Saturday, 5 March 2016

How To Spring Clean! The Natural Way

Natural Spring Cleaning Tips
I do not get excited by cleaning, in fact I hate cleaning, but I do like having a clean house. What I hate about cleaning is the monotony of it and that is why I do actually like spring cleaning, pretty rock n roll of me eh? Spring cleaning is different, it is a chance to sort through things, go the extra mile, and perhaps the most important aspect, getting rid of spider eggs. Yes those buggers have been laying in all the nooks and crannies and spring cleaning is one of the best tools we have in our arsenal in the war on house spiders. (disclaimer - please do not tell me how great they are as I kill flies, I actively kill flies they wait in the corner on the off chance a fly will fly into the web, they are lazy and useless with great spin doctors). (disclaimer 2.0 what do you think of my funny spin doctor line, great right?)

On top of hating spiders and liking clean houses I am also asthmatic so I try to keep my use of cleaning products to a minimum as they irritate my chest. So let me take you through my spring cleaning list and how I do and some general tips too.

Wipe The Walls & Ceilings

They get dusty to and in dust things lurk, crawly things. Use a fluffy duster on a stick to get cobwebs away. Wipe the rest of the walls with a microfibre cloth. These are great cloths as they capture dust without leaving fibres behind and there is no need to use them with a cleaning product, so great for asthmatics. If there are really mucky walls wipe them with a damp cloth but check in the corner first if it will remove your paintwork.
Natural Spring Cleaning Tips
Vacuum & Shampoo Rugs/Carpets 

When you vacuum rugs remember to vacuum the underside also. Do not do anything that will soak your carpet or rugs. I hire a carpet cleaner that essentially sucks out the dirt, these work so well that your carpet is dry at the end of it. If you are like me and you grew up watching adverts of a lady singing and dancing around the house whilst chucking liberal amounts of Shack 'n' Vac around then you too may be looking for a more natural alternative. The smell of Shake 'n' Vac is in fact so noxious it leaves me feeling like inviting a smoker to my home to puff away just to get rid of smell. Instead sprinkle bicarbonate of soda, leave for a couple of hours and vacuum up.
Natural Spring Cleaning Tips
Clean Your Bed & Mattress

Strip your bed, sprinkle the mattress with bicarbonate of soda, lean for an hour and then vacuum. Do this on both sides. Dust all of the bedstead and slats so that they are free of dust. Add 20 dropd of lavender oil to 2 cups of distilled water and spray a light misting on your mattress to deter bedbug, moths etc... That mixture also works well as a pillow mist which helps if you are not a great sleeper.

Empty Shelves & Cupboards

This is an arduous task but worth it for two reasons; one you get to clean and two you will more than likely de clutter and rearrange as a by product. Use a microfibre cloth to avoid the need to use a cleaning product when you dust.

Clean The Woodwork

Basically all of the woodwork in your home; picture rails, skirting boards, window frames & architraves are all spider egg havens, you need to scrub these. I use soap and water but you could use the multi purpose cleaner recipe, pictured above. Now for added spider prevention mix 20 drops of lavender oil to almond oil or another carrier oil and wipe over the woodwork. According to the internet, spiders hate the smell of lavender.
Clean Grouting & Reseal

So you could buy lots of expensive cleaning products and smelly sprays or you could use a toothbrush and a bar of soap, like I do, and it actually works better. The toothbrush method is how I clean my taps too and it keeps the scum from building up. Spraying anti mould on your bathroom sealant won't really get rid of black mould the only way to get rid of it is to pull it up and reseal. It is really cheap and simple to do.

Clean Tiles, Floors & Windows

You can clean tiles and floors with the multi purpose cleaner recipe. My top tip for cleaning windows is to clean them with any cloth and a little washing up liquid and then drying them with newspaper. It sounds crazy but you NEVER get streaks when you clean with newspaper. Below is a great recipe for your wooden floors.

Whiten The Toilet & Freshen Drains

Begin by emptying as much water as you can from the toilet. Then put in 1 cup of bicarbonate of soda and 3 cups of white vinegar. Leave for at least and hour and then flush. Pour the same mixture into your sinks to whiten the ceramic. This process also helps to freshen any nasty smells. It is a good idea to also take the traps from your sinks off and clean them out. Remember to use plenty of  ptfe tape when you put them back on.
Clean Your Curtains & Blinds

A damp cloth or a cloth and my general purpose cleaner recipe for wooden blinds. For roman blinds I would suggest a steam mop with the correct attachment, (more on steam mops in a minute). Any curtains that can be machine washed should be although you may need to take them to a launderette so they can go into a larger machine. To save money on curtains that need to be dry cleaned can be cleaned with a steam mop also.

Air Out Your Wardrobe & Clothes

Open up your wardrobe in the morning. Take out each hanger and shake out your clothing and hang things around the room, this will look odd like Widow Twankies but to fight against moths you need sunlight. Clean your wardrobe and leave it open all day, until the sun goes down. Return your clothes to the wardrobe now everything has had a good old sunbathe. Add a couple lavender sachets to the wardrobe because moths hate lavender as much as spiders do. This is the same process I use for my chest of drawers also.
Clean Your Oven, Hob & Fridge

I do this more than once a year obviously but they all get done at spring cleaning time. Use the general cleaning recipe but sprinkle salt down to make a scrub. Leave half a lemon and a small bowl of bicarbonate of soda in your fridge to eliminate odor.
Clean Your Radiators

Now you may not have radiators in your home, if you don't I strongly suggest you don't clean them. Cut a wire coat hanger and straighten out, tie or tape a rag onto it and use it to clean behind your radiators. Clean the fronts with the general cleaner. Wipe with a little essential oil mixture, (a scent of your choice in a carrier oil), when your radiator warms up it will deodorise the room.
 

Here are some general tips that you might like to use;
  • Lavender has been mentioned a few times because it is brilliant but it is also good for preventing mold place a few drops into your vacuum from time to time to prevent mold from growing
  • Cut up old clothes to use as cleaning cloths/rags to save money and keep things out of a landfill, so better for the environment
  • Purify the air by simmering apple slices and cloves 
  • To elongate the life of your wood wipe with a microfibre cloth and no cleaning product and then polish every couple of weeks with a beeswax cream 
  • Bunches of lavender by the windows will deter most creepy crawlies 
  • I add tea tree oil to my cleaner as it has an antibacterial quality, you can add a few drops to the dish washer or washing machine to help clean it
  • Use an oil burner and essential oils instead of spraying air freshener, much healthier
  • Buy a steam mop, I asked my husband for one for years and he refused as he didn't want to be the guy that bought his wife a mop, so, I bought my own. The steam cleans at high temperature so you can do without noxious chemicals, what could be more natural than water!


6 comments:

  1. Really helpful tips - I do now have the shake'n'vac song in my head

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    1. Thank you Sarah, it is a bloody great tune xo

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  2. Hi Nicolette,

    Another non-toxic shake n vac alternative you might consider, especially if you're not keen on the critters, is diatomaceous earth (DE). I'm not sure whether the fine dust would irritate your asthma I'm afraid - but it works to eliminate invaders from fleas, silver fish to, of course, the dreaded spiders by dehyrdating them. It's definitely non-toxic as it's commonly used as a nutritional supplement for horses. I believe humans can benefit from the occasional spoonful too (be sure to buy foodgrade DE in that case).

    Zoie xx

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    1. Hi Zoie

      Thank you for the tip I am always looking for tools in my spider battles. I think the fine dust may be the ideal time to ask Joe to do the hoovering so a double win in my book and a double thank you xo

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  3. Wonderful post. This is very useful. Thanks for sharing.


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    ReplyDelete