I know, I know, it’s not Spring yet and just a few rays of sunshine don’t mean that we can’t still be in for some heavy winter weather. So really, my thoughts should be on cosying up and drinking tea rather than spring cleaning. However, it’s just those few rays of sunshine that I actually need to get me into the right mood for something fresh and clean. One thing leading to another, that also got me thinking about the amount of damage my cleaning habits can do to the environment. So, I thought I’d look into more natural, healthier and environmentally friendly ways to keep my home clean. I had already touched onto this subject with my natural winter scent, so I guess this is just taking things a little further.
There’s of course another advantage to using natural ingredients for cleaning: they’re cheaper and you will probably already have quite a few of them in your kitchen cupboard. So, here are some ideas to replace the chemical bombs hiding in the cupboard under the sink with some effective and natural cleaners.
- distilled vinegar is super-cheap and makes a great cleaning agent
- add a few drops of lavender oil to the distilled vinegar to make a completely natural fabric softener
- I also use distilled vinegar mixed 1:1 with water to descale my kettle. Just boil the mix and rinse afterwards
- smelly drains and slightly blocked sinks can be remedied with a couple of tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda followed by a couple of tablespoons of distilled vinegar. It will fizz like crazy, clean and unblock your drains, though a good old-fashioned plunger is of course also environmentally friendly…
- speaking of bicarbonate of soda: you know those coffee stains in your white mugs? Well, put a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into your mug, add a little lemon juice to make a paste and simply scrub the stains out. You’ll be surprised at how well that works.
- and here’s another use: I wear a lot of sterling silver jewellery which can get badly stained over time. So, put a small bit of tinfoil into a porcelain or plastic container, add a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, add some boiling water and carefully (so not to burn yourself) place the jewellery into the container. Leave for a few minutes and your ring or earrings will come out sparkling.
- surgical spirit makes a fantastic window cleaner. Plus, I remember my mum using old newspapers (scrunched up) which for some reason really do work best – no clue why, but I guess it’s better than simply throwing them away.
- plain old marseille soap works wonders on kitchen tiles. Use a simple sponge soaked with the liquid soap.
- for a simple air freshener, pour some bicarbonate of soda into a small jar and add a few drops of essential oil. Lemon would of course work beautifully, but it’s up to your own taste. Put a bit of thin muslin on top of the jar and secure with a ribbon.
So, I hope these few tips have inspired you to try out some new and fun ways to clean your home. I’m off now to buy some flowers to reward myself for all the cleaning.