With Spring in the air and the sun showing up every speck of dust, grime and scratch around the home, it's time to get out the pot of elbow grease and get cleaning.
However, before you reach for the corrosive, expensive, potentially health damaging chemical cleaners, why not have a look in your store cupboard to see what natural cleaning products you have lying around?
Bicarbonate of Soda
Also known as Bread Soda, baking soda and Soda Bic, this is more commonly used in baking breads. Here's how to use it to battle dirty demons in your home:
- Dilute with warm water and use to remove heavy tea and coffee stains from cups.
- Add to the wash with 50% less washing powder to remove smells. It also acts as a softener.
- Make a homemade paste to clean grout around tiles. 2 parts bicarbonate of soda to 1 part vinegar or lemon juice. Using a toothbrush to apply the paste, leave for approximately 10 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Sparkling tiles here we come.
We often read and talk about drinking a cup of warm water with lemon juice to cleanse our insides. Why not use it to 'cleanse' your home:
- Rub chopping boards with the cut side of half of a lemon to clean, refresh and disinfect. Make sure to get the most juice from a lemon by rolling on a hard surface or placing in a microwave on high for 2 minutes. Leave for 30 minutes and wash off. Oh, and if it's a wooden chopping board, don't bother to wash the lemon juice off. The wood absorbs the juice.
- Zap mildew stains with salt moistened with lemon juice. Dab the mildew spots with the solution and leave to dry in the sun. Rinse and repeat until mildew disappears.
- Remove scratches on furniture by mixing equal parts of lemon juice and light oil (i.e. olive oil) and rub it on the scratches with a soft cloth. It also works as a wood polisher. Citrus goodness all round.
White vinegar sneaks its way onto my fish and chips, but where exactly does it work in the big Spring Clean:
- Clean your mirrors and windows with 2 parts warm water to 1 part vinegar and see them sparkle. Place the ingredients in a spray bottle, spray surface and wipe with newspaper and some elbow grease.
- Shiny clean bathrooms using vinegar too good to be true? Not when you regularly rub down shower doors with diluted white vinegar. You can also disinfect shower heads by wrapping them with a small towel soaked in white vinegar and leave for a few hours.
- Prevent mildew on tiles in the bathroom by spraying with diluted vinegar and rubbing in with a soft cloth.
Now, to make my well deserved fish and chips after all that cleaning!