Cheap Cleaning Alternatives
Cheap Cleaning Alternatives
Jane Furnival (Author) gives expert video advice on: Are there any household alternatives I can use for cleaning? and more...
Are there any household alternatives I can use for cleaning?
Well, I used to write a column on natural alternatives used for household cleaning, and I can tell you an awful lot of these old recipes. Very charming to read, but they don't really work very effectively, and they're a huge amount of hassle too. I actually do use salt, which is great for scouring surfaces. Vinegar occasionally, a dash in some water does help all sorts of situations. Lemon is pretty good. I'll tell you one really good thing, which is false teeth cleaning tablets like Steradin, or even some stomach ache fizzy kind of tablets. They're really great at getting stains off things like tea stained mugs and teapots and stuff. I never buy wet wipes. They cost a complete fortune. I use kitchen towels, and an ordinary cleaning solution of whatever it is that I have, and I save absolutely pounds. Now, Which Magazine, which is the consumer magazine association, did an interesting survey recently which told me that the most valuable washing up liquid is very green because it goes further and is more effective then any. I would agree with that. Don't buy the very cheap brands you can get at open end markets. They just don't work, they're too full of water. Now olive oil I recommend if you want to be a bit posh, and you want to actually rub that into your wooden surfaces. That's great. I once had an entire bottle of linseed oil, and I used that on my kitchen surfaces, and you only need a bit to polish wood really well. But unfortunately I discovered after many months of doing this that my husband was using a bottle of linseed oil, and he was actually doing his Saturday morning fry ups with linseed oil. He hadn't actually come to any harm doing that, but I would be very, very careful where you store these things.
Are there any household alternatives I can use for washing?
With regard to cheap alternatives to washing clothes, you hear a lot about washing balls, which are things you actually buy. You're meant to put them in the washing machine and they supposedly wash your clothes just as well as ordinary washing power. Sadly, I've tried them and I'm afraid I find that they don't work as an alternative to cleaning. With fabric freshener, I actually don't use very much of it as a cleaning alternative. It's very bad for towels in many ways; it does make them softer, but it makes them less absorbent as well. You can buy old fashioned stuff called Borax (you can find that at hardware shops) or baking soda as a household alternative, and you can soak nappies in that for 2 hours and then launder as usual. You can also just add a quarter of a cup of white vinegar to your final rinse cycle. With spot or stain remover, you can just rub a paste of soap flakes and warm water before laundering, if you want to. I think that modern washing powers are really, really good. To save money on cleaning, buy in bulk from a special kind of warehouse clubs where can get great industral ones cleaners.
Are there any household alternatives I can use for personal hygiene?
Are there any cheap household alternatives you can use for personal hygiene? Well, you can buy a hard kind of crystal at some chemists or health clubs or health shops which goes instead of a deodorant. And that lasts so long I've actually never had to throw one away. You'll get bored sooner than throw it away. But I do counsel you to be careful going through customs because customs officers could think it's some kind of drug you're smuggling. Otherwise keep it simple. The victorians used to put olive oil in cotton gloves on their hands and just sleep in that all night as a kind of deep-cleansing hand cream. You can use rosemary and a bottle of medicated spirits from the chemist's and you'll smell just the same as Queen Elizabeth I because that's what she used, rosemary and basil. Rosewater from the supermarket will make a tolerably good emergency scent but it won't last very long. Cornflower makes a reasonable talc or even a face powder if used very occasionally. Baby lotion can be used on your skin. But, please, try to be very careful if you're mixing your own face lotions from any kind of recipes you find in books, especially things like strawberries can really make your skin react badly, or anything acidic. I once tried making a hair rinse out of stinging nettles that you had to boil up, but it smelled disgusting and I don't think it actually worked very well. Then there was the mix-it-yourself henna that blocked up the plug-hole, and that's another thing that all these various herbal remedies do that they don't say at the time. All those pretty looking little bits of roses and things like that block up the plug-hole and then you have to send for an expensive plumbler. Other things that don't work for me are tea bags and cucumbers over my eyes, as you can see. Almond oil is a good all-purpose moisturizer as long as you don't have nut allergies, of course, and you can brush your teeth with baking soda but, again, in moderation. I do find really you're best-off buying basic toiletries from good quality supermarkets or stores like Boots or Superdrug. Their own basic shampoo and conditioner, 8 P, just as good as stuff you can buy costing three times the price.