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When it comes to housework I'm a bit lazy and also find problems with the arthritis in my knees and back. I take my cleaning in easy stages resting between tasks which I do in a haphazard fashion, sometimes cleaning one room at a time but at other times hovering the whole house and then going on to clean the kitchen and bathroom before polishing. This particular weekend I was hoping to have my daughter, son-in-law and my grandson Jack to stay. As it happened Jack has a cold so my Herculean efforts were not appreciated by anyone except myself. Having a young baby in the house requires a high degree of cleanliness and a germ-free environment so I started the cleaning of my two-up, two-down terraced house on Wednesday knowing that it would wear me out. My major problem apart from cleaning the carpets is washing and polishing surfaces, I swear my house is a dust-magnet although it could be because my front door opens straight out on a busy street. With this in mind and a vague memory of a recent advert on the television I went armed with shopping-trolley in tow to find some easy cleaning products.
I perused the shelves in my local Kwiksave for an all-purpose cleaner instead of my usual bathroom, kitchen and surface cleaner. Normally I use sugar-soap on my doors and window-ledges a separate spray cleaner for bathroom and kitchen and a good deal of thick bleach. This time I bought the bleach but instead of my usual Flash® sprays my eyes were attracted to a bright yellow package, very similar to baby-wipes. Getting out my reading glasses as I had glimpsed the familiar Flash logo I read on to find these wipes are a new Flash product an all-purpose wet wipe that can be used on most surfaces. Next to the logo was a picture of lemons on a branch with a circle underneath saying "Naturals, cleaning power with natural extracts". There were also the words "60 Regular wipes =30 large perforated wipes". Intrigued by now I wondered were these meant for just kitchen and bathroom so turned it over to read the small print. Actually it was quite large print and underneath this were pictures of different surfaces it could be used on. These and the description reassured me that I had found a solution to carrying around a bucket of soapy water! The pictures were of kitchen, bathroom, doors, the interior of cars, garden furniture and a chair and table. That was sufficient for me I could read the instructions for use afterwards so off I trotted to the till and paid my 99p for one packet (I thought I would test it first).
I may sound like a sad person getting all excited over a cleaning product but I had to try it out straight away. Just like baby wipes there is an oval opening on the front of the packet and a little arrow for idiots like me to know where to open it (it does fit rather flush to the surface). Mmmmm this was nice, a delicate whiff of lemons wafted out reminding me of the smell in some Greek apartments on holidays (advertisers please note the comparison). Okay, it had passed the smell test so on to the instructions. I won't bore you with an exact description (go and buy your own), but I did like the fact that you can use these straight from the pack: wipe surfaces to remove dirt, no need to rinse or wipe dry. "Hah!" I thought, "they didn't bank on my mucky doors and the fiddly bits I have everywhere." I felt reasonably confident these would be okay on kitchen and bathroom surfaces but a bit reluctant to try them on my computer desk and shelves. So back to the instructions to find out that these are suitable for hard washable surfaces but a small area should be tested first. I had already gathered these would be unsuitable for fabrics (I do have some grey cells in working order) but there is a warning plain to read.
Should I use rubber gloves or chance it, all the instructions say is to wash hands after use (there is a bit about not using for personal hygiene but I think this is just a caution). With a deft flick of the wrist I pull out one wipe that looks rather small a bit like a tissue and proceed to try it out on my computer desk. Well 'stone the crows' one quick wipe later and my desk top is gleaming even getting into the fiddly corners but now my wipe looks like the bottom of a mine. My plastic bin is waiting for me, nope you can't flush these down the loo, heaven forbid it! I'm a hard person to convince though so even though my kitchen and bathroom are calling for attention I just have to try one of these on my nicotine stained woodwork. The hardest test of all since I get sticky finger marks around the door-handle as well. I don't believe it! One wipe cuts through the stains like a hot knife through butter. I stand back, take a look and try another wipe by now I can see the original door was once white. Even my brass door-handle is shining. One test I hadn't tried was whether these wipes would fall apart when confronted by vigorous rubbing on sticky patches. They hold together even after clogged with dirt but I tried to tear one anyway (I did say I'm hard to convince). I pulled, I tugged but still they held together until finally I was beaten.
With two filthy wipes aimed for the bin I try not to think of the state of my lungs. Hastily moving on my coffee table gets the same treatment as well as my gas fire and marble surround. My B&Q wooden surround responds in a similar manner. By now wipes are flying everywhere along the bookcases, round my TV and stereo-system and even my imitation antique drinks globe, is there nothing these wipes can't do?
Right then Flash lets see how you handle my kitchen especially those cupboards that rarely see the light of day? Full marks once again and now I'm going to put my feet up for a rest. It's recommended to keep the opened wipes in a protective-box and reseal after use. I'm a bit confused about this as it's a packet not a box but it seals nicely and under the sink it goes for tomorrow's testing.
Thursday morning dawns and I get going some time later, now it's the bathroom, which needs attention. I'd already put disinfectant down the loo and a drop in the sink but missed the bath out as I was using it later. My bathroom suite is white with gold taps but the use of strong bleach was wearing away the gold on the taps. Once more I do my party-trick and out comes just one wipe, really good in my estimation as once I managed to pull out about a dozen baby-wipes in one go! I use just one wipe on the sink and another on the toilet with it's highly -polished wooden seat.
Now I am getting into the swing of things I choose to wear rubber gloves, as there are my Venetian blinds to clean as well as the tiles. I also have a large chest of drawers painted white which needs some attention as well as my slatted airing cupboard doors. By now I am about half way through the pack but I've used it on every room in the house apart from own bedroom, which will not be seen for the weekend. I'm tired out but all my surfaces are clean and on Saturday I will be doing another quick clean before my guests arrive. The whole house smells fresh and clean and the lemon smell is delightful. I feel quite proud of myself and my little helper," Flash wipes. "
The rest of the housework was hard going with my one cat moulting and her white fluffy fur everywhere, I was running out of energy fast with no time for the elbow grease involved in cleaning my surfaces so the wipes were a godsend. In conclusion I would recommend these as there are few surfaces these wouldn't tackle. Even my radiators got a clean and that is nothing short of a miracle. My guests didn't arrive but I now know that with a minimum amount of effort I can keep the house clean so I'm off to my local shop while these are still on offer and I'm going to be saving money in future.
I've only checked Tesco for the price and this retails at £1.44, still a bargain for everyday use and ideal for travelling when you need to know that your accommodation is citrus fresh.