I really must apologise for being a bad blogger of late, and as I had a Vintage Fair yesterday, and still haven't unpacked my car, I haven't got time to do a proper post today, but as it's that time of year again, I thought I would repeat my spring cleaning tips from last year, first published not long after I started blogging. I use all these methods myself, and thought you might like to share them too! Sorry, my lovelies, if you've already seen them ... if you haven't, these are the methods I use and I have passed them on to others who now swear by them!
Be brave and ditch all your chemical-laden cleaning products! Honestly, all you need to clean effectively and healthily are a few store cupboard staples and a couple of spray bottles.
The main ingredients are Bicarbonate of Soda (you can use the kind you get in the baking aisle, but if you want to be thrifty, they sell large boxes of the stuff for much less in the cleaning aisle of some stores); White Vinegar (any vinegar will do the job, but malt vinegar smells a bit at first); Lemon Juice and Olive Oil.
Make up a 1 litre spray bottle with 2 teaspoons of bicarb, and fill up with water. This invaluable spray can be used as the only oven cleaner you will ever need! Spray on a cold, dirty oven, all over, and leave until next time you use oven - it's perfectly safe. After using your oven and it has gone cold, there will be a powdery film on the bottom of the oven. Just wipe with a clean, damp cloth (use this cloth for your oven cleaning from now on, as will get quite stained), spray and repeat. Do this EACH TIME you use your oven, once it has gone cold ... it literally takes seconds. Within a couple of weeks, your oven will be sparkling clean without having to resort to using poisonous sprays, and with no elbow grease required! To clean the glass, mix up a thick paste of bicarb and water, plaster on the glass and leave overnight if possible. The grease and grime should wipe off easily. If you follow the oven cleaning tip, you will find that the glass stays clean as the bicarb absorbs grease, so all it will need is a wipe.
This spray can also be used on the hob, just spray and leave a few minutes and burnt on marks will come off easily. Spray on burnt on stains on oven trays and pans too. After emptying your dishwasher, use the spray all over the inside, it will help absorb odours and clean it too. Make sure you label it, so you don't get it mixed up with the vinegar spray (about 2 inches of vinegar in 1 litre of water), but it wouldn't have disastrous consequences, even if you did!
The vinegar spray can be used on mirrors and windows - just spray on and wipe, then polish with crumpled up newspaper. Spray on taps (spray on unseen area to test first, if unsure) on the bath and sinks, on shower screens, down the toilet and in dishwasher. Cuts through grease, quickly and easily. If your shower head is clogged, remove and submerge in a vinegar and water solution and the limescale will dissolve and water flow freely through the holes.
See last weeks Tuesday Tip for natural furniture polish - I don't use the Olive Oil in the photo for this, far too good, just use cheap stuff, but the can looked nicer in the picture!
(This is simply a big glug of olive oil into a bowl, to which you add the juice of a lemon and mix; apply to your furniture with a cloth and leave to soak in. Buff to a shine ... it really feeds the wood and smells glorious too!)
Lemon juice and lemons are invaluable. Roll a lemon around before juicing, you'll get much more juice from it. After juicing, put the 'shells' in your dishwasher cutlery basket. Cuts through grease, and makes glass and cutlery shine - plus smells nice! Alternatively, put the shells in a bowl with hot water and microwave for a couple of minutes. Your microwave will clean much easier, as the steam and juice loosens dirt. Just repeat for stubborn stains.