Time for a spring clean-up – nat­u­rally

The Leader (Nelson) - - UNDER ONE ROOF -

Spring si­dles along­side in the most un­ob­tru­sive man­ner.

One day you are bundling up with coat and scarf to ward off a frost and the next you are notic­ing blos­som and spring flow­ers break­ing into bloom.

These are lit­tle more than re­minders in your sea­sonal mail­box that win­ter is pack­ing up its be­long­ings and va­cat­ing the premises – but it hasn’t de­parted with fi­nal­ity yet.

It is still bang­ing around, mak­ing a nui­sance of it­self by scat­ter­ing about some weather of the un­pleas­ant kind, and rum­bling on in the man­ner of an in­con­sid­er­ate neigh­bour.

It is a sure sign he’s on his way and a re­minder that there’s some catch-up ahead of you to put right all the odds and ends that have been left to ac­cu­mu­late be­cause win­ter made it too un­pleas­ant to tidy them.

This is what peo­ple call the an­nual spring clean, a time when con­science pricks as you sur­vey the ev­i­dence of three in­ac­tive months and you con­tem­plate the lit­ter of tasks strewn within and out­side your home.

You’ll prob­a­bly de­lay mak­ing a start be­cause the enor­mity of the mis­sion numbs you into in­er­tia. Then you do what you do when you don’t do what you know you have to do – you make a list.

You ease your way into the project by turn­ing your at­ten­tion to what is clos­est at hand – the in­te­rior of the house. It is fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory but you tackle it be­cause, un­til win­ter trun­dles out of town, it is a more com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment in which to work.

If you haven’t stocked up on house­hold cleansers, why not try out in­stead some nat­u­ral clean­ing prod­ucts you are likely to have in your cup­boards.

The mi­crowave – you never got round to clean up the onion soup that splashed on the walls and spilled then dried on the ro­tat­ing plat­ter.

If you want to ex­punge the odour from within it, cut a lemon in half, sprin­kle it with salt and scrub the in­side of the mi­crowave with it.

If you have ever tried to re­move wa­ter rings left on your cof­fee ta­ble by some­one who did not use a coaster – and failed mis­er­ably – try this.

Blast the ring with a hairdryer on high and watch it fade away.

If you want to clean your bath nat­u­rally, take this tip from Martha Ste­wart.

She says the best way is to mix one tea­spoon of liq­uid soap with a few drops of an­tibac­te­rial es­sen­tial oils such as tea tree, pep­per­mint or rosemary – and scrub. How re­fresh­ing – so much so that you’ll want to take a bath.

If your elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ances are look­ing smeary, shine them up with a mix­ture of cream of tar­tar (one ta­ble­spoon) and a few drops of wa­ter to make a paste. Ap­ply with a sponge and scrub be­fore wip­ing clean with a pa­per towel.

To cleanse the shower head in your bath­room, fill a plas­tic sand­wich bag with vine­gar and tie it onto your shower head overnight.

Well, that was easy, wasn’t it? One de-clogged and shiny shower head.

When the linen cup­board needs to be fresh­ened up, try leav­ing a box of bak­ing soda open in your linen to keep your linen smelling fresh.

If you want to show off some beau­ti­ful spring flow­ers but can’t reach the bot­tom of the vase you want to dis­play them in, mix a ta­ble­spoon of rice with a lot of soapy wa­ter, shake it well and then rinse un­til clean.

If pet fur ac­cu­mu­lates in the most in­con­spic­u­ous places, don a pair of gloves and rub your hands over fur­ni­ture and car­pet to rid your­self of your pet’s ‘‘cast-offs’’.

You can then sub­merge your gloved hands in wa­ter to get the hair off your gloves and scoop it up.

You could head out­side now and make a clean­ing as­sault on the green­house but why not give your­self a well de­served break.

We’ll ad­dress the green­house sit­u­a­tion on page 7.

Take a holis­tic ap­proach to your spring clean-up by us­ing some nat­u­ral clean­ing prod­ucts.

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