Tag Archives: cleaning

Doing the Sustainability in the Chaos

26 Jul

With a large contract to work on, blogging has taken a back seat over the past few weeks. It’s also been school holidays, and the entire family came down with the cold and spew bugs in the same week. Messy.

What is interesting is how all the little sustainability projects I’ve been experimenting with have helped me get through the busy times.

The apple cider vinegar drinks helped clear our noses.

The seeds on the mantelpiece and in the cold frame have been germinating well, left to their own devices and squirts of water – giving me a little thrill to look at every time I walked past them on the porch.

Aloe vera masks with a drop of lavender oil helped my stressed skin.

My hand scrub (plus I used it on my feet) was a lovely pamper treat tonight at the end of a very crazy (but successful) work week.

It took no time at all the clean the bath and microwave, and do a quick dusting session with my sustainable solutions. These were chores I had very little time to do.

Homemade greek yoghurt with a teaspoon of homemade lemon curd stirred through has become my fast, easy and deliciously tangy breakfast.

These busy times are when I thought I’d drop the ball on being a Sustainable Wench, but I’m happy to realise that I’ve set some positive habits for myself.  Didn’t stop me from spending the money and treating ourselves to fish and chips tonight however.

Reducing the Cleaning Bottles – Carpet Splotches

4 Jul

I spot cleaned my lounge carpet this morning. Squished raisins and bits of jam had taken their toll. For my own peace and sanity, we are not a family where the children eat at the dining table for every meal. Occasionally* they are not perfect, and spillage occurs.

To clean the mucky bits, I used:

  • A little water poured onto the spot.
  • A lemon duster to gently rub the spot.
  • Extra white vinegar from the spray bottle for the tricky spots.
  • A towel to soak up any excess moisture after cleaning.
  • Coffee to (carefully) drink afterwards while nodding appreciatively at the clear carpet.

It worked extremely well – although the proof will be in a couple of weeks, whether the mucky patches come back (this happens if you don’t clean the carpet right through the fibres to the base). There will be future stains like red wine and chicken poo that may not come out so easily. Always interesting to have new challenges.

‘Carpet Spot Cleaner’ is now another cleaner I don’t have to fork out for. Gradually I’m reducing my cleaning cupboard supplies. I hope to just end up with lemon dusters, baking soda, vinegar and bleach. It’s remarkable how much money we spend on cleaning products which are unnecessary.

*quite often

Lazy Way to Clean a Microwave

21 Jun

I nicked this from Pinterest, tried it, and it worked ok:

  • Put half a cup of white vinegar and half a cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Zap it in the microwave for 10 minutes.
  • Wipe down after (no elbow grease required). Steam clean BAM! No weird chemicals.

Shortest Sustainability Wench blog ever. No photo because I don’t want to show you a ‘before’ pic of the inside of my microwave. Ewww.

DIY Lemon Dusters

25 May

Today I made my own lemon dusters. Apparently they make the room smell amazing, which means they may encourage me to actually dust. Also:

  • No stupid packaging.
  • No weird chemicals.
  • Quicker than going to The Supermarket.
  • Inexpensive.

Image

I followed this easy recipe from Wendyl Nissen.

Put half a cup of white vinegar and half a cup of water in a bowl, add 6-8 drops of lemon essential oil.

Soak some dusters (made from old cloths, sheets etc) for a few minutes, then squeeze out. Roll the dusters up with some lemon peel within the folds.

I didn’t have a lovely glass vintage jar (or any glass jar) big enough, so I’ve put mine in an icecream container. Apparently you can use other type of oil if you’re not keen on lemon. You just take them out as you need them, and if they don’t get too grubby, you can reuse them.

Reading the comments on Wendyl’s site, I see a couple of people had experiences with their cloths going a bit mouldy. That’s the kind of thing that happens to me, so fingers crossed it works out.

The Worst Chore Made Easy

22 May

I was stuck at home with a tired, asthmatic child today, so was not in a particularly Creative Save The Planet frame of mind. Squishing some cleaning between Takahe work and hangin’ with the six-year-old was the order of the day.

I’ve been thinking about how grubby parts* of the shower are for the past week. Sadly, thinking about it did not make it clean. This morning I sprinkled baking soda liberally in the shower, then went away, had coffee, did work, played with Lego etc. A bit later I sprayed it with white vinegar. I used lots of vinegar, mainly because it makes an excellent and satisfying fizzy sound as it lifts all the grime off. I gave it a bit of a scrub, and was very pleased indeed when I hardly had to use any elbow grease at all. Less than when I use conventional bath/shower cleaners with stupid packaging.

My good friend/business partner/bridesmaid-to-be uses this method regularly and swears by it. She also recommends a spray (1/3 bleach, 2/3 water) to disinfect loos and sinks after cleaning. Quite amazing how much faster you can walk down the cleaning product aisle of the supermarket (or bypass it altogether) when you have these little tricks up your sleeve.

No photo today because showers are boring.

*because my family uses baking soda to shampoo and apple cider vinegar as a conditioner,  the bottom part of the shower is actually very white and clean – just round the edges that is grimy.  Though if your shower is grimy all the way through, I do not judge. You probably have a life to live which is more exciting than shower-cleaning.