Mumsnet’s Best Cleaning Hacks
“The cleaning products aisle is my favourite place in the supermarket that isn’t fattening.”
If anyone knows the best cleaning hacks, tips, tricks and (in some cases) miracles…it’s mums.
Whether it’s scrubbing permanent marker off the wall, getting grass-stains out of school uniforms, or cleaning sudden spillages off the sofa, mums are experts in finding the best ways to clean up after many-a child-induced ‘little accident’.
To help spread that wonderful knowledge around the rest of the world, researchers at ConservatoryBlinds4Less have put together the following study, which delves into Mumsnet’s Housekeeping Hub, to find out which cleaning chores, products are brands are discussed the most by mums, as well the most popular cleaning hacks advised across the platform.
- The Trickiest Things to Clean
- Most Recommended Household Cleaning Products
- Most Mentioned Supermarket-own Products
- Top 5 Cleaning Hacks, according to Mums
The 10 Most-mentioned Cleaning Jobs
Out of the top 30,000 posts on Mumsnet in the last six months, 265 threads were to do with cleaning – usually asking for advice on the best products and methods to use to clean different items around the house.
The highest share of all-time mentions involved ovens, with 20% of cleaning threads mentioning this tricky-to clean item.
Many users took to the platform to ask their fellow mums for advice on the best ways to get the grease, grime and stains off well-used ovens – with natural cleaning alternatives often taking precedent:
“I don’t like oven cleaner. Evil stuff!” says one user. “But it shows….the bottom of the oven is burnt on like concrete. Any ideas of how to deal with this short of a hammer and chisel?”
Dishwasher tablets for stubborn grease
One mum suggests a particularly nifty hack, ideal for cleaning tricky grease stains off oven doors:
“I wet a dishwasher tablet and rub it on the glass door – it cleans all the grease off. Wipe off the residue with a damp cloth, then dry,” she suggests.
The power of lemons
“[B]oil a tray with lemons and water in, then let it cool down in the oven before cleaning, the steam loosens some of the dirt,” another user says.
Floors, toilets, and carpets came next – with hundreds of posts about the best ways to clean them posted across the platform.
“How do you clean your floors!?!” one user asks, worriedly. “My steam mop has just broken, literally the handle snapped in two!! […] I’m
dreaming of white socks staying white!!! Ha! Fat chance with 2 toddlers and a dog!!”
“Hands and knees every evening, couple of wet wipes and some disinfectant spray,” replies one old-school, straight to the point mum.
It’s got to be two buckets
Another, more meticulous, user suggests the following procedure:
“If I want to get the floors really, really clean I do the following.”
“I hoover first then old fashioned mop in a mop bucket. I have one mop, 2 buckets. Mop into bucket with cleaning solution, squeeze out, wash floor. Then mop into plain water bucket to rinse out dirt, squeeze mop. Then mop back into cleaning bucket, squeeze mop, clean floor ..So the plain water is for rinsing out the mop.”
“It’s a right palavar hence why I don’t do it often. ” she warns. “But the rinse water is always filthy and the cleaning solution water is still fairly clean at the end.”
“Two buckets when mopping! I’m in heaven that is genius !” responds another user.
Nappies for shoes
Another responder suggests a rather unorthodox floor-cleaning method, which she claims to swears by:
“Pour antibacterial cleaner on floor.
Pour boiling water from kettle on top.
Brush with stiff long handles bristle brush.
Put a washable nappy on each foot using poppers to secure.
Soak up wetness on floor but skidding feet around until the nappies are saturated.
Replace feet with clean nappies.
Repeat until floor dry.
Toilets, also high up on the list, were another very common topic of discussion within the Housekeeping hub.
“How do you clean your loo!” one user asks.
“Aibu [am I being unreasonable] to wonder how everyone cleans their toilet?! I’m more talking about the seat, the lid and under. Do you use a cloth you then wash or a disposable cloth or wipe? How do you get in all the books and crannies to get it clean? It’s job I hate doing and I can never get it as clean as others.”
“The handheld steamer bit of the steamer is by far the best way to clean a toilet,” says one. “Just water, gets into all the books and crannies and smells clean rather than having a scent.”
One tipper suggests a cleaning hack that helps kill two birds with one stone:
“I use a cloth and then wash – I collect all the cleaning cloths and do a weekly 90 degree wash for them – it keeps the washing machine clean too – stops the black stuff building up…”
To cloth or not to cloth
But many users have vented their disgust at this concept:
“With the same cloth!? That’s vile!!” exclaims one.
“Ewww, cloths on toilets are disgusting!” says another. “I spray with bleach spray, wipe with loo roll which is then flushed, then put toilet duck round the rim.”
Mumsnet’s Most Recommended Cleaning Product
When it came to finding mum’s most frequently used cleaning products, there were four main contenders: Kim and Aggie favourites, white wine vinegar, baking powder, baking soda and lemon juice.
Lemon juice took centre stage, with the highest number of mentions in the Housekeeping hub. Users recommend lemon juice for a number of tricky cleaning tasks – from getting rid of smells on wooden chopping boards to descaling kettles.
Next up was baking soda, which users heralded for its silver-cleaning properties: “I’ve cleaned a tarnished Tiffany bracelet and necklace with baking soda” one user writes.
“ Line a container (glass or ceramic preferably never use metal) with foil, shiny side up. Add boiling water and baking soda, about 2 tablespoons of soda to 1 litre of water. Drop the jewellery in the dish ensuring it’s touching the foil. Leave for a couple minutes then rinse and polish with a cloth.”
White wine vinegar also had a good number of recommendations, with a range of uses including cleaning sinks, floors and windows.
Best Supermarket-owned Cleaning Products
As part of our research, we also wanted to find out which supermarket brands were the most recommended across cleaning-related threads.
Winning by a landslide was Tesco, as the number one most recommended supermarket in the Housekeeping section of Mumsnet. Next up was Aldi, with Asda following in a very close third place.
The least mentioned was Morrisons supermarket.
The Top 5 Cleaning Hacks on Mumsnet
We analysed the entire Housekeeping hub on Mumsnet, to find the most popular threads on cleaning products, tips and advice.
The following are the top five hacks from the most visited cleaning thread on the platform.
- A nifty hack to get rid of household odours
Thr OP begins the thread with a stream of handy cleaning tips – which are highly appreciated by commenters. One of these tips, in particular, gains the attention and praise of many people dropping in on the thread – for its simplicity and effectiveness.
“Wipe zoflora on the radiators whilst they are on low”, she says, “turn them up and the house smells amazing”.
“Can’t wait to try that one for my smelly kitchen! I need this thread!” replies one excited user.
- Become an alchemist to clean tricky fabric stains
With hundreds of frustrated people taking to Mumsnet to find out the best ways to clean tough stains from conservatory and kitchen blinds, curtains and carpets, one experimenting mother has the answer, and kindly shares it with the world in this thread.
”Mix Dettol and fabric softener in a spray bottle to use on curtains, carpets and other fabrics that aren’t easy to throw in the washing machine. It makes them smell nice, and sanitises” she says.
- Cleaning blenders doesn’t have to be a chore
Cleaning foot processors and blenders is potentially one of the worst household chores out there, it’s difficult to get your hands into, especially since you need to be mindful of internal blades – and it’s a nightmare to fit into the sink. But one genius mother has a hack that will change your life.
“To clean the blender put a cup of water and a drop (literally just one tiny drop) of washing up liquid and blitz for 30 seconds after use,” she suggests. “Gets all the sauce off and just needs to be rinsed after that.”
“That is genius.” replies another user in direct response.
- Lemons are back
Along with the usual household contenders, lemons make their way back into several comments within the thread.
One user suggests a nifty, chemical-free microwave cleaning hack: simply “mircrowave any leftover lemon halves you have in a bowl of hot water 🏻.”
“”Stick any used lemon halves you have in the dishwasher when you do the dishes. It makes them shiny and the smell is wonderful,” advisies another.
Another mum comes forward to describe how she uses lemon juice mixed in with another two staples (white vinegar and Fairy liquid) to clean her glass shower cubicle (another tricky job).
“Apply [the solution] liberally and leave for 10 minutes,” she says, “then rinse and buff the shower with some tumble dryer sheets”.
- Getting rid of that ‘weird hoover smell’
Hoovers – while life-saving inventions – can sometimes get a bit smelly, especially in a house full of kids and/or pets.
But one quick-thinking mum has the ideal solution for this:
“Vacuum up a handful of the Lenor Scent Boosters” she suggests. “Your vacuum will smell amazing!”.