Whether you never really got going with Spring Cleaning, or you managed to stay on top of everything beautifully, there’s one undeniable truth about keeping your house fresh clean – you need the right tools for the job!
When it comes to cleaners, fresheners and detergents, it is quick and easy to pick up what you need from a shop, but we not everyone likes the idea of having too many chemicals about the house, and after a while, you can end up with rather a lot of ugly plastic bottles in the sink cupboard. If only it was as easy to make homemade solutions, then we’d probably save a lot of money, and feel a bit better about the amount the environment too.
We’re all about simple, efficient products that work beautifully and offer sustainable solutions that improve your life without cluttering it up, so we’ve put together some of the easiest and most useful natural cleaning options on offer.
For general cleaning, a little really does go a long way! Baking Soda works wonders in place of scouring powders; simply sprinkle some onto a damp sponge to really get to grips with sinks and bathtubs. Mixing it into a paste with water and leaving it for 10-20 minutes is a good way to deal with more stubborn marks, and to clear out grubby (though not blocked) drains, measure out ½ to ¾ of a cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain with a splash of hot water, then leave for at least two hours and run the hot water until it has cleared.
Another one-ingredient solution is white vinegar, which can be used on its own to clear mildew from showers and baths by spraying it onto the area you want to clean, and leaving it for at least 30 minutes. It can also be mixed very easily to produce gentle but effective cleaners. A cup of white vinegar mixed in a spray bottle with a cup of water produces a great all-purpose cleaner, or to make a glass spray, mix a cup of rubbing alcohol with a cup of water, then add in a tablespoon of white vinegar. White Vinegar can also be used with olive oil of all things to create a simple polish for wooden furniture (test on a small part of the wood first). Mix 2 cups of water with a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of vinegar; the oil works to both lift dirt and nourish the wood.
The humble lemon also holds many surprises when it comes to cleaning. The juice of a lemon can often be substituted in recipes requiring small amounts of white vinegar, and it smells a lot more appealing. Rubbing half a lemon on the surface is a great way to clean chopping boards, and the outer rind makes a great polish for porcelain.
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, it is also possible to easily mix your own ironing water to add a lovely fresh smell to your laundry. All you need is an essential oil (vanilla, citrus, and lavender all work well), vodka, distilled water, and a mister to spritz your clothes with. Mix 10 drops of the oil with ¼ cup of vodka in your mister, close the mister and give it a gentle swish it to mix them together. Leave it for 24 hours at room temperature, then add ? of a cup of water (47mls) and swish again to mix. The fragrance will last up to 6 weeks and should be kept in the fridge.
With these simple tricks and recipes, keeping your home fresh and clean is easy, cheap, and rewarding.