household

household

Welcoming in the cooler weather

Summer is fast disappearing behind us and doors and windows will be shut a little more in the coming months. So here are some tips on keeping your home from feeling stuffy. 

The number one thing to do is get your radiators ready for warming up (see here). This small and easy task will stop the dust that has accumulated over the warmer months from being heated up and then permeating a rather nasty smell though the house. If you have lavender bags, you can hang these on the radiators in readiness for the warmth to infuse around your home. 

It is also a great time to get rid of the spiders that have moved into the windows over the warmer months. A quick dust off and clean with a eucalyptus room spray will do the trick. 

Lounge chairs can also be dust collectors so remove all of the cushions and sprinkle the underside with a mix of bicarb soda and your favourite essential oil. Leave this for an hour and then vacuum up the dust. The bicarb soda will work as an odour-eater and the essential oil will leave everything smelling fresh. This job can be done a couple of times over the colder months. 

It may also be time to have the chimney swept, or to have your gas fire checked by a professional. It would be disappointing to snuggle down with a good book or film by the fire only to find a problem, so best get this sorted out early. 

I also like to leave a jar of bicarb soda with the lid off at the back of draws and cupboards. These absorb any damp that might sneak in and if you add some essential oils they will gradually release these into the air over time. If you have small children or animals it will be best to put the bicarb soda into a jar with a few holes in the top just to be sure no fingers or paws end up exploring. 

It may also be time to bring out some dried or silk flowers as the fresh season draws to a close. Or a basket of freshly collected pine cones with lots of essential oils sprinkled over them placed in the lounge by the fire. 

These little touches will help keep your home snug and smelling lovely when you do not have as much fresh air filling your home every day. 

A room spray at this time of year will also work wonders. Again, your choice of essential oils will ensure your home is perfect for when the cold arrives. 

household, kitchen

How to grow herbs in the kitchen

Have you ever bought herbs, plonked them in a pot on the window sill, watered them lovingly, only to have them die shortly after they arrive home? I absolutely understand.

If you have experienced this, then like me, you are probably not looking after them correctly. However, I have found a new way to keep your kitchen herbs happy and thriving, and producing delicious leaves.

You will need a plant pot that can be watered from the bottom, essentially a pot that stands in a tray. Herbs seem to be much happier if you put water into the dish at the bottom of the pot and let them draw up the water that they need. It is also a good idea to have them near a window so they can blow in the breeze. A little light wind will help strengthen their stems and make a healthier plant. A small water spray next to the plants for the odd leaf spray will be a good idea too. You can even use one of your empty Gyre and Gymble glass sprays. Just remove the electrostatic label so you will know it is a water spray. I like to mark mine "H20" with a whiteboard marker. 

Since learning this technique, I have had a basil, mint and parsley growing well for a couple of months. They also give me lots of fresh leaves for cooking. 

I know this is not a cleaning tip as such, but I was so delighted to learn about this I wanted to share it with everyone. Good luck and happy healthy herb growing!

household

Removing sweat and deodorant stains from fabric

Cotton shirts seem to be particularly susceptible to getting a yellow discolouring under the arms. This can be avoided if you make a paste out of bicarb soda and water, spread it over the stain and leave for an hour or two. This should remove the stain, unless it has been there for a long time and ironed into place. Another trick is to spray under the arms of cotton shirts with distilled white vinegar each time the shirt goes in to the wash. 

Recipe

  • Bicarb soda
  • Distilled white vinegar 
  • Water 

 

 

pets, household

Keeping your dog's bedding clean

Clean pet beds means less awful smells in your home. And remember, what might be good for your clothes, is not always best for your dog as they have such an acute sense of smell. 

Recipe

  • Bicarb soda
  • Multi-surface cleaner
  • Fragrance-free washing soap/powder

What you need to do is:

  • Clean the bedding at least once a week
  • Wash in hot water if possible, but follow the fabric instructions
  • Add a fragrance-free washing soap/powder
  • Add a cup of distilled white vinegar, which will work as a natural fabric softener
  • Dry outside or in the drier, but ensure the bedding is absolutely dry before it is put back in place

While the bedding is being washed, wipe down the bed (if plastic) with our multi-surface spray and then leave to dry. For any part of the bedding that is not able to be removed you can add a good sprinkle of bicarb soda, while the dog is outside or away from the bedding area. Leave the bicarb soda in place to absorb the smells for half, and hour and then vacuum up. 

household

Cleaning timber, metal, and plastic blinds

Plantation shutters and blinds are great for privacy, and also great for letting light into a room. The only problem is they are difficult to clean as they act as a massive dust net. The recipe below is a simple solution that will make cleaning these types of window furnishings a little easier and a whole lot faster. Don't bother with brushes or the vacuum cleaner, all you need is a pair of old socks and some basic Gyre and Gymble products. 

Recipe

  • Vinegar spray 80:20 mixed with water, or Gyre and Gymble glass cleaner 
  • Hot water
  • Bucket
  • Pair of old socks 
  • Essential oil 

Fill a bucket with water, making it as hot as you are able to put your hands into, and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Fill a spray bottle with the vinegar mix or use the Gyre and Gymble ready made glass cleaner, and then spray all over the shutters or blinds. Leave for a few seconds then put a sock onto each hand. Dip both hands in the water (ensuring that it is not too hot) and run them along each surface of the shutters. You can finish with a clean dry pair of socks to rub dry. 

This job really only needs to be done a couple of time a year, but this depends on where you live and if you have any smokers in the home. 

household

How to use mint

Mint is a fantastic masking agent, so if you want to use vinegar to clean but really don't like the smell, all you need to do is fill your Gyre and Gymble glass spray bottle with distilled white vinegar then add a few tablespoons - or a good slosh - of peppermint, mint, or spearmint water, then give it a shake to mix through.

Now you can head out and clean with the energising aroma of mint. 

You will find peppermint water in most supermarkets in the cake baking section. 

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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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! 

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.

household

Testing Gyre and Gymble products

My laboratory is my home, and my family and friends.

We love all creatures great and small and genuinely believe they do not belong in a laboratory testing cleaning products for us.

So we do not test at all on our furry friends!

I have tested every product Gyre and Gymble sells and tested every recipe on the blog, so you can rest assured everything works and everything is safe.

So whether you buy our Readymade Collection or make your own with our bulk ingredients, you can be confident my family has given all of the Gyre and Gymble products their approval.