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Denise Van Outen Shares Her Dirty Secrets...

Denise Van Outen Shares Her Dirty Secrets...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 11:53

Mum-of-one Denise gives us the lowdown on her cleaning addiction and shares some of her top tips for a tidy home.

Denise and daughter Betsy

I have a confession to make: I’m a clean-o-holic. I have been for as long as I can remember. There are worse things to be addicted to. You won’t find me in a 12-step meeting sharing stories of over-bleaching any time soon. But my bulging under-sink cupboard and my quest for the best appliances are pretty serious.

So how tidy IS your house?

Very tidy most of the time. I believe a tidy house equals a tidy mind. I like to come home from work and have a clear head. If I come home to a messy house I can’t focus on anything else. I’d rather spend a few minutes dashing around with my marigolds on to make sure everything is clean before I relax.

What it is about cleaning that you like?

I find cleaning really therapeutic. I like to see a glass worktop all shiny, not dusty. I picked up the habit from my nan – she was very house proud and tidy. I spent a lot of time at hers as a kid so I guess it rubbed off on me. 

I am becoming more relaxed the older I get. I used to want my house to look like a show home a few years ago. I loved having friends over as they would always compliment me on how neat and tidy my house was. The only thing was as soon as they walked out of the room I’d be plumping up the cushions on the sofa.

If I have a house party I will start clearing up before everyone has left because I don’t want to be faced with a massive clear up. I’ll get the black bin liners out while everyone is still finishing off the last bits of wine! 

How has having a child affected your “addiction”?

Having my daughter Betsy has meant I have had to be OK with a certain amount of mess. It‘s inevitable that she is going to create some chaos around the house. I kind of enjoy a bit of mess now. I’m open to the odd handprint on the wall - it doesn’t stress me out any more.

She also likes to get really messy when she’s eating - even at 4 and a half! I don't mind. She does “tidy up time” and I’m really proud of that. I think it’s important to teach a child the importance of tidying up from an early age, I certainly don’t want to be clearing up after her when she’s a teenager. I also bought her a toy broom and dustpan and brush when she was three. To my delight she loved it and would help out whenever I swept the floor. We make a good team.

How do you stay on top of work and mummy duties?

I put a wash on every other day as I have Betsy’s school uniform to wash. I love washing and the smell of fresh laundry drying out in the laundry room. When I am just running small washes, my Beko washing machine has a nifty setting that reduces the time and energy required to wash a few clothes. Saving energy and keeping my utility bills down is important to me, so helpful features on my washing machine like Hygiene 20⁰ mean I can wash at a lower temperature – and keep my clothes in perfect shape!

I have lots of late nights. Now Betsy is at school we have a fairly strict routine. She will be in bed by 8pm latest and as soon as she is in bed I have to get everything done. I don’t really get time to sit and watch telly, my time is spent doing the washing, cleaning the house and catching up on emails.

Do you have any cleaning tips we may not know about? 

  • I love my e-cloth - it’s the only thing that cleans my stainless steel fridge and oven.
  • I also soak things in Ace – its really useful for getting stains out.
  • Baby Milton is great to spray on dirty surfaces to clean them.
  • I have a fantastic Beko washing machine, which has a 14 minute quick cycle perfect for cracking through the laundry mountain.
  • An old one, but using white wine to eradicate red wine stains really does work.
  • Heat lemon in water for 30s on high in a microwave to help clean the inside of your microwave (the dirt just wipes off afterwards)

"At Home with Beko" is sponsored by Beko

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