LOCKDOWN has sent best pals Stacey Solomon and Sophie Hinchcliffe (AKA Mrs Hinch) into cleaning overdrive.
The new flurry of tips emanating from Essex got us thinking, who is the ultimate hack Queen: cleanfluencer Mrs Hinch, or Loose Woman’s self-confessed neat freak Stacey Solomon?
We take a look back at their top tricks and tips and give them each a genius score based on speed, cost, ease and practicality.
So, who will clean up?
Who has the time to painstakingly wipe away all those pesky crumbs every time someone makes a piece of toast?
Not even Mrs Hinch, but she does have a much speedier solution: hoovering her worktops.
Why didn’t we think of that before?!
But unless you’ve got a small cordless vacuum for the job, an old-fashioned cloth might be easier after all.
Stacey has maximised every (H)inch of her kitchen by having plinth drawers fitted in the dead space under her kitchen units.
It could cost a few bob if you’re no DIY expert but it’s a great solution if you’re tight on storage space – or simply need somewhere to hide that secret stash of treats!
You say you’re bored in isolation, but did you wash your make-up sponges yet?
If you’re forever putting it off (you’re not the only one), you can finally cross it off your to-do list thanks to Mrs Hinch.
She pops her beauty blenders into a sock, ties it with a hairband, and chucks it in the wash.
There’s no excuse now…
If your make-up collection is a bottomless pit of gloopy nail varnish, dried out mascara, and dozens of half-used lipsticks, there is a better way.
Stacey took two (clean) oven racks to reorganise her make-up drawer so everything is clearly visible and won’t slowly sink into the abyss.
There is a flaw though: she could no longer cook more than two things at a time.
So,what comes first, make-up or food?
In a spin
Household appliances like dishwashers and washing machines are self-cleaning, right? WRONG.
Mrs Hinch recently shared how she cleans out the drawer of her washing machine with a SonicScrubber (or what appears, to the untrained eye, to be an electric toothbrush).
Yes, we can all agree the washing machine drawer is a bit manky, but do we really care?
Probably not enough, sorry Mrs Hinch.
Stacey Solomon was inundated with questions from fans after revealing her top laundry tip: soap nuts.
They’re actually berries dubbed natural laundry detergent and the star swears by them for keeping her sons’ eczema from flaring up. Cheap? Tick (about 5p a wash).
Eco-friendly? Tick (they’re reusable and biodegradable).
Smell divine? Tick (Stacey says so anyway).
If you have a metal shower basket (or live with someone who uses kirby grips), chances are you’ll have to tackle rust stains in your bathroom at some point.
But before you start scrubbing away in vain, grab a pot of Mrs Hinch’s fave 89p cleaning paste The Pink Stuff.
It’s one of her ‘Narnia’ cupboard staples as it’s so versatile, and it will save you a lot of elbow grease when it comes to this.
A poorly-placed hairdryer is like a potential wrecking ball – it can knock over all your products in one fell swoop, and you’ve probably tripped over its cable more times than you care to remember.
A much safer and tidier solution is Stacey’s simple bathroom storage crate idea.
She had one lying around in the garage and covered the scuff marks with TipEx, then hung it up using easy and removeable command hooks – great if you’re renting your home and can only make semi-permanent changes.
Mrs Hinch wouldn’t fit so much into her ‘Narnia’ cupboards without a bit of magic – or , it seems, a Lakeland bakeware organiser.
After splashing out on a new set of grey (obvs) cooking pans, the mum-of-one revealed her change of pan – instead of storing them all on top of each other with the biggest on the bottom, she stacked them in size order along a rail.
What a game-changer.
How do you like your potatoes?
Roasted, sliced and fried, or a la Stacey – in packets hanging from a curtain rail in your kitchen cupboard?
Top marks for creativity, but who wants to add ‘rearrange the colour-coordinated crisp rack’ onto their list of daily household chores?
Air wicks and chill
Mrs Hinch swears by pipe insulation or empty loo rolls (whichever is easier to find in these strange times) to jazz up limp and lifeless living room curtains.
The Instagram cleaning sensation simply slides evenly-sized pieces on to the curtain rail behind each pleat.
The result? Your curtains hang perfectly – and instantly look more expensive.
If the sight of knotted wires makes your blood pressure shoot up, Stacey’s peg board hack for her messy TV cabinet could change your world (and extend your life!).
The star sorted through a tangle of cables before taking of the cupboard doors to slot in the peg board.
She used various attachments to keep memory cards and gaming devices neatly off the floor – and even managed to do the whole thing before baby Rex woke up from his nap!
Mum knows best
Art projects don’t actually have to end in paint-splattered walls – who knew?
Mrs Hinch blew parents’ minds with her mess-free painting activity that only required a sheet of A4 paper, sticky tape, cling film, and paint.
After Sophie covered colourful blobs on the paper and carefully taped it down, baby Ronnie was able to create his first masterpiece without getting any paint on himself, his surroundings, or his mother.
A modern-day miracle.
There are few things more stressful for parents than a child who won’t eat.
Step up Stacey’s hack for fuss-free mealtimes: she freezes pre-made sandwiches for her boys, then uses cookie cutters to transform them into sea creatures after she takes them out.
As well as saving time, defrosted bread is easier to shape than fresh – what more do you knead?!
The results are in…
Mrs Hinch = 25
Stacey = 24
It was no clean sweep, but Mrs Hinch inched her way to the top with her mind-blowing toilet roll trick for luxe-looking curtains and no-mess art project for kids that will have scores of homeschooling parents breathing a sigh of relief during lockdown.
But when it comes to meticulous organisation, there’s no competition for Stacey, who successfully employs everything from oven trays to tension rods to keep her cupboards in ship shape.
In reality, they’re a very evenly matched pair – it’s no wonder they’re best friends!
In other Stacey news, the mum of three says she's not shaving her legs in lockdown and compares herself to the abominable snowman.
She also gave boyfriend Joe a makeover including fake lashes and a very orange look.
And finally, this is how to disinfect your home just like Mrs Hinch during the coronavirus crisis.
Stacey Solomon helps friend Mrs Hinch organise her cupboard on Instagram
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