Traditional Tricks for a Sweet Smelling Home

Clean houseThis Spring there’s no need to reach for the air freshener or go bonkers with bleach when you have the natural know-how for a sweet smelling home – all year around.

It’s all too easy to cheat with our chores. We tell ourselves that we’ll tackle that pile of washing up and laundry and take the brush and mop out at the weekend. But then Saturday arrives, and how can you say no to friends, a picnic in the park or a leisurely drink down the pub? Typically, by Sunday night we do a swift swipe around the house and promise ourselves that next weekend we’ll focus on the hidden hairballs behind the sofa. Hmm, why does that happen?

The average household uses 10,000 litres of chemicals every year and these are often the products that don a mighty skull and crossbones. About 17,000 chemicals appear in our common household products yet only 30 per cent have been adequately tested for their negative effects on our health.

A Greenpeace report as long ago as 2007 showed that hazardous man-made chemicals are widespread in household dust and this is made worse when we let dirt and odours build up. The secret to any green home is frequent cleaning with a specially designed eco product, such as Method’s Tub Scrub which uses coconut oil and milled marble to clean bathrooms, or a totally natural solution such as bicarbonate of soda, Borax and vinegar.

Here are a few tips:

Wondrous water

Did you know that common H2O accounts for 40 per cent of any cleaning task? Hot water, a good E-cloth and some wrist action will clean any hard surface without the need for products and doesn’t require you to fumble under the kitchen sink. E-cloths are made from millions of tiny fibres that suck up dirt and they can be chucked in the wash for repeat use. Make shopping simpler and less frequent by buying concentrated cleaning products, such as Bio-D or Alma Win.

Plants: Natural air filterBring the outdoors inside with you

Even if you’re living in a bustling city, get rosy-cheeked and leave your windows open whenever you are home as this will allow air-flow to naturally deodorise your home. Fresh air will also keep the dust mites from settling, which is a cause of many allergies.

Plant an idea

Now you have an excuse to cheer up your home with indoor plants. These filter and purify the air and dilute any airborne pollutants. The soil in a potted plant acts as a sponge for absorbing any foul odours. Common spider plants are particularly fab.

If you pop half a fresh onion into a bowl for a day this will also absorb pollutants and give you a healthier home. It doesn’t smell either – honest! Other members of the allium family – such as chopped chives or cloves – act as great deterrents for common household pests.

Pots of basil or rosemary prevent moths, fleas, ticks and spiders whilst a fresh mint plant not only smells fantastic in any kitchen, it also dissuades little household critters and saves you having to borrow your neighbour’s cat. A quick squirt of Method’s scrumptious mint Window & Glass Cleaner around the house will also do the job.

Fragrant flurry

Grab yourself an oil burner and use eucalyptus, lemongrass or peppermint essential oils for long-lasting sweet smells in the house. Whilst removing your make-up at night, grab extra cotton wool balls and add a couple of drops of essential oil and place them into old jam jars around the house. For bathroom mildew use a few drops of tea tree oil on a cloth because this oil’s antiseptic qualities is good for clearing up anything going a little mouldy.

Coffee granules face packThe perfect girl’s night in

Just as you’re about to serve your Greek salad, you can dab a spot of olive oil on your dining table. This is a great furniture polish and, if used sparingly, can nicely polish up any stainless steel hob.

Linseed oil, which is extracted from flax seed is a women’s best friend and not just because it keeps our hormones in synch. You can use linseed oil to keep the finish on wooden floors, surfaces and furniture. For ease, why not try the fragrant and ever-so-efficient Ecover Floor Cleaner?

You, some tunes and a glass of vodka and tonic! Instead of keeping all the vodka to yourself, use a measure to clean all your bathroom fixtures. Vodka brightens up chrome, glass and porcelain and painlessly removes greasy stains. It also works a treat on mould and mildew. Pure alcohol is better than products that are ammonia-based - this is an irritant known for aggravating asthma and can cause chemical burns. The best eco-cleaning products use alcohol, such as the voluptuous bathroom cleaner, which is sexy enough to leave on display.

Sunday mornings just got lazier

We all love a morning with the Sunday papers and a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Whilst you’re on a coffee high, why not use the leftover coffee grounds from your cafetiere to make a DIY face pack – and - if you have an ant problem then wipe your surfaces with the old coffee grounds in hot water. Coffee grounds can remove scratches from wooden surfaces too.

Clean with lemons

Squeeze up a sparkle

When you’re fixing up your G&Ts, buy in a couple more lemons as the juice is a great bathroom descaler and can be sprayed on to wooden surfaces for some citrus freshness. Add a dab of salt onto half a lemon to pucker up your brass too.

You can put lemon juice into your dishwasher or washing machine to make your clothes smell fresh and make them fluffy. Lemon is such a terrific ingredient, and it’s in our fave eco toilet cleaners and washing up liquids! G&T really is a handy tipple as tonic water can rid stubborn grease on your pots and pans too!