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Cleaning madness Vol.1

My grandma’s house was always spotless. She lived with her husband, there was always at least one dog running around and of course me, bringing chaos and disorder since 1987. I am not exactly sure how she managed that(is it even possible to have a clean flat if you have a boyfriend and a cat? – asking for a friend), but I know that if you opened Grandma’s cupboard under the sink, you would not find the army of cleaning products. What kind of sorcery was it?

Secret Knowledge.

Grandma would make some of her own cleaning products. We all know one or two tricks already, like putting cooking salt on red wine stains. The rest of this secret knowledge was forgotten with time since shops are packed with variety of cleaning supplies (sadly, the majority comes in plastic packaging). And we keep forgetting that infinite wisdom is just few clicks away from us.

The obvious not so obvious.

I remember the first day I had the Internet at home. It was a dial-up connection. I had to shout to my parents in the next room that I was going online as it would cut off the landline and that first time, I lasted maybe half an hour. Having all this knowledge available, my mind went completely blank and I could not decide what I wanted to do and I disconnected. Soon after, the cute cat videos appeared together with social media and the dilemma was gone. To be completely honest, just few years back I started rediscovering the benefits of accumulated wisdom and experience. ‘Want to sew a sock monster? – here is how to do it! ‘Need to put new sealant around the bath?’ – this is what you are going to need and there is a video how to do it. Literally every question can be answered. 

Obviously, you need certain amount of patience. You search for the perfect vegan carrot cake recipe, before you even scroll to the ingredients list, you have to read this oh-so-romantic story how somebody fell in love after eating this cake or you need to survive multiple like, share, comment and subscribe, before you can watch the tutorial how to instal the ceiling lamp. This does not change the fact, it is all there. I had a multiple facepalms when I realised that. Facepalms so much harder since we all know what the Internet is. We just use it for everything else.

Alchemy 101

Since I do not have my Grandma’s knowledge or experience, but I have this ridiculously overpriced broadband, I have started furiously researching the recipes for homemade cleaning products. In the beginning I was sceptical and thought that I would have to order some crazy chemicals to make my potions which would defeat the point of making them at home in the first place. I could not be further from truth. The majority of instructions consist of stuff everybody already has at home: salt, vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice. Plus it takes minutes to make some!

And it is not only cleaning products! I looked at the plants I have at home. They have serious attitude problems and occasionally made me think that my flat was built on some ancient burial ground, and they just refuse to vibe with this place. On the other hand, plants in the garden scream ‘Oh wow! A crack in the concrete! I dreamt about it, this is where I am going to grow’. So, I was in need of making some weed killer. 

It took me maybe 20 minutes. 10, for finding few recipes online and reading comments. Real comments from real people – when nobody is trying to sell you something, there is no need for fake reviews and that is an extra bonus point. And 10 for mixing water, vinegar and salt.

First of all, it worked. Second of all, I did not have to spend any extra money. Thirdly, no plastic waste as I used an old spray bottle (everybody has at least one at home). Fourth, no nasty chemicals were included, I stress it again: it worked. Finally, maybe I mixed just three simple ingredients in the right proportions, but for the rest of week, I felt like the Highest Priestess of Ancient Knowledge, Queen of Secret Potions, Breaker of Garden Weeds, Khaleesi of the Clean Path, and Mother of Zero-Waste. I totally recommend that feeling to anybody!

But there is more!

Making her own cleaning products was not the only reason why my Grandma’s cleaning cupboard was not bursting with different liquids, powders and gels. And that will be my next story. Until then though I strongly recommend you wake up your inner domestic alchemist. Have some fun and help to reduce plastic waste!

 Klaudia Miklus

Klaudia Miklus

I moved to Glasgow four years ago and since then I’m permanently exhausted as I’m convinced that something is happening here all the time and I have an uncontrollable need to participate in everything. Two awesome blokes accompany me on that crazy ride, one human and one feline. Both equally charming, lovable and mental. I still don’t know who I want to be when I grow up, so that’s postponed for now. I’m too busy for it. Anyway, growing up is for quitters.

Fun fact: Apparently handier with a drill than most men and prone to pickling anything that doesn’t move.

© OchVegan 2020