Glitter, playdoh and felt tip pen. If you were to turn up on my doorstep unannounced I guarantee you would find one or all of these in places they shouldn’t be. In fact, even if I was expecting you, you’d still find one or all three somewhere you shouldn’t.

The summer holidays might be nothing but a distant memory but our living room is still bearing the scars of being a glorified playground for six weeks, and with half term looming it’s time to get on top of things before further chaos ensues. Having a good clear-out also allows you to check for any unwanted pests and call out experts like or similar at the first sign of trouble.

Essential cleaning hacks for lazy mums

The thing is, we all know cleaning with kids in the house is virtually impossible – bordering on totally pointless – so if there’s an easy option I’ll take it.

Cleaning meme

I’m a big fan of hacks in any shape or form, so when the cleaning experts at Vax got in touch with a list of quick and easy tips for mums like me I couldn’t resist. Here’s what they have to say:

Essential cleaning hacks for lazy mums

1. Use toothpaste to remove crayon and pen marks from walls. Rub white toothpaste onto the marks with a dry muslin and keep rubbing until they disappear. For biro, blast with an aerosol hairspray to dissolve the ink and wipe clean.

2. Use vegetable oil to get rid of sticker gunk. If they’ve stuck stickers somewhere you’d rather they didn’t peel them off and put vegetable oil on the residue. Then simply scrape it off with an old credit card or something blunt.

3. Wipes, wipes and more wipes! We all know it’s possible to clean an entire house with baby wipes – I keep a pack in every room so they’re always close to hand. You can never have too many.

4. Invest in a carpet washer. We’ve got a Vax Dual Power Pro carpet cleaner and it’s absolutely brilliant. Think a standard upright vacuum cleaner, only slightly larger and with a water tank.

Vax Dual Power Pro review 1

It’s got wash and rinse functions with a DualTECHTM cleaning system to agitate the carpet fibres and lift deep down dirt, and there’s also a ‘boost’ button on the handle for really stubborn stains.

Vax Dual Power Pro review 2

It couldn’t be simpler to use – with picture instructions you literally pop solution in one side of the water tank, fill the other side with warm water and you’re ready to go. The solution foams as it’s being applied (this is really quite satisfying to see!) and the excess is drawn into a dirty water tank which you click out of the holder and throw away later (I’ll spare you a picture of that, the contents of our carpet was grim).

Vax Dual Power Pro review 3

Because of the oscillating brushes stains are lifted out of the carpet in minutes and there’s quick drying technology so there’s no need to vacate the house for hours on end.

There are also hand tools for stairs and upholstery – which even got red felt tip out of the crevices of our button-backed sofa – and a hard floor squeegee tool.

I’m not sure why I haven’t thought to get one of these before – Vax’s model is a breeze to use and just what you need after birthday parties when there’s chocolate sponge trodden into the carpet and squash spillages everywhere. The carpet washer costs £299.99 but it is currently on offer for £179.96 on Vax’s website, and with a six year guarantee I think this is really great value for money.

5. Get to know your vacuum cleaner tools. Ever wondered what all those extra nozzles that came with your vacuum cleaner are for? The crevice tool will remove trapped gunk from down the side of sofas so there’s no need for the dreaded Scraping Of Hands.

6. Vinegar and water. Banish sticky handprints from windows, glass, mirrors and shiny surfaces with one-part vinegar to three parts water in a spray bottle. Wipe clean with a microfiber cloth and bingo!

7. Invest in a steam cleaner. If you have hard floors rather than carpet a steam cleaner will shift the really stuck-on dirt. They’re also great for removing grease and grime from all sorts of hard to reach places. (Vax is currently giving away a free steam cleaner worth £59.99 with each order of a Vax Dual Power Pro).

8. Keep a cordless vacuum cleaner to hand. When the craft box comes out leaving a trail of glitter in its wake the best approach to cleaning is little and often. Just whip it out and zap the mess when needed.

9. Drop oil onto radiators. A few drops of geranium or lavender oil on your radiators will keep rooms smelling fresh for weeks on end.

10. Buy a pressure washer. If you’ve got a garden save time scrubbing the outside toys by blasting them with a pressure washer instead. It’s the quickest way to clean the dirt off everything, plus it’s quite therapeutic!

Is your house still bearing school holiday scars? Are you planning on having a blitz before half term? If you have any cleaning tips I’d love to hear them!

We were very kindly sent the Vax Dual Power Pro carpet cleaner free of charge for the purpose of review. As always all opinions are my own, and based on my own honest experience.

Linking up with…

Family Fever
A Cornish Mum
Mr and Mrs T Plus Three