Suffolk, UK

Doesn't she scrub up well? My top cleaning tips for sparkling success #AD

The year is 2018. Leaving the house isn't something you'd even think twice about. The word "coronavirus" doesn't feature in your vocabulary. But what *is* making the news is the meteoric rise to fame of a certain cleaning-focused social media influencer. Mrs Hinch, of course! This scrubbing sensation hit one million Instagram followers in September 2018. Her enthusiasm for dusting her doorhandles, sanitising her sofa, and .. uh .. naming her sponges is infectious, inspiring influencers across the globe to start "Hinching" their own homes. In a totally unexpected turn of events, cleaning had became cool!

Fast forward to 2020. Two years later, we're in the midst of a global pandemic and many of us are staying at home. So what better opportunity to follow in Mrs Hinch's footsteps and give the house a quick once-over? The time for spring cleaning may be over but we can still welcome in the summer with a spotless house! To kick-start my cleaning spree, I was kindly gifted some products from Viking's cleaning and catering collection and some handy bits and bobs from Rope Source too. And today, I'm here to share my top cleaning tips with you! Get ready, it's going to be RIVETING!

cleaning home Mrs Hinch how to

How to Get Motivated

Remaining motivated enough to keep on top of your household jobs during lockdown can be tricky, especially when you won't have any guests coming round to see the pigsty you're living in! To stop me falling behind on my cleaning routine (and in all other areas of my life!), I have a colour coded to-do list on the Reminders section of my phone. It is divided into five sections: Home (for chores around the house), Blog (to ensure I'm on top of my posting schedule), Social (because I'm hopeless at replying to messages so I need a list to remind me who I need to respond to!), PhD, and Personal / Self Care. Breaking my chores down and segmenting them like this really helps me to get motivated and feel like the tasks are more manageable. 

However, if I see "hoover the whole house" at the top of my list and I know it's going to take me FOREVER, I always end up thinking "oh, I'll just sit down and check Instagram for a moment" and then suddenly two hours have passed, I've eaten seven biscuits and still haven't moved from the sofa. To avoid this, I like to get motivated by tackling a small job first, but one that makes a big difference. Usually I go for stacking the dishwasher - it takes very little time but the kitchen looks a million times better afterwards. Once it's done, I feel like I've already accomplished something so moving on to other jobs feels less difficult!
Ecover Viking cleaning products review
cleaning home kitchen Ecover Viking

Consider the Planet Too

I enjoy watching those oh-so-satisfying cleaning time lapses and "tap to clean" stories on Instagram as much as the next person, but a really big concern for me when consuming this content is its impact on the environment. Chemical-rich, strongly scented products such as Zoflora are influencer favourites, but the bleach and phosphates that they contain aren't good for the planet when they get rinsed down your drain. Such products also tend to be sold in plastic bottles which end up being chucked into landfill. 

That's why, when I'm cleaning, I opt for environmentally conscious products where possible. A favourite brand of mine is Ecover, who have some fantastic planet-friendly measures. All of their bottles and caps are designed to be recycled and helpfully, Viking sell big 5L containers of their All Purpose Cleaner, meaning that you can also buy in bulk and refill your smaller bottles at home. Ecover's ingredients are mostly natural and plant-based, meaning that they’re renewable and completely biodegradable. Oh, and they're vegan friendly too! Their aromas aren't as pungent as Zoflora but they're natural, simple, don't overpower a room. A far better option than synthetic fragrances if you ask me! 

laundry Rope Source washing line strong pegs
washing line strong pegs Rope Source laundry

Think of Your Reasons to Clean

In interviews, Mrs Hinch has been quoted time and again saying that her reasons for cleaning were to alleviate her anxiety. When she's busy mopping and hoovering, her mind can't dwell on her worries. Keeping yourself active like this is a fantastic way to look after your mental health (it certainly improves mine!) but choosing specific tasks that benefit you in more than one way is also a positive step. 

For example, I love doing the laundry not only because it's a great distraction but also because I really enjoy hanging it out on the line in the sunshine. I don't know why, but seeing the bright clothes flapping in the breeze brings me such joy! I adore the fresh scent of bedding that's been dried outside too. With a new organic cotton washing line and a set of extra-strong pegs from Rope Source, I'll be able to enjoy my gorgeous wind-dried laundry all summer long. So, don't feel that you need to do a menial task like dust every skirting board in your house just because a cleaning influencer you follow is doing it - instead make a choice to complete the task that'll have the biggest positive impact in your life!

Ecover cleaning washing up Viking home
Viking home cleaning Hinching washing up

Know When to Ignore Instagram

Watching Mrs Hinch and other cleaning goddesses on Instagram can be amazingly helpful when it comes to inspiring you to get off your bum and start scrubbing, but they can also make it seem like you need a LOT of different products to clean your home "correctly". For instance, I had been put off cleaning the glass door of our wood burning stove for yonks, purely because I didn't think I had the "right" product at home to clean it properly. I imagined that I'd need a special kind of sponge and a spray or paste especially designed for the job. 

However, when trying out the Viking cleaning products that I was sent, I thought "oh, I'll just give it a scrub with some Ecover Washing Up Liquid and see what happens!" And you know what? All of the grime came off with a bit of elbow grease and the stove looks fantastic! So my advice to all of you wannabe Hinchers out there is that you don't need a full caddy of different products for every room in your house - many things that you already have under your sink will do the job just fine!

What are your top cleaning tips? Share your secrets in the comments below.