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02nd Jul 2015

The lazy parent’s guide to making your house presentable in 15 minutes

Sive O'Brien

Don’t you just love those texts “we’re in the area, we’ll pop by in half an hour to see you and the kids.”

FEAR. OF. GOD. Just three little words that spring to mind.

And what if it’s the in-laws, be still my palpitations – even a super-speedy sweep of yesterday’s cereal that’s still decorating the floor, and your usual party trick of shoving all the toys into the cot and covering it with the changing mat, just won’t cut it.

Well, my very normal Mum friend, I have been known to scrape an inch of porridge off a dining room table, scrub an entire rainbow of crayon drawing from a wall, and present a glistening kitchen within ten minutes. Here are some very simple short-cuts.

15 minutes you say? It’s a cinch with this go-to guide to getting you out of slumsville:

1 Sparkling microwave
Pop equal amounts of vinegar and water into a microwave-safe bowl. If you have a small wooden object (stick, toothpick, spoon) pop that in too to avoid explosions (might help). Set the microwave for five minutes and bingo, steamed cleaned to perfection. Just give the surfaces a wipe with some dry kitchen paper.

2. Blender beautiful
Have you been blending your morning juices or smoothies? Fill it halfway with warm water and a drop of dish cleaner and blend it all together as you would a smoothie. Rinse out and that’s it. Scrub-free and sparkling.

3. All-natural grill cleaner
Stab a raw onion with a fork and rub it up and down on the grates of a hot grill, the onion will deglaze and add flavour to the next thing you cook too. Double-duty cleaning!

4 Dirty bath rings
Cut a grapefruit in half and sprinkle with salt. Wet your bath and sprinkle additional salt on the bottom. Use the fruit as a scrubber. Rinse, clean and enjoy the fresh scent.

5 Glitter be gone

If arts and crafts-time at your house means glitter decorating every crevice (how does it get EVERYWHERE?) – pull out the play dough and dab the glitter with the play dough (much to your child’s bemusement) and it just sticks to it. Like magic!

6. Crystal clear windows

Don’t use window cleaner in summer as the heat might make the chemicals stick to the window, use an all-purpose cleaner instead.

7. Water wipes

A parent’s BFF. These guys not only clean your baby’s bum without needing any nasty chemicals to do it, they also work for so many things: giving the bathroom a quick swoop in a matter of minutes, taking baby puke off clothes without washing them (them and yours!), brilliant as as dusters for furniture and car interiors, make-up brush cleaners – you name it, there’s a use for these beauts. Keep a packet in close proximity at all times.

Brought to you by HSA. Household products can be dangerous so always read the back. Use chemicals safely, store and dispose of chemicals safely and seek medical attention if you or your family come in contact with a chemical. for more.