Cleaning tips of the past - for the present

Cleaning today has all sorts of gadgetry and chemistry associated with it to get things looking spick and span that we can easily forget that some of the old ways still work just as well - if not better!

With this in mind, we thought we would remind ourselves about some of those miraculous old school cleaning solutions that can be found already in your kitchen cupboards.

Tip 1 - Nothing but naturally clean windows

Your grandma didn't have all the fancy window and mirror cleaning sprays to get her panes gleaming, and you don't need them either. Mix up this streak-free recipe used for over 100 years and see for yourself how your windows can sparkle using ingredients that have stood the test of time.

Recipe - 1 ½ cups of water, 1 ½ tables spoons of white vinegar, 1 ½ table spoons of rubbing alcohol and just 3 drops peppermint essential oil! Add them to a spray bottle, spray liberally on windows and mirrors and wipe with a lint-free cloth to get a streak-free shine.

Tip 2 - Vinegar good on more than just chips

Over time, even the best shower heads can block up and reduce your power shower to a mere dribble. But don’t fear! This can be fixed without even leaving the house.

Just pour straight white vinegar into a plastic bag, use a rubber band to secure the bag to your shower head and leave for a few hours, when you return, scrub the residue with a toothbrush and voilà! An officially de-gunked, gleaming shower head in one simple move.

Tip 3 – The magic of lemons

All those much-loved and over-worn white clothes you never want to let go of but probably should might just receive a stay of execution with this tip. It is as easy as adding lemon to water to make that yellowed white laundry, whiter than white again!

Method - just squeeze the juice of one lemon into a gallon of hot water in a laundry bucket. Let the item soak in the solution for one to two hours. Run through a rinse cycle or rinse by hand, then set them out in the sun to dry and see your whites look like new again.

Tip 4 - Feel free to drink tea

As a nation of tea drinkers, it is no wonder that our mugs and cups can discolour over time. But don’t despair! Just rub bicarbonate of soda around the inside of the cup using your fingers and then rinse… so simple and works a treat!

Tip 5 – Keep your sofa eternally new

Anyone who has had a fabric sofa for a few years can benefit from this old-school upholstery shampoo. Recipe - mix 6 tablespoons of pure soap flakes and 2 tablespoons of Borax together. Slowly add 500ml boiling water, stirring well, until dry ingredients are dissolved. Allow to cool, then whip into a foam with an egg beater.

Brush the dry suds onto the sofa, concentrating on any particularly soiled areas, before quickly wiping them off with a damp sponge. Your sofa will look like new!

Tip 6 - No-brainer drain cleaner

If you need a fantastic fix for drains that take a long time to clear, we have another great, old-age solution for you.

Method - pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup white vinegar. Allow the mixture to fizz for several minutes, then flush down a litre of hot water. Repeat this weekly and it will keep your drains in good running order going forward.

Tip 7 – Protect your furniture

Our last time-tested cleaning tip is one designed to keep your furniture looking like new, whilst protected at the same time. Recipe - combine 1 cup of olive or vegetable oil with 1 teaspoon of lemon essential oil (available at health food or aromatherapy stores).

Mix the oils together thoroughly and apply sparingly with a soft rag, then wipe dry with a clean, soft cloth, buffing to a gleaming finish! Who knew homemade cleaning could be so easy?!

Try it yourself!

We hope we’ve given you some inspiration to follow in your ancestors’ cleaning footsteps. Try these methods that have stood the test of time and see for yourself how you can avoid using harsh chemicals in your home!