A fastidious mother-of-three who cleans her house for up to six hours a day, 364 days a year, has told now she starts her Christmas preparations in August.
‘Queen of Clean’ Lynsey, 38, from Peterborough, told FEMAIL the key to staying on top of chores during the festive season is ‘being organised and planning’.
And while cleaning is part of her own daily routine, she believes anyone can benefit from making the process fun and taking a ‘little and often’ approach to chores – especially during party season when you’re regularly hosting guests.
Lynsey, who is one of the stars of the Channel 4 series Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners in addition to running her own publishing business, has also built up a devoted social media following, all of whom regularly turn to her for tips and advice.
The cleaning fanatic has shared her top tips for those panicking about Christmas cleaning with FEMAIL – from how to re-purpose leftover potato skins after roast dinners to the best way to polish glassware, not to mention her secret trick to stop an over-stocked fridge from smelling…
Queen of Clean Lynsey, 38, from Peterborough who stars in Channel 4s Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners can be found sprucing up her home up to six hours a day
Coping with obsessive compulsive disorder is a challenge Lynsey takes on and thrives on, using her obsession to help others
Lynsey, who is also an ambassador for Vorwerk vacuum cleaners, says it’s an added bonus being able to use her OCD and turn it into ‘a positive and motivate people’.
She confesses to feeling extra pressure over Christmas to be tidy, especially as she prefers to host the festivities at her home where she feels ‘safe’.
But sees it as a positive: ‘I enjoy tidying up, it’s a stress relief. I enjoy getting the vacuum out and doing a spot of cleaning.’
Cleaning is a high priority on Lynsey’s list but by doing it during the week means she can spend time with her children – her 14-year-old twin girls and nine-year-old son, and husband – at the weekend.
QUEEN OF CLEAN’S FESTIVE TIPS
Lynsey admits she’s conscious of how many chemicals she uses due to her cleaning habit, and so always tries to find a natural alternative:
KEEP YOUR POTATO SKINS
If your glassware has stubborn water stains, Lynsey advises gently rubbing over them with potato skins to remove the grime and rinse as normal.
‘They will come up as good as new.’
After peeling all the potatoes for the roast, don’t throw away the skins straight away – use them to get rid of watermarks on glass
USE BANANAS TO POLISH
Make sure your cutlery shines by rubbing the inside of a banana skin over your knives and forks,
BANISH THE FRIDGE SMELLS
Your fridge will be busier than usual with different smells in preparation for your show-stopping Christmas dinner, so add a small tub of bicarbonate of soda and place on the middle shelf to keep it odour free.
‘It works as an odour eliminator, all you need is a tiny spoonful in a plastic tub.’
KEEP A DIFFUSER TO HAND
With impending guests, and family and friends potentially staying over, bleach the toilet, put in a clean guest towel and keep plenty of spare toilet roll available.
Finally, leave a diffuser or automatic spray air freshener on a shelf to keep the bathroom smelling good throughout your hectic day.
If you’re fridge is full of items that are particularly smelly, Lynsey advises putting a small pot of bicarbonate of soda in there to banish odours
Keep a plastic tub by the door for guests’ shoes and make space for their coats in the cupboard. And just to be prepared but a blanket over the sofa, which can be washed after guests leave.
GET RID OF CARPET ODOUR
Use a mixture of essential oil and bicarbonate of soda and sprinkle over your rugs to keep them smelling fresh.
Lynsey admits the only day she ever takes a break is Christmas Day, because she preps the day before and has a self-cleaning oven: ‘It’s the only day I don’t put a wash on. Then on Boxing Day I panic, because I haven’t done a wash.’
Although the festive season can sometimes mean guests arriving unannounced, Lynsey says by keeping on top of the cleaning you won’t be caught short trying desperately spruce things up while visitors’ eyes are averted.
However, Lynsey admits she was horrified to learn that just over a third of the population (35 percent) only put most effort into cleaning and tidying on December 25th according to a poll of 2,000 people commissioned by Vorwerk.
‘It is shocking to me. Why would you?,’ she exclaimed.
Lynsey helps her online community tackle their cleaning problems sharing her tips and tricks to keeping their homes tidy
Lynsey explains that she is a queen of multi-tasking and because she works from home, she’s always got a duster to polish the windows during phone calls.
‘Just because you’re on the phone, doesn’t mean you can’t clean!’
Cleaning is even important away from the home for Lynsey, as she admits to taking her cleaning products on trips abroad and even carries her own wine glasses and cutlery in her handbag for when she visits friends.
But she understands that not every one is as keen for cleaning and reluctantly advises anyone considering doing a spot of cleaning as well as cooking on Christmas Day to take a step back.
‘I always think have a few candles burning that will suppress any smells and gives it a homely feeling.
‘And as much as I disagree with this I just think, if you’ve got a big cupboard just chuck everything in there or put it under the bed. If you’ve got guests you don’t want them sitting in clutter.’