Natural home cleaning

Natural home cleaning

Fresh lemons.

In my view natural is always best and now that the spring clean is  round the corner here are a few top tips for
‘organic house cleaning’.

1. Toothpaste: Who would have thought, but brushing your taps with toothpaste will make them shine again. It is also great for removing watermarks from wooden furniture. Just put some tooth paste on a cloth and rub the wooden surface. Leave to soak in for a while and then polish off. Normally the watermarks should have completely disappeared. I suggest you try a small corner before attacking the whole of your furniture, especially antique furniture.

If you have a piano and the keys have gone yellow, just brush them with a toothbrush and tooth paste and they will be white again, just like your teeth.

Use toothpaste to repair CDs or DVDs with minor scratches. Dab some toothpaste on the back of the CD or DVD and gently spread in a circular motion. Delicately rinse with water and a tissue.

2. Baking powder: Sprinkle baking powder into  your sink and leave them for around 20 minutes. Then put white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the baking powder with the vinegar, finally rinse off with warm soapy water and your sink will sparkle again.

Another good use for baking soda is when you burnt food in a pot or pan. Don’t scratch the surface, by trying to scrub the burnt food off. Just sprinkle some baking soda into the pan and add some water and bring to the boil. The burnt food will come off quite easily and you can wash pan and pot as normal. In severe cases you have to repeat the baking powder boiling a few times. But it will save you many pots which would have been useless or scratch otherwise.

If your oven needs a good clean combine 5 teaspoons of baking soda, 5 drops of washing up liquid and some water to create a paste.  Coat the inside of the oven with this paste and leave overnight. The next morning again spray it with vinegar and leave for another 20 minutes. Then you can sponge it off with water.

Have you got stains on your glass hob? Start by mixing baking soda and water in a small dish. Spread the paste over the stained area and let it to set for 10 minute, then clean it off with soapy water. Or pour lemon juice/white vinegar over the baking soda paste to release tougher stains. Use a dry cloth to wipe off any remaining streaks.

3. White vinegar: I can’t believe when I look into some kettles what amount of limestone they contain. This is not good for the kettle and it is certainly not good for the body, as take in limescale with every cup of tea. So it is important (not just for your kettle’s health, but also for your health) to descale your kettle, coffee machine, egg cookers, etc. on a regular basis. The best way to do this is to fill your kettle with white wine vinegar and leave overnight. Then bring it to boil and discard. Now fill the kettle with fresh water, boil and discard again (to get rid of any smells). Now the kettle is ready to use again and you can keep it for much longer !

You can also descale your taps and shower heads by placing kitchen towels soaked in white vinegar over them, again leave overnight and rinse off in the morning. Some stone surfaces like marble or granite don’ like vinegar, so if in doubt always test on a small corner.

4. Lemon: Dried on food that won’t easily wipe off inside your microwave? Cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice into a glass bowl containing half a cup of water and pop the squeezed lemons in as well.

Warning: never place anything metal inside a microwave. Place the bowl inside your microwave and turn it on for 3 minutes. After the ping, leave it for a further 5 minutes before removing the bowl. Now wipe clean the food splashes with a damp cloth for a sparkling interior.

To make your place smell fresh and clean take a small saucepan, fill to about two-thirds with water, slice a lemon and add a few sprigs of rosemary.

Add 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla extract and let it simmer for a marvellous smell around your house.
5. Cream of tartar: to get rid of any stickiness on your extractor fan and cooker hood mix a tablespoon of cream of tartar and a few drops of water. Rub the solution onto the area firmly with a sponge and wipe with a damp paper towel.

6. Cola: Put 750ml of the fizzy drink into your kettle and boil it. This should be sufficient for most kettles but make sure you don’t fill beyond than the ‘max’ level.Pour away the hot liquid and rinse thoroughly with water. Repeat this until the limescale has gone. Personally I don’t think it is as efficient as white vinegar, but it will do for mild lime scale. Colas are also brilliant toilet cleaners, just pour some cola into your toilet and leave for a while whilst you clean the toilet seat and other surrounding. Your toilet will sparkle again.



Vinegar – the natural cleaner

Vinegar – the natural cleaner

VinegarWhen you shop next time, put a bottle of very inexpensive malt or cider vinegar on the list and you will be amazed what you can do with it. Here are a few of its many applications.

1. Descaling household appliances such as the kettle, iron, coffee maker or washing machine

This is especially important if you live in a hard water region where limestone will build up in your electrical appliances. You don’t want to drink water that contains limestone deposits as over the years it can leave deposits in your body. But limestone does not only clog up your own body, a regular descaling program will ensure that you household appliances run efficiently and keep longer, saving you a lot of money in the long run.

Try to descale appliances that gets heavily used every 3 months, appliances which are not used on a daily basis can be descaled less frequently.

How to do it:   I use a kettle as an example, but of course the same procedure also applies to your other appliances, such as coffee machines.

1. Empty the kettle of any remaining water.
2. Pour vinegar (straight from the bottle)  into the kettle until the bottom of the kettle  is fully covered and leave the vinegar there for at least a few hours (best overnight).  You will hear a small fizzing noise, that is when the vinegar dissolves the limescale deposits.
3. Once the limescale is dissolved, empty the vinegar into the sink.  It may have become a bit cloudy now, as it has absorbed most of the limescale.
4. Then fill your kettle with water and boil as usual, but discard this fill
5. Fill again and you are ready to use your kettle as usual.

If your appliance has not been descaled for a long time, you may have to repeat this process until all the limestone has disappeared, but done regularly a little ‘vinegar top up’ should suffice.

De-scaling your washing machine/dishwasher: Pour a bottle of cheap vinegar into the bottom of dishwasher/ washing machine and leave overnight. Then put a quick wash on (without any clothes in the machine!). Run another empty cycle, this time adding a bit of washing powder to get rid of the odour. Then you are ready to use it again as usual.

2. Cleaning your furniture

Vinegar is generally a very good wood polish. For any routine maintenance cleaning, mix vinegar 1:1 with lukewarm water and polish your wooden furniture using cloth.

To revamp your wooden furniture, mix linseed oil, turpentine and vinegar in equal parts and polish your furniture with them. They will look new again.

3. Using vinegar for cosmetic purposes

Vinegar is one of the oldest and cheapest cosmetic ingredient. A cup of cider vinegar in the bath water together with a few drops of essential oils will freshen up your complexion and restores the ph balance in  your skin.

Here are a few more beauty tips that contain cider vinegar 



Additionally, you will receive our monthly newsletter The Month Ahead at the beginning of each calendar month with more information.

You have Successfully Subscribed!