Sun’s out, dusters out! It’s that time of year again when the fresh, fragrant weather inspires us to cleanse our homes and habits – or we feel peer pressured into doing it because everyone else is and we know we should… Either way, there are some pretty neat tricks of the trade to make the annual deep clean a cheaper, more fun and more natural process! Of course, a glass of wine and a great playlist won’t hurt…
Set the scene by sanitising your trusty tools. To disinfect your sponges, squeeze them out and microwave them on high for a minute. Sanitise your pre-rinsed mop by placing it in a bucket of water and vinegar. Give your vacuum some TLC with a micro-fibre cloth and some gentle detergent.
It’s cheaper, healthier and way more fun to make your own cleaning products. White vinegar and baking soda (or a gentler alternative) are a dream team, to which you can add castile soap and the essential oil of your choice. Tea tree, lavender and citrusy-oils are disinfectant and antibacterial! There are myriad recipes out there, so go and find the ones that bring you the most joy.
In the Kitchen
Funny smells? To absorb any unpleasant odours from the fridge, scatter coffee grounds on a tray and leave it in the refrigerator until the smell dissipates.
Fill a microwave-safe bowl with water, white vinegar, and a few drops of your favourite essential oils for a dash of luxury. Zap the concoction for five minutes, then wipe away old food stains to your heart’s content.
Our dishwashers go through a lot. Give yours some TLC by placing a cup of vinegar in there and running the hottest cycle, before sprinkling a cupful of baking soda along the bottom and rerunning the same sequence.
In the Bathroom
Shower door and walls
Remove pesky watermarks using nothing more technological than a lemon! Cut it in half and rub it across the surfaces, before rinsing and buffing.
An easy way to descale your shower head is to fill a bag with warm water, vinegar and lemon. Tie it tightly around the nozzle so that the mixture can soak in and act on the grime, preventing future blockages.
Water rings on wooden surfaces
Guests forgot to use a coaster? Don’t sweat it! Blast the ring on high heat with a hairdryer until it’s gone, then rub some olive oil on there to recondition the wood.
Keep your drains fresh by pouring some boiling water down there, followed by a cup of baking soda and a cup of warm water and vinegar, then washing it all down with more boiled water.
Carpets put up with a lot, and a little TLC doesn’t go amiss!
If you don’t have carpet powder, simply sprinkle on some baking soda and a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Let it sit for thirty minutes and vacuum as usual.
Stubborn stain? Iron it out by soaking a flannel in water, laying it over the stain and running the hot iron across it, then dab the moisture up. Now for the secret ingredient: shaving cream! Apply it to the stain and let it sit for half-an-hour. Dab it away and spray the area with a mix of white vinegar and water, then wipe it delicately away.
Grab a rubber glove and run it over the offending surfaces. The static created draws up hairs and adheres them to the glove, making them easy to collect and dispose of.