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I have a love/hate relationship with cleaning. It’s enjoyable doing it every now and again and I love having a clean and tidy house but jesus christ, how needy is my house??
I want to clean when I want to clean, not when my petty house requires it of me.
That takes all the fun out of it.
Not content with me picking up a duster every seven weeks, it rudely starts getting itself dirty mere SECONDS after I last cleaned.
I am about to reveal myself as the most basic of bitches in the history of basic bitches:
I love Mrs. Hinch.
I know some people hate the volume of toxic fumes she produces, the number of wipes she goes through, but hating on her won’t help.
It’s all about education, people.
Not that I’m about to start educating her, but you know what I mean. Anyhoo.
I’m sure the good people of Instagram will teach her the error of her ways.
Love her or loathe her, she’s done great things for a lot of people. She’s inspired people with terrible mental health issues to take control of a part of their life which is fundamental to their wellbeing.
That’s worth celebrating.
Oh, and her dog is absolutely gorgeous and sleeps on his own bed on his back like a person. I cry.
My cleaning history
Ah, lol lol lol.
I used to be the epitome of bare minimum cleaning.
Since I have a house rabbit I (and by I, I, of course, mean sometimes me, usually Dave) have to hoover every day (so much damn FUR), and I wash up every day.
I have always been a washer upper. At uni, I used to do all the washing up, regardless of who’s it was, before settling down to watch Loose Women.
It was a simpler time.
Up until a year or so ago, that was basically it. We’d bleach down the bathroom every week but dust and fur etc was left to accumulate and we’d deal with it seasonally (at best).
Mrs. Hinch changed me. How? She likes the same stuff I do: shiny things and things that smell nice.
Also, she tells me how to clean and how often, and reminds of the existence of things like light switches and door frames and lamps. They all need cleaning.
Now I can be seen, every evening, shining my sink until she GLEAMS.
My current cleaning routine
I actually have a cleaning routine page in my bullet journal that I have never, ever used. Not once.
My current routine is extra easy:
- Keep your laundry in (or next to) the washing machine. Once it’s full, put it on! Obvs this is easy if both you and your partner wear black 84% of the time, but I suppose we’re just lucky.
- Wash, dry and PUT AWAY the washing up EVERY DAY. So don’t wait until you’ve constructed the Leaning Tower of Dishes to finally tidy them away. I also spray and wipe down my work surfaces, kitchen table and shine my sink afterwards.
- Vacuum every other-ish day. Only if you need to. We’ve had the rabbit for so long (9 years) that I can’t remember what it’s like not having hay all over the floor.
- Every day. Straighten the throws on the couches + blankets. Hoover up any errant rabbit poo. Make the bed.
- Once a week (Thursday afternoons). I finish work at 3, so I clean my house from 3-5, carrying my phone in the pouch of my hoodie so I can listen to an audiobook. I clean all the mirrors, flick the duster along any surfaces and skirting boards, wipe and disinfect my dressing table and the desk in my office, empty the upstairs bins, and bleach the hell out of the bathroom. Then I vacuum the bedrooms, bathroom, and stairs. I tidy the living room and kitchen, then mop the kitchen and bathroom floors. Then I sit down because I’m heady from the fumes.
I live in an old, cold house with a damp bathroom. Because I’m a bit weird about mould, I squeegee down the shower after every use. And this isn’t a fancy shower cubicle – it’s an over-bath shower. The bathroom has a slanted ceiling so I squeegee as much of the ceiling as I can, the tiles, the windows, and the walls if they look a bit wet. This may seem a bit excessive, but it keeps me happy.
Vegan and cruelty-free brands
I’ve used Method and the products are fine if a little expensive. I personally don’t find the products powerful enough (I was raised on Flash, so I suppose few things would be).
Having said that, I LOVE the smell of their daily shower cleaner. Actually, I never met a Method product I didn’t absolutely adore the smell of, so if that’s your bag, head over to Tesco now (though prepare to say bah-bye to a lotta cash.
If they’re all you can get access to, most UK supermarket brands are cruelty-free and vegan. Coop definitely is, and their stuff is nice if a little bit vinegary.
My absolutely favourite cleaning brand is Astonish and they sell nigh-on the whole range in my local hardware shop.
The whole range is cruelty free and vegan and so fucking cheap. Like, £1.50 and under for most products.
If you only got one product, I’d recommend the Pine disinfectant spray. You absolutely do not need separate cleaning products for kitchens and bathrooms (though if you want to, go ahead).
Ooo, and Astonish also do laundry detergent. I’ve not used it yet, but it’s currently sat on my kitchen shelf preparing itself to rock my washing machine’s world.
Back to Mrs. Hinch: she uses a Cif stainless steel spray (named Cliff) to shine her sink every day. I was jealous. So jealous. Though obvs not jealous enough to spend money on a product tested on animals.
ASTONISH DO ONE TOO.
Your sink will be so shiny.
I could link you to Astonish since there are loads of places that sell it online, but it’s so much more expensive.
I tend to find the biggest range of their products in smaller, independent hardware stores and those weird shops that sell everything from pick & mix to bird feeders to crafting supplies.
Also, a recommendation from Mrs. Hinch (and my mum, and everyone’s granny) is Zoflora, which is vegan and cruelty-free.
I can distinctly remember, not too long ago, laughing at the existence of a Facebook group dedicated to Zoflora.
I’m one of them now.
I try really hard not to be wasteful in my everyday life and therefore hold myself back from buying every new flavour (??) I see. And yet somehow I’m the proud owner of Twilight Garden, Springtime, Linen Fresh and Lavender Escape. How the fuck did that happen?
Zoflora is a great product though. I keep it (diluted) in a spray bottle and use it to disinfect my work surfaces. It can also be used to mop the floors because the smell of it will scent your house in a very non-cloying way.
(I don’t really like air fresheners, especially in an aerosol, but Zoflora doesn’t bother me. Btw, Astonish do a non-aerosol version of Febreze, if you were after such a product).
Homemade cleaning products
I don’t use homemade cleaning products, for the following reasons:
- I’m too lazy
- Everything will either smell of vinegar or lemon (and probs be a bit sticky)
- Not sure they work
- But mostly am too lazy.
I do, however, use white vinegar to clean out my rabbit’s litter tray, since I have no qualms about poisoning myself and Dave with potentially toxic fumes, but my baby bunny won’t be a part of that. I know some people swear by white vinegar and lemons, but I’m just not a fan. Vinegar smells of vinegar (IMAGINE THAT) and psychologically, I just don’t feel that my house is clean enough.
Also rabbit wee is surprisingly difficult to shift, and a long soak in vinegar is all that will shift it. Those cleaning sprays designed for small animals may be ok to use on guinea pigs and hamster, but not on a rabbit the size of a small dog.
|***this isn’t really to do with cleaning, it’s a note about elderly rabbit care. Isobel is a bit arthritic nowadays and can’t hop into a litter tray anymore. We made her a new one using the bottom of her vet carry case which is nearly flush to the floor, but she kept hanging her bum over the edge of it and weeing on the floor. We picked up some puppy pads and she’s been using them really bad. They may not be great for the environment but I’ve justified it by a) not using any kind of wipes, either makeup or cleaning and b) I don’t have kids, for which I’d use nappies.***|
So anyway, I don’t make homemade house cleaners, but I will include a few links to ones I’ve decided look good. The criteria I will use to base my assumptions on are as follows: nice blog design and, you know, seems legit.
In the immortal words of the demi-god Maui, you’re welcome.
Ok, so I accidentally just fell down a Pinterest hole. Instead of finding individual blog posts about vegan homemade cleaning products, I’ll just throw down this link which will take you to a lovely lady’s Pinterest board entitled Homemade Vegan Cleaning Products.
And no, it’s not my Pinterest board. Although I might make one similar, and then never make any of the recipes. Why break the Pinterest habit of a lifetime by actually doing any of the things that I pin?
How the hell did a post about cleaning become the easiest 1500 words I’ve ever written? Sure, only a fraction of it was on topic, but still.
Some days words pour from me, like gin into an old lady’s glass, and sometimes I struggle to write the title.
(Actually, I always struggle with the title because I use CoSchedule’s headline analyser and apparently I’m shit at them because it usually takes a good half an hour to get a good one. I got 69 on this one WHEEEEEY).
What am I on about.
I’d better end here.
Veganism on a budget will be the next post up, so subscribe in the box that’s, errr, up and to the right a bit to get this post delivered to your inbox.