Now is the time to plan your Spring cleaning and there is a wonderful trend towards embracing natural cleaning methods currently, to avoid the harsh chemicals being added to our water systems. Let us share some great variations of cleaning methods to make your home sparkle naturally. Some of the substances and ingredients we suggest may already be in your cupboards, others are easily and inexpensively obtained so why not have a go?
Did you know that bicarbonate of soda is a wonderful deodoriser? A little cup or pot of it in the fridge will absorb bad aromas and if you shake it on carpets, soft furnishings and mattresses, then simply hoover it off, it will freshen up these items.
A fantastically cheap item to clean with is distilled white vinegar which can absorb odours in clothing – pour some into a spray bottle, spray over clothes, leave to dry and then wash normally. It’s also a great limescale remover on taps and sinks – though it is advisable to avoid using it on marble or gold-plated taps.
The humble lemon has many wonderfully helpful household properties – either use a fresh lemon or buy a bottle of lemon juice, both will work as effectively. Chopping boards can easily discolour (especially in the dishwasher), so rub half a lemon over the board and it will remove the stain. Adding half a cup of lemon juice to your laundry wash will boost the whites.
A favourite multi-purpose item is washing soda crystals (these are different to caustic soda so please take note). Used in various strengths when mixed with water it can remove stains including ink, red wine, grass, tea, coffee, blood and grease. It can also remove mildew and clear drains, simply read the packaging to use the right strength for each particular job.
A spray bottle of multi-purpose surface cleaner is an easy go-to for many cleaning jobs. You can make your own very simply using grapefruit and tea tree oil for a great smelling, naturally antibacterial, solution. You’ll need:
- 1 extra large grapefruit
- A glass jar
- 250ml white vinegar
- Tea tree oil
- Spray bottle
Peel the grapefruit and remove any flesh from the peel. You only need the peel and pith – no flesh. Place the peels in a glass jar and cover with vinegar. Put a lid on the jar and let it sit for about a week somewhere cool and dark. The vinegar will start to change colour and smell like grapefruit. After a week, sieve the contents of the jar and transfer the liquid to a spray bottle. Top up the spray bottle with water and then add 6 drops of tea tree oil. The oil, vinegar and water may not mix well at this point but simply shake the bottle before each use. You now have a spray cleaner that’s safe to use on kitchen counters, sinks, baths and floors. Vinegar is safe on most surfaces, however - if in doubt, try a small area first, although do NOT use on marble.
Making your own cleaning wipes is easier than you think with these few items. You’ll need:
- 125ml all-purpose cleaner
- 10 Drops tea tree essential oil
- 625ml water
- Kitchen roll, cut in half
- Storage jar with lid
Measure 625ml of water in a large measuring jug. Add 125ml of all-purpose cleaner and swirl to mix together. Add 10 drops of tea tree oil (a natural disinfectant and a fantastic alternative to using bleach). If you’d like to add any other essentials oils to create a favourite fragrance – feel free, these are your bespoke wipes.
Taking a knife with a serrated edge, cut your paper towel roll in half, across the roll. Trim the cut side of the roll to neaten it up and place it in your container. Pour your cleaning solution into the container, starting in the middle and wetting the cardboard tube and then pour in circles to cover as much area so all the layers are well soaked. Next, pull the cardboard tube out of the roll. If it doesn’t slide out easily, leave it for a few more minutes and try again. To finish, close your lid and label your container. A top tip should the lid get left off of these wipes and they dry out a bit, simply pour in 125ml of water and they will be ready to use again.
Great ideas and solutions for cleaning without resorting to harsh chemicals. Your home can be perfectly cleaned by using these products that are kinder to your skin, safer for your family and the environment we live in.