Chemical detergents are treated as the modern solution to most cleaning chores. However, there are several practical alternatives – some of which you may not have heard of before. Consider 10 cleaning facts that can save you time and money, as well as protecting the environment from harsh chemicals:

Upholstery cleaning

Image from Chelsea Cleaning

  • You can use banana peels to clean silver or polish leather – try this out on your two-tone Italian leather shoes, ostrich leather handbag or biker jacket.
  • Mayonnaise is very effective at removing unsightly water marks from rare hardwood furniture. Blackwood riempie stools, yellowwood jonkmanskaste and stinkwood kists can be given a complete makeover with a smear of Nola or a dash of Crosse and Blackwell.
  • Chewing gum is the bane of mums and dads, and teachers too. It can do untold damage if worked into a carpet or an item of clothing. Two cleaning solutions that work equally well for removing gum are ice or a hot iron. Ice will harden gum so it can be picked off with ease, whereas a quick iron of the affected area, with a newspaper on top, will dissolve the entire mess in no time at all.
  • Tomato sauce is the perfect rust remover and a brilliant alternative for cleaning brass.
  • If your fridge needs a serious sanitary intervention, try baking soda to banish odours and lemons to freshen and disinfect.
  • A solution of baking soda, white wine vinegar and a dash of dishwashing liquid is the best way to get the acrid smell of pet urine out of curtains, carpets or upholstery.
  • Eradicate stubborn dirt and grime that has accumulated in your washing machine by adding a cup of white wine vinegar and a cup of baking soda directly into the drum. You can also halve the quantities and apply to the soap dispenser before turning on the hot water washing cycle. You’ll enjoy spotless washing results, guaranteed.
  • Squeegees with rubber blades are the best tools, by far, for removing pet hair from furniture, carpets and clothing.
  • We all know vinegar is great on “slap” chips, but did you know you can clean your kitchen and bathroom taps with it too?
  • You can add sparkle to your stainless steel kettle, toaster and kitchen appliances by adding a dash of cream of tartar to a damp sponge.