Ask The Expert!
Every year I begin preparations to spring clean my house but this year I’d like to try some alternative and more eco-friendly ways of doing this. Do you have any suggestions of cleaning products that are kinder to the planet?
THE GREEN CLEAN SECRET INGREDIENTS
The very best way to help your home sparkle is to use products you already have in the cupboard or fridge, are 100% natural and completely harmless to the environment. Here are our secret ingredients for the freshest, most eco-friendly spring clean ever!
We can all relate the aroma of lemon with cleanliness and a cloth soaked in lemon juice will remove stains on vinyl items, such as garden furniture or floor tiles, while the acidic nature provides antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
Boiling half a lemon in a bowl of water in your microwave for a few minutes allows the steam to vaporise the grease and neutralise nasty odours.
Top tip: Squeeze a little drop of lemon juice on to stains on white linens then allow to dry in the sun. The stains will be bleached clean away.
A mix of white vinegar and hot water can be used to sponge wash everything from kitchen cabinets to hardwood floors. The acrid smell disappears when the floor and furniture dry, while a few drops of olive oil give a nice shiny finish to wood.
For fresher smelling, softer laundry – and whiter whites! – add half a cup of vinegar to the liquid drawer.
Top tip: A small bowl of white vinegar helps to remove fresh paint smells from a room, while vinegar sprayed on furniture will stop cats scratching.
Squeezed straight from the bottle, mayo is ideal for removing watermarks from wooden furniture. Just smear a dab on the spot, leave on for a few hours and wipe clean.
Top tip: When children use nursery walls as mural space, dab mayonnaise on to the graffiti, wait a few minutes until the oils break down the crayon wax, then wipe away.
Remove the crust from a slice of stale white bread for a gentle yet effective scourer. This will rub away greasy finger marks from walls and tabletops, and can even be used to gently remove stains and marks from wallpaper without damaging the colour or pattern.
Top tip: You can safely dust even the most valuable oil paintings with a slice of white bread as it won’t leave any residue.
Tea’s tannic acid is ideal for cleaning wooden floors. First mop a small area normally hidden underneath the sofa, to check for potential discoloration – and don’t use tea to mop laminate wood flooring as can stain. For hardwood floors brew up a few tea bags in a bucket of hot water for about 15 minutes. Don’t soak, simply make sure every clean sweep leaves it damp, then leave to air dry.
Top tip: Place a bowl of green tea leaves in the refrigerator to remove odours
Our humble porridge is also the perfect bathroom cleaner. Create a goo of oats and water and rub with a cloth into the bath and sink, before rinsing thoroughly for a squeaky clean bathroom.
Top tip: This one is for you not your home! Cook the porridge, let it cool, and apply as a natural remedy for acne. Leave for a few minutes, then simply rinse off.