Easy-peasy lemon sqeezy!

Published: Sunday 12th April 2015 by The News Editor

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There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned spring clean – literally! Forget chemical-laden products and go back to basics with these retro cleaning tips:

Spring is well and truly here; time to dig out the Marigolds and crack on with that annual deep clean, right?

Well, for some of, it is – but not everybody’s as keen on spring cleaning, it seems.

A recent survey by green energy company Good Energy (www.goodenergy.co.uk) reveals that less than half (49%) of us are currently planning that once-a-year blitz, and a grubby 30% have never planned a once-a-year blitz.

“It seems spring cleaning is becoming a dying tradition, so we’re on a mission to bring it back,” says Juliet Davenport, founder and CEO of Good Energy.

And by that, she doesn’t just mean bringing it back to our attention, she means bringing it back in time, back to the good old days, when cleaning was easy and cheap – and not all about nasty chemical-filled products.

“Simple, cheap ingredients like lemons and vinegar can be used to get homes in tip-top condition, and we’re encouraging everyone to give it a go. Not only are they kinder on the pocket, they don’t require any electricity either,” she says.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your lemons (and your vinegar, and your grapefruits and your crusts of bread) and spring into action, with these retro cleaning tips…

:: Start from the top

An age-old tip, which many of us forget, is always to start at the top and work your way down. Dust falls this way so by following this simple tip, you won’t end up cleaning your house more than you need to.

:: Banish bad smells

Before the days of air fresheners to mask untoward odours, you could keep things pleasant with a good spritz of lemon juice and water, which didn’t just smell zesty, but also has great anti-bacterial qualities. For ongoing freshness, chuck some lavender in a vase too – again, giving a double cleaning whammy of nice smell and banishing moths (who apparently don’t think the smell is nice).

:: Make your surfaces sparkle

Cleaning your kitchen surfaces means using stuff that’s sitting on it – mix together one part distilled white vinegar, two parts water and a big squeeze of lemon juice, and you’ve got yourself a ready-made grime and grease remover. Run out of lemons? Back to the fruit bowl and grab half a grapefruit instead – rub it over surfaces, sprinkle with some salt and wash off with a sponge and hot water (it’s especially good for sparkly sinks).

:: And your windows

More trusty (distilled white) vinegar here – mix it 50/50 with hot water, and spray on your window pane (and your mirror, too). Give it a good rub with a cloth or a scrunched-up piece of old newspaper and leave it to dry. Streak-free and shiny. Lovely.

:: And your wood

If it’s good enough for your salad dressing, it’s good enough for your wood polish. An odd saying, but a true one: one part lemon juice mixed with two parts olive oil will buff your wood to perfection.

:: Get pots and pans properly clean

Everyone has stubborn stains on pans and cutlery that won’t come off however much you douse it with washing up liquid. But that’s because you shouldn’t be using washing up liquid – according to original domestic goddess Mrs Beeton, you should be using a solution of warm water and baking soda, scrubbed in hard using a crust of bread. For cutlery that has crossed the line from ‘a bit stained’ to ‘actively rusty’, plunge it into a large onion a few times. It works, honestly.

:: And carpets

A vacuum cleaner only does so much. If you want a deeply clean carpet or rug, you have four options (ranging wildly in practicality levels): cover it with dried tea leaves; drag it quickly over fresh snow, hang it outside in the wind and sun, or simply sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda, leave it for 15 minutes, then sweep. We know which we’ll be trying.

Copyright Press Association 2015

Published: Sunday 12th April 2015 by The News Editor

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