Just about every house in Australia has a pantry that contains lots of ”frequently kept” items on its shelves. Lots of items can be utilised for home cleaning tasks and everyday functions that are alternate to their original purpose for being bought.
Let’s run through a few and toss some ideas around that you could find helpful or get you out of trouble. Read on for the rest of the cheat sheet……………..
Lots of people have a few bottles of Essential Oils that are hiding in a drawer that can be used for lots of beneficial purposes. Alternatively, Essential Oils are available at most supermarkets, health food stores and aromatherapy shops and remain a worthwhile purchase.
- Eucalyptus oil removes the gummy residue left by vinyl stickers
- To leave a room smelling fresh after you have vacuumed, place a few drops of your favourite essential oil (such as lavender or peppermint) near the vent where the hot air is released. The air warms the oil and blows it into the room leaving the room smelling fresh
- Clove oil (sold in chemists for toothaches) kills mould spores. Mix three drops in one litre of water and then use to wipe down areas susceptible to mould
- As a pine floor cleaner, washing soda (from the laundry section of the supermarket) is a cheap and effective way of cutting through grease and removing stubborn stains. Mix 1/2 cup soap flakes with 1/4 cup washing soda (sodium carbonate), 1 cup salt and 2 cups water in a saucepan and heat gently until dissolved. When mixture has cooled to lukewarm, add 2 teaspoons pine essential oil and stir well. Store in a jar and simply use two to three tablespoons in half a bucket of hot water to clean floors. After cleaning, rinse floor with half a bucket of clean water mixed with a cup of white vinegar.
- Protective furniture polish For a furniture polish that both protects the wood surface and makes it shine, combine 1 cup olive or vegetable oil with 1 teaspoon lemon essential oil. Mix the oils together thoroughly and apply sparingly with a soft rag, then wipe dry with a clean, soft cloth, buffing to a gleaming finish.
- This fabric gel wash has a built-in water softener, making it particularly good for washing in hard water. Your clothes are guaranteed to come out beautifully clean. Heat 2 cups pure soap flakes, 1 1/2 cups borax and 6 cups of water in a saucepan, stirring until the liquid is clean, then add 1/2 cup glycerine. Once the mixture has cooled to lukewarm, add 2 teaspoons of essential oil of eucalyptus, lemon or lavender and stir well. Store in a wide-mouthed jar and simply add a cupful to your washing machine, ensuring the soap is fully dissolved before adding your clothes. For best results, use warm or hot water.
- To clean vinyl and leather upholstery in your car, mix 2 tablespoons vegetable oil-based liquid soap with 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 teaspoon lemon essential oil and apply with a sponge. Your car won’t recognise itself.
There are countless uses for this cheap to buy product. So much so that I have written a dedicated blog containing cleaning tips for Bi-carb all on it’s own.
Click this link to read cleaning tips using bi-carb
The Humble Lemon
Lots of houses still have a lemon tree in the backyard or perhaps even a friendly neighbour does. The himble lemon has heaps of versatile uses arounfd the home.
- To clean a microwave oven, add four tablespoons of lemon juice to one cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Boil for five minutes in the microwave, allowing the steam to condense on the inside walls of the oven. Then wipe them with a soft cloth
- Keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh by simply dropping half a used lemon into the disposal and running the motor until the lemon is pulverized and washed down the drain. Mmm, lemony fresh!
- Mildew remover For stubborn mildew on light coloured items, wash fabric in warm soapy water, then make a mixture of 2 parts salt to 1 part lemon juice and apply it to the mildewed area. Place the item in full sun, rinsing after several hours. Repeat if necessary. Don’t use on dark items though, as the lemon juice will bleach them.
Vinegar has so many great uses that have been used since 5000 BC. I have a dedicated page just for cleaning tips employing vinegar.
Click this link to read cleaning tips using vinegar
Not only are they delicious in apple pie, cloves have seen many uses for centuries.
- To deter silverfish, place whole cloves in wardrobes and drawers
- Shoe deodoriser Stinky shoes? Fill a spare pair of socks with a mixture of coarsely crushed dried herbs and spices – any combination of rosemary, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, orange peel, lemon peel, thyme, lavender, and pine needles. Tie the socks at the top and leave them in the shoes between each wear.
Here is a bunch of random household and cleaning tips that you may find useful
- For a lovely fresh-smelling carpet devoid of any of the stinky evidence of the children and pets who have wreaked havoc upon it, crush 1/2 cup of lavender flowers to release their scent, then mix with 1 cup of baking soda and sprinkle liberally on carpet. Leave for 30 minutes, then vacuum.
- Sparkled up silver Why fork out big bikkies for silver polish when good old toothpaste will do? Simply apply a plain white toothpaste (no gels, please) to the surface of the silver with an old soft-bristle toothbrush and gently scrub away the tarnish. Then rinse silver with warm water and dry immediately with a soft cloth.
- For an All-natural stain removal approach try these. Those stubborn stains need a bit of extra help, but there’s no need for expensive chemicals – try these more natural remedies.Blood, chocolate or coffee stains: Soak overnight in a solution of 1/4 cup borax and 2 cups cold water. Wash as usual the next day.Grease: Apply a paste of cornstarch and water and allow to dry before brushing away the powder and grease.Red wine: Sprinkle stain with salt; let sit for several hours. When dry, brush away salt and wash, or clean immediately with soda water.Grass: Soak stain in a 3 percent solution of hydrogen peroxide, then wash.Ink on a white shirt: Wet fabric with cold water and apply a paste of cream of tartar and lemon juice one hour before washing.
Scorch marks: Rub area with a cut raw onion. After the onion juice has been absorbed, soak the stain in water for a few hours.
Hopefully you have found at least one tip on this cheat sheet that you can action with some items that are already in your home and get some attractive results.
If you have ever considered using a contract cleaner to clean aspects of your home then may find our eBook interesting reading. Download the eBook “How To Find The Right Home Cleaner The First Time”.