Traditional Spring Cleaning Tips

Welcome to the latest edition of Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of our community in mind, brought to you by Sheena Van Parys of Home Instead in Harrogate, Ripon and Thirsk.

Despite all the powerful new cleaning products available on the shelves today that use advanced chemical technology and sophisticated ingredients, many cleaning jobs can be just as effectively done using “old-fashioned cleaning remedies”. These are tried and tested methods have been passed down from generation to generation and are just as effective today as they were before the invention of fancy and expensive cleaners and sprays.

Removing lime scale from kettles: There’s nothing like a good cup of tea. To keep your kettle clean and free from lime scale, just boil the kettle and switch it off. Then, add two tablespoons of citric acid powder and leave to cool. Once it has cooled off, pour the solution down the sink and reboil the kettle twice with fresh water. This traditional fix not only dissolves the lime scale, but also prolongs the life of the kettle.

Cleaning a wooden chopping board: All you need is some coarse salt and a lemon. Simply sprinkle the board with coarse salt, scour the surface with half a cut lemon, squeezing to release the juice and leave it for five minutes. Then, scrape the residue off the board and rinse with a clean wet sponge.

Natural carpet freshener: Here’s a simple solution to remove wet dog and stale smells from your carpet; sprinkle a light dusting of bicarbonate of soda onto the carpet before vacuuming to remove smells and freshen the room.

Cleaning your washing machine: Rid your washing machine from mould and musty smells with a vinegar rinse once in a while. All you have to do is add a cup of white vinegar to the drum of the washing machine and do an empty wash on the hottest cycle. Do this every 2-3 months to keep things fresh and fragrant.

Cleaning windows: White vinegar (a natural disinfectant and deodoriser) and newspaper will give you windows that sparkle and shine. Mix one part white vinegar with one part warm water in a spray bottle and spray on to your windows. Then, polish your windows using crumpled newspaper. Don’t use vinegar on frosted glass or leaded glass windows.

The next time you need to do some household cleaning, don’t rush out to buy a host of harsh chemical cleaners, it is amazing what simple household items such as lemons, salt and bicarbonate of soda can do. Not only are they better for the environment but they are often better for your purse too!

To make a suggestion for a future topic, please write to me at [email protected] or by post to Home Instead, Nidderdale House, Station Yard, Ripley HG3 3BA. Alternatively, you can also call me on 01423 774490.

Sheena Van Parys