cars

Cleaning child car seats

If you have little children you will know what a mess car seats can get into. They are not so hard to clean and these days most will have removable covers which will make life a lot easier. For the removable covers, just wash as per the instructions but for those where the fabric is attached there are a few little tricks to getting rid of the mess. 

Recipe

  • Vacuum cleaner with the long thin and brush attachment 
  • Water spray 
  • Bicarb soda
  • Lavender essential oil 
  • Old toothbrush

Take the chair right out of the car. This will make your life so much easier as you won't keep banging your head on the car roof. It will also give you the chance to turn the chair upside down and give it a good shake. Spray the chair with water in small sections and wipe clean, you may need a toothbrush here too.

Once done and the chair is dry sprinkle bicarb soda liberally, with a few drops of lavender mixed in, all over the chair and leave this for an hour. This will give you time to find all the squashed fruit and crackers that have escaped the confines of the chair.

All you do once the hour has passed is vacuum up all the bicarb and you should be left with a fresh smelling crumb free chair. Just ready for the next food collage to be created.

kitchen, household, video

Video: cleaning knives with a potato

Who knew the humble potato had another purpose in our life beyond just being eaten in its multitude of forms. If you have a set of knives there is a wonderful way to keep them clean and rust free without heading to the specialist cleaning aisle of the hardware shop.

Recipe

  • 1x potato 
  • 1x Tbs bicarb soda
  • Water

All you need to do is cut the potato in half and dip the cut end into the bicarb soda. Then rub the knife clean paying particular attention to the rust marks. Once you are happy with the result clean the knife under the tap and dry thoroughly before you put the knife away. 

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laundry

How to make your own washing powder

NOT READY FOR PUBLISHING 

There are many recipes for making your own washing powder and I have tried lots of them. Some are more complicated, but I like this recipe best as it is simple to make and works really well.

Recipe

  • 500g washing soda. Note: this is not our bicarb soda, you can find it on Amazon.
  • 200g bar of natural vegetable soap. I love Dr Bronner's, which you can find on Amazon and good quality health food shops. 
  • 5 drops essential oils 
  • Distilled white vinegar

Grate or blend the soap into a fine mixture and then add 500g washing soda to the soap, and mix together well. 

You will only need one tablespoon per wash, and rather than using a fabric softener try adding distilled white vinegar instead. I promise this will not make your washing smell like a fish and chip shop, but it will make your things lovely and soft. Iron with an ironing water spray and your clothes will be clean, and your environment will be much happier for the change. 

What is washing soda? 

This product has many names. Sodium carbonate, washing soda, soda ash and soda crystals but regardless of these names it is all the same powder. It's chemical structure is Na2CO3, and it is a water-soluble sodium salt of carbonic acid.

Washing soda is ....... 

household

Cleaning door handles

Door handles are often forgotten but they are touched every day by many people, so it is a good idea to give them a wipe over every so often. Once a week is more than enough. 

All I do is wipe the door handles clean using Gyre and Gymble multi surface cleaner with added eucalyptus oil.

If you have anyone sick in the house it can be a good idea to clean with 100% distilled vinegar. Add peppermint water if you would like to amend the aroma of the vinegar, but be assured as soon as it is dry it will leave no odour at all. 

Simple as that! 

outside

How to keep your tent mould free and ready for the next trip

Tents and rain seem to go hand-in-hand, but putting your tent away even slightly damp is a recipe for mould and mildew, and much larger problems for yourself next season. 

To get ahead of the process, take a bottle of vinegar and about 50ml of eucalyptus oil with you when you go camping. This will allow you to prep your tent ready for the next trip even before you arrive home. But remember, this only works if it is not damp and raining. If the weather is not kind, you will need to put the tent back up somewhere dry when you get home and let it totally dry out. When it is absolutely dry, wipe all the surfaces with a mix of 50/50 white vinegar and water. Add peppermint water to this mix so it also smells lovely.

When you are done, add a little eucalyptus oil to a cotton ball and wipe around the tent so it will smell nice next time you put it up. You can also leave the ball in the tent bag, but ensure it is wrapped in a cloth so the neat oil does not mark the tent fabric. 

household

House cleaning on one page

Equipment 

  • Multi-surface cleaner: 50/50 Castile soap and water 
  • Glass cleaner: 80/20 vinegar and water
  • Gentle scouring powder: 100% bicarb soda
  • Microfibre towels 
  • Essential oil
  • Basket of lemons
  • Vinegar 
  • Water
  • A little time 

Instructions

Benches and tables (stone, wood, laminate) 

  • ½ cup Castile Soap 
  • ½ cup Water 
  • 5 to 8 drops of essential oil to your needs  
  • Vinegar

Mix both in the atomiser, gently shake and use as a normal bench wipe. Glass tables can be finished off with a small amount of white vinegar and a clean cloth to rub away any streaks. Note: do not use vinegar on stone or wood. 

Kitchen and bathroom sinks (ceramic, metal) 

  • 1 or 2 teaspoons bicarb soda spooned on to the surface
  • 1 or 2 good splashes of white vinegar over the bicarb powder

Using a clean cloth wipe the fizzing bubbles all over the sink including the taps and then rinse clean with water. If you prefer, add a couple of drops of essential oil once clean just to make it smell nice and give it a shine. 

Sink drain blockage or once a month maintenance

  • 2 cups of boiling water 
  • ½ cup Bicarbonate soda
  • ½ Vinegar 

Put ½ cup bicarb soda down the sink and add the boiling water. If needed you can also add ½ cup of vinegar and cover this with a lid (a pan lid will do) until the fizzing slows down, then flush out with a kettle full of boiling water. 

Wood or plastic chopping boards

  • Half lemon or lemon concentrate 
  • Bicarb soda
  • Vinegar 

Wipe half a lemon over the board and leave for 10 mins. Then just rinse with water and dry the board. If you need to give it a really good scrub, sprinkle bicarb and splash some vinegar over, and then scrub with cloth. Rinse with water and dry. 

Oven a quick clean

  • Vinegar 
  • Bicarb soda 
  • Salt 

Heat the oven to 125° C and turn off, spray on white vinegar to just damp, sprinkle with salt, then leave until cool, and then rub away the dirt with a damp cloth. If you need something a little stronger, substitute the salt for bicarb soda. 

Microwave

  • ¾ cup vinegar 
  • 1 Lemon's juice 

Put lemon and vinegar into a microwave safe cup. Turn the microwave on for 2 mins. When heating is finished leave the door shut for an extra 2 mins and remove the cup. All you need to do now is wipe all the internal surfaces with a damp cloth. 

Sink dish soap

  • 1 cup of liquid Castile soap
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 to 5 drops of your choice of essential oil

Pour the Castile soap and water into a pump bottle and add the essential oils. Shake gently and it is ready to use. 

Pan degreaser

To cut through the grime on frying pans, simply apply some salt (no water necessary) and scrub vigorously. Note: do not do this to a non-stick pan. Alternatively, just squeeze on some lemon juice and wipe clean. 

Refrigerator

  • ½ cup bicarb soda
  • Warm water in a bowl or spray
  • Lemon essential oil 

Remove everything from the fridge and then sprinkle the bicarb soda onto the shelves. Add the lemon essential oil to the warm water and either spray the shelves or dip a clean cloth into the warm water and then just wipe clean. If very dirty, use a little vinegar on a clean cloth. 

Toilet

  • Bicarb soda 
  • Vinegar 
  • Eucalyptus oil 

Sprinkle the bicarb soda on all the toilet surfaces and spray with vinegar. Wipe clean and then sprinkle with a little essential oil of your choice. Add a toilet bomb to the loo to finish.

Bathroom deodoriser

  • Bicarb soda
  • Essential oil or your favourite perfume 

Add ½ cup bicarb soda to a jar or container and then add 10 drops of essential oil or perfume and mix through. Place in the bathroom and change every 3 to 4 months. For a quick refresh just stir powder every now and then, or add more essential oil.

Shower

Treat the shower areas in the same way as the sink, and the shower screen in the same way as a glass table. 

Floors

For floors use 1/3 cup Castile soap in a bucket of hot water and mop as normal. Add essential oils of your choice. Clean timber floors with hot black tea.

Cleaning reading glasses and sunglasses

Glasses get horribly dirty and sometimes there is only one solution, and that is a really good clean. 

Recipe 

  • Multi surface spray
  • Warm water
  • Microfibre cloth or class cleaning cloth 

Run the glasses under warm water and spray with Gyre and Gymble's multi surface spray. Rub the lenses and frames all over with the soapy solution and then rinse again under warm water. Dry with the microfibre cloth. 

You will not only be able to see again though the glasses, but they will also be squeaky clean which will help to keep your face clean too. 

If you have a small travel size spray bottle add some of the Gyre and Gymble glass cleaner to this bottle, and you will have handy bag-size cleaner with you all the time when you are out and about.

garden

How to get rid of rust

Gardening tools if not looked after will start to develop rust. Like most people after a big day in the garden the last thing you will want to do it clean up all the tools, so most of the time if you are anything like me they will just get put away in the shed dirt and all. Yes, guilty as charged. 

Next time you go out you may find that the tools are a little rusty which is a bit disappointing to say the least. I have discovered a lovely method that will remove the rust without having to rub vigorously with a metal brush or wire wool. All you need is some time.

Recipe

  • Bucket
  • Vinegar
  • Paper towel
  • Bicarb Soda
  • Oil 
  • Water
  • Time

Get the rusty tools and spray the rust with neat vinegar then cover with a paper towel. Spray again so the towel is soaked with the vinegar and leave in a bucket for 2 hours. Check a few times to ensure the paper towel is still soaked. 

Remove the paper towel and brush gently with a toothbrush to remove the last of the rust and rinse with water if super rusty (iron wool will work too). Dry the tools and place them back into the bucket and cover with bicarb soda and then pour hot water over the tools for a final clean. Remove once the reaction has completed and dry completely. Then wipe oil over the exposed metal. This will protect the metal from further rust. 

Freshly cleaned tools will last longer and are much lovelier to work with!

How to clean with a lemon

Lemons are wonderful for both your health and the health of your home. Drink or eat them but remember to clean with them too!

There are many ways to use a lemon, including: 

  • Freshen and clean a microwave
  • Scour deodorise and natural bleach a timber chopping board
  • Polish copper pots and pans
  • Clean and remove unwanted smells from a garbage disposal 
  • Perfectly clean off baked-on food from baking dishes 
  • Deodorise plastic containers
  • Ensue your fridge is food-ready and spotless 
  • Remove limescale 
  • Polish stainless steel and chrome taps
  • Add the zest to any cleaning recipe for an extra citrus boost
  • Dehydrate a lemon skin in the oven and crush then add to your bicarb soda mix