SPRING is in the air – and that means it’s time to think about cleaning.
But if you think you need to dedicate a whole weekend to overhauling your house, think again.
According to Lynsey Crombie, aka TV’s Queen of Clean, all you need is just 15 minutes a day.
The mum of three, from Peterborough, was first seen in 2014 on Channel 4’s Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, which saw her spruce up some of Britain’s muckiest houses.
These days, Lynsey is This Morning’s cleaning expert where she frequently shares her favourite hacks for getting chores done quicker.
Her new book, The 15-Minute Clean, shows you just how easy it is to get your house spick and span in record time.
Lynsey, 41, says: “Remember, the key is little and often. Doing a few jobs here and there when you have a few spare minutes will ultimately save you time.
“Instead of treating your cleaning as a huge job to put off until the weekend, it is incorporated into daily life and you’ll barely notice you’re doing it – but you will notice how incredibly clean your house is.
“The biggest tip I would give to anyone is ‘just do it’ and you’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve.”
In exclusive extracts from the new book, Natasha Harding reveals how YOU too can clean your home in a mere 15 minutes.
THE TOOLS YOU WILL NEED
- Colour-coded microfibre cloths: The colour coding helps to keep order within your cleaning system – you don’t want to be cleaning your sink with the cloth that has just scrubbed your toilet. Create your own coded system or follow mine: Blue for loo, Pink for sink, Green for glass, Yellow for mellow (light dusting), Silver/grey for stainless steel
- Flat-headed microfibre mop: Much better for actually picking up dirt rather than pushing it around as regular mops do.
- Steamer: Not one that just does the floors, but one that has extra tools that can tackle other jobs in your home. Steam kills germs without the need for chemicals, so is especially helpful for anyone with allergies. Use your steamer for floors, hard surfaces, toilets, glass, refreshing upholstery and removing creases from clothes.
- Rags: When bath towels have come to the end of their lives, repurpose them by cutting them up. As cleaning rags, they are exactly the right texture for picking up dirt and useful for any outside cleaning.
- Dusting glove: Great for quickly tackling slatted blinds and other surfaces that frequently collect dust.
- Toothbrush: If the bristles are in decent nick, disinfect your old ones and use them to access hard-to-reach areas.
- Long-handled duster
- Squeegee: Store one in the shower to wipe down surfaces after use, helping to stop the accumulation of water marks and limescale.
- Dustpan and brush: Handy for little accidents, and the brush is ideal for tackling window tracks.
- Stair brush: Refresh your stair carpets in a pinch and when you don’t want to get the vacuum out.
Your time to shine
THIS is how to create a schedule to clean your home in just 15 minutes a day.
MY 5-MINUTE CHALLENGE: I live by my 5-minute challenge — and anyone who follows me on social media will know that it is the cornerstone of my cleaning philosophy.
The idea is simple: You set your timer on your phone, watch, stopwatch or even your oven (if you are cleaning your kitchen) to five minutes, and work against the clock.
The psychological aspect of working against the clock really does help, and you will be surprised at what you can get done in five minutes.
In that time, you could scroll through your social media, send out a few texts or make a cup of tea — but you can actually achieve so much more when you put your mind to it.
YOUR 15-MINUTE CLEAN: Now that you understand the 5-minute challenge, it is time to create the perfect cleaning schedule for you and your family by combining three of these challenges every day — your 15-minute clean.
By blitzing three rooms a day, spending five minutes on each, you will achieve so much more than when you save all your chores up for the weekend.
Not only will working against the clock make you speedier and more efficient, but you will have more time to spend on your hobbies, with friends and family, and on valuable self-care.
Choose three rooms a day, and keep adding rooms until you have covered your whole home. You may also choose to repeat a few of your high-traffic rooms, such as the main shared bathroom and the kitchen — or even spend your whole 15 minutes on one area if it needs a particularly deep clean.
As long as you are sticking to your daily 15-minute clean, you will find you are on top of your housework. Now see my room-by-room guide below to create your cleaning plan.
CLEANING TIP: SHOWER CURTAIN
A quick way to remove water marks and limescale is to cut a lemon in half, sprinkle with some bicarbonate of soda and rub it all over the screen. Leave to work while you clean out your bath or scrub your toilet. Rinse off.
The 15-minute cleaning plan
Hall and stairs
CLEANING TIP: MUDDY SMELLY WELLIES
When you are approaching home, knock off as much mud as you can while you walk. Once home, clean the outside with warm, soapy water, scrape off mud using a blunt knife, and put newspaper into the boots to help the inside dry. Leave overnight
TIPS TO GET SPICK AND SPAN
BY staying organised and clearing up as you go, it’s easy to keep your home clean and tidy at all times.
Here are some of my top quick cleaning hacks.
- Oven trays: Use a paper kitchen towel to wipe up any loose bits, place the tray into your sink and sprinkle it with bicarbonate of soda. Then add boiling water and leave to soak so that any burn marks soften.
- Chopping board: Sprinkle your chopping board with some coarse salt, cut a lemon in half, and with the cut side down, scour the surface, squeezing lightly as you go to release the lemon juice. Let this sit for five minutes and then rinse.
- Kettle: Clean your kettle by filling it half with water and half with white vinegar or lemon juice, leaving to sit for 15 minutes, then setting it to boil. After boiling, pour away the solution, refill with water and boil again for a rinse.
- Sofa clean: For a rapid sofa refresh, take a damp microfibre cloth and work up and down in strips on your sofa; the microfibre will pick up any loose debris and remove any surface dirt.
- Marks on walls: Magic erasers are great at jumping on those pesky wall marks quickly, and with a gentle rub will soon vanish. Alternatively, dampen a sponge, dip into a bowl of bicarbonate of soda and gently rub on the wall marks.
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CLEANING TIPS: GARDEN PLANT POTS
To clean up your outside garden pots after a heavy winter, use a stiff brush to knock off any built-up soil and debris. Then, using warm, soapy water with a splash of vinegar, clean the rest of the pot and leave to dry naturally.
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