When you move away from home for the first time, nobody ever really tells you about the seemingly non-essential cleaning items that you will absolutely need. When I left home for my first year at University, I came equipped with food, bed sheets and saucepans aplenty, but nothing to clean up with. We were lucky, then, that our halls of residence came with a hoover, a mop, and a dustpan and brush. But when we moved into private accommodation, we had to start our own supply of cleaning products.
Trust me when I tell you that it is an absolute chore to make a good decision and choose the right things to clean with. I’ve now lined by cleaning cupboard with what I think are the three essential items you need – as a student, or as someone renting for the first time – to keep your place spick and span.
Russell Hobbs Power Cyclonic Hoover
I know what you’re thinking: really, a hoover?
Yes, really, I am recommending a hoover.
Before I left home for Uni, I’d not have thought much of my family’s vacuum cleaner. It was fine; effective, even. It got the job done. But my mum was forever changing the bag, swapping it out for a new one. That’s an unnecessary expense that could very easily be saved on. The hoover that I use is bagless for that very reason.
All that I have to do, usually after every two uses (that includes hoovering my room, a bathroom, the lounge, kitchen, dining room, hallway and landing), is empty the contents into the bin. Failing to do this doesn’t mean that I can’t use the hoover, but it does make it a lot less powerful. In case you were wondering, the usual suction power is about as good as the average hoover, with ‘min’ and ‘max’ settings for rugs and mats or carpets and tiles.
Unfortunately, Russell Hobbs are no longer selling the one that I own, but I’ve found a similar one, around the price that I paid, that you can buy for yourself via my Amazon affiliate link:
Vileda Flat Magic Mop
A hoover can only do so much for your floors. If you have laminated flooring or tiles, you’ll need a mop to really work every nook and cranny for a super deep clean. During my time as an undergrad student, the landlord provided us with a standard mop – the sort that you wring out by twisting in into a bucket. It was messy and a faff having to fill the bucket and carry it with us wherever we cleaned, plus storing the set was a nightmare in shared housing.
I recently bought the Vileda Magic Mop and, ever since, cleaning has been a dream. There’s no need for a bucket; I simply clean my sink and fill it with hot, soapy water, dab the mop, and wash the floors. The mop comes fitted with a tube that, once cocked, forces the sponge end to snap together, forcing it to automatically wring-out into the middle part of a sink.
One dab of the mop into the water is good enough to clean the floors of my average-sized living room, saving you from constantly retreating to and refilling a bucket, cutting down on overall cleaning time.
I paid around £8 for the mop from Wilkinson’s, and since there’s no product listing on Amazon UK, here’s my affiliate link to refills for the mop head:
Vicloon Telescopic Duster
I know what you’re thinking: how could a duster help me where the small, bristled end of a hoover could not? Well, a typical dusting rag is great for those hard-to-reach places that a hoover can’t always manage, especially if you’re vertically challenged. The problem with a dusting rag, though, is that they’re tough to clean. When you do clean them, you can’t always get them spotless – and risk spreading the dust you’d already collected.
Vicloon’s Microfiber duster is, on the other hand, easy to clean (rinse under warm water), air dries and, so far, hasn’t failed to collect a single spec of dust. It comes with a small dust pan and brush, which I’ve not found a lot of use for, but would be ideal for windowsills and those drawers that we never get round to clearing.
Perhaps its most fascinating feature, and the one that drew me to this duster above all others, is its ability to extend to up to 100 inches. That’s fantastic if you live in a three-storey house, which is very common for students. It’s meant that I no longer struggle to collect all the dust on the ceiling at the very top of my house, giving me peace of mind that there are no longer cobwebs hanging over us as we climb the stairs.
The only downside is that it becomes a little unwieldy at 100 inches long, but this isn’t really an issue when the dust I’m collecting is so high up, meaning guests won’t be able to see if I end up leaving a few specs behind. The dusting head also claims to bend, but I’ve not yet used that feature.
Here’s my Amazon affiliate link, in case you want your purchase to fuel my coffee fund:
Those are the three cleaning products that changed my life. Do you have any recommendations? If so, I’d love to read them. Leave them in the comments below.
To read more about how Amazon affiliate links work, click here.