Cleaning: Mrs Hinch shares her top tips for cleaner washing and her favourite products

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Mrs Hinch, aka Sophie Hinchliffe, has taken the cleaning world by storm. The mum-of-one and cleaning sensation has garnered almost four million followers on Instagram and has become known for her simple cleaning tips. Mrs Hinch spoke to for an exclusive Q&A about cleaning and the particular top tips she learnt from Ariel about making sure your washing is hygienically clean.

Here’s everything you need to know about giving your laundry the ultimate wash this winter:

1. The coronavirus pandemic has definitely made Britons more conscious of their cleaning habits. What essential items should Britons prioritise cleaning during a pandemic?

“I think it’s a case of being that extra bit mindful during these times. Things like making sure you take off your shoes and leave them as close to the front door as you can, so that you aren’t unnecessarily bringing more of outside in than you need to (and there’s less to clean that way).

“I would also recommend paying extra attention to those items we touch most often that we don’t always think to give a quick once over as much; such as doorknobs and handles, light switches, our remotes, and our mobile phones.

“Any areas that have lots of activity, like the kitchen; work surfaces, that sort of thing. In our house, Jamie tends to go and pick up our essentials, so once he gets home, one of us will make sure we go over the areas he’s been in contact with, just so that they’re ready for Ron’s little hands.

“I’ve noticed it’s become like a habit for us now. Part of our routine! Like constantly washing our hands! We should also be getting our washing done as quickly as we can, particularly those clothes that we’ve worn out the house. I was really shocked to learn that 70 percent of the dirt on clothes can be invisible!

“I always assumed that if there weren’t any visible marks on an item of clothing, and it smelt fresh, that it was clean. But I’ve since found out that isn’t necessarily the case!”

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2. As a P&G Ambassador, are there any new products that have come out recently that you think your Hinchers / followers would love?

“I’ve been absolutely loving the Flash Spray Wipe Done in Apple Blossom since it’s came out.

“It’s just so convenient for those quick cleans and because I feel like we’re all doing so much more of that now, I find myself reaching for it the most often.

“Laundry wise, Ariel has also introduced a new technology into their All-In-1 Pods called PurezymeTM. When this enzyme is put in the wash cycle it cleans even deeper to the fibres of the fabrics, giving our clothes a hygienic clean. I know so many of my followers love and use Ariel so they’d be interested in this!”

3. What are your favourite ‘all-time’ cleaning products?

“That is like asking someone to pick between their children to me. I’d find it tricky to narrow them down, but if I had to say off the top of my head (in no particular order):

· Mr Sheen Polish

· Harpic Pine

· Flash Multipurpose Spray (Bicarb at the moment)

· White Vinegar

· Fabulosa / Zoflora

· Flash Bathroom

· Elbow Grease

· The Pink Stuff

· Febreze

· CIF Stainless Steel Spray

· Dettol Disinfectant

· 1001 Carpet Fresh”

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4. What item or part of your home would say is the most challenging to clean?

“At the moment it’s our new fish tank, believe it or not! But I think if I were to choose an area or something everyone’s likely to have, I’d definitely say the oven! That’s why I prefer to do mine little and often. Then it doesn’t become as big a job as it would be if it was left for long periods of time. And my oven liners are an absolute game changer and help make things that much quicker!”

5. With some dirt being invisible on our clothes even after we wash them, what can we do to ensure our clothes are as clean as they can be?

“I joined the Ariel team recently for an education day, and I loved it because it was so informative on all things laundry! Some of the stuff I’m sure a lot of people already know, but I came out of it having learned so much I wasn’t aware of, and I’m sure if I didn’t know, others will be in the same boat!

“So some quick fire tips to make sure our clothes are as clean as they can be, would be:

  • “Leave the size of your fist between the top of the laundry pile in the machine, and the drum. This gives the clothes enough space to mix properly with the water and the detergent. Pop your pod in first, and then clothes on top, as the water rises from the bottom of the drum, coming into contact with the pod first and dissolving it.
  • “Use a good laundry detergent. Every product you pick up from P&G is going to be an amazing product and will do an incredible job. That’s why I love working with them so much! You know you’re getting quality.
  • “Make sure you wash all clothes that come into direct contact with your skin after every use, particularly things that are likely to get sweaty, like gym wear (absolutely not a problem for me) and underwear.
  • “Clean your washing machine once a month. So many people message me to say they didn’t realise they needed to do this at all! And it makes sense because I think it’s fair to think that your machine is being cleaned alongside your clothes, but they’re humid environments (which is why you should always leave the door slightly open after each use) and soap scum can build up in the drawer and the rubber rim, so it’s good to regularly give them a once over.”

6. As the temperature drops in the UK, many of us are turning to our favourite wooly jumpers and jeans. Do certain clothing materials need to be washed more/less?

“I’d say anything that doesn’t directly touch your skin doesn’t need to be washed as often. I learned on my day with Ariel that it is recommended clothes such as T-shirts and gym wear are washed after every use, dresses and jumpers after every two uses (unless woolly, then that’s after every three!), trousers every three uses and jeans should be washed after every four.

“Wool materials in particular can be very delicate. They need to be separated from heavier fabrics such as jeans to stop them from getting damaged.

“Fortunately, most washing machines have different settings for different materials, so I’d split out more delicate items from those that aren’t as hard wearing. Many machines have a wool setting which tends to be a shorter wash, so I’d use that, or if I had any concerns, hand wash the item. You have to make sure you keep the temperature no hotter than 30 degrees to stop any shrinking.”

7. How often should we be washing our bedding in the winter months?

“I’ve always washed and changed my bedding weekly, regardless of the season. There’s absolutely nothing better than getting into a bed made with freshly washed bedding, for me!”

8. How would you recommend cleaning a washing machine?

“It always makes me smile when I do my washing machine cleans on Instagram, and I get so many messages from my followers saying they didn’t realise they needed to clean their washing machine! While the warm water, and the laundry and the detergent will do some of the work in that respect for you, we still need to make sure we keep the machine that cleans our clothes, fresh, and I try and do mine once a month using the following steps:

  • “Start by removing the fabric softener drawer and popping that in the sink covered in Flash Bathroom which is amazing for removing soap scum. Leave it to sit and do its thing, while you move on to the actual compartment in the machine.
  • “Use a scoop of bicarb and some white vinegar and get to work with a sonic scrubber to get rid of any mould and build up. I then saturate a moppet sponge with water and squeeze it out in the compartment to rinse away any of the dirt. I can then make a start with my scrubber on the actual drawer in the sink now that the cleaning spray has had time to work and leave the clean bits out to dry while I start on the rubber rim.
  • “Spray your moppet sponge with some the same cleaning spray and use that to get in between the seal with a glove. You’ll be amazed at how much build up you find!
  • “Next up is the filter. A lot of people don’t even realise they have one of these! Check your washing machine manual to find out where yours is located. Mine is at the front of my machine, bottom right, so I pop a deep baking tray and a tea towel down to catch any water that runs out. Unscrew the filter and once the water is clear, clean it (you’ll be amazed at just what you find in there!) and pop it back.
  • “For the drum, use a cup of bicarb and a cup of white vinegar (I pop these directly into the drum), and put your machine on a hot setting (anything 60 degrees and above). I also like to chuck the cloths I’ve used into the drum for washing once I’m done cleaning the machine.
  • “Finish off by wiping the outside of the machine with a cloth and multi surface cleaner or disinfectant of choice.”

9. And what about tumble dryers? Should they be cleaned regularly too?

“Absolutely! This is so important as they can be fire hazards if not maintained properly. I make sure to empty the filter where the fluff collects after every use now.

“Every so often I’ll also pull my tumble dryer out from the wall too to check things like the vent tubes.

“If they need any attention, I’ll use my long wand vacuum to get right in and remove any fluff build up. I’ve had my tumble dryer for ages and looking after it properly means it comes up like new.”

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