This is normally the time of year I start noticing the windows need a clean and have the urge to de-clutter and now is a great time to make something positive out of a lot of the stress and uncertainty that is going around. Often you have a lot of the ingredients you need already at home, and if not they tend to be the ones that I am still seeing in corner shops and supermarket shelves!
First off for me to make the most of this I like writing a list I can tick off. I am a big fan of my bullet journal and have an embarrassingly empty page on my 'when did I last' page - but I am tackling it now and so far this week have:
-flipped the mattress and sprinkled with bicarb before hoovering off
-defrosted the freezer
-done an empty cycle on my dishwasher and washing machine with white vinegar to clear out any gunk.
-clear wardrobes and do a charity run
-descaled iron and kettle (see below for details)
Still to do (things I will forever put off):
- Upload phone photos onto dropbox
- fix the pile of clothes that have tears
-wash sofa cushion covers
Easy makes and cleans
Infused vinegar and oil
I love this job. Its incredibly satisfying, takes minutes to do and makes a great present at times like these. Those of you who have been to one of my workshops know how much I rate plain old unfancy white vinegar. I buy it by 5 litre bottles (if you can't find in your local stores at the moment you can order easily on ebay from small businesses).
White vinegar does not smell that great, and not everyone wants or can use essential oils at home (mostly those that have pets- EO can be toxic to animals). Infusing vinegar with herbs, spices and fruits can create an amazing scented product with added benefits from the ingredients. It is also a great way to use up food scraps! My main use for infused vinegar is for household cleaning, but also as my fabric softener.
Here are a couple of my favourite recipes:
Lemon, orange or grapefruit: Fill a jar with lemon, orange or grapefruit peels, about half way or full if you prefer it stronger, then top with white vinegar and let it sit somewhere dark and cool for 2-4 weeks. Strain peels and it’s ready to use. Lavender infused vinegar: Dried lavender flowers to vinegar in a ratio of 1 part flowers to 4 parts vinegar. Let sit somewhere dark at room temp for up to 10 days and strain (I usually just leave in until I use).
Note: Also try this recipe with apple cider vinegar and add a sprig of dried rosemary to make a hair rinse! . Rosemary & lemon vinegar: 10 sprigs of rosemary or dried sage and the peels from 2 limes or lemons in a jar and fill to the top with vinegar. Let sit as above for a couple of weeks and strain.
Nb: don’t use vinegar to clean stone surfaces such as granite!
This vinegar either by itself with a few drops of an essential oil like tea tree, lemon or lavender and diluted with one part water to one part vinegar can be used to clean:
-windows: use with old pieces of newspaper or a microfibre cloth
-bathrooms and kitchen surfaces (not on stone surfaces)
-descale your kettle (use plain white vinegar for this)
-used in every wash as fabric softener and clothes brightener
And the list goes on: I also infuse apple cider vinegar with lemon and rosemary and gargle with it for a sore throat and use as a hair rinse.
I have also been making a fresh batch of room and pillow spray which you can liberally spray around the house and on your bedding to freshen, clean and calm.
Spring Room Spray
I love making this to feel like I am tackling some spring cleaning and I want the house to reflect the mood I am in.
What you will need:
one small spray bottle
2 tbsp cooled filtered boiled water
2 tbsp vodka
1 tsp glycerin (to emulsify oils, can skip if don’t have)
8 drops cedarwood essential oil
4 drops Pine essential oil
2 drops lavender oil
1 drop peppermint oil.
Add all the ingredients to the bottle, give a good shake and spray away! I douse my sheets in this before bed… bliss.
I hope some of these ideas will give you some inspiration.
Wishing you all well, hoping you are keeping safe and happy spring cleaning!