A Clean Start

I’ve not been able to write for a while as I’ve gone back to full time work to save up for the extension and not had much time for DIY projects. So, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learnt in my new job that have lead me to make changes at home.

I’ve been making some videos for a cleaning brand – I won’t name them as I might get the sack and I don’t believe that any of this information is particular to this brand but applies to the cleaning industry as a whole.

The videos I’ve been making involve a fairly standard scene where cleaning product is applied to a dirty surface and then cleaned off leaving it sparkling and smear free. Now, I’ve been producing a while so know that there will have to be a bit of edit magic to make a surface that has just been wiped perfect but here are a few things I didn’t know:

  • The dirt has to be made by a specialist dirt stylist – we had a fantastic one who hand painted mould, made limescale from toothpaste and fingerprints with Vaseline.
  • Hand models don’t use their hands for cleaning so may take longer than a normal person to learn how to squeeze a nozzle.
  • The market for spray based products is small as many people round the world wouldn’t know how to use them (but would probably pick it up quicker than a hand model)
  • In many countries they do not use mops they just put a rag on the floor and use a stick to push it round – ingenious!
  • Being in a room with cleaning products over a long period of time makes my nose and eyes itch (we had a pack of production antihistamines)
  • We all felt the pregnant woman on the set should only come into the room we were cleaning for limited periods of time.

and most significantly…

  • To get that sparkling clean, smear free shine the client suggested we use white vinegar!

Yes, without a hint of bashfulness the client said that white vinegar really is the best thing for the job when cleaning glass and tiles.

So with this in mind and a household of eczema, asthma and allergy sufferers I decided to do a bit of research and make my own simple cleaning product and here it is:

Mix

  • Half white vinegar
  • Half water
  • Lemon and tangerine peel – to take the vinegar smell away
  • Leave in a sunny place for a week
The sunniest place I could find in October in the UK!
The sunniest place I could find in October in the UK!
  • Sieve and decant to a spray bottle
IMG_4057
I got my bottle from Wilkinson’s. I would have preferred a glass one but couldn’t find any.

But does it work? Well, who cleans the inside of their kitchen draws regularly? Not me so I thought I’d test it out on some nice grimy fingerprints.

IMG_4051
Before – some massive dirty fingerprints, genuinely made by some massive dirty fingers.
IMG_4054
After – a quick spray and wipe and they’re all gone!

I was so excited I cleaned the bathroom – and that’s a sentence I never thought I’d write. The citrus peel doesn’t completely mask the vinegar smell but it dissipates really quickly. I would skip the ‘add peel and leave for a week’ step next time and keep it even more simple. Most importantly I didn’t need an antihistamine.

I’m hoping to be back doing some good old DIY whacking and hammering soon but in the meantime if you have any simple natural cleaning hacks I’d be really happy to hear them.

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