189 days ago
‘Which Make Yourself at Home-r’ are you? is a six-part series focusing on some of the types of people that have emerged during the lockdown period - either though need, habit, or hobby.
This week, we look at The Clean Machine. You know - the one with a cloth for every occasion. Using their favourite scent of cleaning product, they scrub and shine their way through life with pride. From the traditional tips of using bi-carb for almost anything, to the latest trends of how to go eco, they’re your go-to person when you spill red wine on the cream carpet… again.
We spoke to Lauren Kyle, Head of Cleaning (and self-confessed obsessive of all things fresh and sparkly) to find out how we can scrub-up our home practices.
With many people spending more time in the home (and especially where children are concerned), keeping on top of the cleaning can feel like a never-ending job.
Lauren’s top tip on tackling the home is to complete little tasks and often: “Often, motivation is the hardest barrier to overcome – in this case, try having a look around the home, making a short list of things that most need doing, and getting those tasks done. Just making a start will instantly help.”
“If you’re struggling after one task, put on a 20/30-minute music playlist, preferably something energetic, and work through as much of the list as you can until the music runs out.”
For those with the motivation, Lauren provided some top tips on how to make life easier when it feels like there’s so much to do: “Make life easy for yourself – gather everything you need together in a basket to take with you. And empty the vacuum before you start – there’s no point in using a half full vacuum from the outset, it’s heavier for you to use and won’t work as well!”
What about the impact of Corinavirus (Covid-19) on home cleaning – should we be cleaning more often? Using stronger products? What’s the best way to keep ourselves protected at home?
“Although it’s not a bad idea to clean more than usual – especially frequently touched surfaces - less is more when it comes to the range of products you need. You don’t need a cupboard full of strong chemicals to clean effectively – if I could only have three products in mine, they’d be re-usable microfibre cloths, washing up liquid and toilet cleaner. Choosing your favourite scent of cleaner is absolutely fine if that’s your thing, but it won’t make it more effective!”
On the subject of reusable cloths, Lauren told us how we can still be conscious of the environment, even at a time when Covid-19 has seen many re-usable products left aside in favour of things that can be used once and thrown away: “As long as you have a washing machine, you can still use and launder reusable cloths, so long as you follow the manufacturer's instructions and wash at the right temperature. You don’t need to use single-use wipes, but of course it all comes down to personal choice.”
“Most of the time, the simple choices are the best – when it comes to staying personally hygienic at home at the moment, regular hand washing with soap remains the simple most effective form of stopping the spread of germs.”
Lauren’s been helping cleaning teams to tackle some huge challenges over the last 25 years, so to finish our chat, we asked her to share the top three hacks that she’s picked up along the way:
Whenever you can, ‘clean as you go’ – it’s ultimately a lot easier than allowing any kind of dirt to build up.
Use a bathroom squeegee then a dry microfibre cloth to remove excess water from tiles / shower screens after use – it might seem like a bit of a faff, but it will save you a load of time and effort having to remove build-up of soap scum, limescale spots, and mould!
If you’ve got a build-up of dust on a surface, well worth using your vacuum cleaner with the small brush attachment to get rid of the bulk of it before giving it a wipe with a damp cloth to finish off. (Just be sure nothing else is getting accidentally sucked up – there’s a lot of spare Lego about at the moment!)
Next week, we take a look at ‘The Tinkerer’. Can’t get a plumber? Not going to queue at a hardware store for an hour? Check-in with Make Yourself at Home next week to avoid a DIY-catastrophe!
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