Natural Innovation on the Home Front

Ways to Be a Green; Time Saving; Highly Efficient Domestic God or Goddess

We have just run a competition on Facebook asking our ‘Faithful’ fans to spill the beans on their natural house keeping secrets. And we were blown away by the knowledge out there:

  • Brush your teeth with baking soda – it works immediately and it works wonders to whiten and clean.

(Nadya Booyse)

  • Squeeze lemon juice into a bowl with water – put in microwave on High for a few minutes and all the grime comes off easily.

(Helen Kathryn Close)

  • I use Bicarbonate of Soda to clean kitchen countertops and also wipe the appliances clean with it. It also works for absorbing bad smells. You can put it in a bowl in the fridge and it’ll work wonders.

(Lisa du Plessis)

  • Soda water is fantastic at removing red wine and other horrible stains from the carpet – just soak or blot the stain immediately and wait till it is gone. Olive oil is also a really great natural wood polish.

(Judy Smith)

  • Any clear spirit like cane or vodka are great for cleaning. A little on the pricey side, but you don’t need much.

(Vanessa Vock Macfarlane)

  • When I watch the TV ad where all the spills are mopped up with a fizz product (wow – it fizzes), I always think a wet cloth would have done the job just as well, so a washable cloth rinsed in water is sometimes all that is needed.

(Dawn Hogarth Springer)

  • Lemon juice acts as a natural bleaching agent. Put lemon juice onto white linens and clothing and allow them to dry in the sun. Stains will be bleached away.

(Audrey Smith-Schelan)

  • Use vinegar for glass. Seriously, it is dirt cheap, leaves no streaks and you can get it everywhere and in bulk. Of course your house smells like a fish and chips shop, but I promise this passes within 20 minutes or so. Brilliant for glass top tables, marble and chrome type finishes.

(Nadya Booyse)

  • A few drops of Orange essential oil in water to wipe down kitchen counters works wonders at keeping insects out of the kitchen.

(Lee-sa Harmse)

  • Bicarbonate of soda can be used on white linen to make it whiter.

(Vanessa Vock Macfarlane)

  • Vinegar is an amazing thing to keep in the house. Three things we use it for all the time:
    1 – Washing down the wooden floors. Dilute about 1/4 cup in 5 litres water and it shines up the floor and cleans it beautifully;
    2 – Cleaning window…s. After you have applied it, use up those community newspapers that get stuck in your post box for buffing up the window to a fabulous clean shine;
    3-Clearing blocked drains. Pour bicarb down the drain and then follow it with vinegar. It fizzes like crazy (just like some of the nasty brands in the shops!). Leave for about 10 minutes then run hot water through to clear all the muck. This has worked for us every time.

(Karen Everett Baker)

  • I use a mixture of bicarb and salt in the washing machine, and use vinegar instead of a fabric softener. Works like a charm! Also use the same combination for washing dishes.

(Ann Klemptner)

  • I use vinegar on windows and milk mixed with water to clean my plant’s leaves…

(Christina Rauska)

  • If you put apple cider vinegar in a little bowl, it does something to fruit flies, I cannot tell you honestly what, but it keeps them away.

(Nadya Booyse)

  • I use a combo of Borax and Bicarb in the dishwasher – about 2-3 tsp of each dissolved in a little boiling water and poured into the dispenser. A slice of lemon can be placed into the cutlery tray to add freshness and dissolve grease.

(Clare Van Daele)

  • To clean the microwave I use a lemon cut in half in a bowl of water – microwave for 10 minutes and wipe the microwave with a clean cloth – works wonders.

(Yvonne Le Roux Koert)

  • Tip for fleas, should they be in the carpet … just sprinkle well with Baby powder – it works like a dream and it’s …safe

(Helen Kathryn Close)

  • I make my own body scrubs from brown sugar, lavender flowers and almond oil.. I make toothpaste from bicarbonate of soda, salt and hydrogen peroxide. I pour bicarbonate of soda onto my carpets and mattresses and then vacuum it up to make them smell clean. I clean my windows with a vinegar/water combination, and I also soak my daughter’s nappies in a water/vinegar combo before washing them. A whole lemon in a little net bag in the washing makes everything smell beautiful 🙂

(Jessica Marais)

  • For ink or ballpoint pen stains, use neat Dettol.

(Helen Kathryn Close)

  • For those that use cloth nappies – soaking them overnight in bicarb, water and tea tree oil leaves them clean and stain free. You can give them a short rinse in the washing machine and then you are done!

(Karen Everett Baker)

  • Instead of using moth balls when you store your winter clothes use cloves. Smells so much nicer when you want to use again especially linen.

(Sharron Bunton)

  • I use equal amounts of lemon juice and salt to clean my oven. Let it sit on stubborn stains for 5-10mins, and scrub away. No fumes and it works a charm. I use lemon juice to remove perspiration marks from clothing. We also live in an old house and mould is always a problem, so I use clove oil left on the affected areas overnight to remove and kill the mould. It also works well if mixed with bicarb of soda and sprinkled all over. The bicarb also acts as a scour when wiping it all off. 😉

(Santie Meyer)

  • If you don’t want cockroaches in your house, but don’t want to kill them with toxic chemical sprays, try these natural repellents: (1) Bay leaves placed in kitchen cupboards will keep them away because they don’t like the smell. (2) Cedar …oil is another smell they steer clear of – apply it to wood. (3) Lastly, how about some red pepper spray? Dilute red pepper sauce like Tabasco with water and spray it onto surfaces – it really works, but wear a mask if you’re worried about breathing in the pepper spray yourself!

(Mary Nel)

  • Here’s one I use to remove pen ink stains from fabric. The recipe was originally intended for removing permanent marker ink from skin, but it works for both. (adapted from The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Ann Worwood) Combine half tsp orange essential oil with 3 tsp joboba oil in small container and shake or stir and apply to ink-stained area with wad of cotton wool. If necessary/possible rub fabric together as if ‘washing’ it. Rinse well under water.

(Astrid Larsen)

  • Bi carb is great for cleaning out pans that have residue stuck to the bottom. Use tiny bit of water, bi carb and leave to soak… hey presto!

(Helen Kathryn Close)

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