Would you like to get back to doing your cleaning and laundry the natural way?
These days, more and more products are available to apparently make our lives easier – do your laundry quicker, faster, better. Do your cleaning easier.
Generations before us used only one or two products to do absolutely every job around the home, and in the majority of cases they actually did them better that many of today’s products. Not only that, they did them cheaper, easier, more thoroughly, and with less harm to the environment!
Take a look at these excellent methods, passed down through the generations, that I will be adding over the coming weeks. Why not give them a try? The products are all available in the Wikaniko shop
GENERAL MACHINE WASH
By adding half a cup of Soda Crystals to your wash load you will soften the water and need to use less of your usual powder, or use, Soda Crystals Laundry Boost. Borax also acts as a natural laundry booster providing extra power and conditioning the water for maximum effectiveness; simply add half a cup to your wash load, along with the recommended dose of soap powder for soft water areas. If you have particularly hard water (high calcium and magnesium content) use Aqua Softna Water Softener – available as powder or tablets in every wash. The Aqua Softna will remove the hardness and prevent limescale building up in the pipework, heating element and pump. This will mean that these components will last longer with less maintenance. If the heating element is kept clear of limescale, it will use less electricity to provide the hot water for your programmes. Using Aqua Softna also reduces the amount of detergent needed; follow the detergent instructions for ‘soft water’.
BATHROOM WASTE BINS
Keep bathroom waste bins fresh-smelling with just a sprinkle of Bicarbonate of Soda. Apply regularly as you add to the basket or when empty, wash it with a regular solution of Soda Crystals.
Clean and deodorise your vinyl shower curtains by sprinkling Bicarbonate of Soda directly on a clean damp sponge or brush. Scrub the shower curtains and rinse clean. Hang to dry. Mildew on shower curtains can be removed by washing them in a strong Soda Crystals solution made with hot water.
SPONGES, FLANNELS AND COMBS
Freshen them up and get rid of that ‘greasiness’ with a soak in a hot regular solution of Soda Crystals.
TILES AND GROUTING
Clean wall tiles with a regular Soda Crystals solution, or use Liquid Soda Crystals to leave them clean and sparkling. This will bring new life to grouting too.
FLOORS AND VINYL TILES
Clean the bathroom floor with a regular solution of Soda Crystals - or try Liquid Soda Crystals but remember, a little goes a long way. Ceramic or vinyl tiles will clean up beautifully - but please note any polish on wood or vinyl floors may be removed by using Soda Crystals. A Soap flakes solution can also be used to remove the dirt and grime from a bathroom tile or vinyl floor quickly and easily.
To keep cupboards and fridges smelling fresh, use a bowl or opened box of Bicarbonate of Soda, it will absorb the smells. Replace every month, but don't throw the old box away - pour the contents of the old box down the drain to get two uses for the price of one! It will freshen your drains, and if your drains lead to a septic tank, Bicarb will help keep the pH balance in the tank at the right level.
Use a strong hot solution of Soda Crystals to help keep waste pipes clean and fresh. A regular flushing will help keep waste pipes clear of blockages. Use a plunger for badly blocked drains. To deodorise your bathroom drains and prevent odours from resurfacing, pour half a cup of Bicarbonate of Soda down the drain while running warm tap water. This will neutralise odours for a fresh drain.
An effective way to make your bathroom mirrors gleam without frustrating streaks, is to use White Vinegar. Simply spray, and wipe the surface with a clean cloth.
Pour some Soda Crystals down the loo to clean and freshen, and to help prevent blockages. Leave, preferably overnight, and if necessary clean with a toilet brush – then use them to clean toilet brushes too! White Vinegar will also clear limescale from around the lavatory bowl. Add to the bowl and leave overnight before flushing away. A severely scaled bowl may need more than one application. Borax is great at deodorising the toilet bowl. Sprinkle 1⁄4 cup of Borax into the bowl,
then swish around with the toilet brush. Let it stand for 30 minutes or if possible, overnight. The bowl will be as fresh as ever.
BATHS, BASINS AND SHOWERS
Use Liquid Soda Crystals to clean bathroom furniture (but not on lacquered or plated taps and fittings.) If a scouring powder is required, mix equal quantities of salt, Bicarbonate of Soda and Borax, and sprinkle on a damp sponge or soft cloth and clean. This can even be used on plastic surfaces without scratching. Rinse thoroughly. White Vinegar is an efficient way to remove limescale and soap scum from baths, sinks, tiles and shower screens. Leave to soak on stubborn stains, and rinse clean.(White Vinegar should not be applied to metal plated surfaces.)
CLEANING FINE CHINA
Fine china will shine brilliantly when rinsed in a solution of Borax (1⁄2 cup in a sink full of warm water). Hand-painted designs will not fade using this method. Rinse thoroughly with clear water
CLEANING FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
Bicarbonate of Soda is a safe way to clean dirt and residue off fresh fruit and vegetables. Just sprinkle a little on a CLEAN damp sponge, scrub and rinse. You could also use our Fruit and Veg Wash
CLEANING AND DEODORISING FRIDGES AND MICROWAVES
Borax is excellent for cleaning your fridge. Spilled food can be washed away with a sponge or soft cloth using a solution of 1 litre warm water and 1 tablespoon of Borax. Rinse with cold water. For heavy duty cleaning, use Liquid Soda Crystals, or solution of dissolved Soda Crystals. As a fridge deodoriser, place an opened box of Bicarbonate of Soda inside and replace every three months – but don’t waste it when you’re finished; throw it down the drain - it will deodorise that too!
For microwave cleaning use Bicarbonate of Soda on a clean damp sponge to clean gently inside and outside the microwave – without leaving a harsh chemical smell. Rinse well with water. For freshening between uses, place a box of Bicarbonate of Soda in your microwave (but don’t forget to remove the box while using the microwave and be sure to replace it every three months).
WASTE DISPOSAL UNITS
Borax helps deodorise waste disposal units by neutralising acidic odours. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons in the drain; let it stand for at least 15 minutes, then flush with water for a few seconds with the unit switched on. This treatment can be used for sink drains too.
FLOOR AND QUARRY TILES
Use a strong, hot solution of Soda Crystals to cut through ground-in dirt and grease and leave tiled surfaces sparkling clean. Be aware that Soda Crystals can remove any wax or sealant on the surface. For gentle cleaning, use a solution of
Soap Flakes; this will not remove oils and sealants from terracotta tiles.
Mix a cupful each of Borax substitute, Bicarbonate of Soda and Cooking Salt to make an effective multipurpose scourer. Apply to the surface and scrub with a damp cloth or sponge.
Line a large bowl with aluminium foil, mix a strong solution of Soda Crystals with very hot water and add to the bowl. Fully immerse silverware or jewelry for up to 15 minutes.Watch as the dirt dissolves away. Buff with a dry cloth.
Soft stones such as opals should not be cleaned using Soda Crystals
Deodorise your waste bin with Bicarbonate of Soda. Just sprinkle a small amount into the bottom of a clean, dry bin before use. Clean out waste bins with a regular Soda Crystals solution or Liquid Soda Crystals.
To remove limescale build up, fill the kettle to just above the element with White Vinegar. Bring to the boil and then leave to cool. Rinse thoroughly before using again.
Scrub with a regular Soda Crystals solution to remove stains and odours. Soda Crystals will leave no residual smell or taste once rinsed.
TEAPOTS AND CUPS
Tannin stains can be easily removed by leaving a regular solution of Soda Crystals to soak for one hour, or overnight. Then simply wipe away the film with a cloth and rinse with clean water.
An alternative quick, effective method of removing stubborn stains from tea and coffee cups is to apply equal parts of White Vinegar and salt into a paste and wipe around the cup with a cloth.
COOKERS AND WORK TOPS
Grease and burnt on food are easily ‘dissolved’ by Liquid Soda Crystals - leave to soak for a few minutes on stubborn marks and dirt. If you can't get Liquid Soda Crystals, dissolve soda crystals in hot water and use
Instead of washing-up liquid, use a tablespoon of Borax in a sinkful of water– for very greasy dishes; maybe add a little
washing-up liquid as well. Use a tablespoon of Borax in the rinsing water for glassware to prevent water streaks. If you can source borax or a substitute, eco-friendly washing up liquid is available in my Wikaniko Shop.
Make your own automatic dishwasher powder by mixing a tablespoon each of Borax substitute and Bicarbonate of Soda. Use White Vinegar in place of rinse aid. To clean the dishwasher, remove the filter and clean with Liquid Soda Crystals, then clean the machine inside with White Vinegar
Add Soda Crystals to the plughole and wash through with hot or boiling water. Use a plunger for badly blocked sinks. This is a very effective method and avoids the need to use expensive dangerous caustic drain cleaning chemicals. To remove limescale and watermarks from your draining board, spray a small amount of White Vinegar and wipe. Especially effective on stainless steel.
CLEANING BLACKENED/BURNT PANS
It doesn't happen very often, but I have been known to burn a saucepan or two. The boys have learned that a strong solution of Soda Crystals is very effective for removing burnt-on grease and food from pans, dishes and grill pans. They love how easily the pans are to clean after a soak. For stubborn debris, soak overnight.
NB Soda Crystals are NOT suitable for aluminium pans. For aluminium pans, you can use Borax; it’s a mild and gentle cleaner for porcelain and aluminium cookware. Sprinkle Borax on pots and pans and rub with a damp dishcloth – and don’t worry about scratching because Borax is not abrasive. Rinse items thoroughly.