Cleaning the Old Fashioned Way

You don’t need the most expensive or newest cleaning products on the market to make your home or business clean, fresh and sanitary.  You can get the same results using tried and tested methods by utilising products that you already have in your cupboards. After all, in days gone by, before chemical cleaning agents were readily available, people had to use what they had to hand. Here are some old fashioned methods that are still used today.


No polish needed!  Just soak a soft cloth in some clean water, and then wring it as dry as possible before using. If you are dusting wooden surfaces, remember to dry them as you go.

Cleaning copper

Lemons are a terrific copper cleaner. Dip a squeezed lemon half in some cooking salt and gently scrub your copper surface. Rinse and dry and buff to a polished shine.

Silver Cleaning

Line a large bowl with aluminium foil and place the silver item in the bowl.  Pour on a cup of bicarbonate of soda and enough hot water to cover the contents.  The water will bubble and hiss, but once it has stopped, the silver can be removed and rinsed. Buff up with a soft cloth.

Plug Holes

To stop your sink plug holes from getting bound up with gunk, pour a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda down followed by a cup of white vinegar.  Leave to fizz for a couple of minutes then rinse away with a kettleful of boiling water. Using this method once a weekwill ensure a fast and clear drain away.


White vinegar is excellent for getting rid of water marks. A cup diluted with some water in a spray bottle can keep your wet areas sparking clean and water stain free. It will also help to stop mildew forming if sprayed onto tiled areas. To descale a kettle, simply put a cupful in, topped up with water and leave overnight.  In the morning boil the kettle and empty, and the limescale flakes should disappear down the plug hole.  Rinse and reboil a couple of times before using.

Fabric stains

There are some old fashioned tips for removing stains from fabrics.  Blood stained items can be soaked in cold salty water for an hour or two before washing, tea and coffee stains can be dealt with in a solution of methylated spirits and water (1 part meths, 4 parts water), and mildew can be soaked in buttermilk before washing.

Glass items

Adding a few drops of ammonia to your washing up water will bring a real sparkle to your glass items.


Rub little toothpaste on stubborn marks on your doors and window frames with a cloth, and also scuff marks on floors and kick boards. Its abrasive action will lift them in no time.

Let’s face it, not many of us enjoy cleaning.  But with so many of us wanting to be kinder to the environment, then these tips are not only green but should save you some money too. And if you’re lucky enough to hire a cleaning contractor, you’ll find that many of them are making steps to reduce their carbon footprint and go green too!  I wonder how many of these tips they use?