Not only were toilet rolls and hand sanitisers selling out in supermarkets around the world amid the coronavirus pandemic, but so too were cleaning products such as disinfectant. If you don't want to ever run the risk of being left sans cleaning essentials, why not get creative and learn how to make your own? Just in time for this year's spring clean...
Lynsey Crombie, also known as the Queen of Clean, revealed how you can make your own cleaning products in her book, How to Clean Your Home and Tidy Up Your Life, and chances are you already have a lot of these ingredients in your kitchen cupboards! Here are 11 handy recipes to get you started.
Fill a spray bottle with 2 teaspoons of soda crystals and 4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, then top up with hot tap water. Spray directly onto surfaces and wipe off with a damp microfibre cloth for powerful cleaning.
Mix 120ml/1/2 cup of white wine vinegar and 50g/ 1/4 cup of bicarbonate of soda into 2 litres/8 cups of water. Mix until completely dissolved, before decanting into a labelled spray bottle. Use this solution for the removal of watermarks on shower panels and bathroom chrome fixtures, and to clean windows and mirrors. Spray directly onto surfaces and wipe with a damp microfibre cloth.
Lynsey Crombie shared her recipes for natural cleaning products
WOODEN FURNITURE POLISH
Some of the products on the market are far too abrasive to clean real wood surfaces and can take the colour out. Using a natural cleaner will ensure your wooden surfaces are well looked after. Simply fill an empty spray bottle with 4 teaspoons of olive oil, 4 teaspoons of white wine vinegar and 10 drops of lemon essential oil and shake really well. A few sprays and a rub with a soft microfibre cloth and you will be left with the perfect finish. It's important to note this polish is single use.
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These natural solutions will absorb and remove any nasty odours for fresher, healthier air.
- Dot bowls of fragrant dried herbs and flowers around the house.
- Mix bicarbonate of soda or white wine vinegar with a hint of lemon juice and place in small dishes around the house.
- Put 3 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda and 8 drops of your favourite essential oil into a spray bottle and top up with water for a homemade deodorising spray.
- Add houseplants to your home as they help to reduce odours.
- Prevent cooking odours by simmering 1 tablespoon of vinegar in 1 cup of water on the stove while cooking. Alternatively, simmer some cinnamon or other aromatic spices.
- Remove particularly pungent smells like fish and onions from utensils and cutting boards by wiping them over with vinegar, then washing them in soapy water.
- Leave a halved onion in the corner of a room to help absorb odours quickly.
- Keep fresh coffee grounds on your kitchen worktop.
- Freshen the sink garbage disposal by grinding up a slice of lemon.
Half-fill a spray bottle with boiling water, add 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda and a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Then shake to mix and leave for about 30 minutes to infuse. This can be used to refresh your sofas, carpets, curtains, and other fabric surfaces. Always spray items from a distance of at least 20cm/8 inches and be careful around pets and children.
For the freshest carpet, add 15 drops of your favourite essential oil to 200g/1 cup of bicarbonate of soda. Using a sieve, liberally sprinkle the mixture all over your carpet or rug, leave for a few hours, then vacuum it up.
How To Clean Your House And Tidy Up Your Life, £7.70/$4.83, Amazon
CARPET STAIN REMOVER
Mix equal parts white wine vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture directly onto the stain and let it sit for several minutes, then clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water. For fresh grease spots, sprinkle cornstarch (cornflour) onto the spot and leave for 15–30 minutes before vacuuming. For a heavy-duty carpet cleaner, mix together 50g/1/4 cup of salt, 50g/1/4 cup of soda crystals and 60ml/1/4 cup of white wine vinegar. Mix into a paste then rub into the carpet stain and leave it for a few hours. Vacuum it off afterwards.
To prevent nasty odours and blockages, pour 100g/1/2 cup of bicarbonate of soda into the drain, then add 120ml/1/2 cup of white wine vinegar and leave for 15 minutes. The chemical reaction will help to break down fatty clogs. To finish, flush with boiling water from the kettle. It's recommended this is done weekly.
Caution: Plastic pipes can be damaged if excessive boiling water is used. If you don’t have metal plumbing, use warm or even cold water to rinse instead.
CROCKERY STAIN REMOVER
Remove coffee and tea stains from cups and mugs by adding 1 heaped teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to each, then filling with boiling water. Leave for about 30 minutes, then drain and rinse. You’ll be amazed by the results!
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CHOPPING BOARD CLEANER
Rub a slice of lemon over wooden or plastic chopping boards to disinfect the surface. For tougher stains, squeeze some lemon juice directly onto the stain and scrub in a little salt. Leave for 10 minutes, then rinse clean.
CERAMIC OR GLASS HOB CLEANER
To save your hob from becoming a sticky mess, make a point of cleaning it after every use. To remove stuck-on food, wet the area with hot soapy water and sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda. Cover with a damp towel or kitchen paper and leave for 30 minutes, then wipe with a clean damp cloth.
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