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Money saving tips: How to cut the cost of your cleaning routine with this simple hack

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Cleaning products can come at a hefty price, with different items and tools to clean different rooms. Antionette Daniel, CEO of ethical cleaning company Just Helpers has shared how you can make your own cleaning products at home which will not only save money but will also help to protect the environment. Antionette said: “From re-purposing fruit mesh bags into scourers to creating a magic eraser for crayon wall art with a damp cloth and baking soda, we’ve seen and experimented with many things at Just Helpers Cleaning Agency.”

The cleaning expert explains how all you need to clean your home is some bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar along with some newspapers and old t-shirts.

Antionette said: “Don’t be afraid of white vinegar. The smell quickly dissipates and the sparkle that it leaves behind (plus the planet saving bonus) more than make up for any temporary discomfort.”

Limescale

The cleaning expert said: “London is a hard water area. This means limescale creeps in, in various forms, all over our home: our taps, our showerheads, our toilets, our kettles, even our washing machines are not safe.

“Here are a few tips to get you on the clean and shiny path to scaly free homes.

“Ever heard about the Coke down the toilet trick? Pour a bottle of Coke down the toilet and don’t flush, leave overnight. This works for all forms of limescale build-up. Unscrew all the easily detachable bits from your taps and showerheads and soak them overnight, (making sure you don’t unscrew something essential that gives you a reason to call the plumber). For the other parts use cotton wool pads soaked in lemon juice and wrap firmly around the remaining parts. Keep basting the pads with lemon juice ensuring that the pads are fully in contact with the part.

“If you are trying to save money and the planet then white vinegar works very well. Fill your kettle 3/4 full with equal parts water and white vinegar, boil, remove kettle from the port source, leave for 15-20 minutes, rinse several times and voila! a sparkly new looking kettle.”

White vinegar is great for cleaning due to its acidity property that can help target soap scum and tough stains. It can be picked up for really cheap in most supermarkets. 

Fridge clean

Fridges should be spot cleaned regularly with a deep clean being added into a cleaning routine at least once a month. 

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Antionette continued: “A solution of bicarbonate of soda or vinegar is ideal. Bicarbonate of soda is also great for neutralising odours if a spill has gone unnoticed and resulted in a nasty niff! Cotton buds are great for cleaning fiddly corners. Dry thoroughly with a clean tea towel.

“Wash the shelves, drawers and crisper in hot soapy water. Remember to remove the plastic guard strips from each of the shelves. These often need a good soak and a scrubbing brush to get to the bottom of the narrow crevices. Don’t be tempted to pop them in the dishwasher either  – it’s too hot. I also find that it leaves watermarks on the  plastic components.  Dry thoroughly before putting them back in the fridge.

“Let your fridge get back to the correct temperature before re-filling it (a fridge thermometer is useful for this).”

Bicarbonate of soda can also help to remove dirt and grime that may have built up in the fridge. 

Oven cleaning

The cleaning expert explained: “To eradicate the need for chemicals you must to start as you mean to go on: cleaning your oven on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. Although there are many eco-alternatives on the market, none of them can cut through hard burnt on grease to the same extent as sodium alkyl ethoxy sulphate and sodium hydroxide.

“There are a few brands who offer a mineral based paste that you can spread on and wipe off, normally made of a vegetable soap and mineral abrasive, here’s one from Astonish. 

“Or you can make your own paste with bicarbonate of soda and water apply it to all the internal oven surfaces and ‘bake’ it on.

“If you are planning on doing the scrubbing regularly, you might want to soften the grime first by putting a bowl of water in the oven and setting it to 100℃ for 30 mins to steam, this also works well in microwave ovens on a short four or five minute setting. Add lemon juice to create a pleasant odour too.”

The acid in the lemon is also antibacterial and antiseptic so it is known to be a great natural cheap cleaner. 

It also smells great which can disguise the smell of strong white vinegar. 

Fresh lemons can also be picked up quite cheaply and last for a long time.

Carpet cleaning

Carpets are usually placed in high traffic areas meaning they come into contact with a lot of feet or shoes each day, meaning they are one of the most important items to be cleaned in a home.

Antionette added: “Bicarbonate of soda is a great stand-by for dealing with spills or pet accidents.  It quickly neutralises nasty odours. Once you have removed the spillage from the carpet, sprinkle the dry powder over the affected area. Leave for an hour or two, then vacuum.”

Window cleaning

Smears and streaks are extremely hard to remove from windows but the cleaning expert explains how you can make your own spray with two simple products.

She said: “If you prefer to use a spray, try mixing 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with water and using this to refill an empty spray bottle. It’s chemical free, natural and anti-bacterial. Don’t use this on painted frames or surfaces though as it can stain.

“Professional window cleaners often use a squeegee to remove most of the water from the glass before drying the window. However, take care – you will need a towel handy to mop up the water or you can end up with puddles on the floor.

“We recommend microfibre cloths, as they are great for drying glass without leaving streaks.  If you don’t have enough microfibre cloths or would prefer to be fibre free use the old-fashioned method and dry your windows with crumpled newspaper – from my childhood chores I can tell you it works a treat!”

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