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What do you *need* in terms of equipment to keep your house clean? And can anyone recommend something for cleaning a ceramic sink?

(24 Posts)
somethinganything Mon 21-Sep-09 13:48:33

Right, lets start with the sink - what's a good way to get a ceramic sink gleaming?

Also, what other basic products do you need? My cleaning cupboard is full of all sorts of crap that I rarely use but I also seem to lack some basics. Can anyone tell me what's in a 'capsule' cleaning set?

AMumInScotland Mon 21-Sep-09 14:02:18

I've got a ton of stuff under the sink, but like you I don't use most of it.

What I do use is:

thick bleach to go down loo/occasionally down sink
Cif cream for bathroom and kitchen surfaces
Ecover multisurface liquid for mopping kitchen floor
Limelight for occasional limescale attack on the bathroom taps and shower screen
Flash orange spray for disgusting grease behind hob

That's all I think!

PigeonPie Mon 21-Sep-09 14:11:47

I just use dilute washing up liquid and elbow grease usually and maybe the green 'scritchey' nylon pad for stubbon grime. If there's something really stubborn I use Bar Keepers' Friend. That's all really. Do it once a week and it's fine.

Naetha Mon 21-Sep-09 14:17:11

I'm NOT a cleaning type person, so this is what I make do with:

Harpic limescale bleach stuff for the loo, and parazone wipes (after going over with a wet wipe).

Mr Muscle kitchen for the kitchen.

Stardrops for surfaces that aren't covered above.

Flash scrubby cloths.

Sponge scourer.

Oh, and Mr Muscle drain unblocker about twice a year.

crokky Mon 21-Sep-09 14:29:13

I mainly use:

Cif - for sinks, bathroom etc
Harpic for toilets
Fairy liquid sometimes
Baby wipes for everything else.

alypaly Mon 21-Sep-09 14:30:53

the best thing is dissloved dishwash powder and leave it in the sink for a while in the water. it will bring it up sparkling

ButtercupWafflehead Mon 21-Sep-09 14:31:48

To add to the list:

Shower Shine (or cheapo equivalent) that you spray every day to prevent ever needing to scrub the shower.

Window cleaner - use this mostly on mirrors and the shower screen - again to prevent anything building up.

I am scrubbing-averse.

somethinganything Mon 21-Sep-09 14:48:35

Thanks, ladies - for those who use specific products for the toilet, do they do something that bleach doesn't or is it just for the nice colour/smell? (not being sarcastic incidentally, it's a genuine question about whether or not bleach is a cure-all!)

alypaly great tip re the washing powder!

And now, another probably very daft question: for those who don't use disposable wipes, how many different cloths do you use? I seem to end up using several different cloths, then get them confused and have to start again

1 for washing up
1 for kitchen work surfaces
1 for cleaning out baths/sinks/other surfaces in house
1 for cleaning round top of the toilet
1 for floor

And do you use a mop for your kitchen floor or just get down on your hands and knees? Or do as I have done for far too long and not wash it at all just give it a once over with the hoover every few days...

crokky Mon 21-Sep-09 14:54:13

I don't think bleach attacks limescale, it just takes all teh colour out of it so it is invisible, but still there. Harpic is supposed to have a go at removing limescale.

I get down onto the kitchen floor. But, mainly I use vacuum on hard floor setting and only actually wipe the floor occasionally. But if stuff is spilt, wipe up immed. obv!

Indith Mon 21-Sep-09 14:56:38

I have 3 squirty bottles, 1 with mildly soapy water for cleaning up most normal carpet spills, 1 with dilute vinegar for windows, mirrors etc and 1 with all purpose cleaner which is a small amount of soap flakes dissolved in water with a few drops of tea tree and a bit of vinegar (to increase shelf life). Other than that in my cupboard is a pack of bicarb, pack of soda crystals, tea tree, soap flakes, vinegar. Think that is it. I use microfibre cloths for most things and I gave up having specific ones. Once used they end up in a bucket with dish cloths and tea towels and go in a hot wash with towels or nappies etc.

somethinganything Mon 21-Sep-09 14:56:58

Thanks, crokky

somethinganything Mon 21-Sep-09 15:02:16

Indith - that's v useful, so basically, when cleaning you just make sure you do toilets etc last then bung in a hot wash? Sounds like an excellent plan.

Where do you get your empty squirty bottles from? And is it just half vinegar, half water for the window cleaning mixture?

And your soap flakes mixture works as well as carpet cleaning squirty stuff you reckon?

Where do you get soap flakes from, by the way, never heard of them...

What do you use the soda crystals for? My dad used to use them for preparing his fingers before playing stringed instruments?!!

castille Mon 21-Sep-09 15:03:20

My MIL uses Cif for everything, even scrubbing frying pans. Not sure how healthy this is, but that's all she has in the house!

My basics are:
- an all-purpose liquid cleaner for floors
- bathroom spray (usually eco but also some with bleach for zapping mould)
- kitchen grease-buster
- glass/mirror spray
- loo cleaner with bleach

I also have a range of e-cloths, they are brilliant. I keep relevant products + cloths in each bathroom/loo and spares in the kitchen, so I can do it quickly when the mood takes me without having to hunt anything down, which would kill my enthusiasmgrin

Indith Mon 21-Sep-09 15:16:22

Pretty much yes, do the bathroom, finish with loo. Usually have a cloth in the kitchen to do the work tops then throw in the wash at the end of the day.

My bottles are the ones you find at garden centres though when I first started mixing my own I used the empty flash bottles etc as I ran out.

Vinegar is 3 to 1

Soap flakes are found at the supermarket. I find soapy water fine for most carpet stuff, small amount of coffee, toddler accidents etc as the main thing you want to do it dilute it down as you blot off to avoid staining. Older stains or a lot of red wine/other major accident needs a bit more attention.

Soda crytals are great down drains and added to your washing powder.

somewhathorrified Mon 21-Sep-09 18:18:59

I had a really scabby butler sink in our utility room, covered in old paint and car grease, generally very bad. I used a paint scraper (the ones with the stanely blade in) to get rid of the really stuck on stuff, then use soda crystals and lemon juice with a green scourer, worked a treat came up all shiny and like new...well newish.

ButtercupWafflehead Tue 22-Sep-09 11:57:51

Cloths - pink for the sink, blue for the loo.

Anthea would be proud!

thehairybabysmum Tue 22-Sep-09 12:07:45

For ceramic sink i fill it with water every now andd then with a squirt of cleach. Cillit bang also good for every day (ish!)

I use a broom around table for spills after dinner, hoover once a week plus mop once a week (again ish)...we are in and out of back door a lot though so floor does get filthy if weather not dry.

re cloths...i also struggle with specific ones so basically use cheap ikea flannels, and have a new one daily, or if i have to wipe the floor then bung in washer and get a new one out.

toilet i mix between bleach and toilet cleaner. Kitchen i just wipe round with clean/hot washing up water then occaision bursts of whatever cleaner is on offer when needed.

Good tips re soap flakes, i will try.

thehairybabysmum Tue 22-Sep-09 12:08:28

i too have pink for sink, blue for loo sponges in bathroom a la Anthea!

somethinganything Tue 22-Sep-09 13:17:48

ooh - I do like the colour coding idea.

thehairy I did the bleach thing last night as it happens - worked a treat. My sink she gleams.

Thanks for all your advice, did a cleaning product shop yesterday (surprisingly excited about the whole thing I was) - still seem to have quite a lot, think I'm just a bit of a sucker when it comes to cleaning product marketing.

jellyshoeswithdiamonds Wed 23-Sep-09 12:31:40

I use the microfibre cloths from Tesco (their value range, 3 for 88p) and they are fab.

Spray bottle with diluted Dettol in it for kitchen surfaces and also bathrooms. One microfibre cloth per bathroom, folded into a small square I do the sink first then the bath then toilet, a different fold for each item in the bathroom grin

I also have a spray bottle with thin bleach in it for the sink and drainer, just spritz that every evening, works well and doesn't use as much bleach as soaking does.

somethinganything Wed 23-Sep-09 14:25:32

jellyshoes like your cloth-folding strategy, think I may adopt that in future... more likely to stick to it than colour coding I suspect

Stupid question re bleach: can you just spray it on and leave it if it's diluted? I tend to think of it as highly toxic stuff and worry about it contaminating skin/other stuff that rests on it - probably being paranoid, right?

Another question for all your domestic goddesses: how do you get rid of staining in toliets? I guess it's discoloured limescale? I tried some really heavy duty anti-limescale treatment with health warnings all over it, which worked fine for the bottom of the loo but it's that area round the bend that's v difficult to get to - any tips?

Flibbertyjibbet Wed 23-Sep-09 14:39:34

I don't buy bleach or chemical cleaners. We just use elbow grease and a bit of washing up liquid and hot water, plus something to scrub with.
I use my old muslins for cleaning cloths. If you don't use fabric conditioner and line dry they stay quite scratchy. I just use a clean one for whichever job, then wash them in with a hot wash.

For the loo we use a little brush, and I know people on here go <<boak>> at the thought of a toilet brush. But its not a loo brush that you keep in a scanky container, its a smaller washing up type brush that can be cleaned easily. I don't see the point of putting bleach down to just turn the dirt white!

Sinks, taps etc all come up lovely and shiny with just a wet cloth and scrub.

We have a broom for the (solid) floors, a mop and bucket into which I put about cap full of flash.

Anything else gets dusted, or a vinegar solution on it.

We don't use any anti bac stuff either, we like a few germs to keep our immunity up!!

wonderif Wed 23-Sep-09 14:55:01

i use flash spray with bleach for most things very good for toilets and sinks.

use hot water and few drops of pure tea tree oil or lavendar for the flowers.

thats about it really, kitchen surfaces flash spray also or bleach diluted

somethinganything Thu 24-Sep-09 09:28:20

flibberty I thought bleach did get rid of the dirt shock

OK, blimey, rereading all this, I definitely have too much stuff. But don't want to waste it all so will have to use everything up, which will take years, then start minimising

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