Lets go back in time with cleaning

As much as I love a cleaning gadget or a fancy pink bottle I do also love to go back to basics.  I can spend hours talking to my Nan’s about how they cleaned when they were young and what products they used and had access to.  When Jake was a baby I used to help a few older ladies out with their cleaning, I loved these days as they taught me so much and it is where many of the tips on my pages has come from. There is so much choice these days on both cleaning products and gadgets.  There is literally a product for everything but are all these products necessary?

I know this will probably sound absolutely mad but my dream is go back in time and spend a day being a 1950’s house wife or even better still being a house keeper at a huge county manor a bit like Downton Abby. I did get some brief experience of this when I did Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners. You can watch my episode set at Prehn House HERE

I love to visit National Trust homes and get a feeling on how it used to be.  Life has changed so much and we do have gadgets for almost everything but when it comes to household cleaning, is using harsh chemicals and cleaning products better than going for those good old-fashioned cleaning remedies of yesterday. For one they are kinder to our skin, much better for the environment and much cheaper too.

But would I still be as into cleaning as much I am today if cleaning was much harder work? Lifting heavy buckets of water, scrubbing floors with little brushes. Cleaning the house was a daily task that took hours and was mostly done by hand and involved a lot of physical labour.

The Victorians used to beat their rugs with carpets rods and then hang them outside for days to bring them back to life. Apparently this was more effective in the really cold weather as the cold air also killed the germs. Just imagine how hard this would have been. All we do these days is very quickly run our hoovers over them.

Carpet and rug stains used to be treated with neat lemon juice and they used to soak up oil marks using warm bread.

The air was refreshed using a pan of boiling water on the stove and using cinnamon.

Ovens were cleaned using water and bicarbonate of soda and left over night. I actually still use this trick. Check out my oven cleaning tips

Linseed oil, lemon juice and vinegar mixed together was used to polish furniture

Gone of bread was used to clean wall paper. A downwards motion would pull of any dust and stick to the bread.

Heavy irons were heated up on fires, this was a slow process.

Silverware was cleaned by lining a pot  using aluminium foil, filling with warm water and adding salt and bicarbonate of soda.  These days we have the luxury of the dishwasher or fancy washing up liquids.

Wow doesn’t this all sound like hard-work, mixing all the potions together to get started would have took more than enough time. But when I look back in time it makes me appreciate how easy looking after our homes is today.

Both of my Nan’s are in their early 80’s now and when they first got married neither of them had a hoover but they both had sweepers which where quite heavy and bulky. Sweepers were used to draw fine dust and dirt from the floor through the machine by means of a draft of air and needed emptying after every use. Neither of them got hoovers until later on and still to this day don’t use them daily.  The dust pan and brush is still a firm favourite for both of them.  I suppose in the future new gadgets will come along and we will still use what know is best and works well for us.

My Nan’s both loved to use Methylated spirits which are made from mostly natural products.  They were used to clean glass, toys, stains and was great at removing marks that stickers can leave behind.( I often use nail polish remover for the sticker trick)  I had never even heard of this until they both told me about it.

I really do enjoy going back to basics and coming up with my own cleaning remedies.

Bicarbonate of Soda  and White Wine Vinegar will always have a place in my cleaning cupboard and my fruit bowl will always be full of lemons.

Old fashioned cleaning methods can still be the best. If you have any fabulous old fashioned cleaning methods then I would love to hear about them.

So next time when your whizzing around with the hoover and think its too much like hard work spare a thought for your ancestors who didn’t have this luxury.

Happy Cleaning
Lynsey Queen of Clean xoxox


How to Descale the Kettle

The average kettle will develop a layer of limescale at some point. But rather than scrubbing and washing your kettle using chemicals, you can clean and descale a kettle in a matter of minutes, with little to no effort at all, just by using water and natural ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen cupboards.

It’s such a simple process just follow these very simple steps

  1. Fill the kettle with water and then add in 20ml of white vinegar or lemon juice.
  2. Leave to sit for an hour
  3. Leave the solution in the kettle and boil
  4. Empty your kettle and if you have limescale the lumps will come away when pouring
  5. Fill the kettle again with cold water
  6. Boil again to rinse and then use as normal.

You can also use citric acid, just pop 20ml off the powder into the water or sliced lemon, add in 3 slices with the water.

If you have limescale/hard water build up around the spout of lid area, simple dampen some kitchen paper with white vinegar and then wrap around that area, leave to sit for 15/20 minutes, remove and wipe away.

To keep your kettle is good working order and keep the hard water away I recommend doing this once a month.

Want more simple tips then grab a copy of one of my books and I will show you how to clean your house and tidy up your life


Hands up if you hate Oven Cleaning

Oven cleaning is one of the most hated and worse household cleaning tasks.  Its one of those jobs that we tend to put off as much as we can. Once you close the Oven door you can no longer see the grease and grim.

I have to always have a clean oven and being quite a traditionalist after we have had our Sunday Roast I am straight in armed in my rubber gloves ready to go.  Daily if we use the oven I wipe the Oven over with a warm soapy cloth to ensure its stays clean. If grease and grim build up your Oven Clean can become a much more time-consuming job.

Plus having an oven door covered in grease, grim and burnt food is not good for your energy consumption, opening to check food will soon add up.

I have tried many products over the years and here are a few of my favourites:

Oven Pride makes oven cleaning less of a nightmare, it’s a unique bag cleaning system that has been designed to give unbeatable results. It’s so easy to use but please make sure before you start to use oven pride you must read the instructions and wear the provided gloves.

Scrub daddy power paste is made from natural materials, is biodegradable, non-toxic and can be used throughout the home including the kitchen and bathroom. It is Lemon-scented for extra freshness and does a marvellous job in cleaning the oven. Power paste is effective with water alone. Just dampen the sponge and swirl on the paste to produce a cleaning foam. Use it in conjunction with a scrubber to remove surface debris or with a microfibre cloth. The Scrub Mommy two-sided sponge is perfect for delicate as well as heavy-duty jobs. Her FlexTexture side changes depending on water temperature. Soft in warm water and firm in cool water for tough scrubbing

Astonish oven and cookware cleaner is a cleaning paste, that cleans all types of enamel, porcelain, ovens and cookware. This one is also lemon scented to banish cooking odours.

But I am a big fan of steering away from harsh chemicals in the oven so use a more natural method of Bicarbonate of Soda and white vinegar

Bicarb is really effective and makes the daunting task of oven cleaning a little easier. All you have to do to get a shining oven is spray the whole oven down including the glass door with a water bottle so that it is damp, and pour on a thick layer or bicarbonate of soda, especially on the bottom, until there is about 1/4 inch layer of bicarbonate of soda paste on the bottom. If any of the bicarb is still dry, I wet it with the water bottle.

Once the bicarbonate of soda has been applied then you need to add some neat white wine vinegar to a spray bottle and then liberally spray this all over the oven so it reacts and works with the bicarbonate of soda.  After close the door and leave for a few hours. The two products work amazingly with each other and will start to lift all the dirt and ground in grease.

I’ve found that it is important to make sure that the bicarbonate of soda residue has been completely removed before using the oven as any remaining bicarb  may smoke if left in contact with the heating element and a spatula works well at removing this.

For the wire racks I use wirewool and washing up liquid and I find this brings them up like new.

Then there is a the grass trick which does actually work, you simply remove the racks and leave over night on your lawn, the dew and moisture loosen the burnt on food and grim.

And lastly there is the tumble dryer sheet trick, check out my little demo here.

I hope this helps with your oven cleaning and remember if you try to wipe over your oven every time you use it with a simple warm soapy cloth this job will be a whole lot easier.

For more ideas on how to use White Wine Vinegar than take a look here


How to clean your Microwave

The Microwave is one of those kitchen appliances many of us put off cleaning.  Its one of those items that is out of sight out of mind and as long as the outside of the appliance is clean the inside can wait.

Inside the microwave there can be food splatters and food spillages and often a nasty unclean smell.

The microwave can also be an awkward appliances to clean that you need to get the plate out and get your arm right in to reach the sides and the ceiling of the appliance.  Food can often be stuck so after a little wiping many people will just give up.

But there is such a simple easy effective way to clean the microwave and here is how.

1 – Fill a microwave safe bowl with warm water and grab a lemon from the fruit bowl and cut this into 4 quarters.

2 – Pop the lemons in to the bowl of warm water and put the bowl into the microwave.

3 – Set the microwave to 5 minutes and start.

4 – The water should boil.

5 – Once the 5 minutes cycle has finished leave as it is for another 5 minutes and let the steam from the bowl along with the lemon do its job of dissolving the grease, spilled food and grim.

6 – Remove the bowl and dispose of the water and lemons. Take out the plate if you have one and wash this is warm soapy water and then with a clean damp cloth wipe the inside of the microwave and see the dirt and grim come away really easily.

7 – If you have some really tough old food stain add a little white wine vinegar to a cloth and then rub and this should then come away easily.

8 – Dry the plate and pop this back and you will have a very fresh clean smelling microwave the looks like new.

I hope this simple tip has helped you.

Thank you for reading.
Queen of Clean xoxoxo