If you’re like most people, the very mention of the words “spring cleaning” makes you want to dive under the covers and hope for six more weeks of winter. Decluttering, doing a deep clean of your whole house, knocking off all those cobwebs to get your outdoor area ready for the warmer weather… we all know spring cleaning is a great idea, a fresh start to welcome the warmer weather (and discover horrible half-eaten apples left under the sofa by the baby, as I did the other day) but getting it done isn’t always so fun. However, you CAN make spring cleaning much more bearable, and today I’m sharing the tips of none other than green cleaning products expert and Murchison-Hume founder and CEO, Max Kater, a mother of two.
When I think of Max Kater, I have in mind the ‘original’ green cleaning products mastermind. She was onto this stuff LONG before most people were even aware that a ton of commercial cleaning products can have chemical nasties in them. She actually started Murchison-Hume when she realised that her youngest son had inherited her allergic sensitivities to common cleaning and bath products. His skin would react even to the products on the market that were labelled “eco-friendly”.
The crux came when Max pulled Charlie out of the bath she had just cleaned one day – his poor skin was red from the waist down, exactly on the water line. Max vowed to find a safe, plant-based cleaning product that worked, and when she didn’t, she decided to make her own!
Like many people who start a hugely successful business, it all began when Max saw a niche, and since its conception in 2011, Murchison-Hume is a massive company with an library of incredible safe, plant-based products, and they’ve expanded to the U.S, where Max and her family are now based.
If you follow my Instagram or have even just seen a few of our room makeovers on this blog; you might have picked up on my love for Murchison-Hume’s very pretty amber-tinted bottles. These are cleaning and beauty products that look so nice you actually don’t mind leaving their iconic brown bottles out on display – they make your room look better!
But better yet their products actually work, and they smell good enough to drink (but don’t, even though they’re made from non-toxic ingredients). Our laundry cupboard is full of Murchison-Hume products, and even our four-year-old son uses them – he loves to wipe down the benchtops and cupboards for me with his rag and the Counter Intelligence Spray. And because the products are non-toxic, I feel a little less guilty about the child slavery being practised in this house. (I’m KIDDING. I never felt guilty in the first place). But seriously, I think it’s good to try to get kids involved with chores when they’re little, and he loves that I let him use a specific ‘grown-up’ cleaning product. (We have a rule in my house – he is sometimes allowed to have screen time while the baby has her nap, but he has to clean up first – it’s a win-win!)
I have also always liked the Murchsion Hume company ethos. Their products are 100% cruelty-free, palm oil free (you can read about their ingredients on their site – they’re very transparent – and their containers are made from glass and recyclable PET plastic, with many products designed to be refilled and reused. The products make nice gift ideas. And the MH team are really nice people to boot! I’m a fan.
So, back to spring cleaning. “A good seasonal deep clean and clear-out gives back in countless ways that actually make your life better,” says Max. “But the hardest part is knowing where to start.” So today she’s sharing her easy-to-follow tips to help you navigate your seasonal cull and clean. “You can get it all done without getting overwhelmed and at the end you’ll be rewarded with a happier, healthier and more stress-free home,” she says.
AND if you need the perfect dose of motivation, Murchison-Hume are very generously giving one lucky House Nerd the most epic spring cleaning prize pack!
You can score every single MH product pictured here – make sure you check it out at the end of the post. I can guarantee that even the most reluctant cleaner won’t mind doing some cleaning when it’s with products that smell as amazing as these!
TIPS FOR EASY SPRING CLEANING – FROM MURCHISON-HUME CEO MAX KATER
1. Step one. Get your cleaning kit together. Everyone knows that a job is easier when you have the right tools. We recommend our Clean Starter Kit plus some specialty cleaners for furniture and stainless steel. A few good brushes, mops and lint-free cleaning cloths will help too.
Try and keep everything together in an organised cleaning caddy. You might like to make it easy on yourself by keeping a small one under every sink, so you can easily maintain it and don’t have to lug one around all the time. (Murchison-Hume also have these great bamboo caddies – I have one under my laundry sink – Maya).
2. Now. Let’s set the mood. We highly recommend cleaning to music. It just makes everything more fun and feel less like hard work!
3. Tackle the big jobs first, that means windows. The thing about windows is that you don’t really see them…you feel them. Once they are done, everything looks brighter, more cheerful and just…better. If possible, choose a cloudy day (or early morning) to tackle the windows, as a hot sun can dry them faster than you can, leaving those nasty streaks. Once you are inside you can take it room by room.
4. Work from top to bottom.
Start with a general tidy up.
Open the windows. Even if it’s chilly outside, all rooms benefit from a blast of fresh air!
Bang cushions together and drag them outside if it’s sunny.
Vacuum under the sofas and move things around. It’s amazing where dust can accumulate! You should be good and warm by now.
5. Dusting down: Once the cushions have had a good vacuum and airing, spritz all the surfaces with our Furniture & Upholstery Cleaner and wipe them down with a clean, lint-free towel.
After dusting, it’s time to strip the beds completely bare and let the mattresses and pillows breathe a bit. You can use our furniture cleaner on them too, just let air dry before making them again. It’s a good idea to have at least two of everything for each bed (including mattress & pillow protectors) so there is always one set ready for service while the other is being laundered.
6. Scrub your surfaces. The kitchen and bathrooms will be your biggest challenge (but also your biggest pay-off area). Start by removing all of the towels and throwing them in the laundry. Carefully remove everything off the counters and give them all a good scrub.
7. De-clutter. If like us you have zero patience for trying to find something you need, your favourite seasonal activity will be re-organising the drawers & cupboards. Throw out all the half-empty shampoo bottles and out of date medications.
Check the junk and utility drawers and toss out dried up pens, used batteries and all of the assorted stuff that’s clogging your life.
Finish with the mirrors and stainless surfaces. Once your reflective surfaces are good and gleaming, you are nearly done. (The Murchison Hume team – and I – loved the Marie Kondo show Tidying Up on Netflix – make sure you check it out if you’re after some decluttering motivation! You won’t be able to help yourself).
8. Do the floors last. Dirty floors, like dirty windows aren’t immediately obvious, but you really do feel the difference when they are clean! For the best results, you’ll want to sweep or vacuum first before mopping.
Please don’t make the rookie mistake of boxing yourself into a corner. Clear the floor as much as possible by removing small furniture, trashcans, and rugs before you start. Work from the farthest corner to your exit.
We don’t even bother with a traditional sponge mops anymore. A good floor cleaner in a trigger spray mop is much easier and faster than traditional mopping.
Make yourself a hot cup of tea and leave it just outside the room you are working in. You’ll be done before it cools.
9. Stand back and admire your handiwork. Reward yourself with a nice hot bath or shower and your skin will be glowing from your exertions!
Now that you’re done, the house will be clean and fresh and so much more comfortable. Happy Spring!
WIN! The Ulimate Murchison-Hume Spring Cleaning Prize Pack
To get one lucky House Nerd in a spring cleaning mood, Murchison Hume are kindly giving away the most amazing army of their cleaning products. One lucky nerd will score all of these beautiful products for their home.
Classic Six Set
• Bamboo Caddy (RRP $30)
• 500ml Boys’ Bathroom Cleaner (Original Fig – RRP $14)
• 500ml Premium Glass & Mirror Polish (Original Fig – RRP $14)
• 500ml Spit & Polish Stainless Steel Cleaner (Original Fig – RRP $14)
• 500ml Everyday Furniture & Upholstery Cleaner (Original Fig – RRP $14)
• 500ml Counter Intelligence All-Surface Spray (Original Fig – RRP $14)
• 500ml Effortless Floor Cleaner (Original Fig – RRP $14)
For The Kitchen
• Porcelain Tray (RRP $20)
• Signature Amber Glass Bottle Heirloom Dish Soap (Australian White Grapefruit – RRP $40)
• Superlative Hand Soap (Japanese Quince – RRP $20)
• Velvet Glove Hand Cream (Japanese Quince – RRP $25)
For The Laundry
• Porcelain Tray (RRP $20)
• Everything Laundry Soap (Basil | Mandarin | Kale – $RRP $25)
• Garment Groom (Australian White Grapefruit – RRP $14)
• Porcelain Laundry Cup (RRP $15)
You can enter in one of three easy ways:
If you’re entering on Instagram:
Follow House Nerd @housenerd and Murchison-Hume @murchisonhume and tag a friend for entry. One friend, one entry, five friends, five entries… you get the idea.
If you’re entering on Facebook:
Follow House Nerd @housenerd and Murchison-Hume @murchisonhume and tag a friend for entry. One friend, one entry, five friends, five entries.
OR just leave a comment with your own cleaning or decluttering tip on this blog post with your full name (and don’t forget to include your email address, which stays private).
Winner drawn Friday 18th October and notified by email. Entry open to residents of Australian only. Good luck! Maya x