Monday, 10 January 2011

Cleaning and corsets :-)

Thanks for all your lovely comments on my last blog post, sorry I can't reply to you all individually, time just seems to be so limited lately :-(  Not sure why but the time just speeds past - ggggrrr how dare life get in the way of my blog love :-)

Now this is a bit of a random blog post.  During last year I started in earnest to try and get rid of chemicals in my house that I use for cleaning etc, this is something that I want to do more of this year.  What with more articles in the press about links with certain cleaning products to things like breast cancer and also seeing the reaction that things have on my little sweetpeas skin it makes me think before I buy.  We also had a scare when middle Sweetpea was little and I caught her munching on a toilet gel thing that hangs over the toilet bowl - that was the first and last time I bought any chemical scenting products :-o

I thought I would share with you some of the things I have found out whilst doing this.

Below is a picture of my yukky sink, we get quite a lot of soap build up on the bathroom sink due to buying bars of soap rather than pump soap.  We don't use pump soap due to it causing our hands to get really dry, middle Sweetpeas hands used to bleed they were so dry then we changed to more natural brands of bar soap and the problem went away within a week or so.  We also live in a hard water area so have real problems with limescale build up.   

I have been using soda crystals and vinegar with a drop of tea tree oil to clean our sinks and bath.  Tea tree oil is meant to be a good natural disinfectant.  Just pour some soda crystals in the sink and add a little vinegar and the tea tree and scrub as usual.  If you have limescale around the taps then soak some toilet roll in vinegar and the wrap it round the tap (as in top photo) - leave for about 20 mins and wash away.

It really cleans the sink well and the limescale completely disappears when treated with vinegar a few times.  This is due to limescale being alkaline and vinegar is acid which breaks down the alkaline.

Vinegar can also be put down the toilet (I won't expose you to a picky of my toilet :-)).  We had some limescale down the toilet pan and I tried the coca cola idea but that didn't work.  I then poured vinegar down the pan and left it overnight and voila it was gone in the morning.

Vinegar is also a good fabric softener - pop some in your conditioner draw and it softens the water for you.

For washing up I have been using ECover washing up liquid which is fab and I also use their surface cleaner for the kitchen sides.  Method also make some lovely natural cleaning products but are quite expensive so I wait for special offers on them.

I would really like to get rid of all our chemicals eventually so any tips or recipes for home cleaning products or shampoos etc would be fantastic!

Photo from BBC Website

Now on to corsets, see I told you this post would be random :-)

I watched the new Lark Rise to Candelford last night on BBC1, oh how I wish we still wore such beautiful dresses.  I love this programme not only as it is really well made but the lighting of the whole programme is just lovely, almost sepia sometimes and the clothes - well they are just exquisite!  The way the dresses nipped in at the waste and then flow out, so feminine.  Those lovely collars and puffy shoulders ....  and then there is the gorgeous fabric used to make them .....  I can dream but think I may look a bit odd walking to school in one of those gorgeous dresses :-)


  1. I'm with you on the vinegar and soda crystals, only difference is I always use the clear distilled vinegar! Bicarbonate of soda is also a good degreaser, absorbs odours and is good if you burn something in a casserole/pan and soak.

    I commented to my husband on how beautifully Dorcas was dressed last night, he just couldn't see me walking the dogs like that!
    Chris x

  2. Yeah, I was going to mention white vinegar! I don't suppose it makes any difference to the cleaning power, and certainly smells the same, but it looks more like it's "cleaning" than with brown! I have to wrap my taps when hubby is at work because if he comes in and smells it he immediately craves fish and chips! Just a note of caution with using it as fabric softener - it has been known to rot the rubber seal in washing machines, so go gingerly with that...

    No wonder ladies had such good posture back then, I can't imagine slobbing on the sofa in a corset :)

  3. My hubby rolled his eyes when I announced it was the new series of Larkrise, love it.
    Some great cleaning tips there. xx

  4. I use vinegar in our drains with bicarb soda once in a while. Stick some bicarb (your soda crystals will do the job too) in the outside drains, heat some white vinegar up in a pan and pour on to the drain. Stand well back though because it bubbles and can spit too. I also add cider vinegar to the children's bath water sometimes too as it restores the ph balance on the skin - you may find it good for your children too if they are sensitive.

    Drat, I missed Lark Rise yesterday, perhaps I was watching her sister on Dancing on Ice instead?!

    How's the snake? x

  5. It's not only me then, I used to use Flash in my bathroom but my hands started to crack and bleed. They were so sore I would try anything, anyway I stopped using Flash and I too use ECover and gentle soap and I now have lovely soft hands, with a little help from The Body Shop almond hand rescue treatment !! Chemicals are not good :-( xx

  6. I use lots of vinegar in my cleaning and bicarb too when it needs a bit of extra ooomph.

    I stopped by liquid soap because the boys got through it so quickly when they were small.

    The co-op do a good range of eco products which are loads cheaper than ecover ;)

  7. Well done on the chemical front. I am getting caught up in it all now that I have started to go back to basics and am planning on investigating natural cleaning methods so will blog about those in due course. I have added your blog to my list as it seems we are on the same track. Thanks for visiting my blog.


  8. You have some clever cleaning tips; we aim to be kind to the environment in our house too. The dress in the photo is a very rich, deep color; that would be kind of neat to dress like that.

  9. Thanks for the tip about pump soap. I buy it because the boys like it but my youngest has awfully dry hands. Time for a change I think!

  10. I find my hands get dry when using pump soap too, I much prefer soap in a bar. I love the dresses which are nipped in at the waist but would hate to have to wear corsets.

  11. You've made me think. I do use the Method and Ecover products but you're right, they cost a fortune.

    The one thing I do break down on and bring out the big guns is limescale in the loo. It drives me NUTS.

  12. You are so right about the cleaning products, they are really harsh these days, Gabs has to be so careful with her skin too and we use proper soap as well, you can't beat it!!
    I ended up watching the dancing on ice, due to being outvoted!!! but I have it recorded so can watch it in heavenly peace!!
    Have agreat evening,
    Andrea x

  13. and a random comment......I use Ecover for a lot of my cleaning and I LOVE Larkrise to Candleford!

  14. Hello vinegar. Goodbye loo limescale.
    Hello corsets. Goodbye bulgy Christmas tummies.
    Can I buy both in Waitrose?

  15. I had exactly the same problem with young children and cleaning chemicals. When I went back to work I couldn't find anyone who would clean my house using eco-products so I started an eco-cleaning company here in Bristol. I have a blog with green-cleaing info and various non-invasive cleaning experiments so if you'd like some tips and hints it's I haven't updated it for ages as this one blog taken over but I hope it helps. White vingear and water is my top tip for cleaning glass and mirrors.

  16. Ah, BPC just got in with the tip I was going to pass on - vinegar and newspaper for cleaning windows :)

  17. I do love a random post! I'm with you on trying to reduce the chemicals I use but do struggle with the disinfectant issue - what do you use?

  18. Hi,

    In my previous job I was a green rep and I used to do put articles and green tips in our monthly newsletter I did one on natural products to clean around the house. It is about an A4 size article. It is on one of my memory sticks but I would be happy to send it to you or copy and paste it into a comment....Let me know

    Natalie x

  19. Hi - I'm a big fan of period dramas, and Larkrise to Candleford is great Sunday night viewing.
    I've been trying to use less harmful cleaning products for a while and love using Ecover and Method. Soapwise, we tend to use Weleda baby soap, which is lovely and smells divine.
    Look forward to reading other cleaning tips :0)
    Jill x

  20. I don't like using chemicals either, but I still tend to buy the "natural" plant based cleaning products instead, might try the vinegar idea though and I didn't know that bar soap was better for your hands, I've been struggling to get rid of exzema/dry hands for months now, will try bar soap and see if that works! Thanks!

    Also I think you should wear a dress like that to school, everyone would be so jealous of how great you look in it, could start a new trend! :) x

  21. Great cleaning tips. Although I don;t think it would be a good idea to do any housework in a corset eek! I would need a lay down after 10 minutes. hahaha


  22. Thanks for all the tips - I need to switch some of my choices at the supermarket.

  23. Your sink sure did clean up well! Isn't it such a shame it doesn't last long with little people trashing it so quickly? I often wonder what they do in there to make such a mess.

  24. Lots of great cleaning tips here. What a worry that must of been to find your little one munching on the toilet flush thing :( x

  25. Great cleaning tips! I use ecover too, but would like to try making some of the old fashioned home made cleaning products. We also admired Dorcas's dress - the costumes are so beautifully designed and made for this series. Have a lovely weeks. Helen x

  26. Thats a good cleaning tip, thanks for that one.
    I love Lark Rise, even my partner sits with me to watch it. Have a lovely week. Julie.C

  27. LittleLambsHelen11 January 2011 at 17:20

    Glad I'm not the only one who swears by white vinegar and bicarb! I have a book all about uses of bicarb if you'd like to have a look? Also some craft books that I've found and thought you might like too. I shall see you at Little Lambs and expect you to be in full Dorcas-costume :o) xx

  28. Do you a deal! You do the school run in a corset, and I'll do it in a full length hooded cloak! You never know, we could start a craze!

  29. I use lots of bicarb and vinegar now when I'm cleaning, but hadn't linked vinegar to clearing limescale. I'll have to have a try.

    There's a good book I found via another blog called A Guide to Natural Housekeeping by Cabbages and Roses - it's on amazon and has loads of really good tips.



  31. Great tips there, thanks! I too am an avid Larkrise fan...I also admit to loving Downton Abbey and the new Upstairs Downstairs - LOL.

  32. hello lovely one...i sooo agree about harsh chemicals...i loved watching 'how clean is your house' cos of the top tips with vinegar n lemon juice...though i do sometimes clean the floor with pine smelling floor cleaner!...
    love the period dramas- especially love lark rise to candelford! beautiful outfits! and happy, easy to watch drama...not into all this crime investigation dramas n vampire killers! hehe ;0)

    Anyhoo thanks for your comments on my bloggy poo's...Id love to do a swapsie! your sweet clips are so cute! ;0) you like the Robin and Fairy illustration/doodly?? as i can do teddys n fairies if you prefer????x

    my email

    then we can swapsie addresses x

  33. Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog earlier:) I am totally with you with the pet lambs, they were adorable, especially when they were small and used to run up to you when they saw you coming with the milk bottle!

    On a different subject, I also always use clear vinegar for my bathroom cleaning, is so much better than bathroom spray. Also use neat soda crystals in the washing machine, and diluted mixture to clean grease off the kitchen units and hob, works a treat! Jenny xx

  34. thanks for this post. Originating from a soft water area and now living in a very hard water area, I've been fighting limescale for some time.

    The toilet has been a real frustration. Looked really nastywith limescale covered bottom. Tried everything to shift it including chemicals and mountians of elbow grease. However, struggled to keep on top of it and it's never really gone away.

    1/2 a bottle of cheapy 9p vinegar, leave a couple of hours.... quick brush and it SPARKLES !

    Wah-hay !

  35. Keep meaning to comment but always slips my mind!

    On the subject of shampoos etc I find Bently Organic's range of shampoos and shower gels lovely to use and affordable. I also use Tisserand shampoo (all depends on where I'm shopping when I need it). I use Essential Care face wash which is expensive but as I don't need moisturiser etc the cost balances out. For hand cream I go with Shea Alchemy which is lovely for kids too. We use Ecover pump hand soap which is nice and the kids' hands are fine with it. Hope that helps!


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