Cut cleaning costs and carbon footprints

Spring cleaning can be an eco nightmare. Many liquids in plastic bottles kept in the cupboard under the sink are pollutants. But many cleaning problems can be solved with the help of three simple items. Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint but you will notice how economically sound it is to ditch some of the expensive products.

White Vinegar is an excellent way to clean glass. Use equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle on windows. It is especially good for removing stubborn water marks on shower screens. And while you’re in the bathroom, rub a vinegary cloth around the taps to get rid of any scale and a shiny result.

Vinegar is also a great way to clean stainless steel draining boards and sinks. To rid stainless steel cutlery of sour smells and stubborn spots just rinse in a mild solution of vinegar and warm water and rub dry.

To boost your laundry wash just pour a couple of spoons of vinegar into the tablet tray, use any programme on your machine in the usual way and your wash will be cleaner, brighter and minus any stubborn odours.

Bicarb mixed into a paste with water is a wonderful way of cleaning stubborn greasy marks in the oven. To unblock bathroom and kitchen sinks, tip a tablespoon of bicarb directly into the sink followed immediately by a cup full of vinegar and watch the bubbles as it cuts through the grease.

To freshen the fridge just keep a small bowl of water with dissolved bicarb and a wedge of lemon in there. Sprinkle dry bicarb on to bathroom sinks and baths to be rid of a build up of limescale marks and rise off for a twinkling shine.

Bicarb is a wonderful deodoriser, especially for shoes — just sprinkle a small amount directly inside and for fresh smelling carpets and rugs sprinkle bicarb around and vacuum off. To keep loos sweet smelling, tip a cup of bicarb straight into the bowl, leave for a hour, scrub round and flush. To clean hair brushes and combs, soak in a mild solution of bicarb for 15 minutes.

Lemons: putting spent skins directly into dishwasher cutlery baskets and spiking them on the top rack will cut through grease and keep machines smelling clean.

To clean microwaves, pop lemon skins into a jug full of hot water and “cook” for five minutes. Then wipe the microwave dry. Remove the lemon skins, pop your dishcloth into the same water and “cook” for a few minutes to sterilise your cleaning cloths.

Use lemon skins to clean chopping boards. Lemon juice in a mild solution of bicarb can be used to wash the kitchen floor. Lemon juice and salt mixed together will remove rust.

Your house will be twinkling in the spring sunshine and after these cost cutting efforts, don’t forget to polish your halo before treating yourself with the money saved.

— Gill Harris

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