Tag: cleaning tips

How to clean with minimal effort

How to clean with minimal effort

2020 was the year we all started to clean, just a little more and I don’t think that trend is going anywhere in 2021. We are all spending more time at home, trying to juggle work, family, cleaning and household chores while everyone remains at home. Time is a commodity, and how we spend it is crucial. This is why when cleaning your home, using the right products and a routine makes the world of difference especially when it comes to your time and making your life easier. Finding the right cleaning product for the job—whether it’s removing stains on your kitchen stove or eliminating the stubborn grime in your bathroom, finding the right product to do the job is half the battle won.

Together with Handy Andy, we’ve put together some simple tips that will help you keep your home spotless with minimal effort.

Declutter as often as you can

Yes, coming from the queen of clutter, I am saying DECLUTTER. Thank you to all who joined me on my recent Declutter challenge, but I’m not done yet! Keeping your home spotless with minimal effort means incorporating changes that will make the cleaning process quicker and hassle free. One of the best practices you can incorporate into your cleaning routine is decluttering the spaces around your home as often as possible.

Clean as you go

Another thing I am starting to practice more of, especially as I spend more time in the kitchen with everyone at home! Sometimes it’s easy to put cleaning the tiny messes you make around the house on the back burner, but these end up contributing the most to the bigger mess you have to clean in the near future. Cooking in my house typically involves a lot of peeling, chopping and of course using every pot in sight. To minimize the mess, clean the tiny messes you create along the way such as discarding the peels, rinsing the spoons and wiping your surfaces immediately after spilling something on your stove to avoid stubborn stains. I’ve been loving the Handy Andy Multi Purpose spray and Kitchen Cleaner that cleans and disinfects any surface in just 10 seconds.

Find a product that does it all for general cleans

Handy Andy multi-purpose cream is an all-in-one product that works on removing stubborn dirt on all surfaces around the home which eliminates the hassle of having to use various products on the many surfaces around your home. I use it on my bathtubs, on my floors, diluted in water for surfaces if need be. Its really is a multipurpose cream.

Keep the dust away

It may not seem like much, but it does make a difference and will save you time in the long run. Wiping down a dusty surface with a wet cloth tends to smear it leaving a muddy residue which we do not want right? So why not try using a damp cloth which will trap the dust particles while cleaning your surfaces without leaving an unpleasant residue. Dusting the surfaces around your home does not take much time or energy but the difference sure is visible.

Try using a product that is tailored for your space for more specific area’s

By this I specifically refer to Kitchens and grease. For surfaces such as stoves and countertops, apply a product that is tailored to all your kitchen cleaning needs. It’s important to always go for a product that is highly effective on daily kitchen dirt, that degreases quickly and easily while leaving your surfaces sparkling clean.

Develop a cleaning routine and pattern

Everyone has their own personal preference, whether you focus on room by room, or dusting on a certain day. Cleaning, especially when you are not used to it or when it’s not your favourite thing to do may feel like a daunting task, but the good news is developing a routine might help take that anxiety away.

Organisation and Consistency

Finally, the key to keeping your home clean at all times is organisation and consistency, something I am slowly learning to be better at. It is important to consistently clean your home and to maintain a level of cleanliness even with these quick and time saving tips. It makes it easier and less of a daunting task. Cleaning  your home should not feel overwhelmingly alarming but more of something to look forward to and to incorporate into your day to day tasks.

Disclaimer : This article was sponsored by Handy Andy

5 tips for cleaning and caring for your floors.

5 tips for cleaning and caring for your floors.

I often get asked what products to use on different types of flooring. Laminate, tile, wood all require different care, and different homes have multiple types of flooring which might leave you, as a homeowner, asking yourself how you should maintain your floors and keep them looking new. Together with Handy Andy, I’ll be sharing a few tips to keep your floors in top shape.

Ammarah Chand, brand manager at Handy Andy, says “While the task of cleaning your floors may seem like the simplest one on your list, it is important to remember that different floors have their own set of cleaning needs that will help keep your floors looking sparkling clean.”

The best floor care comes from knowing the most effective way to clean and sanitize the kind of flooring you have which is why we have put together five tips that will help you start loving your floors again and most importantly- with only a few products.

  1. Get to know your floors: Find out what type of floor you are cleaning. How you clean laminate or vinyl flooring will differ to how you clean hardwood floors and tiles; knowing the floors you are dealing with helps make the decision of buying the right product even easier.
  2. Less is more: It’s pretty daunting to find a product that is just right for your floors, which may lead to you buying more products than you actually need. “Try to avoid using multiple products and stick to trusted cleaning products that can remove dirt, add shine and are suitable for multiple surfaces. I recommend using a floor cleaner that has germ killing properties such as the new Handy Andy Floor and All-purpose Cleaner which has the power of Domestos. This product has multiple benefits including removing tough dirt and grease, streak free shine, it kills germs, it’s suitable for multiple surfaces and leaves
    surfaces smelling fresh,” adds Chand.
  3. Choosing the right product for the right floor: When shopping for cleaning equipment and supplies, always check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that you are choosing the right product for your type of flooring. This is where usage instructions come in handy.
  4. Take care of them: Try to incorporate simple practices which will help you take care and protect your floors such as not pushing or dragging your furniture. Make use of; an area rug, furniture pads or furniture wheels.
  5. prep your floors well: “always remove any form of dirt or dust from your floors prior to cleaning them with a solution. Use a soft bristle broom to sweep any dirt from the surfaces well,” concludes Chand.

Thanks Handy Andy, for those top tips, always remember, when cleaning laminate or wood flooring to make sure your mop is damp and not wet, you don’t want to place a wet mop on any wooden surface. Happy cleaning and keep following for more top tips!

What is the difference between Bicarbonate of Soda and Soda Crystals?

What is the difference between Bicarbonate of Soda and Soda Crystals?

I have had numerous messages on “Soda Crystals”, how and where to find them in South Africa and what to use them for. Stick around, this is truly one of the most versatile cleaning agents to have in your home.

In Europe, you will almost always find Soda Crystals aka “Washing Soda” in the laundry aisle at grocery stores, but this cleaning wonder doesn’t just belong next to your washing machine! Soda Crystals make a useful cleaner for bathrooms, kitchens, and more! Let’s talk a little bit about what washing soda actually is, and why is makes such a useful cleaning agent!

But what is Washing Soda (Soda Crystals)?

Washing soda is also known as sodium carbonate, soda ash, or soda crystals. They are related to baking soda, but are processed differently. Washing Soda is MUCH more alkaline in comparison to Baking Soda, it has a pH of 11, which is why it is so effective at breaking down stains. It is also a base component of many laundry powders, but can cause minor skin irritations, so wear those gloves.

Both Bicarbonate of Soda and Washing Soda can be used to clean laundry, both can be used for household cleaning, but one can be eaten and the other absolutely should not be. “Soda Crystals” have a caustic base and are NOT EDIBLE !

Baking soda is the name commonly used for Sodium Bicarbonate. Baking soda has a mild base that is often used as a leavening agent to raise baked goods. It is edible and is mild enough to be used as toothpaste or taken as an antacid. Baking soda is edible . It has a neutral pH of 8.

Soda Crystals are white-ish in colour with larger granules that can be seen and felt (a little like yeast).

Soda Crystals:

  • Dissolves slowly in water and will leave a white residue if not well rinsed.
  • It makes a more abrasive cleaner that can scratch delicate surfaces but cleans well.
  • Great for cleaning sturdy surfaces or fabrics that are easy to rise (bathtub, shower door).
  • The washing soda will clean without damaging the item and can be washed away easily.

Baking Soda:

  • Sturdy surfaces that are hard to rinse (oven floor or floor grout)
  • Delicate surfaces that can be scratched (natural stone counters)
  • Areas used by children and pets (carpet, pet beds)
  • Food preparation surfaces (kitchen sink, cutting board)
  • Easier to rinse and no residue worry

Brilliant Uses For Soda Crystals

1. Laundry Stains

To use on cottons or linens – soak heavier fabrics in a solution of warm water and washing soda. Just fill a bucket and add about 1/2 cup of Soda Crystals and give it a stir. Soak the stained clothes for an hour or two (or overnight). Remove the items from the washing soda solution and wash as usual.

2. Softening Your Water

One of the most popular ways to use washing soda is as a water softener in your laundry. Add 1/2 cup of soda crystals to your wash load, then add the amount of detergent recommended for soft water. (This can also help prevent limescale buildup on the inside of your machine). You can also use it in your swimming pool!

3. Outdoor cleaning

Washing Soda is very effective at removing moss or algae from patios and pathways. You can also use it to scrub down outdoor wooden furniture.

4. Ovens, & Gas Burner Pans

Dissolve about 1/2 cup to about 3 litres of warm water to clean your oven, grill pans and burner tops of gas stoves. Washing soda can help make some of your toughest cleaning tasks easier. Remove the burner pans and soak them for about 30 minutes. For your oven, dip a damp sponge into the solution and scrub the inside, if it’s really stubborn you can sprinkle it on directly.

5. Pots, Pans, & Cookware

Where are my VIM fans? I’ve used Soda Crystals to help dissolve tough food messes in my pots and pans, and it works like a charm! Just add a couple of tablespoons of washing soda and a small squirt of dish-washing liquid to the pot, pan, or dish, then fill it with hot water and let it soak. Don’t do this on aluminium though!

6. Bathroom Cleans

Use a regular solution of washing soda with a sponge or scrub brush to scrub your bathtub, sink, or shower clean. Washing soda will help to cut through soap scum, greasy residues, and limescale!

7. Your Car battery

Yep, by mixing up that 1/2 cup solution, Washing Soda is hugely effective at removing corrosion around your car battery.

In South Africa “Soda Crystals” are not as easy to purchase as oversea’s. I buy mine from Essentially Natural, but you can also pick them up sometimes at hardware stores, in the pool section!

The Only 3 Ingredients You’ll Ever Need To Clean Your House

The Only 3 Ingredients You’ll Ever Need To Clean Your House

What if I told you that you would only ever need 3 things to clean your house?

Ok, apart from a good dish-washing liquid, with three simple ingredients, you can pretty much clean your entire house, top to toe.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my cleaning products, kitchen cleaner, bathroom cleaner, oven cleaner, floor cleaner, stovetop, window… you get my drift, the amount of products avaliable can all get a little overwhelming right? At a time where money is getting tighter and trips to the shops may not be as frequent, with these three things (and a bit of salt), you can get by.

  • Vinegar
  • Bicarbonate of Soda
  • Lemon

Bicarbonate of Soda

An all around “freshener” and fantastic abrasive, this is a MUST have in every cleaning cupboard. We use it everywhere, not just for cleaning but for activities with the kids, to make scrubs for the bath, the possibilities are endless. Just SOME of its uses include:

  • Eliminate all fridge odours by keeping a little open in the fridge on the back shelf.
  • Remove grease from baking sheets – Make a little paste out of vinegar and bicarb and scrub.
  • Keep your mattresses fresh – sprinkle baking soda directly onto mattress to remove any dirt/moisture. Click here for a tutorial, under home hacks.
  • Keep mustiness at bay by popping a little into your cupboard or drawers.
  • Freshen up your flowers by adding a teaspoon of baking soda at the bottom of the vase.
  • Polish your own silver – one of the most popular hacks that I’ve done! Baking soda and hot water are miracle workers when it comes to shining your silver, you can check our hack here. It makes the most amazing “science” experiment for kids too.
  • Clean your bowl, by scrubbing a 2/1 ratio of baking soda and olive oil, you can leave your toilet bowl as shiny as new.
  • Clean your oven – again, by creating a paste out of baking soda and vinegar, rub it into your oven and leave to sit overnight. A simple wipe down with a cloth in the morning will have your own looking like new.
  • Clean your sink – Wet the sink, sprinkle baking soda over the surface, and scrub, then rinse. Use a soft brush and the same paste on the rim. Line the sink with paper towels that you’ve soaked in white vinegar. Leave them there for 20 minutes.
  • Relieve your itch. For insect bites, mix baking soda with a little water and rub onto bites, rashes from ivy etc. The number of times my mum used this on me growing up.

White Vinegar

  • Dustbin deodoriser – Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into dustbin to help absorb odours.
  • Freshen up and clean your kitchen drain by throwing some baking soda down the pipes and then flush it with white vinegar.
  • Soften and freshen your laundry – With Vinegar? Yes I have tried this, and it is true ! You won’t have vinegar scented towels either. Simply add a cup into your wash water, it softens the water and you will see the world of difference in your towels.
  • Clean your shower head – tie a bag filled with vinegar to your shower head to remove any limescale build up. Leave it to soak overnight for any hard to remove stains.
  • Clean your carpet – Remove carpet stains with a mixture of 2 tablespoons salt dissolved in 1/2 cup white vinegar. Let the solution dry, and then vacuum to remove. For tougher stains you can add 2 tablespoons borax to the mixture.
  • Clean your dishwasher – Similar to the shower head, vinegar works a wonder to remove any build up of detergent or water residue. Pour 1 cup of white vinegar into your dishwasher and run on empty with hot water.
  • Wash your windows – Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water to keep your windows streak free.
  • Battling with mosquitoes? Use the same window cleaning mixture to spray around window frames where mosquitoes may enter through. We have done this a few times and I am convinced I noticed a difference. It supposedly works against ants too.
  • Shine your glassware – My mum used to own a hiring company and swore by this – by adding a cup of vinegar to your wash water your glasses will sparkle!
  • Clean your grout – By mixing cornstarch, bicarb of soda and yep, vinegar – you can create the most amazing paste to clean the grout in between tiles.
  • Descale your kettle – we all love fancy glass kettles, but the limescale build up on the element can be unsightly. Pour in some white vinegar and leave to sit, or boil the vinegar up a few times to remove the build up. Just remember to rinse your kettle thoroughly afterwards 🙂
  • Make your own kitchen cleaner – By mixing citrus peel (or some essential oils) and vinegar and leaving it to sit for about a week, you can make a great all purpose cleaner. We haven’t tried this yet but its something my Gran used to do when they lived on a farm.


  • Scrub your wooden chopping boards – Cut a lemon in half and run across your wooden chopping boards with some sea salt. It cleans any grease or dirt on your wooden board and leaves it smelling wonderful!
  • Clean your microwave – Chuck some lemons into a bowl of water and pop it into the microwave to steam. Wipe down the steam once complete.
  • Clean your cast iron pots – This worked wonders, lemon is the most ingredient thing to remove rust. Rub sea salt and half a lemon all over your pan to clean. Rinse and make sure you dry and oil your pans to prevent any future build up.
  • Taps – There is nothing like a shiny, streak free tap. Cut a lemon in half and rub it all over the tap, finish by wiping it down with a clean, microfibre cloth.

There you have it! With these 3 essential items you can literally spring clean your home. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking you to go “all natural”, I use day to day cleaning products just like everyone else, but working together with some of these things has made my life a lot easier and I hope it does for you too!