Swamped with the different brands and types of detergents at the supermarket and not sure which detergent to buy for your floor or kitchen top? Because of this, we tend to ditch the chemical labels and rely on the trusty tips passed down by our Grandmothers. Our motto is: “My grandmother has always done it this way!”. Lately, however, there are endless tips surrounding cleaning with natural ingredients that are readily available at home – such as using ketchup to clean pots or plants to clear dust. But which method should we follow and which method is completely absurd? On this UN World Environment Day, Roxanna Pelka, our cleaning expert, is putting our Grandma´s ten natural cleaning tips to test:
Coffee: The sink unclogger – FALSE
Coffee grounds are not sandpaper – even if it seems like it. Rather than scrubbing the pipes off leftovers, the grounds can cause more clogging if mixed with the remains, accumulating into a proper chunk, which can then be only removed by unscrewing the tube. Instead, try pouring four teaspoons of baking soda into the sink, then add a cup of vinegar. If there are signs of fizziness, rinse it down with hot water and your pipe will be unclogged again!
Ketchup: The metallic pot cleaner – TRUE
Have you tried removing the burnt stains off the back of your shiny metallic pots and pans? You wouldn’t believe it, but… ketchup helps to remove tough stains like this! Stainless steel pots usually have a tough layer of copper, where copper oxide is formed during cooking. The ketchup on the other hand contains acetic acid that attacks the copper active base of the pan. Simply coat the black surface with a thick layer of ketchup and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then, wipe it away and watch the black stains disappear right before your very eye!
Potted plants: The dust absorber – TRUE
Dust appears everywhere, even after having cleaned it away ten minutes ago! Dust is can be annoying and causes your allergies to flare up. Fret not, not only do they just bring live to the living room, aesthetically, they also filter the pollutants from our air and provide us with fresh oxygen. Plants such as ferns and orchids have the ability to catch floating dust on their leaves and can be wiped off with a damp cloth. Now you can finally take a nice and deep breath in your home!
Vinegar: The multi-purpose cleaning agent – FALSE
“Vinegar cleans everything!” Well, almost! While vinegar has the reputation of being able to clean anything, this ingredient should not be used for all surfaces. For instance, natural stone surfaces such as granite and marble, as well as pipes or rubber seals, can be damage if they reacted with vinegar! The acid from the vinegar will react aggressively with these materials and destroy!
Wearing gloves: The bacteria protector – FALSE
We put on our cleaning gloves to protect ourselves from harmful bacteria and germs without knowing that the inside of the gloves can also be worrying. The latex surface creates humidity inside and provide the perfect habitat for bacteria. To protect yourself from these bacteria, keep your gloves dry after each use! Simply place them in hot water mixed with two teaspoons of vinegar and a little detergent for 10-15 minutes. Afterwards, just wring them thoroughly and dry them in a cool place.
Sparkling water: The stain remover – TRUE
Created another stain on your shirt? Quickly grab a bottle of sparkling water or soda pour, saturate the spot with the gassy drink and blot it up with a dry and absorbent cloth in a circular motion- always dab and never rub! lLet the carbon dioxide dissolve the color and tannins from the fabric (it doesn’t work for fat or oil). The end results normally depends on the type of stain the amount of carbon dioxide that is in that fuzzy drink. The more carbon dioxide that is inside the water sparkles, the easier it is to remove the dirt from the fabric.
Lemon juice: The exhaust duct polisher – TRUE
Our exhaust duct not only absorb odours, but also oil stains! To remove the oil stains, rub half a lemon all over the metal surface. The acid quickly and efficiently removes the fats and oils. For stubborn stains, add a few drops of detergent on a cloth and gently rub the stains away. Avoid using stainless steel sponges, they tend to scratch the hood, making it shine even lesser than before.
Oil: Sticky residue remover – TRUE
This Granny tip has been doing wonders against stubborn glue and sticker stains. The fatty acids in the butter and oil dissolve the glue quickly and effectively. Simply mix olive oil and a pinch of salt in a bowl and rub the olive oil mixture onto the sticky areas with a kitchen cloth. After rubbing the glue off, wipe the area clean with a spritz of water and some kitchen top cleaning solution.
Coke: The toilet unclogger – PARTIALLY TRUE
Many of us have witnessed the “Mentos and Coke” technique to unclog your toilet on various youtube videos. While this trick generates high pressure, which indeed can clear blockages, the pressure generated might be too powerful for the pipe and ends up destroying it! For a milder and equally as effective method, pour hot (not boiling water) one meter from the toilet bowl. The pressure from the pour will remove the blockage, without the nasty mess!
Toothpaste: The jewellery cleaner – CORRECT
Is your silver jewellery is starting to use its shine? Just as effective as it is with your teeth, toothpaste is also a perfect solution for your silverware! Get your toothpaste (not gel) out of the bathroom and scrub the dull areas with a toothbrush. Rinse the toothpaste off by dipping the silverware into a cup of warm water. The oxidized particles will be quickly be washed away and your jewellery will start to shine again!