The average household spends $100 a month on cleaning chemicals. Then flushes them straight down the drain. But Australia's domestic cleaning guru Shannon Lush shows us how to scrub, soak and spray away stains with a few simple ingredients you probably already have at home.
Shannon's handy household hints which will save you time and money, from www.shannonlush.com:
- Cleaning with bicarb soda and vinegar
A can of good ol’ Coca-Cola will do the trick to clean that dirty toilet or marks on pots and pans. Alternatively, pouring a thick layer of soda directly on pans with badly burned-on food and sprinkling on just a little water can help loosen the food. Leave it soaking overnight and scrub clean the next day
Doing double time ironing with aluminum foil, lavender oil and water
Ironing can be time-consuming, but what if you could do it in half the time? Sliding a sheet of aluminum foil under the ironing board cover can get that done. The foil reflects the heat from the iron so that both sides get heated and ironed at the same time. Another option is spraying lavender oil and water on your clothes - watch the creases come out!
Eat a banana, then polish your shoes
Banana peels aren't just for comedic value anymore… The banana might taste good, but the banana peel is where the fruit can really shine, literally. After de-stringing the banana, it can be used to shine anything from leather shoes to household plant leaves. For a final touch, give them a nice buffing with a soft cloth or paper towel. The reason the banana peel works so well is because of the resin in the skin. The wax-based resin puts a high-based shine on them.
Dry your clothes faster with tennis balls or a t-towel
Tired of waiting around while your clothes spin and spin in the dryer? Cut down on the time by throwing something new into the mix: tennis balls or a t-towel. Tossing two or three tennis balls (clean ones) into the dryer with your clothes help the air and heat circulate, meaning your clothes get dryer quicker. The tennis balls are useful for a full load of laundry or just one item.
WHAT TO BUY FOR CLEANING SURFACES:
Good old fashioned white vinegar
Together the mix costs around three dollars - and it works on the oven and grill, the bench tops, the bathroom, burnt sauce pans and windows.
"You just spray it onto the window and polish it with paper towel - not newspaper," Shannon says.
"Why not newspaper? Well, newspaper now contains latex and it smears."
WHAT TO BUY FOR KILLING MOULD:
Oil of cloves
Mould and grout cleaner don't need commercial products. All you need is teaspoon of oil of cloves in one litre of water. Spray it and leave it for 24 to 48 hours and it's dead. Supermarket mould cleaners just bleach it white - they don't kill it.
TO REMOVE STICKERS ON WALLS, BUY:
Tea Tree Oil
Try a couple of drops of tea tree oil instead of a scraper -- that magic ingredient helps remove stubborn band aids too.
Gabrielle Simpson is another dirt buster keen to pass on her budget-busting tips.
TO REMOVE OVEN GREASE, BUY:
A 99 cent scourer.
"You can use the cleaner on multiple surfaces, bathroom vanities, microwaves and the fridge," Gabrielle says.
"You don't need 20 or so products - maybe four of five."
TO AVOID IRONING, BUY:
Shannon recommends mixing lavender oil with water, then making a couple of squirts on your clothes. The crinkles should automatically disappear.
VISIT SHANNON LUSH'S WEBSITE HERE