I thought today I'd do a post about recycling some household waste into make-shift cleaning supplies. Recycling has become very fashionable in recent years, even to the extent that we now just plonk some household waste into a recycling bin. But what about recycling some of your waste yourself? I have a few ideas... so here goes. Can you think of anything else you could re-cycle to use for cleaning?
It's advised that we replace our toothbrushes every 6 months. I never throw away a used toothbrush, because they are essential for cleaning around the house. Here's how you too can use your old toothbrushes.
* For stubborn limescale deposits, soak some paper towels, or a cloth in white vinegar. Apply to limescale area and leave to soak for 2 hours. Remove and use your toothbrush to scrub away the softened deposits, very helpful for nooks and crannies around faucets.
* The next time you clean your refrigerator, don't forget to clean the rubber seal. Pour some warm water into a bowl along with a drop of washing up liquid. Dip the toothbrush in the soapy water as you go around scrubbing the rubber. Wipe with a damp cloth.
* If your children draw with crayon on your walls, use a bit of toothpaste on the toothbrush to scrub away the crayon. Wipe away the toothpaste with a lightly damp cloth.
* Use the toothbrush and some diluted bleach to remove mildew from window frames. The bleach will also prevent the mildew coming back.
Old and odd socks
Aah, the Anthea Turner way! Use old socks (clean ones only please), over your hand to dust stair banisters, ornaments, plants etc. You're less likely to miss out on tricky corners if you use your hand to dust this way.
It goes without saying that if you have pets, keep every bit of old towel you have... they are so handy on muddy days. But old towels are great for a couple of other things too... read on.
- After mopping a floor. Wrap an old towel over the end of a broomstick, push around the floor to speed up drying and prevent slippages. It has the added bonus of buffing the floor.
- Have a designated bathroom cleaning towel (perhaps even mark it with a permanent marker, or if that's too tacky for your linen cupboard, go ahead and embroider). Use that towel to wipe and clean the bathroom once you've finished in the shower. You wont need any chemical, and you'll never again have to use elbow grease to scrub your bathroom because you'll be preventing limescale and oily deposits buildup.
Use old newspaper to clean windows. Read more about getting streak free shiny windows here.
Used spray bottles
I never throw away a spray bottle. They are great to use for making up your own cleaning concoctions. Try some of these chemical free ideas. Also, I use one when I iron... simply add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil and you'll have lovely smelling laundry.
Use an old teacup, or a pretty bowl to freshen a room. Fill it with a few spoons of bicarbonate of soda and a couple of drops of an essential oil, and place it on a shelf. The bicarbonate of soda will absorb any nasty smells.
Use the skin of a banana to clean leather shoes before you throw the peel into the recycling. Or you can also use it to polish the leaves of a houseplant.
Don't pour flat cola down the sink, instead pour it into you toilet bowl and leave for an hour before flushing. It'll get rid of any limescale deposits and stains. Best not to think what this means for your stomach :)
Well I hope that's given you some new ideas, so get cleaning!
Oh, and one more thing...
We had some friends over for dinner and I needed to make a starter that would be tasty but quick to put together. I ended up doing a Tomato and Pesto tart from the BBC Good food website. It was delicious, and SO easy! I highly recommend it. Find the recipe here.