When spring comes around we think of Easter and of spending more precious time with family and friends. In addition, it means the weather is getting warmer and you may be starting to think about taking a well earned holiday. It is also a great time to think about spring cleaning your home, because there is no time like the present, and the weather makes the task more pleasant!
If you are looking to save some money on buying those expensive household chemicals, then looking in your kitchen cupboards can reveal a wealth of natural alternatives at your fingertips. There are countless uses for some of the ingredients I mention below in this article, such as those for lemon juice and white vinegar. However, I hope that these five simple suggestions can help provide you with some useful tips and ideas to get started.
1. Bicarbonate of Soda for Stubborn Carpet Stains
This is an old but great tip because bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda as it is also known), is inexpensive and probably something you already have lying around in the kitchen cupboards. Simply sprinkle some over the carpet stain and allow it to sit for two hours, or even overnight if possible. Next, vacuum up the bicarbonate of soda and you will reveal fresher and cleaner carpet beneath.
In addition, bicarbonate of soda is great for removing the dirt and grime that can build up in your oven. Try the same approach of leaving it to settle overnight. You will discover that your job the next day is a lot easier because you will find that far less scrubbing and elbow grease are required. The baking soda helps lift off that dirt and layer of grime for great and long lasting results.
2. Make Taps Shine with Lemons
If you live in a hard water area, then you will know only too well the damage and discoloration that persistent lime scale can cause on your taps. To help combat this, in a small bowl, add some hot water and lemon juice together. The ratio should be two parts water to one part lemon juice. Use either cheap lemons perhaps from a supermarket, or even concentrated lemon juice from a bottle.
Next, find a small face cloth or some paper towels and soak them in the lemon-water mixture. (Make sure that the water is not too hot and be careful not to burn your hands in the process). Rest the cloths over the taps or metal areas which you wish to clean, and leave them to settle for one hour.
When you return to them, give them a brief scrub and you will see that your taps will appear more shiny and reflective beneath. This is a quick and inexpensive way to get a brilliant shine back to taps which have lost their gleam. You could even rest a paper towel soaked in this mixture over the toilet flushing handle, if this is metal too. Not only this, but you get the added fresh citrus scent which can linger in the air for hours.
3. Line Drawers With Grease Proof Paper
It is something you probably already have in the kitchen cupboards and rarely use for cooking, so why not use that humble roll of grease proof paper for another task. If you find that your kitchen drawers are getting marked and scratched by utensils, knifes, tin openers and so on, then cut out a rectangle of grease proof paper to line them instead.
Firstly, remove the contents of the drawer in question and give it a good clean and scrub with hot soapy water, then use a towel to get the surface dry. Add your grease proof paper to line the drawer, and replace the contents. It really is as simple as that.
In addition, if you have children and drawers full of coloring pencils, crayons, felt tip pens and paint, then this little tip could save you on hours of cleaning each spring! It is therefore well worth doing, so why not explore the option of applying this tip throughout all the drawers in your home.
Alternatively, there are many decorative and pretty drawer liners out there if you prefer patterned or more interesting ones. You can even purchase scented drawer liners. These are especially lovely in bedroom drawers. In a year’s time from now, when it comes to cleaning the drawers out again, take out the lining paper and you will see just how scruffy drawers can get from general wear and tear. You can feel confident that you are protecting the surfaces with drawer liners from further damage and spillages.
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4. Vinegar For Toilet Stains
White vinegar has many household uses. One such example of its usefulness is in helping to remove stains from the toilet. Instead of using harsh chemicals which can not only be very expensive but also leave a strong unpleasant smell, try vinegar instead.
Simply spray some of the vinegar on the inside of the toilet bowl, rim and even on the toilet seat, and allow this to settle for a few minutes. After this, scrub the area clean and you will see that the vinegar has helped to lift off the stains.
This can be a great alternative solution for those days when you realize that you have just run out of your normal cleaning products, and you remember that you have family or friends coming over later that day. A great and cheap answer can be found through using vinegar to combat stains.
Vinegar is also great at helping to remove stains from clothing. Simply apply some vinegar directly onto the stained area of clothing and wash as usual in your washing machine.
5. Natural Wood Furniture Polish
If you are worried about the harsh smells and chemicals which are present in so many furniture polishes these days, then have you ever thought to make your own at home? It can be very cheap and much less harsh on your wooden furniture, so why not give this simple idea a go. Simply mix two parts olive oil to one part of lemon juice in a small bowl or spray bottle.
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I find that it is best to combine the olive oil and lemon juice in a spare spraying bottle and to give the mixture a good shake up to mix them thoroughly together. The oil will help to give your furniture a great glossy shine, and the lemon juice will help to lift stains right off the surface.
In addition, it will leave behind a soft lemony scent on the wood. Use a lint-free cloth (or microfiber cleaning cloth as above) to polish the surface up afterwards. This can be a great way to help stop little fibers of material being left behind on wooden surfaces too.
I hope that these quick and simple tips can inspire you to get started with the dreaded spring cleaning! Certainly there are far more uses for lemon juice and vinegar among others around the house. It is worth trying these methods out to save on both money and time.