Yippee! Spring is finally here. This is the time when many of us think about having a big clean-up. The weather is improving and we all start to get out of our Winter Hibernation mode.
If you’ve caught the Spring Cleaning bug, instead of reaching for cleaning products made of a cocktail of stuff with long names there are many environmentally friendly alternatives that do just as good a job without harming our environment. I arm myself with some micro fibre cloths, spray bottles of water & vinegar and the most versatile cleaning agent of all bi-carb soda
Here’s some ideas for those big jobs:
Windows & Mirrors:
- Remove dust with a broom or dry cloth then use undiluted vinegar in a spray bottle & wipe over with a micro fibre cloth, tissue paper or newspaper
Tip: It’s best to clean windows on a cloudy day to avoid streaks
- Make a paste using liquid castile soap and bi-carb soda and apply to tiles, leave overnight then rinse off
Tip: You should do a bit of a test on modern surfaces before going all out with the bi-carb just in case it doesn’t like it.
- To clean the oven, mix bi-carb soda with water to make a paste then apply over racks, walls and base with a pastry brush. Turn oven on low and cook for 10 mins then turn off and allow to cool a little. Remove racks and take to sink area. Lightly buff bi-carb soda from racks while still dry with a stainless steel scourer then wash with soapy water. Scrape inside of the oven with a plastic spatula, then wipe over with warm soapy water
- To remove stains from flower vases & glass water bottles, soak them in warm water with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of salt for a few hours
- Wipe the inside of the fridge with a solution of 1 part bi-carb soda and 7 parts water. Wash removable parts in hot water and environment friendly detergent. To finish off, wipe over with a damp cloth and a few drops of vanilla essence
- Cover the element with vinegar, top up with water. Bring to the boil and leave overnight then rinse. I’ve also used slices of lemon which works a treat
- To deodorise carpets, sprinkle with bi-carb soda then vacuum
- Use 1 part lemon juice and 2 parts olive oil or beeswax. I used the lemon and olive oil option on some wooden stuff and it came up beautifully
Tip: You should test an area that can’t be seen first
- To remove tarnish or rust from copper, brass or steel, make a paste of salt and lemon juice and apply with toothpaste
Tip: As per above, you should test an area that can’t be seen first
For more hints & tips from Planet Ark courtesy of the NSW DECCW, go to
Source: Organic at home, Murdoch books, 2005, ACF GreenHome Guide, pg 50, 21 Ways to Spring Clean your Whole House Naturally http://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/21-ways-to-spring-clean-your-whole-house-naturally-47139/#.Vd-HniWqpBc
Let’s all spring around our homes naturally and do something really good for our environment.
Resource Management Specialist,
Spring Flowers By Anita Martinz from Klagenfurt, Austria (Colorful spring garden) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons