I'm a self-employed cleaner – the quick fixes to make your house sparkling in minutes & the hacks no one knows about | The Sun

Is there any worse feeling than someone spontaneously deciding to pop round your house when you haven't had a chance to clean up?

Well, Ann Russell – a self-employed cleaner – has offered the perfect quick fix tips to help clean several rooms in your house in a matter of minutes – and the handy hacks you might not know about.

The TikTok sensation, who is affectionately named 'The TikTok Auntie' by commenters, has risen to fame thanks to her informative videos which answer people's biggest cleaning dilemmas.

Now, she has exclusively shared extracts from her new book, 'How to Clean Everything: A practical, down to earth guide for anyone who doesn't know where to start,' with Fabulous.


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Quick Fix

Start by opening the windows wide. Plump cushions and straighten or fold throws.

Stack magazines and books neatly and vacuum the floor. Remove both rubbish and any washing up.

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If the sofa looks comfortable and inviting and the floor reasonably clear, then the whole room will look better. Close the windows. Spray polish or cleaner on the door and clean it – the fresh scent is then noticeable as people walk through the door. Clean any obvious mirrors.

Things You Might Not Have Tried

Ring marks on polished wood look shabby.

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There are various proprietary formulas that work well, my most reliable one is HG Meuballine, but the old-fashioned trick of rubbing a raw shelled nut (try walnut) dipped in fine ash (cigar ash is the one they suggest – pure snobbery) over the ring mark is effective. In a pinch, a drop of cooking oil rubbed in well sometimes does the trick.

If you have an empty space, try filling the wall with art rather than the floor with furniture.

This makes the room much easier to keep clean and a carefully curated collection is very pleasing. It can upgrade your living space without creating clutter.

A collection of plants on a windowsill can give privacy without needing screens or nets.


Quick Fix

First, open the windows. Change pillowcases, smooth sheets and make the bed.

Put any washing into the hamper, hide clutter in the wardrobe or shove under the bed. Clean the mirror and run a vacuum over the floor.

Close the windows, then turn low-level lamps on and overhead lights off.

Things You Might Not Have Tried

If you are not a restless sleeper, then use a top sheet under the duvet, it’s half the amount of fabric to wash and means you can buy a really lovely duvet cover and wash it twice a year. But this doesn’t work well if you thrash around at night.

For those of you with awkward bunks and beds, there is an all-in-one duvet with cover version, which I believe are sold by Marks & Spencer.

Americans use them and call them comforters – much to the confusion of those who use duvets. But as you can put the whole thing in the washing machine, they are much easier if you struggle with covers.

Especially if your child gets inside the cover, then falls out of bed and sleeps suspended in their makeshift hammock. Which has happened to mine several times. They then wake at 5am with banshee wails of distress. Usually when you have a hangover.

Make sure your bedroom gets cold overnight. We sleep far better if the room is cooler than when we are up and about. I feel the cold terribly so I get into a pre-warmed bed and turn the electric blanket off.

Then by around 11pm, the room is really quite cold. The heating then kicks in just before I awake; if not, I scramble into a thick dressing gown and slippers to warm up.

Our bodies naturally drop their temperature while we sleep, as essential meatsuit maintenance proceeds, so keeping yourself too warm can interfere with this. It can be why some people sleep so badly in summer when the outside air doesn’t cool off enough.


Quick Fix

Get rid of clutter, bin everything you won’t be using, stand all bottles neatly upright, clean the sink, polish the taps, and put a squirt of cleaner into the loo.

Wipe any visible marks. This makes the room look cleaner in just a few minutes.

Things You Might Not Have Tried

Keep a small bucket or flexi tub in a corner with the basic cleaning kit to hand.

You’re more likely to use it if it’s close to hand. If your bathroom mirror fogs up, then put a drop of liquid soap onto a dry cloth and polish the mirror with that – it does help.


I left this until last as not everyone has a hall, and depending on your lifestyle, it can be a dumping ground for shoes and bikes or a wasteland of unclaimed post.

Quick Fix

If you can lose most of the coats, great, if not, hang them neatly and tidy enough to give a clear path into the living room. Shove clutter on any hall table into a bowl or a drawer.

Wipe dirty finger patches quickly with white spirit and polish with spray polish. Leave a lamp lit to make sure you don’t trip, but turn the overhead light off.

Things You Might Not Have Tried

It is often quicker to use a dustpan and brush to sweep stairs than to use the vacuum.

Wear rubber gloves to pull hair and dust free from the carpet.

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Use a mirror or two in order to throw light into a dingy hallway. Apart from enabling you to double check your hair on leaving, they can transform the space.

How to Clean Everything by Ann Russell is available now (Headline Home, £12.99)

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