How to get your home sparkling in 20 minutes
In-laws on their way over? Here’s how to get the house as clean as a whistle in no time…
Here are some helpful hacks to get your place spotless, fast.
Useful tips for speedy cleaning:
Top-down rule: sweep or vacuum your floors last to nab any dirt lifted up from dusting – this will save you having to go back over it later
Prepare beforehand: if you’re expecting guests, set out coasters for drinks and empty your dishwasher for all the extra glasses
Close doors of rooms you don’t want visitors to see: that way you can hide away mess and no one will ever know
Have a system for efficient cleaning: taking on one area of a room at a time will stop you getting flustered
Most common clean-up scenarios
Visit from the in-laws
You’re all set for a lazy weekend, just the two of you, when an impromptu ‘we’re in town’ text arrives from your in-laws. If you’re going to make up for the burnt quiche incident from their last visit, you need to get the house clean. Pronto.
They’ll probably only venture into living room, kitchen and bathroom – so focus on these areas, popping any clutter into a basket. You can then hide it away in a cupboard or your bedroom.
You know from experience – your mother-in-law can spot dirt from a mile away. Ensure your place is dust-free with a cordless vacuum that you can swiftly sweep over your floors.
We like the Dyson V6 as it has all the suction power of a corded vacuum and without annoying cables getting in the way. Use it on wood, laminate or carpets – or convert it to a handheld for quick spot clean-ups on your sofa. Check out the Dyson V6 cordless vacuum cleaner here.
Sorting out a post-roast kitchen
A Sunday roast with all the trimmings is a great way to get the family together. But just when you’re settling down for a post-lunch nap you cast an eye over the giant pile of pots and pans in your kitchen sink.
With a few tricks you can tackle it in time for dessert. Start by setting grease-encrusted trays aside to soak while you load up the dishwasher or hand-wash the rest of your dishes.
For the oven, spritz a grease-busting product onto your hob while you get to work on the inside. Leaving it to cut through the grease will make wiping gravy stains away easier.
Tip for an extra-clean kitchen: sprinkle some baking powder over your sink and rinse to get it extra sparkling
When it comes to throwing parties, you’re a pro. Dealing with the aftermath, on the other hand, leaves you feeling worse for wear.
Nail the clean-up in one go by grabbing a couple of bin bags – one for recycling bottles and another for rubbish – and do a quick sweep of the worst-hit areas.
Pop stain remover on carpet spillages and leave it to soak while you tackle the rest of the carnage.
Wipe down your surfaces with a cloth and cleaning solution – paying special attention to sticky drinks puddles and crisp crumbs.
To get into those hard-to-reach places, try a steam cleaner like the Vax S86. This gets to work on a host of different surfaces – whether you’re refreshing foot-trodden carpets, or using the detachable handheld unit to give your kitchen counter a once-over.
For the ultimate in speedy cleaning, it heats up in 15 seconds – so you can spend less time scrubbing and more time sleeping off your headache.
Getting the bathroom up to guest standards
You’ve got guests over and your bathroom is looking a little on the grimy side – and now one of them wants to freshen up. Queue panic as you fear they’ll judge you forever.
Be prepared by giving it a quick spruce before they arrive. Throw out any empty shampoo bottles and pop dirty clothes lying around into the laundry basket – making sure you grab those discarded socks behind the door.
Pour some bleach into the toilet bowl and leave it to work its magic while you clean.
Meanwhile, blitz soap scum and toothpaste spots on the mirror with a cloth and cleaning solution (a mix of water and white vinegar will also do the trick).
Swap the hand towel, shake out your bath mat and flush the bleach away – and your bathroom is instantly guest-ready.