It's so natural

SPRING is the time when most people tend to take care of all those little problems outside and around your home, which is just as important as cleaning and maintaining the inside of your house.

After all, grease-stained driveways and mossy pathways do little to enhance the appearance of your home.

The followings hints and suggestions will help to keep the outside of your home in top condition and take care of any annoying problems without the need for harmful chemicals.

SPRING CLEAN: Help to keep the outside of your home in top condition and take care of any annoying problems without the need to use harmful chemicals.

SPRING CLEAN: Help to keep the outside of your home in top condition and take care of any annoying problems without the need to use harmful chemicals.

Stains can be removed from unsealed bricks by applying white vinegar. Brush off with a stiff brush dipped in vinegar until the stain disappears. To bring brick feature walls and other external brick surfaces to a beautiful shine apply the following polish: mix half a cup of lemon juice, one cup of olive oil and five millilitres each of eucalyptus oil and methylated spirits. Store in a sealed bottle until needed and be sure to label the bottle clearly.

Canvas awnings and umbrellas can be cleaned by scrubbing with a strong salt and water solution. Rinse, then leave to dry in the sun. Never use detergents or harsh chemical cleaners to clean canvas as they will only destroy the fabric.

Oil stains and grease can be removed from concrete driveways by first covering with diatomaceous earth – a readily available source of this absorbent material is kitty litter.

Leave on, the stained area for four to five hours, then sweep up. Any residual stain can be removed with a solution of one part of biodegradable detergent to six parts of kerosene.

Concrete paths and pavers can be cleaned with a solution of five tablespoons of laundry borax dissolved in five litres of hot water.

Wash with a scrubbing brush and rinse with clean water. Stubborn stains can be removed by scrubbing with a solution of equal parts of vinegar and Fuller's earth (available from most chemists) or hydrated lime. Rinse off with clean water.

Eliminate moss from concrete pathways and brickwork by applying a solution of equal parts of vinegar and methylated spirits to the affected areas with a scrubbing brush. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then repeat the cleaning procedure. Leave it for a further 15 minutes, then rinse off with clean water and sweep with a stiff-bristle broom.

Weeds and grass growing between pavers and cracks in paths looks unsightly. Provided they are shallow-rooted, they can be eliminated with a safe, natural herbicide made from human urine.

After collecting the urine allow it to stand in a covered bucket for 24 hours or more before using.