The weather has been so lovely these past few days. We are getting a taste of spring. The golden light fills up our beautiful country kitchen in the mornings and I’ve been inspired to give it a spring clean. Because also, you can see the cobwebs and dirty spots so much more vividly!
Living in the country with a wood fire for company, no matter how new and efficient these fabulous modern ones are, means that it gets a little dusty and the spiders hitch a ride. Our big dog Pearl shed and that adds a bit more stuffiness into the air we breathe.
Let’s say living in a house full of boys has its challenges too in the odour department. Since I grew up having allergies to all sorts of things I've definitely learned over the years to deodorise the house in a very natural way, and there are so many different ways you can do that!
All these recipes are made easier below when you can whizz them up in your Thermomix before hand and then simply pour through a funnel into your spray bottle.
From a very early age the older irish women in my life would traditionally air out the house. I think it’s something that it deep-seeded into the irish psyche, I’m not sure where it would have begun, but I’m pretty sure there isn’t an irish mother alive that wouldn’t let the fresh air in on a sunny irish day. Yes, it means cracking a window (or all of them) and a door at each end of the house (the back and front door for a cross breeze).
My grandmother always cracked a couple fo windows everyday, even when it snowed and even when she was on holidays in a fancy hotel somewhere! Best to keep these habits up. Her grandmother was a housekeeper in a big Victorian house (think downton abbey-style), so I think this may have been a trait that followed down the genetic line.
How to: Fresh air is one of the best natural odour fighters! You only need to crack a window or door for 10-15 minutes to feel the benefits, 20 minutes if the sun is nice and warm. You will be creating easier, feel lighter and so will your home.
Homemade Carpet Deodoriser
When you are vacuuming up all that dust and dirt you can lift smells up and out of your furnishings and carpets by making a carpet deodoriser.
Method: Simply add a 250gm cup of Bi-carb soda to a shaker bottle. Add 6-10 drops of essential oil and shake. Once it’s combined, shale lightly onto carpeted surfaces or furniture and leave for 30mins-2hours then simply vacuum up. The house smells lovely and so will your vacuum cleaner. The bi-carb stalks up only dirt, moisture and odours.
Magic Vinegar Spray
This is a surface spray, dusting spray, ironing spray and fabric spray all in one!
I make a multi-purpose vinegar and water based spray that can e used fr all the functions listed above. It’s very similar to the Pine Needle Cleaner Spray that I wrote about back in 2020.
Flower tea Infused spray: You can wither make a luscious scented flower tea using fresh foliage from the garden like rose-scented geranium, lavender, citrus peels or lemon myrtle for example. Fill a teapot with the green leaves, pour boiling water over the top and fill the teapot. Let cool then pop it in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Strain into a bottle to keep for up to 2 months. To make the vinegar spray add 100 ml of flower tea, 2 tablespoons of vinegar and fill the to the top of the spray bottle with warm water. Give it a shake and then it’s ready to use and you can also use a couple of drops of essential oil to heighten the scent.
Essential Oil Infused spray: To make a similar vinegar spray quickly add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the spray bottle, 10-15 drops of essential oil, and fill spray bottle to op with water. Much less fuss for those that are in a hurry.
This spray has so many uses, here’s just a small list of things you can do with it:
Doggy deodoriser spray - We spray through Pearl’s coat, then brush her, it deodorises and cleans her in a non-invasive quick way. It makes her nice and fluffy, bit like a dry shampoo but its all natural. Rose-scented geranium is especially good for dogs, for their skin and their coat. I also make a natural salve for her skin using the rose-scented geranium.
Room Spray - Room sprays freshen up the air, reinvigorate the body, providing an instant shift in the energy of a room. Many store bought room sprays contain additives and chemicals so using a natural one like this is so beneficial.
Surface Spray - This spray will clean up any counters and dust lying around. Vinegar is naturally anti-bacterial, and your counters will be polished and looking smart in no time.
Ironing spray - Vinegar is a natural fabric softener and will help you to iron out the creases when you use as an ironing spray. Your clothes will smell great too! (Please note, i don’t iron, as I believe its a giant waste of my time and it’s bad for the environment. Some find ironing relaxing. Each to their own.)
Burn a natural candle
In the evening time during winter especially we love to get cosy, turn off the lights and burn natural candles. I make these candles usually out of soy wax or beeswax using old jars and adding essential oil to the wax. These candles are all natural, plant baed and also have health benefits, especially beeswax which can help people with asthma. Beeswax clears pollutants from the air while it burns, also having a calming effect for those with anxiety. This is not only a great way to relax, but to also clear the air. Reading or writing under golden candlelight is also a great way to get ready for bed, signalling to your body that it’s time to relax.
Tip of the Iceberg
I can’t possibly write down everything about cleaning naturally in the home in one blog post, I realise this is a long one as it is. I do plan to also write a Natural Laundry Cleaning and Natural Bathroom Cleaning articles in upcoming blog posts, so Ill let you know when they are ready! For us, I love it when someone comes in and says “oh thats a nice smell” or “how do you clean and make it smell so nice?” I’m always so happy to share that its from the garden and I clean very naturally. Our house always feels healthy after a good clean. The air where you live, sleep and spend most of your days matter, whether it’s outside or inside, the fresher the air, the less likely it is that you will be sick or have headaches. I hope this article has helped, it doesn’t have to cost much or cost the planet to do these things and feel a bit fresher.