SHE has whipped some of our muckiest homes into shape – and now she’s got tips for you.
Lynsey Crombie, a.k.a. the Queen Of Clean, shares her cleaning hacks with 180,000 followers on social media – and the mum-of-three, from Peterborough, believes now is a great time to get to grips with grime.
Here, Natasha Harding brings you an extract from Lynsey’s new book, The Easy Life, with 25 of her top cleaning tips.
- When preparing your garden for spring and summer, forget nasty chemicals and just pour boiling water on to weeds to kill them. You can also flush drains through with boiling water and soda crystals.
- To keep your kitchen bin clean and smelling fresh, wipe the lid and sides weekly. When you change the bag, sprinkle bicarbonate of soda into the bottom to help soak up any nasty odours. Alternatively, slice up some lemon and pop it in the bottom too.
- Limescale builds up easily on taps. My top tip for this is to cut a lemon in half, cover it with bicarb and give it a squeeze so that it foams up. Rub over the tap and finish by twisting the lemon half on to the spout. Leave for 15 minutes and then remove the lemon and rinse off the juice — the limescale will come off easily.
- In the regular cleaning of your taps, wipe with warm soapy water and buff dry with a clean microfibre cloth.
Most taps are made from chrome, but if your taps have an unusual finish, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Fake tan can make a right mess of your bed linen. A quick fix for removing it is to make a paste out of bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice and apply directly to the stain.Scrub in a circular motion until the stain starts to disappear.
- Aluminium foil has so many uses around the home. You can use it to sharpen scissors by simply cutting through some folded foil. I also use it to clean pots and pans. Just scrunch it into a ball and get scrubbing.
- Carpet odours quiver in the face of my simple eco-friendly carpet refresher. Fill a recycled jar with bicarbonate of soda, add 20 drops of your favourite essential oil, give it a good shake and leave overnight. Pierce holes in the top of the jar lid and liberally sprinkle over the carpet. Leave for 30 minutes and then vacuum off.
- Dishwashers need a little TLC every so often. Once a week, fill up the tablet compartment with lemon juice. I tend to use shop-bought lemon juice for this, which you can get from the baking aisle in supermarkets, and then run a rinse cycle.
- Environmentally friendly cleaner is easy to make. Just mix together 200ml of white wine vinegar and 20 drops of peppermint essential oil. It’s perfect for cleaning your bathroom and kitchen.
- Flowers give a pop of colour to your home. To keep them lasting longer, add a drop of lemonade or vodka or a copper coin to their water and just watch the difference. A little spritz of hairspray under the leaves will stop them dropping off too.
- Garden furniture rust can be cleaned off using tomato sauce. Dab some ketchup on to a wet cloth and rub — the rust will lift right off.
- WD-40 is an unbelievable all-round cleaner. It is particularly useful for removing oil spots from your driveway, pen marks from your walls or getting tough stains out of carpets. I’ve used it to get pollen stains caused by lilies and it worked a treat.
- Hob racks get dirty with a build-up of spilled food, grease and grime from cooking.
Put them in your dishwasher with white wine vinegar. Alternatively, fill the bath a little, then add some white wine vinegar and leave the racks to soak for 30 minutes.
- Remove labels from jars with olive oil, then you can reuse them for all sorts of things.
- Bicarbonate of soda is effective at removing mould naturally.
Dissolve the bicarb in water and then spray it directly on the problem area. Let it sit, then scrub and wipe with a damp cloth. The best thing about bicarb is that it has no strong scent.
- Nail polish spillages can be removed with window cleaner. Blot as much excess polish as you can, then, using a microfibre cloth, apply a small amount of window cleaner to the stain and scrub in a circular motion. Finally, rinse the affected area with water.
- Ovens can be cleaned using just bicarbonate of soda and white wine vinegar. Simply mix some bicarb and water into a paste, then use it to cover as much of the oven interior as you can. Take a spray bottle containing a 50-50 mixture of water and white wine vinegar and squirt over an even layer. Leave for at least 30 minutes, then rinse with warm water. The grease lifts away.
- Rubber seals on washing machines pick up mould and leave a nasty smell. Use a toothbrush and a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and white wine vinegar and scrub away, then pop machine on rinse cycle.
- Tea bags can be a great mother’s helper in more ways than one. If you’ve got some plates covered with stubborn food, just put the dishes in hot water, throw in a few used tea bags and leave for a few hours. The tea will break down the grease and grime.
- Toilet stains are often not removed by bleach, because it is a whitening rather than a cleaning product, plus it is not the most eco-friendly substance. When you have built-up limescale, pop a few denture tablets into the bowl, close the lid and leave for a few hours, or remove some of the water and add in a neat limescale remover.
- A quick solution to clean barbecue grills is to cut an onion in half and rub over the grills until it has disintegrated. The onion’s cleaning power removes the grease and grime.
- Wooden chopping boards can quickly and easily be brought back to life by using half a lemon and some salt.
- Walnuts removed from their shells and rubbed into scuffs and scratches can restore skirting boards and wooden tables.
- My favourite way of cleaning the microwave is to place four slices of lemon in a microwave-safe bowl of water and then cook on high for three minutes. The steam from the water and lemon loosens stuck-on foods and grease and kills nasty odours. Then wipe clean with a damp microfibre cloth.
- Before you go to bed, leave everything in order. Keeping your home germ-free is even more essential. Every day you should wipe down sides and door handles in your home.
Use an antibacterial spray and cloth to wipe down items people touch frequently, such as phones, door handles, drawers, work surfaces, tables, remote controls, the fridge door, toilet handles and seat and light switches. Soft surfaces such as blankets, pillows, pillowcases, bed sheets and cushions need to be washed frequently. Lynsey’s Instagram is @lynsey_queenofclean.
- The Easy Life by Lynsey Crombie (Wellbeck, £14.99) is published on April 2.