MRS HINCH shows you how to make your sitting room sparkle
Planning a spring clean in lockdown? Here, in the second part of our inspired series, Instagram sensation MRS HINCH shows you how to make your sitting room sparkle
- Sophie Hinchliffe, 30, from Essex, shared advice for cleaning your living room
- Best known as Mrs Hinch, she boasts over 3.2 million followers on Instagram
- Among her top tips is colour coding cloths to avoid cross-contamination
She’s the former Essex hairdresser whose infectious enthusiasm for cleaning and down-to-earth personality have made her an Instagram — and publishing — star.
Mrs Hinch, real name Sophie Hinchliffe, started posting about her cleaning routines on social media after discovering that setting to with mop and bucket or cloths and disinfectant helped calm her anxiety.
But people loved her tips — as well as her habit of giving nicknames to her tools and products — so much that she now has 3.2 million Instagram followers, called ‘Hinchers’, and has sold almost a million books.
Married to Jamie Hinchliffe, and now mum to baby Ronnie, Sophie, 30, is also doting owner of cocker spaniel Henry.
Sophie Hinchliffe, 30, (pictured) from Essex, who is best known as Mrs Hinch, shared her advice for cleaning your sitting room
But whether you’re concerned about keeping coronavirus at bay or are having to do without a weekly cleaner, while we’re under government orders to stay safe at home, there has never been a better time for a spring clean.
On Saturday, Mrs Hinch introduced her favourite products and tools before tackling the kitchen. Today, she shows you how to get a living room you can truly relax in.
How To Hinch Your Sofa
My sofa is the heart of my home. Personally, I’ve always loved a sofa where, if you sit right back on it, your feet don’t touch the ground. When I sit back on my sofa my feet dangle, which makes me so happy, I feel like a big kid again.
I always have an oversized warm blanket in a basket nearby that I can grab, and obviously you need nice big cushions you can karate chop.
Just remember, everyone’s sofa fabrics are different. Always do a patch test on yours somewhere it won’t be seen to make sure it’s ok with the products you’re using. My sofa is my pride and joy, so I wouldn’t want you ruining yours.
- Remove all seat and decorative cushions, throws and blankets from the sofa.
- Check for coins. You don’t want to Hoover those up. Finders keepers!
- Vacuum up everything unwanted you find down the sides of the sofa seats. I use Shelley for this, my Shark hand-held vacuum cleaner.
In between washes, Mrs Hinch gives her sofa a daily spritz using Febreze (pictured) to keep it fresh
- Brush a lint roller over the sofa itself and the seat cushions to pick up any lint and loose hairs. Particularly important if you have fur babies.
- If your cushion covers are machine washable, go ahead and chuck them in the machine, following the specific washing instructions. If they’re not machine washable, then, using your favourite upholstery cleaner, dip a white cloth into the mixture (always white to avoid colour transfer) and wring it out as much as possible.
- Wearing your rubber gloves, hold the cloth tight and scrub away at each cushion seat, the sofa arms and the back of the sofa.
- Give it a gentle brush all over using a body brush to help revive the fibres.
- Allow it to air-dry, reassemble, and enjoy your sofa’s new lease of life.
- In between washes I like to give my sofa a daily spritz with Febreze to keep it fresh.
Bicarb your vases
Is there anything worse than the smell of old flower water? Also upsetting is the residue that’s left after your blooms die. Pour in some bicarbonate of soda and spray in some white vinegar. Leave for a few minutes, rinse and air-dry.
Karate Chop Your Cushions
I had seen so many Instagram interior posts of perfectly plumped cushions with an indentation in the top and I remember thinking to myself: ‘Those cushions look rather posh. How do I get mine looking like that?’
When I first saw how the cushions were shaped that way it looked as if they were being karate chopped, so that was it, the phrase has just stuck ever since!
I tried it on some cushions I had at the time but they wouldn’t form the nice peaks, no matter what I did. Then I realised the cushions had to be feather for it to work. If you have wadding-type stuffing, frankly, you’re stuffed.
Mrs Hinch achieves perfectly plumped cushions (pictured) with an indentation in the top using a karate chop method
Va-va-vacuum your rugs (underneath too)
- Start by turning your rug upside down and vacuuming the underside. Sounds crazy, I’m sure, but you will not believe the amount of stuff that comes out of the fibres!
- Use a white cloth (rugs seem to transfer colour especially easily) and soak the whole cloth in your favourite upholstery cleaner. Make sure you test an area first.
- Rub the cloth over your rug or carpet, working in sections, rinsing your cloth out regularly. This is a serious arm work-out but, trust me, it’s worth it. Go over the rug again with a fresh, rinsed cloth to remove any residual product.
- Little Tip: Make sure you have your favourite playlist on in the background for this exercise. Scrub to the beat, babe! Scrub to the beat!
- Then use a hand-held all-purpose scrub brush to revive the surface pile by brushing the rug/carpet back to life. Allow it to air-dry, and ta-da! Done!
My absolute must-dos
1. As all my Hinchers know, I’m a huge fan of wax melts [mini scented candles]! But make sure the fire and smoke detectors are regularly tested. I set a monthly reminder in my phone, so I never forget.
2. When using any cleaning products always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. I know my Hinchers are aware of this but, please, no mixing of chemicals. It can be dangerous.
3. To avoid cross-contamination, colour code your cloths to different rooms. This way, you’re not using the same Minkeh to clean your sink that you used for your toilet.
4. We do n’t want young hands having access to Cliff the Cif [Cif Perfect FinishSteel Spray] and Zoflora. If you have young children, store your cleaning products up high or use cupboard safety catches.
5. Think about your pet’s safety when Hinching. If it’s raining, I won’t do the floors because there’s nowhere for my dog Henry to wait while they dry. It’s their home too and we want to keep our fur babies safe.
Tons of us have candle holders or lanterns around our homes so I wanted to do a lantern Hinch (mainly because I absolutely love them and I think they make rooms look so warm and cosy).
Start by getting rid of any dry wax residue using an old credit card. Gently nudge at it until it comes away. I once tried to wipe up wax when it was still in liquid form and it smeared horribly, so I would not recommend that.
To get the rest of the candle residue off, spray some Elbow Grease degreaser and wipe with a Minkeh [Minky Antibacterial Cleaning Pad], or something else that has a slightly rough side.
Clean the top and inside the lantern. Mine always has a few pet hairs on top and inside it and loads of marks (how do they even get there?), so wipe away any loose hairs or dust using a tumble-dryer sheet. If you go straight in and try to clean the glass or chrome, the chances are it will go all splodgy and you’ll just be wiping mess around.
Spray white vinegar spray on to the whole thing, inside and out. Wait, don’t use your cloth yet. First, get some kitchen roll and rub the spray in. Now it’s time for the cloth. I use Kermit [a Minky Glass and Window cloth], and he really shines mine up. Pop in some fresh candles and you’re good to go.
Don’t forget the blind spot
I get asked a lot about how I Hinch my blinds. Cleaning your blinds can appear a little tricky to do at first because they are delicate and fragile, but here are a few simple steps to make it easy.
1. Close the slats shut and give it the once-over with your favourite duster (aka Dave). Then turn the slats in the other direction and repeat.
2. Add some diluted Zoflora to some dry kitchen roll and wipe over again.
3. Leave to dry.
Mrs Hinch recommends colour coding cloths when cleaning, to avoid cross-contamination. Pictured: Mrs Hinch’s living room
See your reflection shine
I find the best way to make all reflective surfaces shine is to follow these simple steps.
- Use a fluffy duster to get rid of any dust on the surface.
- Spray with Astonish Window & Glass or white vinegar if you prefer.
- Use dry kitchen roll to buff it in.
- Finish off with our Kermit [Minky Glass and Window cloth].
- Look at your reflection and think: ‘Wow, good job done!’
Don’t forget these bad boys. You touch them every day. You don’t want to use anything too wet because, obviously, you’re dealing with electricity, so lightly spray diluted Zoflora mix on to a microfibre cloth and then wipe down.
Tricky tech tips
You have to be gentle with your TV. I recommend using Pledge Electronic Cleaning Wipes because, obviously, they’re made especially for TVs. They’re also brilliant for computers, laptops and remote controls.
That thing is being touched, either by your hands or your ears, all day long. So show it some cleaning love! You can either use Pledge Electronic Cleaning Wipes, or spray a little bit of diluted Zoflora on to some dry kitchen roll and then give the front and back a quick once-over.
Persistent pet hair
This hack, especially if you have pets, will never let you down. Simply drag a window squeegee over carpets and rugs to collect all old fibres, pet fur, hair and general day-to-day dirt.
However, do not do this too often — once a fortnight is absolutely fine — otherwise you’ll cause long-term damage to your carpets. None of us want bald carpets now, do we?
The clockwise clean
This is one of my favourite Hinch routines. The beauty of the clockwise clean is that you don’t miss anything, and you don’t feel like it’s all too overwhelming.
Sometimes when you walk into a room you can look and think: ‘There’s too much to do in here, I’m never going to finish it,’ and walk out. But if you walk into a room with your cleaning basket full of your favourite must-haves, start to your left (that’s your 12 o’clock), work your way around the room (1, 2, 3 o’clock), and then end up back where you started. Having circled the room, you know it has all been taken care of.
If I start a room feeling a bit out of sorts, I know that by the time I get to the end I’ll feel calmer. It’s like I’m emptying my mind as I’m completing another task. And I don’t care if it’s tragic, I get so excited when I’m near the end.
When I get to the ottoman in my living room, I know I’ve only got the lamp and the table to do and my work is done.
Extracted from Hinch Yourself Happy: All The Best Cleaning Tips To Shine Your Sink And Soothe Your Soul, published in hardback by Michael Joseph, priced £12.99. © Mrs Hinch, 2019.
Mrs Hinch: The Little Book Of Lists is out now, published by Michael Joseph, priced £12.99.
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