Tag Archive | Cleaning with lemon juice

Cleaning The Old Fashioned Way

As I said previously, I am having a break from my blog during March, but as promised I will share one of my favourite blog posts each Friday instead.

Below is one of the first posts that I talked about ‘old fashioned cleaning’….I hope you enjoy it:

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This week I’ve decided to write about  ‘cleaning the old fashion way’.  I am not saying I don’t ever use harsh chemicals, but I do try and minimize their use as much as possible now.

I simply feel that the old fashioned cleaning methods are just as good and often cheaper that our modern chemical cleaners.

Over the years we have all become more and more reliant on harsh chemicals and powerful cleaning products, in the hope that we can reduce cleaning time and eliminate all germs and bacteria.

I am very guilty of this as I used to proudly call myself the ‘Dettox Queen’, which I now feel very sad about, but we live and learn.

Some products contain chemicals that are toxic if ingested and when these products are used they are also released into the air of our homes and then inhaled or absorbed through our skin.

My opinion is, that this has somehow led to the increase of allergies and intolerances that children and adults now suffer with.  When I was a child most of these allergies were very rare or unheard of.  I also think that by excessively using ‘anti-bacterial’ products, we are also decreasing our resistance to bacteria and reducing our immune systems in ourselves and our children.

I remember there was a discussion on the television not so long ago, about chemicals found in breast milk.  Below is an interesting link regarding this:

www.nrdc.org/breastmilk/chems.asp

Something else that I should also mention is that chemicals can threaten the environment, animal and plant life, when they are leaked out through our drains and into the watercourses below, so I think this is a good enough reason alone for me to reduce my usage of them.

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So this is what I use:

Old Fashioned Cleaning Products

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Lemon juice – this is a mild acid which has a bleaching and deodorising effect.  It also dissolves grease.  It is an antibacterial and antifungal cleaner.

White vinegar – it’s cheap and harmless to use and is a good multi-purpose cleaner.  It is especially good as a glass and mirror cleaner and removes limescale easily.

Bicarbarnate of soda (also known as Sodium bicarbonate and bicarb, and baking soda) – this can be mixed with lemon juice, vinegar or just water to produce a gentle abrasive paste that is a great stain remover and a multi-purpose cleaner.  It’s good for cleaning tea and coffee stains on cups and cleaning stainless steel items.  It is best known for how good it is at deodorising smells as it absorbs odours and neautralises them, so it is good to use in the fridge, in shoes and to remove odours from carpets.

Lavender Essential Oil – I use this on some pot pourri near my toilet instead of an airfreshner.

Tea tree Essential Oil – This has anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, so I add a few drops to my vinegar spray in my kitchen.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil – This oil is great for removing grease and oil, for example, around cookers.

I must stress it is always best to test these products on small hidden areas when you first use them.

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You can find more information on all the above ‘old fashioned’ cleaning products here.

I hope someone will find this information useful.

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Tonight for tea we had ‘Spinach and Poached Egg Florentine’ served with home grown new potatoes and a freshly picked salad.

The recipe is here:

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Spinach and Poached Egg Florentine:

500g Spinach, washed and any thick stems removed

4 Eggs

A little bit of olive oil or a knob of butter to fry

1/2 pint of a plain white sauce

Grated Cheese to sprinkle over the top

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Fry the spinach in a little olive oil or with a knob of butter, until just tender

Make the white sauce

Arrange the spinach in an oven proof dish with four wells in for eagg each.

Break an egg into each well and pour over the white sauce.

Sprinkle cheese on the top

Bake for 12 minutes on Gas 5 / 190C / 375F and then increase heat for 10 minutes to Gas 6 / 204C / 400F

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Spinach and Egg Florentine

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Thank you for reading my b;og today.

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Tidying Up My Strawberries and Cleaning the Old Fashioned Way

Today I cut back my strawberry plants.

I’ve had a bumper harvest of strawberries this year, there would have been even more if there wasn’t so many slugs and snails around in the damp weather.

The strawberries are sitting in my freezer, waiting for me to make strawberry jam for my youngest daughter, she absolutely adores it.

I will make jam as soon as I get time.

After my strawberries have finished fruiting, I cut them back and have a general tidy up around them.  Cutting them back helps produce more fruit the following year.  I removed the straw that was under the plants and put it onto my compost heap and weeded around them.  I then cut the strawberries back to approximately 3 inches (8 cm’s) from the crowns.  It always looks harsh but they grow back really well.

Strawberries after cutting them back

This is the second year my plants have fruited so I am not keeping any runners, so I cut them all off.

 Strawberries are best replaced after four years as their yield starts to reduce and viruses and diseases have a tendency to build up.

 If I wanted to increase my stock I would just peg down the runners with a large stone or wire, so that the new plantlets were in contact with the soil.  When they have good roots on them at the beginning of September, I cut each runner from their parent and replant it where I want it to grow.  This way they are settled before the winter and produce fruit the following year.

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Patty pans

Today I picked my first patty pans.  They are from two different plants that I have outdoors.

Patty pans are lovely and I use them in the same way I use butternut squash.  We like them fried in a little olive oil, but they can be roasted in the oven, or you can just make soup with them.

If you pick patty pans when they are the size of your palm, they won’t have seeds in and you can eat the whole thing.

Once the plant starts to produce fruit, they are like courgettes, as they keep coming and coming until the end of summer.

 Amazingly, my outdoor plants have produced patty pans before the plant that I have in my polytunnel.  I have learnt from this and will probably not plant them in my polytunnel again.  I wonder if it was either too humid for the plant, as a couple have just rotted after they started to form, or if pollination hasn’t occurred, which can have the same effect.

  I would be interested to hear from anyone who has problems growing them in a greenhouse or polytunnel.

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Before I left the allotment this morning I dead headed my flowers to encourage more flowers to produce.  I am very pleased with the sweet peas that are growing.  They smell beautiful when I walk through the archway each day.

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Cleaning the old fashioned way continued…

 

Today I am looking at using Lemon Juice:

 

Lemon juice – is a mild acid which has a bleaching and deodorising effect. It also dissolves grease. It is an antibacterial and antifungal cleaner.  As it is acidic and is a natural bleach be careful to test on small hidden areas first and again don’t use it on marble.

Below are some ways to use Lemon Juice:

If you don’t have any vinegar then use lemon juice as an alternative, as it cuts through grease.  Lemon juice diluted in hot water is a great gentle cleaner for the kitchen.

Lemon juice can be used to dissolve soap scum and can remove lime scale.  You can use lemon juice on bathroom taps to make them shine.

Wipe lemon juice on a chopping board as it is antibacterial and it will remove stains and smells.

Rub lemon juice on your hands if they smell strongly of garlic or onion as it will remove the smell.

Cut a lemon in half and leave it in your fridge to give a fresh smell to your fridge.

Make a cleaning paste with lemon juice and bicarb.

Make up a polish by using 2 parts olive oil and 1 part lemon juice.  It polishes wood well.

Lemon juice is great for cleaning tarnished brass and copper.  Dip half a lemon in salt and this makes an acidic scrub.

Cut half a lemon and dip it in bicarb and use to clean surfaces and stains.

Put a couple of slices of lemon in a bowl of water in your microwave and cook on high for 3 or 4 of minutes.  You will be able to wipe it clean easily afterwards.

Put left over lemons in your dishwasher to give your pots a lovely lemon smell and an extra shine.

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Yesterday I talked about using ‘bicarb’ and I wanted to show you an example of how well it really cleans:

This is my sink before I cleaned it.

I cleaned it with bicarb on a damp cloth and I used an old toothbrush to clean around the plug hole.

Below is the sink after I cleaned it:

This proves that the bicarb really does work and it only took me a few minutes to do.

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This is the end of my ‘old fashioned’ cleaning tips for the week.

I will shortly put all the cleaning tips from the last three days in categories, at the side of my blog.  This way you can refer back to them quickly if you need to.

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I hope you have enjoyed reading about old fashioned cleaning methods.  I would love to hear your comments and any old fashioned cleaning tips that you use.

Well that’s it for today.  Thank you for reading my post.

Sweet William at my allotment