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Spring cleaning tips from Surrey's National Trust houses

PUBLISHED: 15:36 24 November 2011 | UPDATED: 17:01 20 February 2013

At Surrey Life towers we're lucky enough to have some particularly efficient cleaners. The same cannot be said about some of our own homes however. In desperation, we sought out top spring cleaning tips from the experts at the National Trust

While at Surrey Life towers we're lucky enough to have some particularly efficient cleaners, the same cannot be said about some of our own homes. In desperation, we sought out top spring cleaning tips from the experts at the National Trust. Here, the house teamsat Polesden Lacey, in Great Bookham, and Hatchlands Park, in East Clandon(pictured), share 10 ways tomake your house sparkle


Spring cleaning tips from the National Trust team at Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham, near Dorking, Surrey RH56BD



  • Start at the top of the house and work down - dust falls this way so you don't end up having to clean something again.

  • Dust into avacuum cleaner- takes the dust away rather than spreading it around

  • Use a creamy metal polish like autosol that brushes off if it dries in cracks rather than brasso that cements and use a fine layer of wax (Renaissance wax) over the top to prevent tarnish and finger prints.

  • Use a cocktail stick to pick out any old wax from carved furniture, it's amazing how much better it looks

  • To cleancrystal drops on lights and chandeliers mixa solution of meths and distilled water and spray onto a non-fluffy cloth (ex-cotton shirt pieces work well) then wipe over the crystals

  • If your ceramics need more than dusting use a cotton wool swab in a padded sink and avoid any old mends

  • Never brush textiles, always vacuum them through fine netting, especially if they are delicate or have loose parts.

  • Clean silver using foamed up silver dip on a shaving brush, rinse dry with a hairdryer and buff with a sliver cloth

  • Use non fluffy hemmed dusters for dusting smooth surfaces - old shirts work well

  • For rougher surfaces use a paintbrush with the metal feral covered with tape. Hogs hair is fine for substantial surfaces, but use softer pony hair for more delicate items.


Spring cleaning tips from the National Trust team at Hatchlands Park, East Clandon, Guildford, Surrey GU4 7RT



  • Use natural bristle brushes rather than dusters much better at getting into nooks and crannies and they dont catch on splinters.

  • Store silver in Tarnprufe bags, readily available in bigger stores.

  • Use cotton or vinyl gloves when handling metal ornaments skin contains chemicals that can encourage corrosion.

  • Install blinds to keep out direct sunlight and prevent fading.

  • For polishing, the National Trust uses a specially created blend of natural waxes, available through Trust shops.

  • Curtains should be cleaned using a low-suction vacuum cleaner.

  • Never hold delicate ceramics by the handle this is the weakest point.

  • Never immerse precious ceramics in soapy water clean with small swabs of cotton wool dipped in a mild solution of detergent.

  • Dust books individually using a natural bristle brush.

  • Put glass mats under vases on polished or decorated furniture to stop water blanching the wax.


Share your own spring cleaning tips below...

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