Plan. Plan a day or a few days in your diary for your yearly spring clean and don’t book anything else in on these days. Write a do list and put together a play list to keep you motivated. Start at the top of your home and work your way down. Discuss with friends and see if you can all motivate each other. Throw open the windows so the cold air gets your body moving.
2) What’s your take on Marie Kondo? How do decluttering and cleaning go together?
Decluttering and cleaning certainly do go together. While you are cleaning throw away or donate items that you come across that you no longer need. Create more space in drawers when cleaning and store your clothing well. I love Marie Kondo’s attitude of when it doesn’t spark joy it needs to go but I am not a huge fan of rolling clothes. I like to see what I have to wear and I like to wear freshly hung clothing, not stuff that’s been crammed into a space.
3) Your 100k plus Instagram followers love your expert tips and tricks. What’s your latest find?
I play about with products at home and always try and create cleaning potions out of my kitchen staples. Recently I discovered that shaving foam is actually a great carpet stain remover and baby oil is very effective at removing crayon marks off furniture.
4) What have you discovered about the links between mental health and the power of cleaning?
I had a very troubled period and was extremely low, full of anxiety and depressed and the only activity that helped improve my mental wellbeing was cleaning. A cleaning session beats any counselling session I have ever attended. It makes you feel good and lets you channel that negative energy into something positive.
5) Do you clean your own home or do you have a cleaner?
I clean my home, no one would be up to my standards!
6) What was the most challenging thing you experienced back in 2014 on Channel 4’s Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners?
Cleaning a toilet that hadn’t been touched in 60 years and cleaning years’ worth of bird poo off the top of a fridge!
7) What’s next for you?
I am hoping that my brand will continue to grow and will continue to encourage and support people. I have a few positive projects in the pipeline too which I am very excited about.
Lynsey’s Tried and tested cleaning methods
White wine vinegar is a godsend when it comes to cleaning. A weak form of acetic acid, it is effective at killing mould, bacteria and germs. In fact, every kitchen and bathroom will benefit hugely from a handy spray bottle containing a 50:50 solution of water and vinegar. Armed with just vinegar, here’s what you can achieve:
In the kitchen ...
Descaling the kettle
I do this monthly and this trick has never let me down. Simply fill the kettle with half water and half vinegar and leave for 30 minutes.
Once the time is up, boil the kettle then empty and rinse thoroughly. This will keep limescale at bay and eliminates the need for harsh chemicals. You can also try this trick on your coffee machine.
Remove kitchen sink odours
This is a task that you need to add to your monthly cleaning schedule.
When combined with bicarbonate of soda, white wine vinegar can get rid of those nasty sink odours and keep your drain free of slime and gunk. Afterwards, make sure you rinse well with freshly boiled water (if you have plastic pipes, rinse with cold or warm water).
Clean and deodorise your microwave
Fill a microwave-safe bowl with 120ml/1/2 cup vinegar and 250ml/1 cup water, place in the microwave and put on a high heat for 5 minutes. Leave it in the microwave while it cools. Afterwards, you can easily wipe down the inside of the microwave and, as if by magic, those nasty odours will have miraculously disappeared.
Cleaning the fridge
Mix 4 teaspoons vinegar into a half-filled washing-up bowl of warm water and use the solution to to wipe down your refrigerator’s interior, including the shelves, walls and even food packaging, if necessary. Your refrigerator will be clean and fresh-smelling without the need for harsh chemicals that could contaminate food.
Wash fruit and veg
Vinegar helps remove bacteria and pesticide residues from fruit and vegetables. Mix 3 parts water to 1 part white wine vinegar, and dispense in a spray bottle. Rinse clean.
Getting rid of kitchen smells
Add a mixture of water and vinegar to a saucepan and boil on the hob for 15 minutes to get rid of any nasty odours in your kitchen. This is particularly good after cooking.
Shine drinking glasses
A great pre-dinner-party tip to remove marks from your glasses is to submerge them in a mixture of water and vinegar. Remove and leave to dry naturally, then wash again.
IN THE BATHROOM ...
Limescale and hard water build-up
Limescale and hard water stains can be a real pain to remove and many of the cleaning products on the market just don’t cut it. Vinegar is the solution. To achieve the perfect shine and remove any blockages from shower heads, fill a small plastic bag with vinegar, place it over the shower head and tie the bag securely at the top.
A hand-held shower head can be submerged in a bowl of vinegar, if preferred. Leave it for a few hours then remove, rinse with water and wipe down. It really is that easy.
You can also spray neat vinegar onto shower doors, draining boards and taps. Just leave it for a few hours so it can work its magic before wiping it off.
Mould and mildew prevention
If you have any mould and mildew in the bathroom or on your shower curtain, spray with neat vinegar, leave for an hour or so, then rinse.
Soak your toothbrush heads in a mixture of vinegar and hot water to give them a good clean. Don’t forget to rinse them thoroughly before using.
How To Clean Your House And Tidy Up Your Life by Lynsey Crombie is out today, published by HK in hardback at £12.99