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The Attitude of Cleaning

If you're the same as me, you feel most at rest at home when the dishes are done, the cleaning is behind you, the family is fed and watered and now you can do your own thing, feeling accomplished and ready to face the world. Sounds a little like a 1950's housewife ad doesn't it! However, I think it is just as relevant today as it was then, there are more demands on our busy lives than in my grandmothers day - even with our modern appliances, we push ourselves to achieve more, have more, be more.

I remember my now dear departed Nana who was a devoted mother and wife, cleaning not only her house but every day there was someone else's house to clean to contribute to the household bills. As a child I took for granted the smell of the oiled floors and the lemon scent of my bedside table. The fresh, crisp sheets (which were never ironed as she deemed ironing to be a terrible intrusion and only done out of necessity - Sunday best and table cloths), dinner on the table at five o'clock - on the dot- and how organised she was every evening for the next day with everything in its place. Only now, as I clean my own house do I understand her small acts of love.

As was a sign of her time, my Nana used a lot of chemicals and detergents, the sure way to have your house sparkling. Today there are still many toxic, chemical laden, cheap items on the market which are appealing because they are familiar. Now though, with the availability of good quality, non-toxic ingredients and an internet full of people's good and bad recipes and experiences, there really is no excuse not to try a chemical free experience, reducing the toxic overload on our already burdened bodies.

So here's a little recipe that will help you begin your journey

Half fill a jar with white vinegar and the rind of 6 lemons. Keep this on your windowsill for 1 week. After this time the oil will be infused with the lemon oils and smell fresh and clean. Strain and put the vinegar in a bottle and the lemon rind in a jar in the fridge.

Take a clean rag and dip it into a mixture of half lemon vinegar, half water. Rub this cloth over the entrance-ways of your house. This can be used on any surface to clean and refresh the area.

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