5 Tips to Clean your House Organically for the Festive SeasonAnn
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. I love it when everything is so colourful and all the stores are adorned with bright lights and sparkly decorations. What’s more? It’s the time where family and friends celebrate together. But there is a hurdle I always have to cross: make sure my house is clean and tidy before anyone comes to visit!
But do you know that those regular cleaning products that you and I are storing in our cupboards can be as bad for our lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day1? We all assume they are safe. Yet when you think of inhaling chemical particles that are meant for cleaning the floor and not your lungs, maybe it is not so surprising after all. Therefore, since my younger daughter got eczema, my family and I have started replacing commercial cleaning products with safer alternatives such as natural cleaners or organic cleaning products. Those are not only better for our health but are also safer for children, animals and the environment. As the festive season is coming and I know we all want a clean house for Christmas, read on for my top tips for an immaculate and fresh house organically. Do check them out and I hope you would perhaps pick up a new trick or two to use year round!
1. Vinegar for Kitchen Vanity
Fridge? Oh my god, spillages everywhere. Oven? Full of grime and grease. How now, brown cow? If you ever stumbled upon these problems before, you know the kitchen is the top priority in the Christmas cleaning mission. Don’t fret! I have been there as well, but let me share with you a few tricks to get your kitchen ready in no time with one simple ingredient: vinegar. Since the main substance in vinegar, acetic acid, can kill harmful bacteria or prevent them from multiplying2, I have complete faith in my below favourite concoctions to tackle all the grime and grease in the kitchen.
- Refrigerator & Countertops: Whip up a 50-50 vinegar water mixture in a spray bottle, spray and wipe up spills or grimes stuck to the surfaces.
- Dishwasher: Run an empty cycle with a cup or two of vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher to remove hard water deposits and odour with ease!
- Cutting board: Spray undiluted white vinegar and then rinse for a refreshed and sanitised cutting board
- Oven: Heat a 50-50 vinegar water mixture in a dish at 120 degrees Celsius in the oven, let it bubble away for 30 mins. Then turn off the oven and spray the inner surfaces with more vinegar water solution. Close the door and let it stand at least 30 mins. Until the inner surface is cool enough to work, put on your gloves and scrub it down to get rid of all nasties inside.
2. Baking Soda for Spotless Bathrooms
With plenty of guests comes plenty of visits to the bathroom. But no one likes to see a dirty bathroom when they’re visiting someone else’s house. Hence, it’s extremely important to ensure all bathrooms are squeaky-clean before welcoming any guests. But you don’t have to rely on chemical-laden cleaning products to get rid of the spots and stains in your bathroom because the old mighty baking soda got you covered. Similar to vinegar, baking soda is also an effective and safe home disinfectant against potential human pathogens. Moreover, a combination of baking soda and vinegar creates a lot of fizzing, which helps to break down tough stains on marbles and bathroom tiles3. So here are my 3 tricks up for a spotless bathroom with ease!
- Toilet bowl: Sprinkle baking soda into your toilet and leave it. Moisten with vinegar from a spray bottle to get right up under the rim. Scrub and flush away for a newly cleaned look.
- Mouldy tiles: Mix baking soda and water together to form a paste. Apply it onto the tiles, then scrub away with a cleaning brush to remove mildew and mould.
- Glass shower door: Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and wipe down the glass to get rid of the soapy water spots or stray flecks of shaving cream in no time.
3. Lemon for Squeaky-Clean Windows
During Christmas, windows are the perfect opportunity to showcase your creative flair and celebrate the beauty of the festive season with some glittery red, green and gold ornaments or a mini wreath for more holiday cheers. And if you love decorating your windows like me, then wiping up the window glass is a must before adorning your window with any festive accessories. For a simple and quick window cleaner, I often mix 1 table of lemon juice with 1 quart litre of warm water in a spray bottle, then spray the entire surface of all windows. Last but not least, crumple up some old newspaper and wipe the surface using circular motions. After a little elbow grease, my windows will appear squeaky-clean again.
If you aren’t a fan of DIY cleaning mixtures but are looking for an organic solution to a sparkling clean window for this coming Christmas, give Ecologic Lemon Window Cleaner a try. I personally love it because of the refreshing lemon smell. Would love to hear from you, so don’t forget to write a review to tell us what you think about the product.
4. Simple Guide for Dustless Sofa
Guess where your friends and family will spend most of their visit on. It’s your sofa. Hence it’s uttermost important to make it clean and free from any traces of dirt, spilled drinks or mysterious stains. But reassure you don’t have to spend a fortune on professional cleaning services or to resortresorting to harsh chemicals because all you need is a vacuum cleaner, some mild soap and a bit of determination to make your furniture feel brand new again. Here is my 3-step guide to sanittinise your sofa with safe ingredients straight from the kitchen.
- Vacuum: Shift those cushions aside and vacuum thoroughly to all crevices where pet hair, food crumbs and dirt accumulate. Don’t forget to vacuum all sides of the cushions as well.
- Remove stains: Mix ¼ cup of white vinegar, ¾ cup of warm water and ½ tablespoon of dish liquid soap in a spray bottle and spray the mixture onto the soiled fabric. It usually takes me a while to scrub well with a soft cloth until the stain lifts, and then use another cloth moistened with clean water to remove the soap.
- Dry the sofa: Blot the cleaned area with a dry cloth or towel to remove as much moisture as possible. To speed up the process, I usually keep the window open and run a fan pointed at the sofa to let it air dry completely before putting the cushions back.
5. Freshen up naturally with Essential Oils
Imagine Christmas without the sweet smell of oranges, the warm and spicy cinnamon scent or the crisp, forest-like spruce aroma, how boring would it be? It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started using essential oils to boost my mood whenever I feel stressed. Since last year, I decided to add essential oils to my Christmas cleaning routine to freshen my house with the seasonal smells without having to worry about any artificial fragrances or harsh chemicals. Here are my top 5 essential oils for Christmas that are good to blend together or use separately:
- Sweet orange: To me, orange always does a fantastic job in uplifting the mood. Being sweet and refreshing, it can be easily combined with any oils below to transform my home into an oasis of happiness.
- Cinnamon: This packs a greater punch in terms of aroma and brings a warm and inviting atmosphere to welcome all guests.
- Frankincense: Being one of the gifts that wise men brought to baby Jesus, this relates so well with the history with Christmas and is one of my favourites due to its rich and intense scent with hints of spice and fruit.
- Ginger: Who doesn’t love stepping inside a house with the smell of a fresh batch of gingerbread cooling in the kitchen? You don’t have to bake gingerbread every day to enjoy such a wonderful smell because the warm, spicy yet sweet aroma from ginger essential oil has exactly the same effect.
- Spruce: This is a perfect way to get a Christmas tree’s smell without having to buy an actual tree every year. Its pleasant earthy scent results in great calming effects and relief from stress and anxiety.
If you aren’t a fan of essential oils or finding it too troublesome to play around with so many tiny bottles, incense stick could be a simpler solution for you to boost the Christmas spirit. Come and check out Marco Polo’s Treasures Incense Stick. They are handmade entirely from natural ingredients without any toxic. Letting the incense stick burning away slowly could stimulate sensuality and bring a calming effect which helps you to enjoy the festive season to the fullest.