Solving the Big Issues: Clean your act up

One of the most asked questions I get, besides “how can one person be so awesome?” ahem, is about my floors. And what I clean them with. And other such cleaning questions. RIVETING! I know. I am actually that interesting! So today I thought I would tackle house work. Now, if housework makes you bored and woozy and BORED, then I suggest that this post will too, so tune in again tomorrow for something more to your liking like some hellebore’s in a jug, or how to make pesto!

I am a fortnightly thorough house clean kind of gal. I DETEST cleaning bathrooms as no joy can come from scraping poo from a toilet bowl or picking pubes off the floor no matter how sunny a person you are, so sometimes my bathroom will go for longer without being cleaned. I will always vac & mop the floors (in the fortnightly clean) but the actual cleaning of surfaces with jiff can go longer. My house clean ritual looks a little like this:

1. Empty all bins in the house. These include bathrooms/bedroom/desk wastepaper bins and kitchen bin.

2. Thorough dusting of MOST surfaces in the house. When I need to dust is HAS to be a hot, wet cloth. It’s the ONLY way, in my humble OCD opinion, that the dust can be removed. I dust things like book cases, shelves, mantle pieces, tables, photo frames, bedside tables – actually when I look at it like that – every MOFO surface in my house. I also think that in doing this first it whacks all the dust that is everywhere onto the floor just in time for you to come and vacuum it up. Which brings us to Step 3…

3. Vacuum all floors – carpeted and hard and bathroom too. I have a Dyson which I love and consider another member of the family. She sucks, in a good way, and never lets me down. I know you should probably change a setting on her as you move between different areas, but I cannot be bothered with that so it stays on the one setting and sucks up everything in her path. Bless her.

4. Mop ALL the floors. I have a flat mop thingy with a detachable/velcro pad thing (SO CLEAR right?) that does the trick. You can throw them in the wash afterwards too. I don’t know the best mixture for washing floors, because I am no expert, so I just use hot, hot, HOT water with washing up detergent. The good cheap kind from Aldi too. We have a REALLY big room so while I love the end result, I still find the mopping part sucks. But the working up a sweat in this section will make the cup of tea you can have in 15 minutes all the better.

If I was inclined to clean the bathrooms thoroughly I would do that in between steps 2 and 3. The kitchen doesn’t get much of a clean because I am always in there and seem to do it as I go. I am terrible and never do things like clean cupboards. Or ovens. That’s for when you move. Actually, I’m not all that OCDS am I?

So what do I do with my 2 year old I hear you ask? Well, I do what ANY normal person would do. I plonk her in front of the TV and then when it comes to the mopping section come up with a fabulously interesting game that involves rugs, that are Islands, and the mopped floors, which are lava. This usually works for 3.4 seconds and I can then  recommence my normal screeching at her. Tea is then made, a gloating Instagram shot that involves mopped floors taken, and about 3 minutes later the mess starts all over again. I think the whole process is known as “insanity” – you know, the doing something over and over and expecting a different result. That, or having small children.

So, tell me….
What have I missed out?
Where have I gone wrong?
What is the best mixture for washing floors?
Are you like Neighbour and clean skirting boards?
What IS the worst part of cleaning for you?
Is this the most boring blog post that ever existed, in like, ever? Actually, don’t answer that.


  1. I too have wooden boards and like to use hot water and metho. I also have a Dyson and am filled with a sense of satisfaction when I can see her barrel filling with dirt.
    As for the worst cleaning job…has to be the shower screen, I hate it. xT

  2. I am a cleaning freak & I like your style. However I could not leave my bathrooms without a deep clean once a fortnight, it has to be every week with a mini clean at the half way point each week.

    I too have a Dyson & I love it HARD. I am a big fan of the fancy attachments which help get at the dust on the skirting boards etc. I also dust all surfaces & knick knacks BEFORE vacuuming as I like to think you pick up more of it that way. This is also why I hate knick knacks, I think of them as dust collectors. I vacuum our main living area every day. Whole house once a week.

    For mopping I like to use boiling water with a detergent designed specially for timber floors as it doesn’t leave streaks. Streaks are the devil & I have tried many diff products before I found one that lived up to my high standards.

    Don’t get me started on the washing as that is my true love. Sad but true. Some days I dream about owning a laundromat.

  3. I LOVE a clean floor. I don’t have one often enough, but when I do – oh my! Now, can you do me a favour and tell me exactly what your mop is? I hate mine’s guts. Used to love it, now loathe it.

    I tend to use a couple of drops of essential oil in my hot, hot, hot water. Lemon in the kitchen, lavender elsewhere. Mmmmmm.

  4. No this is not the most boring blog post I’ve ever seen. When I was young I was much like you and cleaned regularly although I hate housework in all its forms. You just had to do it ‘cos. Now the arthritis is so bad I just can’t do much of it at all (even the dusting is a real chore) so I have a lovely English lady who comes in for 95 mins a fortnight and does all the above except the dusting. I was interested to say you use ordinary washing up liquid for your floors (we have vinyl and tiles) so may get Jenny to try that as I’m not all that impressed with the ‘stuff’ she uses now. I really enjoyed this post. Thanks. xx

  5. I hate hate hate mopping so I just spot clean our wood floors instead. I just use hot hot water when I get round to mopping as we have a water based finish on our wood floors that needs gentle care.

    A bit of vinegar works for the bathrooms.

    Windows, do you do them in the fortnightly clean? Ours are perpetually dirty with a two year old who insists on not only wiping dirty hands all over them but also licking them (ewww). Consequently I just use water and vinegar to clean them too (don’t like the idea of him licking spray and wipe).

    If someone could invent a self cleaning toilet I would be most grateful!

    Oh and by the way I’m super impressed you can mop with a two year old in the house! Go you!

  6. You MUST clean skirting boards! I do this at the same time that I do the dusting.

    My cleaning routine sounds about the same as yours. Except I make Daddy R do the vacuuming while Baby C is taking a nap! Growing up my Dad always vacuumed so to me it is a man’s job.

    And I agree about the kitchen…I feel like I mostly clean mine every evening…although I do sometimes go all OCD and clean the fridge…where you store your food cannot be dirty.

    And I just use hot, hot water and vinegar on my floors…although I must admit mine never look as nice as yours.

    What is your feeling on bleach?
    I want to hate it and I have tried to use baking soda and vinegar but nothing get a tub to sparkle the way bleach does.

    • I feel like I should love bleach…but I never use it. My old cleaner used to – I’d come home and the place would stink of bleach – but at least everything was sparkling! I miss my cleaner…

  7. Hey Darlin’…You need to stop washing those lovely floor boards with soapy water.Just use hot water and vinegar( just a 1/2 cup) to a bucket full( or even a capful of eucalyptus oil).The soap scum will build up on your floor luv..Aunty Krinny

  8. I really pictured you as a weekly cleaner Beth. I have been using car wash on my floors, only because we somehow ended up with 5 bottles of it and I ran out of floor cleaner. The shine is amazing – for five minutes anyway. Too expensive to use all the time but agree that dish washing liquid is awesome too.
    Now, what I really want to see is the floors the day BEFORE your clean, then I would feel much better 😉

  9. I love a clean home but detest cleaning.

    I’m a natural gal so use all Eco friendly stuff around the house. Except the toilets. I use hardcore domestos on those mofos because I have bits & they can’t aim for shit! ( what is with that?)
    A trick I learnt last week was using napi San mixed with water in my fabric roman blinds- they are the cleanest they’ve been since we bought them.
    If I’m going all 1800’s around the house I use bi card mixed with water & a toothbrush to clean the grout in the bathroom. Let it be known I’ve down this 3 times in the 4 years since we built out house but boy did that grout look GOOD!!!
    Yes I clean skirting boards but only once a year ( the annual Spring clean just like mum used to do). I vacuum them about once a month.
    Dusting is never done by only by Tim. He thinks he’s cool because he does stupid cleaning jobs like vacuuming under lounges & tv cabinets & fridges. I do those jobs too but only when we move house !

  10. Hey Darl’…You need to stop washing those lovely timber floors with soap.Just use hot water with about a 1/2 cup of white vinegar in it.Makes them really shinny.You could also use a capful of eucalyptus oil instead.Better for your floors and better for the environment too.Happy cleaning. Luv your Aunty

  11. I’m a metho girl for the floors – hot water and a splash of methylated spirit.
    No streaks, dries fast, smells wickedly alcoholic!

  12. I have recently discovered jif and if the shit out of my stove and sink weekly. Vacuum once a week. Mopping not so often. I like hot water with domestos stuff or I recently discovered o cedar who.make furniture polish make a floor wash and its awesome.

  13. This is pretty much exactly my cleaning routine undertaken EVERY Friday, except I use boiling hot water in my mop bucket with Aldi disinfectant. I do not do skirting boards as often as I should and I really hate doing the shower screens. I have found that those eraser scrubby things work a TREAT on soap scum though. How awesome is the weather today?

  14. We have a dog that sheds fur, so our iRoomba (robotic vacuum) helps keep the fur at bay inbetween the dyson vacuums. I have recently discovered Method brand cleaning products and the shower cleaner is excellent – you simply spray your shower screen once a day after you shower and it helps keep the glass clean – amazing! We found a little eucalyptus oil in with hot water gives floorboards a nice shine and smell too. Great post Babymac 🙂

    • DONE! I am getting some of that spray – shower screens are the VERY worst job. Thanks x

    • I LOVE that shower spray. The shower screen cleaning really is the worst.

    • We get alot of calcium build up on the glass and no amount of scrubbing or other brands of shower cleaner will remove it. So, I cleaned my shower first, as normal and have continued with the spray every day and it’s fabulous! Coles used to stock it, but our local one no longer does, but Kitchen Warehouse now stock the whole range.

  15. I use diluted methylated spirits (as recommended by my cleaning lady before she went and quit on me) on my floors and as hot as the water will go – it dries clearly and quickly.

  16. I try to live by the saying “a clean house is a sign of a wasted life” but I can only last about 2 weeks before I give up and clean! I want to hate cleaning but secretly I love the satisfaction os having a sparkly house 😉

  17. I wish I could go all Suzie Homemaker on my house, but I just don’t have the time currently. Things get done in small doses of a night after the small one has gone to bed.

    For floors, I use boiling water, a squirt of dishwashing liquid and a splash of amonia. Works great for windows, so don’t know why it wouldnt work fine for my tiles…until the small one next eats dinner.

  18. I vacuum my skirting boards every time I vacuum the whole house which is about weekly (living areas more often). When I am spring cleaning I use baby wipes to scoot along them with, it is really quick and easy. I love JIF too, have always used it. I even use it to clean furniture with before I paint it. I agree that cleaning the oven is a job only to be done when you shift house. My mother would be mortified with this comment though, lol! I vacuum first then dust as my mother taught me that vacuuming stirs up more dust. I never clean my glass fire door but Mum tells me that oven cleaner on some newspaper gets that thing sparkling. Till the next time you light the fire, anyway!


    • Karen! I have recently started cleaning the fire door and am LOVING it. Just a simple wipe down with paper towel seems to get rid of the smoke build up and it’s SO lovely to be able to see the fire clearly. I’v only just started doing this though…took me almost 2 years to start!

    • Try using a wet cloth and ash from your fire place to clean the glass. It works a treat.

  19. Shauna McMillin says

    As I write this I have Gary from The Oven Cleaning Co cleaning my oven with eco-friendly products. Got onto him from a friend that had hers done yearly. I am loving Gary sick right now!!!

  20. Two things. iRobot and steam mop. Your welcome. Kate x

  21. Two things~iRobot and steam mop. Seriously makes my life so much easier.

  22. Carohutchison says

    Slightly off topic, but I wondered what order you have the cutlery in your drawer? I’m of the fork, knife, spoon persuasion, but my mother does knife, fork, spoon. My logic is you should be able to pick it up as you would set the table.

    What do you think?

    • I think this needs to have it’s own post. Thanks!

    • We need a post on this. It’s as important as packing the dishwasher properly. I’m positive that was the nail in the coffin on my marriage…. I pack in order of putting away.

      Also how often do you clean the crap (i.e. dirt) out of your cutlery drawers and do you organise your utensil drawer?

      Go Beth Go!

  23. I am sending this to my sister now. It is her version of Porn x

  24. Gosh, am I the only person who pays someone to clean my house!! The Angel (aka cleaning lady) comes on Mondays while we’re all at work and childcare. She uses hot water and wood magic for the floors. And shower power for the shower screen. I vacuum again on Thursdays or Fridays as we can’t get through a week with 2 little boys. Chewed up crackers anyone?!

  25. what a timely post beth, as I mopped my floors somewhere close to midnight last night. with 3 smalls, no amount of games would help me mop during the day! ha I detest it, it doesn’t get done often enough. nor the dusting, nor the bathrooms.. anyway, I use hot hot water too, with a dash of detergent, splash of vinegar and half a cap of eucalyptus. I’m grateful my kids can eat off the floor again. at least for 24 hours.. x

  26. the worst part of cleaning in my house is the bedrooms! Because both my daughter and my partner like to pull everything out of every drawer and off every shelf and strategically throw them ALL.OVER.THE.ROOM!!

    I refuse to clean the bedrooms. They can do it By they I mean him. And by do it I mean he can ignore it for months until I give up waiting and I do it.

  27. baby wipes – not just good for baby bums and sticky fingers – excellent for dusting, quick clean of surfaces, blinds, etc

    not so environmental friendly – but good and safe when little ones want to ‘help’

  28. My husband is a store manager at godfreys (the vacuum store) he is so OCD and often has new things to try out I am not allowed to wash dishes, vacuum or mop cause apparently I suck haha but at least I cook a lot everyone tells me not to complain but sometimes I like our house to look lived in haha!! I love baking soda to wash the floors and Ajax for any carpet stains! And makeup wipes for the bathroom sinks!


  29. I have a fortnightly cleaner but do a lot myself in between as am a Fanatic.

    The secret is having Ovenu come and action the oven twice a year and always around your birthday.

    Mess filth and squalor are the Devil’s work.

  30. Also I too second baby wipes- hang the expense- they are 11/10 in bathrooms.

  31. I worked for a woman, cleaning her apartment and I HAD to do the skirting boards EVERY week! There was only the 2 of them but she had serious OCD issues. I’ve picked up so many great tips reading the comments today, that I’ll be off I’m going to baby wipe my bathroom.

  32. I freaking love me some bleach, i love walking into the bathroom after cleaning that mofo and getting a bleach high. I just use the aldi fake domestos and one of those scourer things that is a sponge on one side and a scourer on the other.. On the topic of cleaning, how do you handle the dust/ash from your fireplace that settles over everything every time you open the door to put more wood in & and the mess the basket of wood creates ? Its enough to make me want to rip out our fireplace at the end of winter !

    • I’ll tell you how I handle it…I DON’T! I LOVE my fire but I freaking HATE the mess of it. The wood chips. The dust. The ash. I am like a crazy woman with a dustpan and broom FOREVER cleaning the mother fucker. Bring on summer nights!

  33. We have hardwood Jarrah floors throughout the whole house(yes, we were young & dumb when we built our house!) & they are a pain to keep clean. We use boiling hot water & vinegar to mop using one of those squeegee mop things that push out most of the water. And for all surfaces we use the water & vinegar combo on a microfiber cloth – this cleans everything from bench tops to mirrors & windows & is excellent for stainless steel. For baths, sinks & toilets we sprinkle bicarbonate first then spray the water & vinegar combo on top before scrubbing.

  34. We have lots of tiles downstairs in our kitchen, family, living area (carpet elsewhere)and I always Dyson the floors then mop the tiled floors with boiling water and lemon disinfectant. To me, my home just doesn’t feel like it’s had a really good clean unless that sweet lemon fresh smell wafts through the house. As far as shower screens go, the only way I have successfully kept them gleaming is to completely wipe out every inch of the shower and screens each time we use them, then an open window dries any tiny missed drops and that way, when it comes to cleaning day, a wipe over with Windex glass cleaner keeps them pristine. Honestly, I have tried every which way to keep the shower screens clean and this is the only method that has finally worked for me. It was passed on to me by a friends Mum. Def one of the best tips I’ve ever received. Yes, I know it’s a pain in the butt to wipe it out, but the sheer joy of keeping it gleaming is well worth the elbow grease…I promise! Either that or banish your family from the showers….lock ’em up and insist they have baths. I may or may not be one of those mothers!

  35. Wow! I loved this!!! I am a floors girl love cleaning them sucking up all that Mofo dust and dog hair that looks like hay blowing down a street on a country & western movie (lol)! and mopping, my special clean shiney floor recipe is a bucket of boiling water with 2 cup fulls (from the bottle) of eucalyptus oil (maybe with wooden floors just use hot tap water, I have 3 toliets to clean so I only really clean the one we use the most every second day (ewwww pubes and man pee on the floor!. When the spirit moves I scrub the shower with a toothbrush! ha thats shocking isnt it.

  36. Wow! I loved this!!! I am a floors girl love cleaning them sucking up all that Mofo dust and dog hair that looks like hay blowing down a street on a country & western movie (lol)! and mopping, my special clean shiney floor recipe is a bucket of boiling water with 2 cup fulls (from the bottle) of eucalyptus oil (maybe with wooden floors just use hot tap water, I have 3 toliets to clean so I only really clean the one we use the most every second day (ewwww pubes and man pee on the floor!. When the spirit moves I scrub the shower with a toothbrush! ha thats shocking isnt it.

  37. I have tiled floors and find hot water with a dash of eucalyptus oil is great. Like the methylated spirits someone else suggested, it dries clear and I love that fresh clean Australian smell of eucalyptus. I suppose it would also work on wood? I use it everywhere, bathroom, kitchen, the works. Great natural disinfectant.

  38. Love this post. Ok, once a year I get Ovenu to clean my oven and window cleaning guys pre Xmas. I love any sort of wipe, in between floor mopping I walk with a bunch of wipes on my soles and mop spots on kitchen floor
    I love wipes for toilet and hairs in bathroom and I love love white king in toilet, quick flush and I am convinced that bleachy smell means all surfaces clean. It has tricked my mum and husband many times that I have done hard core cleaning. Def hot hot water and a little drop of eucalyptus oil for floor boards. Gosh, I love your cleaning posts

  39. I hate cleaning the bathrooms too, but with 2 small boys and a teenage daughter it looks like a truckstop if I don’t. I vac our wooden floors, then steam mop (truckstop again…)and dust using a microfibre mitten (the kind that look like a sea creature) which I douse in lavender and eucalyptus oils. This is good for flyscreens too. The main thing I hate is the dust – because we live on a busy road I can dust in the morning and by the afternoon it needs doing again. It sucks!

  40. I used to dust fortnightly until we moved to the country. Our fire seems to make the most incredible amount of dust. I now dust at least once a week, but often 2 or 3 times – depending on how anal retentive I am feeling! I love the fire, but I hate the dust! As for the floors, I clean them regularly, but because the whole house is authentically 1950s (ie unrenovated) I don’t really care about them that much.

  41. You are very funny….that’s all!

  42. I love my dyson. Best damn vacuum cleaner ever and I get all happy when I see the barrel fill up. I’m a Vidella mop girl though. Working at Mc Donalds you had to do figure 8’s to get the floor clean and apparently they;d researched that it was the best way. I’ve never gotten out of the habit.

    I’m definately trying the lava and island game with Emily this weekend. Normally I wait for the midday nap to get the mopping done but I’d much rather sleep!

  43. I do the skirting boards! Also same floor ingredients but with a drop of eucalyptus oil for added smell factor and also – husband can tell i’ve cleaned because he can smell it! I hate moping so it doesnt get done very often – but I love having a clean bathroom – so thats pretty frequent. Agreed re. dusting. Actually husband does at least 50% of the cleaning any way!

  44. Dust is the bane of my existence! I too employ the hot damp cloth method, and by the time I’m finished, the surface I started on is dusty again! WHERE DOES IT COME FROM? Drives me bananas.
    Have you cottoned onto Enjo? The whole no-chemical jargon intrigued me, I gave their floor combo a go and months later I’m still undecided (lol). But I flat out refuse to use it in the bathroom. I fail to see how a cloth can remove bathroom germs. And there is NO chance I’m sticking my hand in that toilet bowl, that’s what long handled brushes are for!

  45. top tip for the shower is to squeegee down the glass after showering, I too use method cleaner to spray around. it can get a bit scummy around the plug hole but nothing a bit of elbow grease won’t fix!

  46. Another floor obsessive here – Vileda all the way!!! Hot water with lemon floor cleaner/vinegar/eucalyptus. Also Shower Power and microfibre glove after most showers to avoid build up and big cleaning job. My sister lives in Berrima and I was just there. So lovely. Love your blog!

  47. I use a steam mop on my wood floors, it dries so quickly that my two year old hasn’t got time to leave foot prints everywhere. I LOVE it!

  48. Addit: Get a cleaner. Worth every cent.

  49. Brilliant post Beth. I always need inspiration to clean. I love to visit my girlfriends with sparkly houses as it makes me want to go home and clean.
    I use boiling water and a dash of metho for my wooden floors. They come up all shiny and new.
    Do you think you could instagram a pic of your special mop? I want one.

  50. I have a cleaner. Haven’t cleaned my bathroom for three years. I gave my bath a quick clean the other morning and I cut my finger on the drain.

  51. And how can I clean my oven without many chemicals? Does anyone have a tip?

  52. I would love someone to do some research on the new fad of steam cleaners versus the old fashioned mop and bucket with soapy water on tiles. I have been using the steamer method recently and I don’t think the floors are as clean as the tried and tested old method. Any ideas about this one?

  53. At 33 years old I finally had a truly successful dusting session today – thanks to you! Hot water and soap… who knew?!

  54. GReat post about the solving big issues clean your act.

  55. A tip from a friend of mine whose hubbie installs shower screens, is to wipe down the glass as your finishing your shower with a small window squigee (about $5), no more soap marks, no more water splash marks.

  56. You ladies are hilarious. I’m lol and rofl just reading your comments. I read the comments about using eucalyptus oil and hot water to mop the floor. That’s what I use to clean me and my daughter’s tile floors. The floors in our rentals are terrible and are not cleaned nor replaced when tenants move out. So there’s years of dirt and marks ingrained into the tile that won’t budge. But the eucalyptus oil brightens and removes recent dirt and stains. I’ve been thinking about adding a little bit of baking soda and vinegar but I’m afraid it might not work.

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