Older generations had more chores and less technology to do it with. And as much as we love our robot vacuums and dryers, sometimes the simpler, the better.
We’re always on the look-out for ways to make housework easier and you’re going to love these cleaning tips that prove grandma really does know best.
Our 5 Favourite Old-School Cleaning Tips
1Do It Daily
With our busy lives, most of us usually set aside a time per week (normally during a well-earned weekend) to get the chores out of the way.
However, doing a little extra per day will go a long way to making Saturday morning’s clean less of a mission. Get into a daily routine of tackling what small tasks you can, such as giving the floor a quick sweep after breakfast, keeping the spray and cloth in the shower or folding washing while watching TV.
Keep on top of mess as best you can when it happens – cleaning as you go will not only make your Saturday morning easier, it’ll be less stressful straightening up if you have friends or family pop in unexpectedly.
2Keep It Simple
While we have a cleaning aisle full of products to pick from, older generations often had to make do with what may have already been in the pantry.
Items like white vinegar, baking soda and even lemons are effective for myriad household cleaning tasks and better still, they’re inexpensive and natural, making them a healthier choice for your family.
Not sure where to start your natural cleaning journey? These 7 items will get you on your way.
Also, don’t underestimate the power of boiling water. It’s a tried and tested oldie that’s often forgotten as we reach for disinfecting cleaning products. Boiling water is ideal for sterilising items like kitchen sponges and cloths, plastic toys, metal items and baby bottles, just to name a few.
3Fix Nasty Smells with Baking Soda
Trusty baking soda is an excellent option for neutralising nasty home odours. This is because most smells are acidic and baking soda is a PH neutraliser.
Some of the best baking soda uses for your home include:
- Generously sprinkle some on your mattress and let it sit for about 20 minutes or so before vacuuming up.
- Pour 2 tablespoons down the drain and run cold water for 30 seconds. Pour another two tablespoons of white vinegar into the drain. Cover the drain with a wet cloth for about 10 minutes then rinse with hot water.
- As tempting as it is to curl up on your doona for a rainy weekend Netflix binge, your bed should be for sleep only.
- Sprinkle some at the bottom of your bins – just don’t forget to wipe up when changing bin bags.
- Baking soda can also magically eliminate odours from vomit-stained carpet.
4Clean Stubborn Stains With Ease
There are a few jobs around the home many of us despise – and it’s likely they did back in the day.
Older generations had some simple solutions for some of the home’s more frustrating tasks.
- Have stuck on grease that won’t budge? Your tequila shot ingredients (minus the tequila, of course!) will do a great job. Use it on your microwave or stovetop by squeezing the lime on first, sprinkling the salt and giving it a (very) gentle clean with a wet cloth.
- Stop scrubbing caked-on food off your plates and pans while the rest of the family relaxes after dinner - soak them instead. A soak in hot, soapy water for half an hour so will make easy work of the most stubborn of stains.
- If you can’t seem to get your clothes white again, soak the whites in 3 litres of hot water and the juice of a whole lemon for about two hours, before running it through the washing machine. Don’t forget to hang the whites out in the sunshine for optimum effect.
5Ditch the Paper Towels
You’d be hard-pressed to find a modern family home pantry that doesn’t have at least one paper towel roll in there. Unfortunately, these single-use products usually aren’t recyclable and when you add it up, are an expensive cleaning tool that we don’t really need.
Paper towels have become popular in recent years but your grandmother likely got by without them. You can too by investing in microfibre cloths, bar mop towels and flour sack towels, which are as effective but can be washed and re-used.
You’ll not only save money, you’ll be helping the environment for future generations as well.