Updated / Friday, 5 Oct 2018 14:00
Has someone asked you for Hinching tips?
Has someone asked you for Hinching tips? Have you heard someone talk affectionately about a “Minkeh”? Better yet, do you have a dozen bottles of Zoflora in your house yet? If you follow Mrs Hinch on Instagram, these are telltale signs and chances are you’re now obsessed with cleaning.
Having started her Instagram account just a few years ago to document her interior design projects, Sophie Hinchcliffe from Essex in the UK has gained a massive following of cleaning obsessives – or at the very least, people who love the joy she finds in cleaning and cleaning well.
This includes a Facebook group called We Love Mrs Hinch, which started in August as has no less than 53,000 members.
Mrs Hinch posts often on her Instagram stories, playfully taking followers through her incredible routine and showing us inventive housekeeping hacks along the way.
Between her adorable doggy, her stunning home decorating and the many, many nicknames she has for her cleaning supplies (Minkeh, Pinkeh, Stewart and Dave are just a few), Mrs Hinch has created a real life, glamorous and happier version of Cinderella that includes a full list of supporting characters.
We’ve selected a few of the best tips below, but really you should follow her for a daily dose of fun and refreshing reality. She also gives the best, foolproof tutorials.
1. Cleaning the dishwasher: With an old oven tray, open the filter cap and drain the dirty water into it. Clean the filter plug with a small brush (Mrs Hinch uses ‘Stewart’, a electric toothbrush) with a cleaning paste (her go-to is The Pink Stuff). Soak the filter plug in Zoflora – an all-purpose disinfectant – spray a degreaser into the filter and clean with your own Stewart.
2. Cleaning cloths: Add a cap of white vinegar into the drum of your washing machine and a cap of soda crystals into the powder drawer. Put it on a 90 degree wash and your cloths will emerge fully germ-free and like new.
3. Cleaning sink drains: Place a dishwasher tab onto your drain and pour hot water over it until it fully dissolves. Follow it with some Zoflora for perfectly clean and fresh-smelling drains.
4. Homemade fragrance spray: Add one cap of your favourite fabric conditioner to a spray bottle and top with water. Mix it together and use to freshen up beds, upholstery and rooms.
5. Cleaning fabric seat covers: Add your favourite fabric conditioner and some fabric washing gel to a basin of hot water. With a clean fabric cloth, wipe down your upholstery, then follow with a rub down with a bristle brush. The same can be done for fluffy rugs.
6. Cleaning dirty vases: Mix bicarbonate of soda with white vinegar and a little water. Shake it up, let it fizz and then rinse for sparkling vases.
7. Cleaning dustbins: Spray the bin down with your favourite disinfectant, add a cap of Zoflora, hose it down outside and clean down the bottom and hard-to-reach corners with a sponge. The genius tip: get some kitchen roll, a cap of Zoflora and put it in the bottom of bin. This will kill more germs and leave it smelling great.
8. Cleaning doors: Add your favourite fabric conditioner to hot water With a scowler sponge (Mrs Hinch’s is Minkeh), wipe down any marks on your doors. The gentle cleaning in it removes dirt without damaging your paint.
9. Cleaning stains on beds: Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on stained area, rubbing it in with latex glove. Leave for an hour and hoover off.
Underneath this there’s an argument about cleaning being good and fun, something we’ve lost sight of in recent years. With discussions on anxiety and mental health becoming more present, cleaning is often noted by people living with depression or anxiety as being a healthy and comforting outlet.
It makes perfect sense: when you feel overwhelmed or like your life is out of your control, cleaning is something useful, important, healthy and completely achievable. Far from being the work of paupers, cleaning your home grounds you, connects you to the things that are important to you, and to yourself.
Orange is the New Black’s ‘Crazy Eyes’, played by Uzo Aduba, maybe puts this best: “Sometimes the feelings inside me get messy like dirt. And I like to clean things, pretend the dirt is the feelings, and this floor is my mind. That is called coping.”