Thursday, 22 March 2012

Domestic Goddess?

My family will tell you I am far from being a domestic Goddess but to run a home you don't have to be, If I could get away with not cleaning I would, unfortunately with five children, one very hairy springer spaniel & cat constant cleaning is a must. Cleaning in our home takes quite a bit of time we have to ensure we keep on top of it because my youngest two children have allergies & my son suffers with asthma, because of this we have to be careful to use as little chemicals as possible. So how do I do it? my husband helps, in fact he does more than help, I have no shame in admitting he is quite some cleaner. We both together are bringing you some top cleaning tips.

Rule 1: music helps when cleaning, I much prefer to clean with music than without.
Rule 2: make the children responsible for their own bedrooms, if they are reluctant you could make it into a game for younger children, so say who can get the most toys in the toy box, for older children this doesn't work, I find going in with a bin bag and declaring that whatever is on the floor the next time you come in will be deemed fit for the bin, if your kids are a bit cheeky you may find that they pile everything on the bed, in the event of this happening please let me know how you deal with it.

Cleaning your windows can be a right pain most get in a window cleaner but they don't come inside do they! So to get good streak free windows I use glass cleaner then wipe them till they are full dry and streak free using newspaper, If you don't want to use window cleaner hot soapy water with a splash of vinegar works just as well. After each time wipe down the frame with a damp cloth.

I can see you all now thinking oh god I hate cleaning the oven, I think its a women top hate to clean. After each use, wipe down the hob, this cuts down the need to scrub it, for the glass on your oven or oven top use soda water it's brilliant for shifting grease. Remove any parts you can and leave them to soak in hot water with washing liquid this will stop you having to use brute force to shift the the built up grease. If you have a free standing oven don't forget to clean down the sides too.


If you have had something quite smelly in your fridge and you can't shift that smell, cut a lemon in half and pop it on the shelf this will keep your fridge smelling lovely. For your freezer check the setting if its to high for what you have stored in there you will be constantly having to defrost it.

Now this is one piece of electrical equipment that I would be lost without it, not only does it gobble up all your dust and dirt its great for retrieving things that are out of your reach but do be careful its great at hoovering up socks too(I think this is where all the odd socks go its the only explanation I have). Kids can use it, some even think its fun my girls argue over who gets to hoover them room(strange girls). Whilst hoovering go over the top of your skirting boards and door frames, also hoover the vents of your electrical equipment, if you want to check how dusty your home can get check the back of your tv. Emptying the bag/cylinder is helpful too, your hoover will have a better suction, also don't forget to hoover under things & if you have a rug take it out and give it a good old beating.
Teach them young

I don't use polish that often, because to me it mainly just shifts dust around so we go over everything with a slightly damp cloth(if its too wet it doesn't work as well) and rinse it out often. This removes the dust rather than just moving it around. 

We use a bog standard good old fashioned mop, make sure your mop is clean, and squeeze as much water out as possible, you can also go over with a fresh mop of pure water after using floor cleaner this picks up left over bits and residue. We have a no shoe rule, which just leaves the hallway getting muddy daily.

Washing and Ironing
Now with 7 of us in the house our washer is constantly on the go, the pile is never ending & sometimes the washer and dryer can't keep up. If you can't live without these 2 appliances then I suggest you take out extended warranty on them, this has saved me a small fortune over the years. We lazily bung most of it in together and use colour wash strips, then every now and then do a white wash with a little whitener in. Towels and pot towels always go on a boil wash, and then most thing get thrown in the dryer which has made me quite good at shrinking things, I recently shrunk my husband rather expensive suit trousers, in my defence its his fault for putting them in the wash. DON'T put plastic backed bibs in the dryer, they have a habit of melting like a crisp packet to a naked flame! Always wash new clothes this will get and dust and left over dye out of them, after you dryer has finished fold the clothes straight away this cuts down the ironing pile dramatically, as for ironing I only do it if it really is needed such as school uniforms. 

Slow cookers
Buy a slow cooker, many things can be cooked in a slow cooker our favourite is leek and potato soup.

I  honestly am a terrible cook, I am more of a baking kind of wife, a whole chicken freaks me out when trying to cook it, my cooker needs double the time what it says it needs so I solve this by having our Sunday lunches cooked by my mother in law and boy what a cook she is. My husband has already been warned if we ever split then I shall get custody of his mum, my brother also keeps trying to get her to go live with him and his fiancĂ©e 70 miles away just for her Sunday roasts.

Top tips passed down 

Toothpaste gets marker pen off most things

bread is good at scrubbing off scuff marks 

2 Steradent tablets in water are great for cleaning net curtains (do people still have net curtains?)

vinegar and bicarbonate soda is mean't to work a treat on grout.

If you have visitors you wish to impress or trying to sell you house, bake cakes and make some fresh coffee. Your home will smell homely.

If you have any top tips please feel free to share them 

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