Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Busy Girl's Guide to Apartment Cleaning (with Ecover)

Hey, Internet reader. You are finally setting eyes on this blog post that took over one month to write. Since this is a cleaning tutorial post, it was originally going to be very image intensive, but I've decided to streamline it as much as possible because if I delayed it any longer, it felt like I would have to actually pay Julia for all the free stuff she generously sent over. *shy*

I like that most of my posts have longevity in them, and that I still get comments and conversations about them even three years after I post it! Hopefully this will also be one of those epic posts, so here we go!


I don't clean every day, but I do tidy the house every time I come home after work. On special days when the husband comes home late from work, I like to bring out my cleaning supplies and deep cleanse the house. 

1. Get cleaning supplies and your favourite facial mask out 

Besides Ecover cleaning supplies, I also have Febreeze for fabrics, gloves to protect my hands and my facial products. Yes, I do my facial masks while mopping the floor because I believe that my husband doesn't need to see me doing either while he's in the house. *wink*

I also have my long hair rolled up and clipped up "aunty-style" with my fridge tucked away under the pink plaster thingy. I have been listening to audiobooks for many years now, and am currently listening to Simon R. Green's Deathstalker series on my SONY MP3. It's quite riveting and makes the time pass by so fast that I don't feel at all tired while cleaning the house. 

2. Clean room by room 

I live in a two bedroom studio that's less than 1,000 square feet but sometimes, it can get overwhelming just putting things back into place (used socks and receipts amazingly turn up at the strangest places). Start by putting things back into their original room, e.g. putting away your bags, clothes in the laundry basket, towel to hang dry, random make up brush back to your dressing table).

3. Clean from top to bottom, dry to wet

Don't mop the floor and then start dusting your bookshelves, because then your floor will only get dirty again. Wield your feather duster well and dust every surface you can find. Wipe down your fans as well. 

Then bring out the vacuum and suck up all the dirt. I don't really like using my broom on the entire apartment because it feels like all I'm doing is shuffling the dust from one corner to another corner of the house. 

4. Clean the bathroom

Honestly, I used to only clean the throne whenever it looked ew, but am trying to make it a habit of cleaning it nearly every day now. Don't you feel super happy when you sit on a freshly cleaned throne in your bathroom?

This is my new favourite method of cleaning the throne and it's only three minute long! Must watch till the end - I love how she dries her toilet brush.

Ecover Toilet Cleaner - RM14.50
I tested the Ecover Toilet Cleaner only once (since I was using another toilet cleaner brand midway) but found that all you need to do is rim your toilet bowl with the Ecover Toilet Cleaner once, leave it for ten minutes before brushing the bowl and you were done - instant fresh toilet bowl, ladies and gentlemen. 

5. Clean the rest of the bathroom

I feel like once the toilet is clean, everything else is easy - right? I then like to scrub the toilet tiles down and then finish off by giving the toilet floor a good scrub. Finally, I remove all my soap, shampoo and toothbrush from the sink area to wipe down the sink before wiping and re-arranging the products again. Lastly, I like to clean the bathroom mirror. 

Ecover All Purpose Cleaner RM18.90

Mix 50:50 Ecover All Purpose Cleaner with water in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray on a mirror and wipe to enjoy a shiny clean mirror. Spray this concoction on the bathroom sink (or stove or kitchen sink) and wipe down the surface to instantly remove any grime or dirt. Don't forget to wipe your sink pipes as well! 

For extra stubborn stains, poor the Ecover all purpose cleaner on the stain and let it sit for ten minutes. Next, run water over it and very lightly scrub the stain away. 

What I especially like about this cleaner is that I only had to use very little of it and it really is very multipurpose, especially in the kitchen and bathroom. It also didn't have that 'cheap liquid' feeling and my hands didn't dry out even though I forgot to wear my gloves. 

6. Once you clean everything, mop the floor

Ecover Floor Soap, RM19.80
Before I got married, I need to tell you guys that I really didn't know how to mop the floor. In my first few months of marriage, my apartment floor would get stickier and stickier because I kept using too much floor soap. So floor mop virgins - pay attention

Despite what the directions say on the bottle, never ever use one whole cap of floor soap to clean your floors. Using more floor soap won't make your floor extra clean, it will just make it sticky!

As you can see in the picture above, the Ecover Floor Soap bottle still looks fairly full, but I've already used it 5-6 times (my apartment is small). I think this bottle is going to last me for one whole year.

Mix a splash (ok maybe two splashes) of floor soap into your mop bucket and fill it with water. Mop your floor once. 

Then throw away the dirty water and refill the mop bucket with 100% water. Mop your floor all over again with 100% water. Yes. Do it. 

Then turn on all the fans, hop on bed and read some manga while waiting for your clean floor to dry. Congratulations - you've cleaned your house! (most of it, anyway) 

7. How to clean for 15 minutes every day 

I might do proper serious cleaning once a month or twice a month because I simply don't have time. For example, I am going to eat the best crispy Korean chicken in the whole world at 1Utama with my hot married friends tomorrow so I'll only have time to come home, cuddle the dogs and then take a nice hot shower. 

Sooo, I do my best to follow this cleaning schedule I have stuck to my kitchen fridge:

I run through most of the stuff on the left (daily tasks) then divide the rest of the work I need to do as a weekly and monthly chore. Yes, I am a one-woman cleaning machine. 

I also find that if you don't want to clean your house, you'll never clean your house. If you don't want to clean your house, my advise is to not commit to cleaning your house. Why force yourself into doing something you don't want to? Trust me, you'll only end up spending 3 hours watching iKON on YouTube and then feeling guilty for not cleaning when you "said" you would clean. Find something to motivate you to clean and everything else will be easy! 

That's it for this post - do you guys think I should make a video tutorial for cleaning? You can find those on YouTube, right? Honestly, I grew up in a nice house and we always had a maid to do the cleaning so sharing things like this is really meaningful to a spoilt brat me like me who had to learn about housekeeping after nearly three decades of being born. *shy again* 

Mail me to get your own Ecover set

You guys already know that I'm not paid to write or sell anything, right? Pam Writes a Blog is strictly a place where I write down anything I feel like giving advise on for no extra charge. Whenever someone leaves a comment or mails me to thank me for my post, I feel like I win some extra happy points. :) 

Ecover has been kind enough to let me test their products and so as a thank you to them, I am going to buy their products online and mail you guys your own 3 x set of Ecover cleaning products. 

All you need to do is mail me your name, address and telephone number (for the Poslaju guy) at yeepam(a)gmail. In the e-mail subject title, please fill in the blanks: "Pam, the last time I cleaned my house was..." (last week? last month? 2002? I am so curious!)

This giveaway is limited to those living in Malaysia and only 3 winners will be selected. I will edit this post once I've given away all the products! For everybody else, you can also get Ecover products at Village Grocer, Jaya Grocer, B.I.G., Hero supermarkets, Presto supermarkets and Isetan. 


Thank you for the overwhelming support! I've just returned from Sydney and also sent out the last order for the Ecover products. You guys are fast! Congrats to Jia Hui, Kai Pin and Judy for getting the exact 3 x Ecover products I reviewed in this blog post: 

So super happy to receive a thank you e-mail! (^_^) 

Happy Cleaning! 

OK that's it for me today. I am physically and mentally super tired every day these days - Pam the night owl now officially goes to sleep before 11PM and I very nearly had to fight the urge to blog from my bed because we all know that if I did that then midway through writing the blog title, Pam will just turn the Macbook off and charmingly fall asleep~~~ 

But I really love writing! 

I'm heading to Sydney next week and then off to Melbourne in April. Work is going well! 2015 is also the year of moving a lot - I just moved offices, Wewo will be moving his office and then we will also be moving into our brand new apartment this year (touch wood). Can you just see me creating a whole section just on house renovation? 

Oh wait... yes, before I can start a whole serious on home renovation, I need to start regularly blogging again. Heh. OK good night and thank you for reading! 


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