Your great grandmother would recommend these amazing old cleaning methods, which have been put to the test in today’s world and found to be surprisingly effective. The tips have come to light in a book written by Tessa Cunningham all about cleaning the Victorian household.
1. Spruce up you mirrors with gin
Forget gin and tonic, just mix it with warm water and dab with a cloth (ideally silk) onto your mirrors. Polish and you’ll be amazed at the results!
2. Banish bathtub grime with rhubarb
A stem of rhubarb in a tub of very hot water is supposed to clean away grime and the oxalic acid in rhubarb’s an ingredient in modern cleaning products. However, this tip was tested and proved ineffective so stick to modern bathroom cleaning products.
3. Eggshells remove smells
Crocks and pots can harbour smells, so try crushed eggshells from 2 boiled eggs mixed with vinegar. Pour into the smelly pot, shake or stir around and leave for a few hours. This is a winning tip!
4. Stain-removing spuds
Rubbing a potato onto any stained item (e.g. clothing) then boiling the item in a pan is supposed to remove stains. After soaking them item in cold water for about an hour the improvements were only minimal, so best revert to the washing machine with Vanish.
5. Tea leaves clean carpets
Stash your used tealeaves on a saucer in your airing cupboard then sprinkle them on carpets. When brushed away, dirt and dust will disappear too.
6. Breadcrumbs for dusting
The moisture in breadcrumbs attracts dust, so crush a slice of bread into a ball and place in a dusty area. The dust will magically vanish into the breadcrumbs, although it’s all rather messy and you’ll have to vacuum up the breadcrumbs afterwards.
7. The cleaning powers of newspaper
Use your old newspaper with a half-vinegar half-water solution to clean your windows. The result will be gleaming glass.
8. The powers of the potato on greasy stains
Grate 2 potatoes and mix with 1 pint of water, then strain the mixture into another bowl with fresh water (1 pint) and leave for an hour. Apply to any stubborn grease stains, e.g. on carpets, and leave to dry before wiping off with a damp cloth. This works well on greasy stains.
All these methods were used by the Victorians and many still work today. By giving them a try, you might just find one or two become your favourites for cleaning your home.