Thursday, 30 January 2020 05:58

Say goodbye to harmful chemicals in your home

I wrote this article in 2016, and as I read through it recently I realised that I have never looked back. I never visit the cleaning aisle in the supermarket, and our cleaning routine has become simpler and easier with time. I still love reading Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management and regularly read articles online about natural cleaning methods. But little has changed since this article, and really hope you will enjoy the tips, and possibly share some of yours too!

Here goes:


Soak in warm solution of water/vinegar. Add two tablespoons of uncooked rice and swirl around. Rinse and dry upside down

Carpet Stain:

If the stain is still wet, sprinkle with baking soda. Allow to dry, then vacuum. If stain is old and dry, saturate with club soda and scrub with a wet cloth. Then sprinkle bicarb and allow to dry.



Use toothbrush dipped in bicarb/water and scrub to remove lime scale


Clean grouting with nailbrush and bicarb/water



Sprinkle bicarb and water, allow to dry and wipe off. If done regularly you won't need anything else

Stainless steel:

Clean regularly and shine up with a touch of olive oil

Discoloured china:

Make a paste of baking soda and water to clean discoloured teacups and teapots. It's gentle enough for most fine china, and it's easy on the hands and the wallet.


When you're washing narrow-necked glass vases and decanters, add a little uncooked rice to the water. Your glassware will sparkle.

Aluminium pots:

Boil apple peels in aluminium pots: it will make cleaning them (the pots) much easier

Smelly bottles:

Half fill bottle with water and add 1 tbsp. bicarb. Shake well and allow to stand for about 1 hour.

Smelly cutting boards:

Rub it with a sliced lemon or lime.

Greasy dishes:

Soak in hot water with baking soda. Chemically, baking soda plus grease equals soap.

Stained crockery:

Soak overnight in a mixture of hot water and soda. Then rub with vinegar moistened cloth dipped in salt. This works very well with tea stains.

Glasses stuck together:

Put cold water in the top one and place the bottom glass in hot water. They should come apart.

Smelly grater:

Rub a hard crust of bread over it.

Smelly hands:

If you have a lingering onion smell on your hands, trying rinsing them with cold water, rubbing them with salt, and then rewashing them. You can also rub your hands with half a potato. (Do you have a trick?)

Stained hands:

Rubbing with a raw potato and then washing may remove many fruit and some vegetable stains.

Smelly kitchen:

For an inexpensive deodorizer, put some orange peel in the oven at 350F with the door ajar. If you have a really powerful odour to deal with, boil some cloves in a mixture of 1 cup of water and 1/4 cups of vinegar.

Rusting knives:

Stick them through an onion and leave them there for 1/2 hour, then wash and polish. Wipe them very lightly with a very light coating of vegetable oil to keep the rust from returning.


Wipe with a solution of bicarb and water while still warm. If you have spilt food, sprinkle a combination of salt and cinnamon on any spills while baking, but you should also be able to use a spatula to lift the whole piece after the oven cools.

Burned pots and pans:

For iron, Pyrex and stainless steel pots, first scrape out what you can. Partly fill with water and bicarb. Boil for 10 minutes then let stand overnight. Clean with a scouring pad.
For aluminium pans, boil an onion in the pan, the burned stuff will float to the top.

Rusting pots:

Scour them with a hunk of raw potato dipped in cleaning powder.

Dull scissors:

Cut a piece of sandpaper into strips to sharpen.

Stuck screw top containers:

Just bang the top of the jar flatly on any hard surface. Now the jar should open with relative ease.

Dirty or stained thermos flask:

Fill with warm water plus 1 tsp. baking soda. Let sit overnight then clean and rinse thoroughly.

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