Time for a spring clean-up – naturally
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.