They were also a lot kinder on the environment and purse strings!
Before the days of spray and wipe, cleaning cupboards were home to a few basic essentials. These included vinegar, borax, salt, pure soap flakes, washing soda and bi-carb or baking soda. All these ingredients are still readily available in supermarkets, giving you the basic ingredients for a whole range of non-toxic and effective cleaning products.
Here are a few of our favourite tips:
Mix together 1 ½ cups of water, 1 ½ tablespoons of white vinegar, 1 ½ tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and 3 drops of peppermint essential oil in a spray bottle. Spray on windows and mirrors and wipe with a lint-free cloth for a streak-free finish.
Back in the day, Borax was one of the most versatile cleaning products you could have – and it’s still as effective today. Sprinkle some borax onto a damp sponge to clean tiles, sinks, tapware or floors. It’s great on greasy kitchen benches and can be added to your washing machine as a detergent booster or a pre-soak for tough stains. It is also a mould retardant so can be added to soapy water to wash down walls.
Baking soda is particularly good as an abrasive and it also has a deodorising effect. To clean up your old pots, mix baking soda with lemon juice, vinegar or even just water to make a paste and your stainless-steel pots will look as good as new. Also great for kitchen sinks and tapware.
Are your kitchen appliances getting a touch on the nose? Reach for 100 per cent vanilla extract for a clean and fresh aroma. To make your microwave smell like new, put two tablespoons of vanilla in a glass bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Leave it to sit for a few hours. Freshen up your fridge by adding a small dish of baking soda with a few drops of vanilla to a shelf up the back.
Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent, so it’s perfect for removing stains. Say farewell to rust marks by combining lemon juice and salt. Rub it on the stain and leave it in the sun. Once the mark disappears, allow the area to dry and then brush away the salt.
To keep your benches squeaky clean, try this all-purpose cleaner:
Add 1 cup of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 cup of water and a few drops of your favourite essential oil to a spray bottle and gently combine.