I’m a pretty appauling housewife – ask anyone! My house is generally found to be sadly lacking in TLC. But at this time of year the sun comes out, clocks go forward, beautiful flowers blossom and the spring cleaning genie gets under my skin and makes me hanker for a cleaner, tidier and less cluttered home.
I blame my lack of home making skills partly on being a perfectionist. When I do a job I want to do it properly. Unfortunately this means it can take rather a long time to get around to certain tasks and some jobs don’t get done at all.
So when I was asked to share my ideas about Cif products by #CollectiveBias, I decided this would be a great excuse to hit some neglected areas which have been hit hardest by kids’ dirt. I’ve chosen to focus on a ‘tried and tested’ product which has been around since I was the one making dirty handprints – the reliable old Cif cleam cleaner. Oh and I genuinely like the product so that’s a bonus.
My first task was to go shopping at Asda. Because I was only looking for this one product I decided not to bother driving to the large shopping mall at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol, opting instead to visit the much smaller local branch in Clevedon.
As this was the first Saturday of the school holidays, we were having a busy day of doing – well, nothing much really. We suddenly realised that it was 6pm and that we may have left it too late! We decided to chance our luck as we were nearby and soon realized we needn’t have worried as they didn’t close for a little while yet. . .
11pm! On a Saturday! Who’d have thought it?!
The cleaning aisle was easy to find although it took us a few minutes to locate the cream cleaner.
I suspect the location reflects that this is a trustworthy ‘back to basics’ product which is sold by reputation, rather than a ‘sexy’ gimmick which needs to be in a prime eye level spot.
Right, time to roll my sleeves up! Many of us will have used Cif for normal household cleaning like removing the tide mark from the bath, polishing a stainless steel sink or cleaning grease from around the hob, but having three little boys in the house presents a whole different spectrum of cleaning ‘opportunities’ so I decided to put the cream cleaner to the test – with particular reference to kids’ dirt!
I’ve also been gathering information from ‘proper’ cleaners, such as other women who are much better at maintaining beautiful homes than I ever will be as well as researching on the internet and the general consensus was that if you need to get a mark off cream cleaner is a good choice. It also has the benefit of not having an unpleasant chemical smell.
Together we’ve come up with these ten handy uses for Cif.
TEN IDEAS FOR SPRING CLEANING KIDS’ DIRT WITH CIF!
1- REMOVING WEIRD CRAFT(?) BASED MARKS
A big unidentifiable sticky mark had appeared on the children’s painted IKEA table and was rapidly becoming a permanent feature. If I didn’t know better I’d say someone had been doing craft (What? In this house?) and had left a residue of paint mixed with glue. I hadn’t thought it would come off but last week I suddenly thought of trying the cream cleaner on it and voila – job done in a few seconds
2- WHITEBOARD CLEANING
The boys have a basic easel with a slightly matt whiteboard surface, which you will of course be shocked to hear doesn’t always have every last line of pen removed before they get distracted! Fortunately this morning was no exception, so I had the opportunity to give it a trial clean. First I used a specialist white-board cleaner which had very little effect and left the surface covered in these residual pen marks.
Then I tried a blob of Cif on a damp cloth which I then rinsed and wiped with a clean cloth – an old muslin actually, which was the first thing which came to hand and the surface came up sparkly with very little effort.
3- HALLWAY HANDPRINTS
The last of my tests was on the hallway walls. Ecery time my sons come in from outside I ask them to wash their hands. Before they eat I ask them to wash their hands. After the day I ask them to wash their hands – you get the picture – and yet our walls have a constant build up of finger print grime. I suspect my mistake may be that I don’t remind them to dry their hands, on a towel and not on the walls.
A brief rub with a blob of Cif and a rinse with a clean cloth and the wall came clean – leaving a clean circular section which may now force me to clean the entire wall!
And now onto other ideas for areas which seem to magically become sticky, dirty, mouldy or muddy when children are on the scene. Perhaps you have a few of your own ideas to add to the list!
4- REMOVING BLUE TACK STAINS
5- CLEANING MUCKY TOYS
6- GETTING MILDEW OFF BATH TOYS
7- SPRING CLEANING OUTSIDE TOYS
8- GETTING THAT STICKY RESIDUE OFF UPVC DOOR HANDLES
9- REJEUVENATING WELLIES AND TRAINERS
10- DE-GRIMING LIGHT SWITCHES
A word of warning. You’ve probably guessed that I’m just at best a mediocre housewife and NOT a scientific tester, so you might like to read the precautions below taken from Cif’s own website.
Do not use on linoleum or textiles. On delicate surfaces and materials, any new or unusual type of surface, painted surface and aluminium: test on an inconspicuous area first, rinse immediately and avoid heavy rubbing. Suitable for vitroceramic (let the plate cool, clean thoroughly before reheating the plate).
So there you go. Are you due a spring clean? Do you have a top cleaning tip you’d like to share?