Wednesday,18 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1314, (6 - 12 October 2016)
Wednesday,18 October, 2017
Issue 1314, (6 - 12 October 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Entre Nous: How to be a domestic goddess

Let’s talk about better living! Our interactive family corner aims to expand our lifestyle horizons with practical little pearls of wisdom from the editor and input from our readers

When it comes to household cleaning, avoiding harsh chemicals and cleaning agents and opting instead for good old-fashioned remedies is kinder to our bodies, the environment, and usually also our wallets. So say goodbye to cleaners that require rubber gloves and a gas mask, and say thanks instead to your granny’s good old-fashioned non-toxic remedies that do the job just as well.

Here are some old-fashioned cleaning tips that really work:

Glass cleaner: Mix a quarter cup of white vinegar, one tablespoon of corn starch and two cups of warm water in a spray bottle and shake well to dissolve the starch. Spray generously onto the glass surface and then wipe dry with a clean cloth or old newspapers.

Shoe deodoriser: Fill a spare pair of socks with a mixture of coarsely crushed dried herbs and spices – any combination of rosemary, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, orange peel, lemon peel, thyme, lavender, and pine needles will do. Tie the socks at the top and leave them in the shoes between each wear.

Dishwasher soap: Mix two cups of borax with two cups of washing soda (sodium carbonate) and store in a closed plastic container. Add two tablespoons of the mixture to the dishwasher soap compartment and then use as usual.

Spot-free dishwasher rinse: Add one to one-and-a-half cups of white vinegar to the rinse compartment of your dishwasher and then wash dishes as usual.

Non-toxic toilet cleaner: Before you go to bed at night, sprinkle one cup of borax around your toilet bowl and then drizzle with 1/2 a cup of white vinegar. Leave overnight before scrubbing with a toilet brush.

Oven cleaner: Mix around 500gms of baking soda with a quarter cup of washing soda (sodium carbonate). Wet the floor and walls of the oven with a wet rag or paper towels and generously sprinkle the mixture on the surface. Repeat and leave it to sit overnight. In the morning, wipe the mixture and grease away, rinsing well to remove any residue. For really stubborn baked-on stains, you may need to scour with salt and an abrasive pad.

Stain remover: To deal with blood, chocolate or coffee stains, soak fabrics overnight in a solution of 1/4 a cup of borax and two cups of cold water. Wash as usual the next day.

Grease remover: Apply a paste of cornstarch and water to the grease and allow to dry before brushing away the mixture.

Grass-stain remover: Soak the stain in a three per cent solution of hydrogen peroxide and then wash.

Ink remover: Wet the stained fabric with cold water and apply a paste of cream of tartar and lemon juice one hour before washing.

Mildew remover: For stubborn mildew on light-coloured items, wash the fabric in warm soapy water and then make a mixture of two parts salt to one part lemon juice and apply it to the mildewed area. Place the item in full sunlight, rinsing after several hours. Repeat if necessary. Don’t use this mixture on dark-coloured items, as the lemon juice will bleach them.

Car interior cleaner: To clean vinyl and leather upholstery in your car, mix two tablespoons of vegetable oil-based liquid soap with 1/4 cup of olive oil and one teaspoonful of lemon essential oil and apply with a sponge.

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