Sunday, 2 October 2011

Autumn Cleaning

Cleaning isn't my favourite weekend activity but this weekend some of if was quite interesting. I've read a lot about "green" cleaning methods, using stuff that you already have in your cupboards instead of harsh chemicals. It's meant to be better for the environment because you're not putting dangerous chemicals into the water system (when you wash them down the drain) and better for you because your not breathing the chemicals in. But do these homemade cleaning products really work? I tried three out.

  1. Vinegar window cleaner: I've used this in the past and I find it works almost as well as window cleaner. Mix some vinegar (I normally use 1:10 vinegar:water) with some hot water and use an old clean rag to wipe down inside and outside windows. Then use a clean towel to dry and polish. This takes a little more time than the usual methods but really works well, even better if you put the vinegar mixture in an old spray bottle.
  2. Bicarbonate of soda microwave cleaner: I read this in a magazine a while ago. The method said to put equal parts of bicarbonate of soda and boiling water in a microwavable dish and pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes. This is meant to loosen all the dirt inside the microwave so that you can just wipe it off. Maybe I did it wrong but it really didn't do anything. Much better was hot water and scrubbing, only took a few minutes so no cleaning product needed, just elbow grease.
  3. Brown sauce for metal cleaning: I've recently bought some old brass/pewter (can't tell which) cups and wanted to give them a really good clean. I've found a few cleaning suggestions on the internet including ketchup, brown sauce and a mixture of brown sauce, salt and vinegar. I tried all three. I rubbed the mixture onto the cups, left it for a few minutes and then wiped off and washed with hot water. It definitely got a lot of the dirt off but not as good as actual metal cleaner. It  smelt better than normal metal polish and I think it worked at least half as well, I'll be using it again. Out of the three the brown sauce worked best, but only by a little. I'm not sure whether it's the vinegar content or something else that changes the effectiveness. Does anyone else know?
I enjoyed my green cleaning experiments and although there were mixed results I'll be using some of them in the future. It was nice to get things clean without getting dizzy from chemical smells. Does anyone else have any green cleaning methods I can try out?

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