A CLEANING expert who individually tests and hand-picks all cleaning products before they hit the shelves in Wilko has revealed her top five budget buys – and they're all under £5.
While we've all heard of Mrs Hinch and Marie Kondo, there's one cleaning influencer you've probably never heard of – Nicola Masling.
She's Wilko’s senior cleaning technologist – and handpicks tomorrow’s must-have cleaning products to take pride of place on the high-street store's shelves.
From stain removers to disinfectant, part of the role involves the cleaning-obsessed 33-year-old, from Sheffield, handpicking and testing products at Wilko HQ.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous Digital, she's shared everything you'll ever need to know about cleaning – from her top five budget buys to the miracle £1 product that'll remove stains in an instant.
TOP FIVE PRODUCTS UNDER £5
The first item that's got Nicola's seal of approval is Wilko's 'Plastic Free Antibacterial Lemon & Mandarin Surface Wipes,' which retail at just 75p.
"Nothing better for wiping surfaces down," she says.
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And if it's "super affordable and effective laundry gel" you're after, the cleaning whizz recommends the £3 biological Fuchsia and Acai Berry Laundry Gel 33 Washes 1L.'
Wilko’s in-house expert also praises the £1 'Fuchsia and Acai Berry Washing Up Liquid,' adding that it will "last for weeks," along with the £1 'Blue Water Rim Block Twin Pack' to help keep the toilet fresh.
Finally, for anyone on a budget, the senior cleaning technologist advises snapping up the 4-pack of 'Dish Cloths,' which again, are only £1.
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"Great value, machine washable, soft and strong," she notes.
If you're looking to get your bathroom mirrors streak-free, then Nicola says shaving foam, which costs just £1.25, is the perfect product for the job.
"It'll also help mirrors to stay almost completely clear next time you have a hot bath or shower," she says.
"Similarly, after you’ve cleaned your stainless steel hob or splashback, put a dab of baby oil on a clean cloth and rub the surface down to get a smear-free shine."
Bicarbonate of soda
The cleaning whizz advises deodorising carpets, upholstered furniture and even pet beds by sprinkling sprinkle bicarbonate of soda, which is priced at just £1.75.
"Leave it for 15 minutes, and then vacuum it up thoroughly – job done!" she says.
To clean your air fryer drawer, Nicola suggests popping a dishwasher tablet in the basket with some hot water.
"It'll lift the grease off easily," she says.
CHEAP STAIN REMOVAL TRICKS
With the school holidays in full swing, chances are your little ones will be getting muddy playing with friends or out in the garden.
But according to Nicola, there are several "miracle products" that'll help get rid of stains in an instant – including washing up liquid.
Available for as little as just £1, the cleaning pro says: "It helps to remove ink stains and permanent marker from hard surfaces."
Feather dusters are a waste of time and don’t actually remove dust. It's much better to use a reusable damp cloth or microfibre duster, as feather dusters will just move the dust from one surface to another
Nicola is also a huge fan of Oxi powder, with Wilko's version priced at a very reasonable £2.
"It'll remove the majority of stains, including sweat," she explains.
MISTAKES TO AVOID
Wilko’s in-house cleaning expert urges people not to mix products together to make cleaning solutions themselves.
"Cleaning products are a mixture of various chemicals and should always be used as instructed, so always check the pack information thoroughly before use," she warns.
"Just because two products say they clean the same kind of surfaces, it doesn’t mean they’ll do a better job mixed together.
"This can actually have the opposite effect."
She goes on to say that combining certain products can cause dangerous chemical reactions that put your health at risk.
"For example, when bleach and toilet cleaner are mixed together it causes a toxic chlorine gas that can cause serious health issues," she says.
CLEANING MYTHS DISPELLED
According to Nicola, you need to ditch your feather dusters.
"Feather dusters are a waste of time and don’t actually remove dust," she says.
"It's much better to use a reusable damp cloth or microfibre duster, as feather dusters will just move the dust from one surface to another."
After you’ve cleaned your stainless steel hob or splashback, put a dab of baby oil on a clean cloth and rub the surface down to get a smear-free shine
She goes on to say that while it’s commonly believed that bleach can clean everything, it shouldn't be your go-to for everything.
"For example, it won’t effectively remove grease," the cleaning expert explains.
And while many people think using more laundry detergent helps get your clothes cleaner, Nicola points out that excessive suds can actually damage your washing machine.
"It can also damage the pump and drain, and it can actually re-deposit soil onto your clothing," explains Nicola.
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"This can leave behind a sticky residue that attracts more bacteria and dirt.
"So, using more detergent can be counterproductive."
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