Spring-cleaning season is in full swing and this year our homes are in need of a spruce up, having hosted makeshift workspaces and home schools, three family meals a day and more time spent indoors than ever before.
Did you know 70-80% of dust is made up of dead skin cells?1 Just by working from home every day, the house is getting dirtier and it’s doing it faster. So, it’s the perfect time to stock up on those cleaning essentials!
So where better to get some go-to cleaning hacks than from the Queen of Clean, Lynsey Crombie.
See below for Lynsey’s top tips for the key areas you should be focussing on and why, alongside recommended products from trusted favourite cleaning brands such as Marigold and Vileda.
Lynsey Crombie's cleaning top tips
When it comes to tackling the spring cleaning, think of your house like a cake – start from the top and work down. Choose to do a section each day. If you live with others, involve them, it shouldn’t all rest on your shoulders. Divide the house up into sections and make a plan.
Top tip: have the windows open to make the house cold as this will make you work faster to warm up. Use a ten-track playlist as a timer and choose upbeat music like you’re going on a run. Put your phone on airplane mode so there are no distractions whatsoever.
High contact areas of the home like the kitchen, bathroom and workspace are full of sneaky germ hotspots (the germs on your fingertips can double just after using the toilet!) which usually get forgotten or missed when it comes to the daily wipe down.
As the big spring clean can sometimes feel daunting, these are the go-to target areas to tick off the list first:
- Kitchen cabinets - your kitchen cabinets, especially the handles, are high contact touchpoints which harbour a lot of germs but most of the time people use far too much product on them, particularly on high gloss cabinets. Go over them with a microfibre cloth like Marigold Let It Shine! or Marigold Squeaky Clean using just water to remove any sticky marks.
- Kettle - We’re all making cups of tea constantly at the moment but when did you last clean your kettle? It’s one of the biggest germ hotspots in the kitchen, particularly the handle. As well as giving it a wipe down with Marigold Let It Shine! Microfibre Cloth using just water, my other eco tip to try (if you’re overusing your kettle) is to fill half of it with water and the other half with white vinegar, boil, leave to stand for 10 minutes, then fill with normal water and boil again – your kettle is now sparkling clean and ready to use again!
- Floors and ceiling - the ceiling is another germ hotspot that we don’t think about, but when you’re cooking, everything rises up there. So, give it a dust or use a vacuum or dry microfibre mop to reach high areas. When it comes to your floors, don't just vacuum - using a spray mop such as the Vileda 1-2 Spray Mop is great for on-the-go cleaning, such as wiping high traffic areas after coming in from a dog walk.
- Surfaces - your kitchen surfaces are used for a lot; food preparation, washing up, unpacking food shopping, so it's important to keep them free from germs. Marigold Let It Shine! Microfibre Cloths come in four different colours so you can coordinate your cleaning to avoid cross contamination. They are machine washable so you can reuse – remember not to use fabric conditioner/softener otherwise you’ll ruin the microfibre. If one of the cloths is smelly and you want to clean those germs, add a dash of white vinegar in with your detergent, as it acts as a deodoriser and will break down any smells. What’s great about these cloths is you only need water, and this will remove 99% bacteria; you don’t need to be using lots of products all the time. They’re also really thick and durable and leave behind absolutely no fluff.
- Extractor fan - A gentle scourer such as Marigold Cleaning Me Softly Non Scratch Scourer is perfect for cleaning your extractor fan after you’ve done the ‘sticky hand test’ (remove the fan, place your hand on it and if your hand starts sticking, it’s time to clean!) All you need is water and I’d recommend you do this once a month.
- Shower screen - the best way to keep a shower screen or your bathroom tiles clean is to make it a regular habit. If you give it a quick wipe after each shower with a microfibre cloth, it will take you less than two minutes to keep the bathroom clean. A window vac, such as the Vileda Windomatic is also a really handy tool. You can use it on the bathroom mirror, shower screen and tiles.
- Stains in the bath - A question I get all the time is how to get stains like nail varnish, purple shampoo or fake tan off the bath. I use the ‘scratch’ side of Marigold Cleaning Me Softly with just water (make sure to test on an inconspicuous area first to double check it's suitable for your surfaces) and that’s all you need to remove these kinds of marks, when you’re done flip it over onto the soft side for a final polish.
If you’re tackling limescale around the bath, spray undiluted white vinegar on the limescale, leave it for 20 minutes, then wipe it down with a microfibre cloth using just water and the limescale will just wipe away. Chemicals will just mask the problem, they won’t eliminate it.
- Toilet - Don’t forget about the toilet flush as it’s probably dirtier than the loo seat itself – again, all you need is a microfibre cloth and water - this will remove 99% of the bacteria.
- Mobile phone - your phone is one of the most germ-ridden things you own! Take the cover off and dip it into a bowl of water. Then, all you need is a damp microfibre cloth (just a finger amount of water, don’t drench) and just lightly wipe down the surfaces, followed by a quick wipe with the dry side of the cloth immediately after.
- Laptop screens and keyboards - you can try the same technique as above on your laptop screens and keyboards. It won’t scratch and there’s no need to use any nasty chemicals on your technology – If you use one of the lighter cloths, you’ll actually be able to see how much dirt was on your phone!
- Desk lamp - Layers of dust that build up on the bulbs of your desk lamps can stop the light reflecting. Use a microfibre cloth or even the tip of an old make-up brush to lightly dust. I’d recommend keeping a dry cloth in your office/desk drawer at all times, so you can regularly give these easily forgotten items a wipe down.
Other cleaning tips
• Laundry - If you hang clothes well, it means less ironing for you! Don’t forget to clean the things that clean you too – make sure you air out your washing machine regularly otherwise the mould that builds up in there will transfer onto your clothes and be as clean or fresh.
• The best cleaning products are in your kitchen - white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, lemon, ketchup (for rust!), beer, and even things like white shaving foam (an amazing carpet cleaner!) are all fantastic cleaning products. One thing I love to do is put a little bit of white shaving foam on a microfibre cloth then wipe down my bathroom mirrors and leave for a few minutes before buffing. Your mirror will be condensation-free the next day after you’ve had a shower!
• Keep your cloths clean - When it comes to cleaning your cloths and scourers during the spring clean, I often keep a small bucket of water under the sink in the laundry room (with a little detergent in it) and put the microfibre cloths in there after use, then pop them in the washing machine once a week. For multi-use scourers such as the Marigold Scrub Away, put it on the top shelf of your dishwasher and let the steam give it a little spa treatment.
• A little goes a long way - The biggest mistake people make when cleaning is using far too much product and far too many chemicals (too much product will actually make things streaky!) Sometimes all you need is water and a microfibre cloth or mop!
Lynsey's must-have cleaning products
Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections.
Marigold Extra-Life Kitchen Gloves
When washing up, I always wear Marigold Kitchen Gloves (which are 100% recyclable with TerraCycleu00ae) u2013 what I love about the cotton lining is that when you take them off, it doesnu2019t feel like your hands have just been in the bath!
Marigold Longer Bathroom Gloves
Make sure you use Marigoldu2019s Longer Bathroom gloves when cleaning in the bathroom u2013 these are double layered to protect you from bleach and have longer cuffs for toilet cleaning and roll top cuffs so theyu2019ll stay up. Just like the kitchen gloves, they are also 100% recyclable u2013 itu2019s so important that we look after the environment when weu2019re cleaning.
Marigold Let It Shine! Knitted Microfibre Cloths
Marigold Let It Shine! Microfibre Cloths come in four different colours so you can coordinate your cleaning to avoid cross contamination. They are machine washable so you can reuse u2013 remember not to use fabric conditioner/softener otherwise youu2019ll ruin the microfibre. If one of the cloths is smelly and you want to clean those germs, add a dash of white vinegar in with your detergent, as it acts as a deodoriser and will break down any smells. Whatu2019s great about these cloths is you only need water, and this will remove 99% bacteria; you donu2019t need to be using lots of products all the time. Theyu2019re also really thick and durable and leave behind absolutely no fluff.
Marigold Squeaky Clean Next Generation Microfibre Cloth
Marigold Squeaky Clean is great for any quick damp dusting. Get it wet and it takes on a spongey feel and let the microfibre do the work. In fact I always take it with me when I go on holiday!
Marigold Scrub Away Heavy Duty Scourer
My go-to for getting tough stains off pans is Marigold Scrub Away - all you need is warm soapy water. Itu2019s also great to use on grills and BBQs as we all gear up for plenty outdoor gatherings!
Marigold Cleaning Me Softly Non-Scratch Scourer
For a non-scratch alternative for your non-stick pans, for example, the Marigold Cleaning Me Softly Non-Scratch Scourer is a great option. It is approved by TeflonTM u2013 lifts away the dirt, doesnu2019t change shape and is easy to rinse, meaning it will stay fresher for longer.
Vileda 1-2 Spray Mop
The great thing about the Vileda 1-2 Spray Mop is that you can use it for so many different tasks. It can do the floors, the ceiling and any tiled walls. Simply swap the microfibre pad for the different tasks. Unlike others on the market you donu2019t need any batteries and with the reusable, washable microfibre pad, it removes 99% bacteria with just water. I keep different pads in different rooms, to avoid cross- contamination.
The Vileda Windomatic is not just for windows u2013 try it on splashbacks, mirrored furniture, large glass dining tables and even in cars! The flexible neck ensures easy movement if you need to get to hard-to reach places and good coverage for streak-free cleaning. Whatu2019s unique to this one is it has a removeable water tank, so you can clean it in your dishwasher. Mould can build up if you donu2019t clean the tank enough.
For more cleaning tips Lynsey's latest book is available now: