Natural Cleaning Tips

21/07/2012 19:48

I'm not a big fan of using chemicals, especially around the home, I much prefer the more natural approach when it comes to cleaning. This is  far better for the environment than all those harsh, synthetic chemicals. There are lots of natural ways to clean and freshen your home.

Some of the best old-time cleaners that still cut it today ~

WHITE DISTILLED VINEGAR ~ A natural disinfectant and stain remover. 

BICARBONATE OF SODA (Bicarb or Baking Soda) ~ A miracle cleaner.

LEMONS ~ Have antibacterial qualities and a fresh scent.

Our Grandma's certainly knew best!


* To remove stains in teacups, put 1 tsp of bicarb in each cup, add a splash of water and leave to soak.

 *  To get rid of smells in a thermos flask fill the thermos with hot water and add a spoonful of bicarbonate of soda. Leave to soak for at least 30 minutes then empty and rinse.

*  To remove the odour of onion and garlic from wooden or other porous surfaces, sprinkle some bicarb on to a damp cloth and rub into the surface. Rinse with water.

* Deodorising Drains  ~ To freshen drains & help prevent blockages, pour a cup of bicarbonate of soda down the drain and then wash down with some boiling water.

* For wiping down Kitchen surfaces and cleaning floors, use 5 drops of Tea tree or Bergamot oil to 1 litre of water.

* Wipe down the kitchen dustbin with a few drops of Teatree or Lavender oil on a damp cloth.

* Add a few drops of Lavender,Teatree or Eucalyptus to your sinks to freshen them.
*  For a nice clean citrus freshness, use Lemon to disinfect chopping boards and to clean counter tops. If stains are a problem on counter tops, then squeeze a little lemon juice onto the stain and let it sit for a few minutes, follow by scrubbing with baking soda.

* Fingerprints and streaks on stainless steel surfaces, drives me mad! Best way to to remove these is to put a few drops of Olive oil on to a cloth and rub on using a circular motion.

* Cleaning the oven, my worst nightmare! Oven cleaning products contain dangerous compounds and the fumes are toxic! So a great alternative is to sprinkle a little water in the oven, add baking soda and just scrub lightly with a steel wool, then wipe off using a damp sponge, rinse and dry.

* Oven spills ~ If your casserole dish bubbles over in the oven, just sprinkle salt over the spill to help soak it up. When the oven has cooled just wipe over the spill with a damp sponge and it will float away nice and easy without the need for all that scrubbing!

* To clean the microwave and rid any odours, just put some fresh slices of Lemon into a bowl of boiling water and pop into the microwave, let the bowl sit in there for a good 10 minutes to steam, remove then wipe down.

* To absorb the musty odours in the fridge,  just pop a saucer of  bicarb in fridge, and change the soda every couple of weeks.

* Eliminate cooking odours, especially if that boiled cabbage smell is hanging around , by simmering Cinnamon sticks or a few Cloves in a saucepan of water.

* Keep pots of aromatic herbs on your kitchen window sill, like Sage, Basil, Mint and Thyme, they will help deter those nasty flies from your kitchen.

* To clean Burned-on foods from pans, add a couple of cups of water to the pan and 5 tbsp bicarbonate of Soda, boil for few minutes, then turn off the heat and leave overnight, by the morning the burned-on food will just slide off.

* Remove Tough Stains from Marble, cut a Lemon in half and dip in table salt then rub vigorously onto the stain.


* Pet hairs on the sofa? Put on a pair of rubber gloves and wet the fingertips then rub your hands over the fabric.The hairs will stick to the gloves easily.

* Polish a Leather Sofa ~ A cheap and effective way is to mix one part White Wine  Vinegar with two parts cheap Olive oil and apply with a soft cloth, leave for 10 minutes, then buff-up with a clean duster.

* For a brilliant Wood Cleaner,  make a polish by mixing a little Olive oil with Lemon juice and work into the wood with a soft cloth, it will give the wood a lovely shine and leave it smelling wonderful.

* Stickers, Stickers everywhere!  if the kids have gone sticker crazy and adorned your windows and furniture with them, never fear! Remove them quickly and easily and without tearing by putting on a dab of Mayonnaise and leaving for an hour, then gently scrape away.

* To make a lovely sweet-smelling bath scourer, just mix 300ml Borax with 300ml Salt and two tablespoons of finely ground dried Rosemary or Lavender.

* Clean wicker furniture ~ Untreated wicker often yellows with age so to keep its natural tone scrub with a stiff brush dipped in warm Salt water then let it dry in the sun, repeat this process every year or two.

* Make mirrors sparkle ~ Brew a pot of strong Tea, leave to cool, then dampen a soft cloth in the tea and wipe over the mirror, buff well with a dry soft cloth.

* Remove grease stains on carpet ~ cover the stain with Talcum powder and wait for a few hours for the talc to absorb the grease, then just vacuum.

* Oil and grease on the driveway ~ Remove by covering the stain with Cat litter, wait for about twelve hours and then sweep clean.

* Red wine on carpet ~ Don't panic!.. Pour over Soda water or White wine and dab with a clean white cloth, (coloured cloths can leave a mark) sprinkle the area with salt and leave for 10 mins before vacuuming. If red wine is on your clothes then sponge with undiluted White Vinegar immediately and wash as soon as possible.

*  Remove Mildew stains on a fabric patio Umbrella ~ Mix 2 cups White Vinegar and 2tbsp liquid detergent in hot water and scrub umbrella with a soft brush, rinse well in cold water and leave to dry in sun. The umbrella will be easier to clean if its opened out fully.

* Clean those wooden floors with freshly brewed black tea, its cheap and very safe to use. Brew two Teabags in one litre of boiling water  for 15-20 minutes, once cooled, pour the solution into a larger container, then use a soft cloth or mop, dip in the solution, wring out well and wipe over floors, no need to rinse. When the floor is dry you will see a wonderful shine.


* Add ½ cup of bicarbonate of soda to a load of washing to help with the removal of stains and grease.

* If white shirt collars have a dirty tidemark that hasn't come out in the wash, then don't bother buying expensive stain removers or whitening products. Rub the grime with a little shampoo and then just pop in the wash again.

* Brighten your whites with lemon as its a natural bleach, apply a little lemon juice to linens and clothes and put them out in the sun to dry,  the stains will be bleached away.


* Chewing gum on clothes ~ Takes me back to the good old school days! Put the clothing item in the freezer for a few hours until the gum goes brittle and can be broken off.

* Grass stains on clothes ~ make a paste from equal parts Cream of Tartar and Salt, plus a little water and dab the stain. also try Lemon juice on whites.

* Tar stains ~ scape off as much as possible, then wet a cloth with Linseed oil and rub hard, or try using a clean white cloth and a few drops of Eucalyptus oil.

* Ooh, Nasty!..I have saved the best till last, Dog Poo!. If you have stepped in a little "mishap" Then  never fear, as baby wipes can save the day. Use to wipe the shoes clean, then wash under a hot tap, spritz with a little antibacterial spray (home-made with Teatree or Lavender) and leave to dry.

* Worst still if you have sat in doggy poo. Yuck! Soak the item in a bucket of water with a spoonful of Bicarbonate of Soda to remove the stain, then machine-wash on the hottest setting which is suitable for the fabric.

* Aromatic herbs and spices were used as drawer fresheners in days gone by, these methods still apply today. Lavender is a favourite, or try rosemary, star anise, cloves and cinnamon sticks in a small linen bag- smells gorgeous and keeps them moths at bay.