With spring not too far away it's time to seriously think about household cleaning and shedding that winter mantle.
The wide array of commercially manufactured products now available will quickly clean and brighten your home, but at what cost? instead of reaching for a chemical cocktail, which may be hazardous to both your health and the environment, consider cleaning with safe and natural homemade products.
Dust and dirt can be quickly vacuumed up, but eliminating accumulated mould and mildew can be a real chore.
Bathrooms, laundries, kitchens, cupboards, wardrobes, dresser drawers and bookshelves are the most likely places for mould and mildew to grow.
Quite often you may not even be aware of a problem area. Be sure to thoroughly check all suspect areas, including the tops of curtain pelmets and blinds, high windowsills and doorjambs and other out-of-the way places for dust.
These make idea growing areas as dust and mould tend to live together.
When you have given your home the once over, you can try the following solutions to eliminate any mould and mildew you may have.
Remove mould from walls, tiles and ceilings with bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and hot water.
Mix a generous quantity of bicarbonate soda in hot water and apply this solution to the affected areas with a clean cloth.
Rinse off with another clean cloth and hot water, then apply a solution of vinegar and hot water with a third cloth.
Rinse off with a fourth cloth and hot water, remembering to keep the rinsing cloths in separate buckets.
Bonded blinds can be washed over with soap, then wiped with a damp cloth.
Bamboo blinds should be washed with a solution of a quarter-of-a-cup of salt, one tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda and one litre of water.
Rinse clean, dry, and rub lightly with raw linseed oil.
To remove mildew stains from Venetian blinds, mix together some fine emery powder and linseed oil and rub well onto the affected area.
To brighten up walls and ceilings and remove dust, grime and soot from wood fires, mix two tablespoons of a powdered laundry borax and a quarter-of-a-cup of cloudy ammonia in two litres of hot soapy water. Apply with a clean cloth or brush suitable for the purpose.
You can increase or decrease the quantity proportionately to suit your needs.
Treat smoke stains by washing the affected surface with a clean sponge and a solution of bicarbonate of soda and warm water.
Sponge off with clean water and dry with a wrung-out sponge.
For general household spring cleaning this fragrant liquid cleanser, with the added disinfectant qualities of essential oils, is ideal for cleaning or just wiping over surfaces.
Dissolve 50 drops of either lavender or eucalyptus oils in 20 millilitres of methylated spirits, then blend this mixture and two tablespoons of borax with one litre of warm water and store in a sealed bottle for future use. Apply with a soft, clean cloth.
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