Cleaning the house using homemade cleaners

In preparation for our annual Christmas party this Saturday, I have been trying to do a deep clean of the house over the last few weeks... because, you know, there isn't enough going on in December without this added extra! With 2 small kids, it's not really possible to do a massive house clean in one hit, so I've been trying to do jobs when I have a spare 20 minutes, or when the kids are entertaining themselves... which usually involves bubbles. Hours of entertainment!

Hubby and I have tackled most of the outside gardening and cleaning jobs together the past few weekends (including fixing the fence that was about to topple over - great timing!). Our 3 year-old has been helping out too....

The jobs I was most keen to get done inside were:

- wipe down walls, skirting boards and doors

- wipe down and tidy the kitchen cupboards and drawers

- dust the wooden venetian blinds (urrrrgh - hate this job)

- clean the windows and window-sills

I have been doing a bit of research lately into natural homemade cleaners and am making it one of my priorities in the new year to start making my own. This is for several reasons - to save money, to cut down on the number of different cleaners we buy and therefore create more storage space and use less waste, and most importantly, to use non-toxic and natural ingredients in our home. I'm starting this month with a simple all-purpose spray and window cleaner, but hope to be making my own laundry detergent, wood polisher, floor cleaner and bathroom cleaners next year.

I'm also planning an overhaul on the way I store cleaning products. I love some of the ideas I found on Pinterest. The bottom two pictures remind me of the gift wrapping station we just created, so could be a useful idea to implement in the laundry too.

In researching recipes online for natural cleaners, I have found that most have a fairly common ingredient list - vinegar, bicarb soda, water, lemon and/or essential oils. I decided on this simple recipe for an all-purpose cleaner from Apartment Therapy as I had all the ingredients. All that was needed was baking soda, dish liquid, vinegar and water mixed in a clean spray bottle and paired with some microfibre cloths.

I used this mix to wipe down the walls, skirting boards and doors which were looking fairly grimy. Thanks to my cheeky toddler, I had some beautiful artwork to contend with, so I used a magic eraser to quickly rub it off. I also used this spray in the kitchen to do a thorough wipe down of all surfaces, and inside some of the drawers which were filling with crumbs!

I always find that as I am doing a thorough clean, it is also the perfect time to do a quick tidy and reorganise... my favourite job!

Next, I tackled the dusting of the venetian blinds... As you can see, I've been putting this job off for a while!

I've never discovered a quick way to clean venetians, and have tried lots of different methods over the years. I now just thoroughly wipe down each slat with a microfiber cloth so the dust doesn't settle back on them for a while. We are hoping to replace the blinds with curtains at some stage soon, which we have done already in the living room.

Finally, I whipped up a quick window cleaner using shampoo, vinegar and water (recipe here), and it worked a treat! I used it on the window-sills first, and really scrubbed at them with a clean cloth. I then thoroughly wet the window and gave it a good wipe-down, following with a dry microfiber cloth to get rid of the streaks. I've tried lots of different window sprays over the years, and this one has definitely worked the best, the windows are gleaming!

The house is looking pretty great, and I'm definitely ready to crack open the champers at the party! Hope you enjoy any Christmas events you have coming up over the next week.

If you're looking for more cleaning ideas,
check out my Pinterest board below: