How to spring clean your home quickly, cheaply and nat­u­rally

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Home Improvements -

By Gabrielle Fa­gan t's time to tackle that an­nual rit­ual. Luck­ily, Gabrielle Fa­gan has sorted the kit, green clean­ing so­lu­tions and shorts cuts to make it easy.

Shake a duster, power along with a broom or a mop, and scrub en­er­get­i­cally - so that dust, cob­webs and win­ter grime are all ban­ished and you're ready for a new sea­son.

Spring clean­ing is a time­less an­nual rit­ual to spritz up your home ready, but these days, it needn't be a chore.

Fol­low these tips to make clean­ing in the old fash­ioned way truly en­joy­able...

IStock up on some

tra­di­tional tools Spring clean­ing used to be a tra­di­tional task that had weeks de­voted to it, and no nook or cranny was over­looked. You may be more time poor now, but you can equip your­self with clean­ing tools in­spired by retro-style, whose de­sign has stood the test of time, just visit RE for the home. Use the power of herbs for

eco-friendly clean­ing If you wouldn't give house room to chem­i­cals and tox­ins, white vine­gar is a fan­tas­tic kitchen cleaner. Vine­gar's cheap, cuts through grease like noth­ing else, de­odorises and some peo­ple even swear by its use as a dis­in­fec­tant. If you don't like the smell, you can use fruit peel­ings and what­ever herbs you have to hand.

One of the most pop­u­lar com­bi­na­tions is Lemon, Laven­der & Thyme Con­cen­trate (recipe be­low) which can be used as when­ever any clean­ing recipe calls for vine­gar. Al­ter­na­tively, use it as an all-pur­pose kitchen-clean­ing spray. Half-fill a spray bot­tle with the scented vine­gar mix­ture and top up the other half with cooled boiled wa­ter (for a 50/50 di­lu­tion). Di­lut­ing is im­por­tant be­cause the con­cen­trated cit­rus oils, undi­luted, could stain lighter sur­faces. Warn­ing: Do not use on mar­ble, gran­ite or other nat­u­ral stone sur­faces. How to make Lemon, Laven­der

& Thyme Con­cen­trate (Makes 500 ml of con­cen­trate)

Shelf life: In­def­i­nite when con­cen­trated, or about eight weeks once di­luted

In­gre­di­ents: Use ap­prox­i­mately 500ml/17fl oz white vine­gar; peel of ap­prox­i­mately 8-10 lemons; gen­er­ous hand­ful of thyme sprigs; and a gen­er­ous hand­ful of laven­der sprigs. You'll also need a 1l/35fl oz lid­ded glass jar.

Method: Add the lemon peel and herbs to your jar. If you're us­ing frozen lemon peel, there's no need to de­frost. Add the vine­gar, cov­er­ing the lemon peel and herbs. Give con­tents a stir, then put on the lid and seal tight.

Leave jar in a cool, dark place for about 14 days, or longer if you want a stronger scent. Then strain the liq­uid through a sieve, press­ing down on the lemon peel and herbs to squeeze as much liq­uid out as pos­si­ble. Pour the strained liq­uid back into the jar, and pop the peel and herbs in your com­post bin. Bring the scent of the for­est to your rooms If you don’t want to clean your floors with bleach be­cause it makes your house smell like a swim­ming pool, and even makes you nau­seous some­times, then opt for a nat­u­ral solution that leaves your home smelling like a for­est in­stead! How to make For­est Fresh

Solid-Floor Cleaner (Makes about 4 litres/7 pints, for sin­gle use) Shelf life: Use im­me­di­ately In­gre­di­ents: 150ml/5fl oz witch hazel; 1 tbsp bo­rax sub­sti­tute; 40 drops pine es­sen­tial oil; 3-4l/5-7 pints very warm wa­ter

Method: Add the witch hazel, bo­rax sub­sti­tute and es­sen­tial oil to the warm wa­ter and stir well, en­sur­ing the bo­rax sub­sti­tute dis­solves fully. To use: Dip your mop into the mix­ture, wring out as much liq­uid as pos­si­ble, then wipe over your floor as nor­mal. Open the door to a tidy home... First im­pres­sions really do count. There's noth­ing more dispir­it­ing than step­ping through your front door into chaos.

Start by clean­ing the floor and tidy­ing up the hall area and en­sur­ing you have stor­age so­lu­tions for shoes, coats and bags, so none of that clutter reaches your rooms. Once done, you'll feel more mo­ti­vated about tack­ling the rest of the home. Use these three tips to make

your spring clean eas­ier Clean­ing gloves brand Marigold and Vileda say that ev­ery year you burn on av­er­age 3,000 calo­ries as you walk around your home tidy­ing and clean­ing. Fol­low their tips ... Tip 1: Freshen up a mi­crowave by plac­ing a cou­ple of lemon wedges in a bowl of wa­ter and turn the mi­crowave to high for three min­utes. Leave to stand for five min­utes keep­ing the door closed, then open and wipe thor­oughly in­side.

Tip 2: For best re­sults when you mop a floor, mop in a fig­ure of eight shape, mov­ing the mop to­wards you as you mop to en­sure you get up all the dirt.

Tip 3: To re­move pet hair from fur­ni­ture, rub a damp Marigold glove over your fur­ni­ture. It acts as a pet hair mag­net.

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