If you’ve been within a bull’s roar of Facebook or lifestyle sites in the past five years you’ll know the Mums Who Facebook groups.
The hugely popular groups are filled with everyday parents sharing advice, requests for help and famously inspired hacks for keeping your home and life in order.
If you’ve seen or tried a jaw-dropping hack, or found a product that changed your life, there's a good chance it came from one of the groups set up by Aussie mums Rachael Hallett and Karlie Suttie whose pages now boast followers in the hundreds of thousands and who just released their first book, Mum’s Who Clean.
Now, the ladies behind the Facebook groups are giving us a sneak peek inside their own routines, and lifting the lid on which of the hundreds of tips, tricks and hacks that crop up on their pages every single day, they use themselves.
Bets of the cleaning hacks
For Rachael, the trick that knocked her off her feet and is still a part of her cleaning schedule to this day is the oven rack bathtub cleaner.
“I always gravitate towards easy,” Rachael admits. “I’m a bit of a lazy cleaner so easy is what I go for. Minimal, minimal effort.”
The ingenious hack takes the back-breaking and very noxious job of cleaning the oven and cuts it in half and then some.
The oven racks are removed, wrapped in foil with one dishwasher tablet inside, placed on a towel and then covered with hot water in the bath and left to soak.
The results are brilliant.
For Karlie, it’s the quick and easy way to clean tea towels that has crept into her cleaning routine.
Simply pop the tea towels into a pot of water, bring to the boil, add a dishwashing tablet and simmer for an hour.
The results speak for themselves, leaving a perfect tea towel without what Karlie calls the lingering ‘grossness’, every time.
Her other go-to is using a lint roller on lampshades and other surfaces to remove tiny particles of dirt and dust, with the bonus of being able to quite literally see your dirty work as it happens.
“Lint rollers on bed heads and lampshades that's my favourite thing because it’s instant reward,” she says. “I find that encouraging if I can see what I’ve done.”
Products to die for
When it comes to products they can’t live without, Rachael says she’s a die-hard lover of the Dr Beckmans Carpet Cleaner which goes for just $8 from most retailers.
“For when you don’t want to get your carpet cleaner out but have a spot it's perfect,” she says.
For Karlie, it’s the tools more than the products that would be in her essentials pack.
“I like magic erasers, they do really well on spots on the walls,” she says. “I also love my cleaning cloths. I have a really good brand of microfiber cleaning cloths.”
The brand is White Magic and comes with different microfibre cloths for different surfaces, and won’t break the bank at just $23.
Perhaps the best advice they both have to give might come as a surprise to some.
‘Don’t do it alone’
A group dedicated to mums finding ways to keep their homes clean, their lives organised and their money in check might seem like something that places a lot of pressure on the mums to pull the whole workload, but actually, the ladies preach exactly the opposite.
“There’s a perception that everyone stays on top of everything by themselves and that's something I would like to break in the group and in life in general,” says Karlie. “Asking for help is ok. You can get your kids to help you fold the laundry, for example, reach out to your families, friends.”
Rachael is even more practical and says if you can afford it, get some professional help.
“My tiles are matte porcelain and I get them cleaned every 6 months,’ she says. “Normal mopping just doesn't do it.”
“I used to hand scrub the tiles and it would kill me, it's not worth it. I’d rather pay someone to come and do it with their machine and I have no problem with that.”
“I don’t think it's a cop-out or anything.”
“If you can afford the help, get the help,” Karlie agrees.
Karlie and Rachael’s book Mum’s Who Clean is out now.
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