Is spring cleaning a dying tradition?
The age-old tradition of the annual spring clean will soon be forgotten '“ with householders in Britain having little time or inclination to complete the yearly tradition, a new study has revealed.
A YouGov poll commissioned by green energy company Good Energy, showed that less than half of those surveyed said that they still undertake a once-a-year blitz of their homes. A sizeable 30 per cent also confessed that they have never ever attempted a spring clean.
The Wiltshire-based renewable electricity company also found that 41 per cent of people saw spring cleaning as an old-fashioned practice, whilst nearly two thirds felt that their parents and grandparents generation were more concerned about having a cleaner home.
Juliet Davenport, founder and CEO of Good Energy, said: “It seems spring cleaning is becoming a dying tradition, so this spring we’re on a mission to bring it back in a fun, energy-saving style.
“There are some great ‘lemontastic’ vintage cleaning ideas out there which we reckon work just as well today. Simple, cheap ingredients like lemons and vinegar can be used to get homes in tip-top condition and we’re encouraging everyone to give it a go.
“Not only are these top tips kinder on the pocket – they don’t require any electricity either!”
Good Energy has joined forces with the National Trust to prove that an eco-friendly spring clean doesn’t need to be difficult.
Joanna Gamester, National Trust House Steward at Nuffield Place, added: “We’re big fans of a spring clean at the National Trust – it helps to care for the buildings we look after and it can throw up some unexpected finds beyond just the cobwebs too.
“We use natural ingredients like lemons and traditional techniques where we can, as these are kind on our collections and the environment.”
For more information on the campaign visit good energy
Top vintage hints to have a greener spring clean in 2016:
Start at the top
An age old tip, which many of us forget when it comes to cleaning our homes, is to always start at the top and work your way down. Dust falls this way so by following this simple tip you won’t end up cleaning your house more than you need to.
Banish bad smells and odours
Before air fresheners, a zesty and natural way to keep the home smelling fresh could be simply achieved by creating a spray made from adding lemon juice to water and giving a good spritz around the house. Not only do they smell delightful, lemons also have some great anti-bacterial qualities that make them a perfect cleaning alternative. A few house-plants around the home are another quick and easy way to banish bad odours. Bunches of lavender will equally deliver a fresh scent and will also keep moths at bay too – who knew that they hated the smell!
Drying your washing the natural way
When it comes to drying your clothes, nothing beats good old fashioned line drying outside in the fresh air. It’ll also save you money on your energy bills from ditching the tumble dryer, and your clothes will smell fresh and clean from using the natural resources of the wind and sun. If it’s winter or raining, the use of a drying-rack indoors is another great option. Whether a more well-known clothes horse, or an old fashioned Sheila maid to hang over fireplaces or ovens, these cost hardly anything and are much more eco-friendly.
By mixing together one part distilled white vinegar, two parts water and a hearty squeeze of lemon juice, you can create a great surface cleaner which cuts through grime on most kitchen, bath and floor surfaces.
Alternatively, by rubbing half a grapefruit over surfaces, sprinkling liberally with some salt and washing off with a sponge and hot water, you can achieve the most gleaming and shiny sink, bath tubs and work surfaces.
Streak free windows and mirrors
Want crystal clear windows to impress the neighbours? First mix together a 50:50 solution of distilled white vinegar and hot water in a spray bottle and spritz over the pane or mirror. Once applied simply give it a good rub with a cloth or a scrunched up piece of old newspaper and leave it to dry. A great tip for a streak free finish!
Polishing your wood
Instead of using the various tins of polish that are available today, lemons and olive oil offer a much better alternative to make wooden floors and furniture shine. By using a solution of one part lemon juice to two parts olive oil, not only will this buff your wood to perfection, it’s much more environmentally friendly, cheaper to make and any leftovers make for a tasty salad dressing too!
Get pots and pans spic and span
Got stubborn stains on cutlery and utensils that just won’t come off? Well, according to the original domestic goddess Mrs Beeton, nothing beats a solution made from warm water and baking soda which is then scrubbed in hard using a crust of bread. Rinse with water and your pots and pans will be glistening once again. Plus, if you’ve got any rusty cutlery, try using some onions to bring back that shine. Plunge a knife or fork into a large onion three or four times and the rust should come straight off.
A fresh pile
From sprinkling with dried tea leaves, dragging quickly over fresh snow or leaving to hang outside in the wind and sun, there are lots of traditional ways to keep rugs and carpets dirt free. By far the most favourite and easiest method involved sprinkling carpets and rugs with a liberal amount of bicarbonate of soda. After 15 minutes you can then simply sweep away the dirt and any fustiness will evaporate too!