Cleaning Tips Fit For A Queen!

Jun 26, 2020Hayden

As we all know, the British Royal Family are people too! Yes, even the palaces get dirty occasionally, and it's the job of the royal housekeepers to keep the palaces spic and span. How do they do it? Well, Barbara Allred, who was the head housekeeper at Sandringham for ten years, has recently begun to tell all about keeping your house royally clean! She runs a service in England called The English Manner that trains butlers and housekeepers, but here are some tips for free! Let's get started! 

High Standards

It's important to understand just how high the standards are for royal cleaning. After all, this isn't cleaning for a hotel or a normal house. It's for royalty. When Barbara Allred is teaching you to clean a house, she really means it!

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One editor recently spent an entire day with Allred just learning how to properly make a bed. This is not work for the faint-hearted or a person who isn't incredibly detailed. As Barbara said, "When you're working for the top, standards have to be 110 percent, not just 100 percent."

Cleaning The Microwave

Microwave ovens are dirty, even in royal palaces. Allred says to use a lemon to freshen them up. Take one lemon and cut it in half. Put it in a dish with some water and microwave it for three minutes, then wipe it clean.

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The lemon will loosen any food particles and the steam will make it easier to clean. It's hard to imagine anyone in the palace using a microwave for any reason. Apparently they do, and that's how Allred used to clean them.

Hard Water Deposits

Hard water is a problem everywhere, including in the British royal palace, apparently. For hard water deposits on chrome surfaces (like shower handles), Allred suggests making a paste of two tablespoons of salt and one teaspoon of vinegar.

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Use a toothbrush and cotton swabs to lightly scrub stained areas, and wipe it clean afterward. Take a terry cloth towel or a chamois and use it to shine up the surfaces. If it doesn't go away, the area might have to be done again.

The Royal Throne

The toilet can be especially tricky. Allred says to keep a special pair of gloves and sponges just for the toilet. She also advises against using anything made with bleach because that will take the shine off of the porcelain. 

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Manually clean under the rim with a product designed for limescale. She also says that toilet paper should always be put on facing out. If you want to prove that the bathroom has been done right, fold the edges into a little point.

Mold And Mildew

If the toilet has mold or mildew, some extra work will be needed to get it right. Allred says to mix equal parts of lemon juice and baking powder. Then manually scrub it into the toilet and leave it on for two hours. Remember, have your own special gloves for this job!

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Go back in and scrub the mold and mildew right off. The toilet will still stay shiny, and the mold will come off too. This also makes the bathroom smell nice and fresh. You should wear a mask anytime you are working around mold.

Cleaning Furniture

If you have to use some sort of cleaning spray (like a wood cleaner), Allred says not to spray it directly onto the furniture being cleaned. Instead, spray it on the cloth that you are using to actually clean the surface, then apply it to the area.

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This will ease the wear and tear on your furniture and make it shine like new. It will require a bit more elbow grease on your part, but you were warned that this article wasn't for the fainthearted! Just keep scrubbing and polishing!

Folding Towels

As you might imagine, a lot of work in a royal palace or estate is attention to detail. Even small things like folding towels need extra attention. Fortunately, Allred has a method that she shared regarding folding the towels that will make them crisp and clean.

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For hanging towels, always fold them in three, lengthwise, before hanging them up on the towel rack. The technique is slightly different if you're going to put them in a linen closet, and we'll get to that on the next page.

Storing Towels

Storing towels is a bit different. In the royal palace, towels are stored in the cupboard. Allred says that you should once again fold them in three parts, lengthwise, and then just fold them in half widthwise. There is one other thing to make them look nice and neat.

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The towels should be stored with the folds facing out. Not in all different directions or put together haphazardly, but the folds should face you. This keeps everything looking perfectly crisp and uniform.


According to Allred, dusting has to be done with several different tools. First, you'll need a cobweb brush for the ceiling. Start from the top left-hand corner of the room and begin brushing. This will knock some of the dust down, which is a good thing.

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Next, you need a wet cloth. Make sure that the cloth isn't TOO wet by wringing it out. Use the wet cloth to clean up any dust on surfaces. Obviously, the bigger the area, the more cloths you'll need. Don't keep using the same cloth after it gets dusty!

Other Surfaces

For other surfaces that are dusty, like picture frames, Barbara Allred says to use a soft hogs hairbrush to clean them. It's important to not use the same hogs hairbrush to clean wood and metal. Get two different ones.

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The different brushes might get particles in them that can scratch the other surface. So, make sure to have two of them. Your antiques may not be as expensive as the royal family's antiques, but they are still precious to you!

Place Setting

It's not a cleaning tip, but it's a good presentation tip. If you're setting the table, make one place setting that you are happy with first. Then build the others so that they look like that one. This is also not done haphazardly though.

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The big plates should be positioned exactly one inch from the edge of the table. The bottom part of the silverware lines up with that. Then, the glasses are placed at the two o'clock position and the side plates at the ten o'clock position.


In a good place setting, the glasses have special positions too. The red wine glass is a bit larger than the white wine glass. It's placed to the right of the smaller white wine glass. Glasses have a special way of being polished too.

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Glasses need to be polished by cupping the bottom and wiping with a cloth. Don't touch the rim, because the gilding may come off. Don't twist the glass either because that might cause them to crack. All of this should make the glasses look royal!


Allred says that silverware is a special concern. She suggests using a silver polish foam rather than using cream. The creams are harsh and abrasive, which can damage very fine silver. No one wants that, especially royalty.

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If the silver is highly ornamented with lots of nooks and crannies, you may want to use a cotton bud to clean it. Otherwise, she suggests using a soft toothbrush. Always rinse the silver in warm water when done and use a soft cloth to buff it.


About the bedmaking... Allred suggests that you don't finish with making the bed until it looks like you are ready to dive into it. Fluff the pillows by punching them and make sure that everything is pulled tight. There should be no slack between the bed and the sheet.

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The bedcover should be pulled into thirds so that the occupant of the bed can pull it over in case the night gets too cold. If there are stripes on any of the bedding, they need to all go in the same direction. This attention to detail will make any bed look great.

Those are the cleaning tips shared by the former head of the royal estate. They may seem a bit extreme, but if you want your house to look like a palace, they might be the way to go. If you liked this story, please share it with your friends. Thanks for reading!

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