There is something about the Spring that makes you want to clean and declutter. After months of cool temperatures it feels wonderful to be able to throw open the windows on a sunny day. The sunlight has the added disadvantage of showing how much dust is swilling around as it glistens in its rays, doing a merry dance. I am the first to admit that I am not a huge fan of housework, I do the minimum I need each week. I am reading a fascinating book at the moment, it is not about cleaning but it does mention our obsession to clean and in doing so we are ridding the world of good and bad bacteria and worryingly in the case of the good ones possible forever. A bit of dirt is no bad thing it would seem, I am also doing my bit for the preservation of good bacteria.
I mostly* always use my own homemade products when I clean. The cleaning product aisles in the supermarket are not ones I ever venture down. When I inadvertently do, on the way to the checkout, the smell of chemicals is really strong and totally overpowering. A recent study highlighted that whilst they might clean our homes the fragrance chemicals in these products react with the air effecting air quality in our homes, if you also use scented candles and air freshness you could be creating an interesting, and not terribly good for you, soup.
The two ingredients I use the most are ones that you might find in your food stores. Bicarb [baking soda] and white vinegar, I use enough of each to justify buying it in bulk as the shops tend to only sell small quantities. I use the bicarb to clean all surfaces, floors and the bathroom suite either sprinkling it neat and rubbing it in with a damp cloth or dissolving in water and using the solution which is what I do to clean the tiled and wooden floors. A 50:50 mix with borax is my washing and dishwater powder. I inherited a carpet in my bathroom which can get a little smelly at times, but this carpet deodoriser is perfect for removing the smell. You may wonder why we don't just get rid of the carpet but the floorboards underneath are not a suitable flooring either, the bathroom will eventually need an overhaul so there is no point replacing the flooring only to rip it out again when we come to replace everything.
My oven doesn't get a clean inside very often, we eat very little meat so I can get away with it. But when it does get a clean I make this:
Oven Cleaner mix 1/4 cup salt, 3/4 bicarb and a 1/2 cup of water and mix into a paste, apply into a warm and oven and let it sit for a least an hour or overnight and wipe clean.
I not only clean the house with bicarb, I also use it to make.....
Deodorant 1/4 cup deodorant, 1/4 arrowroot, 2tbsp coconut oil (you can also add drops of essential oil if you wish) melt the coconut oil and mix. I use an old deodorant stick and keep refilling it, you might need to store this in the fridge in summer if your house gets warm.
I mentioned white vinegar earlier, this is great for cleaning glass you can spray it on neat or dilute with a little water, wipe off with some old newspaper. It gets used neat as a fabric conditioner , 2 tbsp with a few drops of essential oil. I use lavender which seems to be doing a great job of keeping the moths out of our house, that is not to say we were ever infested with them but I rarely see them in my house these days. I also use it neat to clean the loo. If you have mildew then mix 50:50 with salt to make a paste and wipe onto effected area. I have read recently that you can use it as a weed killer anyone ever tried this? I am not sure what effect it would have on the soil or on other plants growing near by, I will be doing a little more research before trying that one out I think.
You have probably had enough now, so I will leave you with one last recipe. I mentioned recently that I make my own toothpaste, here is my recipe for that:
Toothpaste 4tbs coconut oil, 4tbs fullers earth /bentonite clay, 1/2 tsp fine sea salt, 10 - 15 drops food grade peppermint oil. Mix together, add a little water if necessary to gain the consistency you like.
What cleaning products do you make?
* I buy soap and washing up liquid
I will be back on the 20th (Wednesday) with this months In My Kitchen if you wish to join me.