The temperature is rising, the days are getting longer and daffodils are starting to poke their heads through – this can mean only one thing; spring is nearly here.
This is the traditional time of year to give your house a thoroughly good clean, to throw away all that stuff you have been storing for no real reason and to freshen up your furniture and carpets. Strip your beds, give the mattress a good vacuuming to remove dust and mites and while it’s airing we’ll let you into a few secrets. Here we tell you some cleaning ideas that will make your life easier, and your spring clean shorter, as well as being better for the environment than using nasty detergents.
Clean with vinegar
Vinegar is a fabulous cleaning agent and is a great alternative to chemicals or detergent. Most people know how vinegar can make your windows gleam but it can be used for lots of other things too. Use equal parts of white vinegar and water to:
- Remove stains from carpet and upholstery
This solution can be used to remove stains from clothing, upholstery or even some carpets. Always test a small area that is hidden first, then dab the solution gently onto the stain, let it dry and vacuum. You may need to repeat for more stubborn stains
Clean venetian blinds
Use a soft cloth dipped in the mixture or, better still, a sock works really well and more quickly.
- Clean your shower
The solution is perfect to wash off water marks and soap scum from a shower or bath. You can also soak taps or shower heads in the solution overnight to remove lime scale. A good way is to pour the mixture into a bag and tie it around the shower head or tap so it is submerged in the mixture all night. Simply rinse away in the morning.
- Clean silverware and jewellery
The mixture is great for getting your silver sparkly clean again. Just use it like a polish and see it shine once more.
Add some bicarbonate of soda (also known as baking soda) and you can increase your cleaning power considerably, still without using dreaded detergents. This mixture is perfect to:
- Refresh your mattress
Using a spray bottle filled with vinegar, cover the mattress, paying particular attention to any stains or areas with odours that you want to eradicate. Then sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda and watch it start to fizz. This is the exciting bit! Once it has stopped fizzing and popping, leave to dry for a short time and vacuum. For a light refresh of mattresses, just sprinkle with the soda and leave for an hour. You can even add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil to create a lovely aroma. Once it’s vacuumed any nasty odours or marks will have disappeared like magic. These methods also work well on fabric headboards and bed frames.
- Clean a burnt saucepan
Pour water and a cup of vinegar into the pan and heat it until it boils. Remove it from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Let it cool down and give it a wipe. The pan should come up as good as new.
- Clean an oven
Make a paste with equal parts of vinegar, water and baking soda. Spread the fizzy paste onto your oven and heat to 100 degrees. Leave for around an hour and turn it off. Once cool, simply sponge it off. For a particularly dirty oven, keep it switched off and leave the paste overnight.