To deodorize surfaces, wipe down with a liter of warm water to which has been added 5 drops lemon, thyme, lavender or eucalyptus oil.
Thoroughly blend 30 drops of rosemary, lavender or thyme oil (or a combination) with a cup of bicarbonate of soda. Apply with a damp cloth to tiles, bench tops, sinks and other surfaces. Wipe off with a clean soft cloth.
Mix 120 ml linseed oil and 120 ml malt vinegar in a bottle, seal and shake to mix. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon or lavender oil. This will clean, polish and leave a lovely finish on timber surfaces.
Grate 100 grams beeswax into ajar and cover with 100 ml mineral turpentine. Seal and leave to stand two weeks, shaking the jar occasionally and adding moreturpentine as necessary to make a smooth paste-like consistency. When ready, stir in lavender or lemon essential oil drop by drop until the scent is as strong as you like.
Another polish recipe: 500g shredded beeswax in 1 liter turpentine, and add 25g liquid ammonia.
Wipe over windowsills and door frames with a cloth sprinkled with oil of lavender.
Grow fennel, pyrethrum daisies, mint, basil, rue or tansy around your windows and doors. Hang bunches of these herbs in rooms.
Mix 20 ml eucalyptus oil and 5 ml bergamot oil with 100 ml alcohol and 1400 ml distilled water. Add 10 ml white vinegar and use as fly spray.
Walnut trees will also repel flies.
Mix 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, I teaspoon brown sugar and I teaspoon cream, and place in a saucer. This is supposed to kill flies when they eat it.
NOTE: Some people put fabric softener in the dryer, not the washing machine. This formula is meant for use in the final rinse only – definitely not the dryer!
If you dry your clothes outside, you really shouldn’t need to use fabric softener.
If you prefer using one, make your own, Mix one part bicarbonate of soda, one part white vinegar, two parts water, and scent with a few drops of lavender or lemon essential oil. Use this as you would a commercial product.
To clear clogged drains, put a large handful of washing soda crystals over the sink outlet and pour down a kettle of boiling water.
You can also try pouring down a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda and 3 tablespoons of vinegar. Allow it to fizz and then pour in a jugful of boiling water.
Use both these tips regularly to keep drains from getting clogged in the first place.
Grate I cup glycerin soap, place in 625 ml boiling water, stir till dissolved. Cool and add 20-40 drops eucalyptus oil. This mixture should help repel fleas.
Add a tablespoon of salt to the water while rinsing the dog, to add freshness and help kill fleas.
Bicarbonate of soda makes a good dry dog wash; rub well into coat and brush out. This will clean and deodorize the coat and provide a healthy shine.
If you have a dog which chews stuff you don’t want him/her to chew, try a few drops of oil of cloves on the item. My housemate has just used this to successfully prevent her puppy chewing his dog bed (and this is a puppy who wasn’t even deterred by hot chill sauce!)
Try saving your soap scraps and putting them in an old-fashioned wire ‘soap saver’ or tying them in a mesh orange/onion bag. Swirl it around under the hot water tap, and wash the dishes.
Alternatively, use plain yellow laundry soap for dishwashing. We used laundry soap to wash dishes all through my childhood.
Pre-soaking the very dirty dishes in cold water will make them much easier to clean. Pour off fat from baking dishes into a cup, leave to solidify, then dump in the trash – you’ll need less soap or detergent.