Thursday, 8 February 2018

House Cleaning: Budget Tricks and Short Cuts!

Rubber gloved hand cleaning a kitchen sinkI do love a good old fashioned housewifely remedy for a tricky cleaning task. In our current economy, you can really save a lot of money by having a few household staples in your cupboard for tackling a variety of cleaning tasks. Sometimes, even if you are really short of cash and everything is looking a bit tired and dated, a good spring clean can make you feel so much better and give your home a much needed lift. It's also much better for the environment and your health too. Everyone would love a sparkly clean home, but no one once the bleach smell and rough hands that often comes with it. 


Two absolute must-haves are vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. Bicarbonate of soda is absolutely brilliant at getting rid of smells, and not in an overpowering way. It doesn't really have a smell of its own, it just sort-of sucks them up. Scientific stuff, hey? You don't need to know why it works, just that it does. I've used it in all sorts of ways over the years. Sprinkling over a toddler's mattress after an unsuccessful nappy-less night, sprinkling in smelly man-trainers (weirdly, cat litter works for this too, I'm told!), you can even pour some in an egg cup and put it in your fridge, to keep it smelling fresh. But, right now, I'm using it for those blooming annoying Thermos flasks, that are infinitely comforting, if you cycle or walk a lot at this time of year, but are near impossible to keep clean! There always seems to be a lingering whiff, especially if it's abandoned in a bike-pannier for a day or two (tssk!). So, I throw in some bicarb, add hot water and leave it for half an hour to do its thing. Pour it out, give it a good rinse, and the niff is gone. No fancy products required!

A dish of Bicarbonate of Soda, next to packaging.

Vinegar is really gentle but effective, particularly against limescale. We get a lot of limescale and it really bugs me. It's just so irritating, the way it just sits there, making your bathroom look tatty, even after you've just cleaned it. The trouble is, it clings to the more delicate surfaces, like stainless steel, and is really tricky to remove, so in order to avoid scratches and marks, it's easy to reach for expensive cleaners. Try this first though, you might be surprised... soak some kitchen towel in vinegar, and wrap it around the limescale-y area. This works particularly well for taps, because it moulds to the surface and stays put, giving it a chance to work. If it's a larger, flatter surface, you can just pour it directly on. Leave for as long as possible, at least half an hour, and then rinse thoroughly. Repeat, if it's really stubborn and you should find it comes right off.

A bottle of vinegar and vinegar soaked kitchen towel on a tap.

For polishing wood, I use a tiny amount of coconut oil on a dry cloth. You don't need much, but when you rub it into a wooden surface, it gives a lovely shine without much effort, or cost and is a great substitute if you happen to run out of your usual polish. Coconut oil has a miriad of different uses and I always have some in the cupboard. 

Coconut Oil and a polished wood table.

My final suggestion, is a new addition to my home-remedy armoury that I've only recently discovered and you're not going to believe it! To demonstrate it's impressive effects here are some before and after pictures, which I hope will convince you that I haven't gone completely bonkers, then I'll reveal my new secret weapon!

Comparison showing before and after spot-cleaning a rug with WD40

So what is this miracle product?! WD40! Seriously, you can buy it in bike and car shops, or some major supermarkets and you just spray it on and use a slightly damp sponge to rub out the marks. This is for spot-cleaning, I wouldn't recommend it for a whole carpet, but I've been amazed by the results! As with all my cleaning tips, they work for me, and I've never had any problems, but to be on the safe side, test on an inconspicuous area first. Happy cleaning!! 


SHARE:

19 comments

  1. WD40 alao works wonders for pen, pencil and crayon ovee the walls!!!! I love the stuff

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really?! I will have to try that. I wish I'd known about it a few years ago, when I had to rearrange all the children's bedroom furniture, to avoid husband finding out about a toddling grafitti incident!

      Delete
  2. Fab write up lucy i knew about vinegar and bicarb but never knew about WD40! i shall get some in due to the 2yr old rugrat that not regularly visits!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wonder if bicarb might work on the damp smell in my cupboard under the stairs!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow I wouldn't have ever thought of using WD40!! Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am always looking for new tips to keep the house clean with a messy 4 year old. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I swear by vinger and bicarbonate of soda for cleaning. I've not tried using coconut oil though or heard of using wd40 on carpets.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Loving your house cleaning tips here. Will try the vinegar tip.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow some gret tips, never would have thought about WD40..love bicarbonate and coconut oil for so many things in my life

    ReplyDelete
  9. Vinegar and bicarbonate are such a power duo and much better than using all those chemicals. We use vinegar regularly for descaling our kettle it's like magic!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Vinegar is one of my go-to's for cleaning, and cola. It's amazing what products like this can do when cleaning. This reminds me that my house needs a good top to bottom clean.

    Ami xxx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great tips! We use bicarbonate of soda for lots of things as well especailly with lemon!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have to admit for using bicarbonate of soda for everything! Lol

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great tips, I want to use some more environmentally friendly product so this sounds good

    ReplyDelete
  14. Well I never knew that about bi carb of soda. I'm going to be getting some on the shop and using it on literally everything now I've read this

    ReplyDelete
  15. I used white vinegar rather than the malt vinegar as there is no smell to it, but it does the trick

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love these little tips, and most of these items we all have at home.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I definitely need to try out your WD-40 tip! We end up with a lot of spills on the carpets, and my carpet cleaners are basically my best friend. If I could take care of it myself with WD4D and save time and money, that would be awesome! Thanks for sharing your tips!

    ReplyDelete

© The Parent Game. All rights reserved.
MINIMAL BLOGGER TEMPLATES BY pipdig