or generic cream cleaner. Cheap as chips but brings UPVC up really well and is great at cutting through layers of crap as it is an abrasive.

BucktoothedGirlinLuxembourg Tue 02-Sep-14 08:48:24

Sugar soap is excellent but use gloves as it isnt nice if you get it on skin

minkah Tue 02-Sep-14 11:18:26

Have fun steaming today. It will make you feel much better about things, I'm sure, giving it all a good blast.

specialsubject Tue 02-Sep-14 14:04:43

sounds like years of nicotine. So I second sugar soap - wear gloves, goggles and old clothes and be prepared for a LOT of mess. Pity they cleaned the carpets first so put down lots of protection.

best thing to do with the wallpaper is strip it, you'll never get it clean.

minkah Wed 03-Sep-14 11:09:50

The steam cleaning could easily peel the paper off, anyhow!

sleepyhead Wed 03-Sep-14 11:17:28

Cif cream is the excellent for grease, especially tops of kitchen cupboards or anywhere else where it's a mixture of grease and dust <gak>

HG mould spray vg as is the Dettol mould spray in the green bottle.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Wed 03-Sep-14 17:56:29

Like Cabbage I'd suggest Stardrops for lots of dirt. Also white vinegar which always leaves a 'clean' smell for a while in the air.

A steam cleaner would be brilliant, we use ours a lot.

Best MN tip: clean dirty grout with a paste made from bicarbonate and bleach. Works amazingly well. Spread it on, leave it for a bit then wipe or wash off.

Lelivre Wed 03-Sep-14 23:00:04

Thank you! I needed some grout advice. That is tomorrow's job!

CabbagePatchCheryl Wed 03-Sep-14 23:24:37

Dettol mould & mildew spray + old toothbrush + good rinse smile

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