If you’re going to be confined indoors for weeks on end you might as well make sure the place is clean, right?
In fact, that’s not as easy as it sounds. Most of us leave our homes for several hours a day – times when they are left in pristine isolation with no filthy humans to mess things up, and that feeling of coming home to a well-tidied house is always pleasant one.
But if you’re there 24/7 you’ll hardly ever get to enjoy the feeling of stepping into a gleaming home – instead, with all your natural rhythms out of whack, you’ll descend into a slobbish mess or anxiously end up tidying all the time.
But however you handle this, the start will be a good old spring clean. It’s the right time of year, you’ve got the time, and Spanish supermarkets sell loads of cleaning stuff, so you’ve got no excuse not to.
Spring Clean Tips
The first and most important tip is to make a schedule and stick to it. Getting distracted while cleaning is one of those things that happens to all of us, but it’s classic displacement activity, swapping a more pleasant activity for a dull chore. You need discipline, but more importantly, you need to prepare.
You know how it goes – you want to brush the floor but discover that the brush is full of fluff, so you have to get the hoover out to clean it, and if you’ve got the hoover out you might as well…..STOP! Before you even start, make sure you’ve got everything you need – clean brushes, a hoover with an empty bag, plenty of cleaning products, hot water on tap, and every bit as importantly, some brilliant music or a podcast cued up.
Clean from top to bottom. Yes, we know, you’ve heard it a million times before. You’ve also forgotten it about 999,993 times before, too, though- admit it.
Doors and walls need love too
We normally focus on floors and horizontal areas where dust gathers, but once a year you’ll need to give walls and doors a good wipe with a soapy cloth. In the kitchen or bathroom, where spattering is common, you’ll need to take this extra seriously. Don’t forget to get handles gleaming, too.
Kitchen and bathroom clutter
You need to go through your store cupboards, fridge and bathroom cabinets ruthlessly, chucking out everything that’s past its best or that you’re honestly never going to use. This can take time, and it’s worth keeping a list of stuff that needs replacing while you do it.
Spanish Star Cleaning Products
If you thought Mrs Hinch was unique, you haven’t seen Spanish YouTube where hundreds of Seora Hinches offer their advice on cleaning products and methods. This obsession with cleaning is reflected in all supermarkets, although it’s the Spanish brand Mercadona that has the best reputation for cleaning products.
Bicarbonate of soda (bicarbonato) and vinegar (vinagre): Both these products have endless uses on their own, and when combined they form a literally fizzing combination.
Cleaning alcohol: This stuff is brilliant at removing certain stains that other products can’t shift – but be careful, it may clean off a bit too much if you let it.
Hydrogen peroxide (Agua oxigenada): Another last resort bleaching agent that can have devastatingly effective results.
Raw soap: Lagarto soap is the real, unperfumed, uncut deal, the stuff you need when you absolutely have to get down on hands on your knees and get scrubbing.