The Environment

Spring Cleaning Time Again

Yes, it’s that time of year again.
As of the Friday before last we are *officially* in Spring. The fine and slightly warm weather lasted a couple of days and then nose-dived straight back into winter wet. So much for the arrival of Spring.

Anyway, what this time of year always leads to is the cleaning and clearing out of a winter’s worth of clutter and avoided housework.
I’ve been doing pretty well on the one-day weekends we’ve been having over the last two months. So far I’ve managed the bathroom, the bedroom, part of the kitchen, and the hallway. In some respects it’s been a bit pointless doing the kitchen and bathroom, since in theory they won’t be in existence after summer. But what the heck, when the mood takes you… don’t fight it.

What all this cleaning talk is leading to is my green streak.
Yes, I have a green streak and it’s starting to get a bit wider. So, in the spirit of the cleaning season I thought I would share some green cleaning snippets from one of our local council’s environmental “Big Clean Up” mailers.

In the Bathroom

Mirrors – Apply eucalyptus oil with a wad of newspaper to stop mirrors fogging up.
Toilets – Make a paste from borax and lemon juice to clean toilet bowls.
Grout & Mildew – Dip an old toothbrush in vinegar and scrub the tile grout to remove mildew and mould, and to prevent new growth. (A toothbrush? Sounds like a lot of work – an old nailbrush sounds like a better idea.)
All-purpose cleaner – Clean tiles, sinks, toilets and baths with baking soda applied with a damp cloth. (This applies in the kitchen too.)

In the Living Room

Window cleaner – Add half litre of white vinegar to a litre of warm water and wipe windows with a damp cloth. Use wads of newspaper to dry and polish.
Carpet cleaner – Sprinkle baking soda on carpet before vacuuming to deodorise. To remove stains, make a spray from quarter cup of borax and 2 cups water, spray on and wipe off with a damp sponge. Alternatively, try lemon juice or undiluted white vinegar, or immediately rub with soda water, or sprinkle salt or cornflour on the stain and vacuum after 30 minutes.
Air Freshener – Simmer vinegar or herb mixtures in water or try cinnamon and cloves.

In the Laundry

Bleach – Use a cup of lemon juice in half a bucket of water and soak overnight.
Stain remover
– Use eucalyptus oil to remove stains before washing. Simply apply a few drops and let it evaporate.

Now, before you rush off to try out any and/or all of these little hints and tips…
Remember, we’re all grown-ups here. Test these hints out before you go whole-hog. I don’t want to see angry comments about beautiful silk scarves totally ruined by the application of eucalyptus oil to remove a tiny invisible-to-the-naked-eye stain. Okay ?!?

And of course it goes without saying that if you choose to try out the soda water cure for carpet stains in plain view of your children, I really don’t want to hear about the subsequent Coca-Cola-ising of Grandma’s handwoven, heirloom rug.

Are we all agreed on this? Good.

I have some more snippets for the garage, but that can wait until next week when I finally get around to cleaning out our dog wagon. I’ll be giving the baking soda a run for it’s money then, I can tell you.

And finally, in the spirit of spring de-cluttering you might want to have a quick read of this from my last spring cleaning drive.

Merry Spring to all of you Southerners, and Happy Autumn to all of you Northerners. Enjoy the new season !

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