Cleaning your home is often seen as a chore, and with the multitude of cleaning products available it can also be costly. But, there are a number of steps you can take to cut the cost of cleaning your home – without compromising on the quality of the clean.
Previously, in “Spring Clean with the Power of Steam” we’ve discussed how steam cleaners can be used as a chemical free way of cleaning your home, but did you know there are a range of everyday household products you can also use to clean your home?
Bi-Carbonate of Soda:
- Sprinkle carpets with bicarbonate of soda to remove pet smells which have become trapped. Allow the bicarbonate of soda to soak in to the carpet, before vacuuming clean. The same method can also be used to remove baby sick odours from your carpets.
- Remove unpleasant odours from around your fridge. A small pot of bi-carb at the back of the fridge will soak up unpleasant odours caused by smelly cheeses and other food products. For even stronger odours which you wish to remove, try rubbing a small amount of vanilla extract over the walls. [source: athriftymrs.com]
- Drains can become blocked by a number of things, from food residue to grease being poured down the plug. Unblocking a drain can be hard work and expensive if purchasing various drain cleaning products to try.But it needn’t be.Instead, pour quarter of a cup of bicarbonate of soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. Leave this for fifteen minutes, before flushing away with plenty of boiling water.
- The oven suffers from a range of dirt caused by food spills and splatters, and a lot of commercial cleaning products can leave an unpleasant aroma due to the chemicals used.But, there is a way to clean your oven thoroughly without such smells, by using bicarbonate of soda.Mix bicarbonate of soda, salt and water into a paste and smear this over the oven, leaving it to soak into the dirt for at least fifteen minutes. Once the time has passed, use warm water and a cloth to wipe clean – and see the dirt disappear.
- As with all appliances which rely on water, your kettle can suffer from the build up of limescale caused by hard water. But you can tackle this with the help of a lemon. Simply fill the kettle up with water, chop up a lemon and place the chunks into the kettle, boil it and then leave overnight.In the morning, empty the kettle and boil fresh water in it, to remove the taste of lemon. By descaling any appliance, it’ll run more effectively – helping save you money in both the long and short term.
- Tired of scrubbing your microwave clean? Make the cleaning easier by using the juice of a lemon. Simply squeeze one lemon into a Pyrex jug half filled with water.Place the jug into the microwave onto maximum heat for five minutes. The steam generated will loosen the dirt enough that it can be wiped away, whilst the lemon fragrance will also provide a pleasant aroma.
- Is the woodwork in your home looking a bit scuffed or as though it has seen better days? Instead of bringing out the polish in an attempt to buff it up, use a squirt of lemon juice and a splash of olive oil. This mixture will bring a shine back to your woodwork and remove any lasting dirt or stains.
- Suffering from limescale around the showerhead? Tackle this using little more than a food bag and vinegar. Simply, fill the food bag with distilled white vinegar and place it over the head, securing it using an elastic band. Allow the shower head to soak – ideally for a day – before removing the bag and turning the shower on to rinse off any leftover vinegar.
- Achieving streak free windows can be difficult. No matter how hard we try it’s likely the sunlight will still show a streak or two. But you can combat streaks on your window by using vinegar and newspaper.Simply dilute 1 part vinegar with 3 parts water, wash your windows and buff dry with the newspaper, to see streaks vanish and your windows shine.
Other Household Products:
- Remove “scum” marks from around your bath and taps with the help of shampoo. Simply squirt your current shampoo onto a cloth and scrub the area in question, before rinsing clean.
- Leather furniture looks fantastic when it’s first in your home, but through general wear and tear it can easily become scuffed. Removing such scuffs however can be as easy as eating a banana.Simply rub the inside of your banana skin over the scuff before buffing the mark with a cloth, although it is recommended to try it on a small area first. [source: allyou.com]
- Is the bottom of your favourite vase looking grubby? Struggling to get a cloth into it to provide it with a thorough clean? Turn to the uncooked rice in your cupboard. Mix the rice with a sprinkle of dish detergent and warm water.Pour the mixture into the vase and swill around, before rinsing clean.
- Tackling grease can be a difficult task and if it isn’t done correctly can see the grease smear,. But you can tackle the grease using a grapefruit and some salt.Slice the grapefruit in half, dip the cut end in salt and then scrub over the greasy area with the fruit. The natural chemicals from the grapefruit will attack the bacteria and dirt, whilst it’ll also disinfect the area.
- Over time, stainless steels pans can look tarnished, but there’s no need to a) throw the pans away or b) spend hours scrubbing to try and bring the shine back. Instead, turn to the tomato ketchup in your fridge.Add a thin layer of tomato ketchup over the pan and leave it to soak for half-an-hour. The acetic acid will react with the tarnish and once the pan has been wiped clean the sparkle will return.
- Whether in the bathroom due to a lack of ventilation or on an internal wall, mould in the home can be unsightly. But you can tackle it without the need for chemicals which leave an unpleasant aroma as they dry, with the help of vodka.Simply spray the vodka onto the area in question and leave to soak in for fifteen minutes, once the time has passed scrub it clean with an old toothbrush. [source: huffingtonpost.com]
Do you have any other tips for using everyday household products to clean your home? Share them below in the comments section.