The smell of vinegar wafts in my nostrils. This time it is not balsamic, not destined to adorn crinkly salad leaves or rich marinades. It is plain old spirit vinegar, not going anywhere near my food if I can help it, but my latest discovery on the cleaning front.
I’ve never been a neat freak. My Virgo star sign has never yet extended its renowned attention to detail to the housework. I have a high tolerance threshold for dust and clutter and, as long as the kitchen is wiped down regularly, I usually manage to turn a blind eye to the rest. So my latest obsession with environmentally sound (and cheap) cleaning alternatives has to be put down to a hormonal obsessive compulsive episode. Tomorrow it will probably be over and the house will settle back into its shabby chic dustiness with a sigh of relief.
But for now I have discovered the joys of surface cleaner in a squirty bottle. Half and half vinegar and water is all you need for instant, non-polluting, spray-on, wipe-off shiny brightness. It works on the counters, on the sink, on the fridge, on the cooker. I’ve wiped the light switches (I swear that never in my life before have I cleaned a light switch or even noticed their grubbiness… it must be the hormones). I even started wiping the plug sockets. I took apart the free-standing fan which has gathered a warm cloak of woolly dust over the last couple of years but now is pristine and sparkling. My husband was getting worried that if he sat still long enough he’d be on the receiving end of a squirt of vinegar water and a wipe with a damp cloth.
I Googled vinegar and found about a hundred uses for vinegar in cleaning, some alone and others combined with bicarbonate of soda. It’s a revelation! No more need for a cluster of specialist chemical cleaning fluids cluttering up the place. Just one big bottle of vinegar and a tub of bicarb…. but I might tire of the smell.
I can feel the obsession dwindling to liveable proportions as the hormones recede. I haven’t yet made it around the whole house and my computer still bears a gentle layer of dust. Probably a true neat freak visiting would still be horrified at the state of our house, in fact I know they would. Straw bales with clay plaster, a posse of sandy farm dogs, a clutch of cats with a liking for sleeping on the ironing board and three kids of a creative disposition, don’t make for labour saving neatness But I know those light switches are sparkling, so I can hold my head up high with the rest of the Virgo brigade.
Anyone got any frugal and environmentally brilliant cleaning tips, just in case this uncharacteristic obsession keeps on for a little while longer?!