Monday, 12 February 2007

Quick Tip

Have you got pots and pans that have burnt on foods on the bottom? Don't throw them away, but put water and a little bicarb soda in the pan, then put it on the stove to boil. Once it has boiled, leave the water to cool, then clean normally! It'll all come off incredibly easily.

Friday, 9 February 2007

A Complete Clean - part 3

  • Dust anything that needs to be dusted. Assume that everything needs to be dusted. Use dusting cloths.
  • Vacuum the entire house. Not just carpets, but tiled floors and furniture too. This includes the beds.
  • Sprinkle shake-n-vac on the carpets. Leave.
  • Bleach the toilets.
  • Mop any hard floors (excluding bathroom). Use dishwashing liquid and detol. Change the mop water whenever it looks a bit gross. Tip this water on the back garden.
  • Spray the beds with this mix: in a spray bottle put cold water and a tea-bag (black tea). Leave for 10 minutes, then remove tea-bag. Add 10 drops of lavender oil. Shake. Spray the beds (both sides) the couches and any other soft furniture.
  • Clean the bathrooms with all purpose spray. Then clean the showers, and put bleach on the floor around the toilet. Put normal toilet liquid down the toilet and scrub. Remember to check that all of the toilet is clean – not just the inside but the outside of the bowl, under the seat and the lid (top and bottom). Use bleach and pieces of toilet paper to wipe down – and throw them straight in the toilet when done. Clean mirror using ¾ water ¼ white vinegar mix and using coffee filter paper
  • Mop all floors a second time. (Again excluding bathroom).
  • Vacuum a second time.
  • Mop bathroom.
  • Wash the windows. Use newspapers or coffee filter paper or paper towels with a ¾ water ¼ white vinegar mix. If possible, wipe with a squeegie to get an even finish. Clean both inside and outside – inside using horizontal (side to side) strokes, outside using vertical (up-down) strokes. Then if there are any marks you know which side the marks are on. Clean the sink and the bath using ajax powder. Wet bath/sinka nd sprinkle powder liberally. Get a cloth and rub. Clean the drains – pour plenty of baking soda (bicarb soda) down the drain and then pour vinegar. You will get a bubbling reaction. Wait until reaction has calmed, then put more vinegar down. This clears drains.
  • Clean lights. Dust them, and if necessary CAREFULLY wash the lightbulbs. Replace any broken ones. Wipe the lights with a pleasant scented oil. Lavender is good in bedrooms, tea-tree or eucalyptus in bathrooms, lemon/bergamot in the kitchen and rose in living rooms.
  • Empty the bins again, and wash them with dishwashing liquid. Dry them. Take a tissue (one or two per bin) and soak in tea-tree oil. Rub the oil around the inside of the bin. Then line as normal. Throw the soaked tissue straight in the bin.
  • Make beds.
  • Bring stuff that is outside inside, and arrange in a new way. You may switch back later, but try a different way for a night or two. Often you don’t have furniture arranged in the most visually pleasing or the most space-efficient way. Try it another way, give it a little time, and see if it makes a difference.
  • Have a pot-plant of herbs in your kitchen and/or on your kitchen table. It will keep the air cleaner, look nice, and can be used in cooking.

Now that your house is clean I strongly advise that you go through all of your stuff and get rid of things you don’t need – clothes that don’t fit, cook ware that you’ve never used, knic-knacks you hate. Donate them to friends and/or charity. Keeping things clean is much easier when you have less stuff. You’ll be surprised at how much of your stuff is junk that is just taking up space. Get rid of it.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007


I recently picked up an old poetry book called The Thoughts of Nanushka (v1-6) by Nan Witcomb. What a FIND! I'm now going to be searching for the other volumes. You can read more of her poems here.

Johnny's got a pocketful of dreams -
it's patched and there are cakecrumbs in the seams -
to you it may not be a lot
but all the treasure Johnny's got,
he carries in his pocketful of dreams -
a beetle in a match box, a tiny piece of string,
some sealing wax and carpet tacks,
a bell that doesn't ring -
When Johnny grows to be a man,
into a world that's tough,
he'll soon be told his pocketful of dreams
won't be enough -
but if he owns a great big car,
a swimming pool and a yacht,
he'll never be as happy
as the time when all he's got
is a beetle in a match box, a tiny piece of string,
some sealing wax and carpet tacks,
a bell that doesn't ring.....

Sunday, 4 February 2007

A Complete Clean - part 2

What to Do (more or less in the order you need to do it in)
  • Open as many windows as possible. They’ll need to be closed when being washed, but for now, open them.
  • Begin by removing any clothes that are on the floor and taking them to the laundry. Strip the beds, and move towels, tea-towels etc to the laundry too. Sort clothes etc into piles and wash each pile. If any are particularly smelly then add some white vinegar or detol to the wash. Add the dtol/vinegar when the washing machine is full of water – i.e. when it is soaking. This will minimize odors. Towels will almost certainly need this, but other things may well need it too. Whites that are particularly dirty need to be soaked in a bucket with plenty of napisan – before they are washed, so it’s a good idea to start with the darks.
  • Take out anything that is going to get in the way of cleaning.
  • Wipe all skirting boards. They look awful when they’re covered with dust.
  • Go to the kitchen. Throw away any empty containers, any food that looks suspect, or anything that has been left open too long. Remember to check the fridge and the freezer. (Do the same thing in the bathroom.) Wash and dry any dishes. Wipe out all cupboards and benchtops, and re-arrange all kept food/toiletries so that it is neat and easily seen. Use an all-purpose spray for both.
  • Clean the oven.
  • Clean inside the fridge. Take out all food (hopefully you’ve already checked it’s okay, but if in doubt throw it out) and spray with an all purpose spray. Then rinse it out with a wet just water cloth to get rid of any left over cleaning spray smell. Then take another cloth and soak with vanilla essence. Wipe down the fridge with that. Get two tiny containers (the type that you get little sauce packs in from take-away restaurants) and put bicarb soda in one and vanilla essence in the other. Put them at the bottom of your fridge before repacking it.
  • Clean under the fridge. Put a sock on the end of a broom handle, soak in mopping water and wipe thoroughly underneath the fridge.
  • Empty the bins – they’re probably overflowing.

You're halfway through! More to come!

Saturday, 3 February 2007

A Complete Clean - part 1

Sorry I haven't been about everyone. I haven't been busy - but everything has been so dull that no one would want to read about it. I've spent lots of time doing paperwork, cleaning, BTF etc meetings, and sorting through my stuff.

But here is a lovely long post that I have made for you. In fact, it's so lovely and long I'm going to post it over the next few days.

Here you go!

Before hand:

You can make unbeatable dust cloths at home by stirring together one cup of lemon oil with two cups of hot water. Dip lint free cloths into the potion and let them air-dry. Then store the dusters in a covered metal container until you're ready to dust. The oil picks up the dust and the lemon gives your dusting a pleasant fresh aroma. Alternatively, use a different scent – rose is also nice, so is bergamot.

Stuff You Need:

  • Bicarb soda (also known as baking soda)
  • White vinegar
  • Detol
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Vanilla essence
  • Tea-tree oil
  • Tea-bag (black tea)
  • Lavender oil
  • Scented oils (own choice, but bergamot, lemon, eucalyptus and rose are my suggestions)
  • Ajax cleaning powder
  • All purpose spray
  • Shake-n-vac
  • Oven cleaner
  • Bleach
  • Toilet cleaner
  • Washing powder
  • Napisan
  • Buckets – for clothes soaking, window washing and mopping. The more the easier
  • Plastic bags for bin lining
  • Coffee filter or newspaper for windows and mirrors
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Dusting cloths – both pre-soaked in oil ones and general cleaning cloths. Get the amount you think you need, and then get that amount again. Then get about another 5. Seriously, you will go through them like anything. Chux, old rags and sponges are all useful cloths, but have a mix
  • A scrubbing brush
  • A mop.
  • Tissues / and or toilet paper. Both for runny noses because of the dust and for wiping things that you don’t want to use your cloths on (like the toilet)
  • Clean bed-linen
  • A broom (or at least a broom handle)