Getting rid of snails and slugs

Do you have a little vegetable patch or some lovely plants in the garden that are constantly being eaten by an army of snails or slugs? You could reach for the snail poison or ... you could just use beer!

Snails love beer which is a bit odd, but they will choose beer over plants and that is a win for you and your garden. You end up with less poison in the garden, and the slugs and snails die happy (well, possibly). It also means that a passing bird will be able to eat the snail or slug and not be harmed. 

Recipe

  • Beer (any kind) 
  • Small tray with about a 1.5 to 2.0 cm rim (aluminium pie trays work well)
  • Snails and slugs 

Place a couple of trays around the area that is most affected by the snails or slugs and fill with beer. If you have a large area you might need quite a few. Allow for one every 50cm or so. Ensure the tray is above the ground, and not submerged below the soil. 

That's it: job done! 

Don't forget to empty out the trays every few days. Assuming the snails and slugs are completely dead, you can just tip the contents of the trays into the garden.

Removing aphids

If you have a rose garden, your best natural friend will be the ladybird however they are not always around and about when you need them. So if they have taken a holiday or just gone to visit a friend in another garden, and you have an invasion of aphids, there is a neat little trick you can implement that does not involve harsh chemicals. 

Recipe

  • Castile soap
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Cloth

Mix 50:50 water and Castile soap then spray on the affected area of the plant and gently wipe the aphids away from the plant's stem. The soapy water will kill the bugs and removing them will allow the plant to recover. 

Once completed using the spray attachment on your hose rinse the rose clean. You may have to do this a couple of time but you will win the battle in the end.  

household

Removing sweat and deodorant stains from fabric

Cotton shirts seem to be particularly susceptible to getting a yellow discolouring under the arms. This can be avoided if you make a paste out of bicarb soda and water, spread it over the stain and leave for an hour or two. This should remove the stain, unless it has been there for a long time and ironed into place. Another trick is to spray under the arms of cotton shirts with distilled white vinegar each time the shirt goes in to the wash. 

Recipe

  • Bicarb soda
  • Distilled white vinegar 
  • Water 

 

 

8 handy spring cleaning tips

Spring is officially here and flowers are bursting in the gardens, This is nature letting everyone know that it is time to spring clean, so open your doors and get rid of the winter cobwebs. 

Tip 1
Get ready all the equipment you will need

Tip 2
Set aside a weekend to do a great job and have a BBQ with friends at the end to celebrate the warmer weather.

Tip 3
Make a list of jobs

  • Unclutter - put away, throw away, or sell
  • Clean floors
  • Clean walls
  • Clean soft furnishing, eg lounge chairs and curtains
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Clean kitchens
  • Clean Bedrooms
  • Dust books
  • Refold the linen with fresh scent sheets
  • Clean BBQ
  • Clean light switches
  • Clean fridge
  • Clean kitchen draws
  • Clean out the garage/shed
  • Clean the inside and outside bins

Allocate everyone a job - the more help you have, the faster this will be. If you have young children it can also become a game. Teenagers might require an incentive, but it will be worth it. 

Tip 4
Start from the top down always this will save you time and leave the floors until the very end. 

Tip 5
Most important - put everything away before you start. If you don't your job will take 10 times as long.

Tip 7
Have fun, take tea breaks, listen to music or podcasts. 

Tip 8
Reward everyone at the end. 

pets, household

Keeping your dog's bedding clean

Clean pet beds means less awful smells in your home. And remember, what might be good for your clothes, is not always best for your dog as they have such an acute sense of smell. 

Recipe

  • Bicarb soda
  • Multi-surface cleaner
  • Fragrance-free washing soap/powder

What you need to do is:

  • Clean the bedding at least once a week
  • Wash in hot water if possible, but follow the fabric instructions
  • Add a fragrance-free washing soap/powder
  • Add a cup of distilled white vinegar, which will work as a natural fabric softener
  • Dry outside or in the drier, but ensure the bedding is absolutely dry before it is put back in place

While the bedding is being washed, wipe down the bed (if plastic) with our multi-surface spray and then leave to dry. For any part of the bedding that is not able to be removed you can add a good sprinkle of bicarb soda, while the dog is outside or away from the bedding area. Leave the bicarb soda in place to absorb the smells for half, and hour and then vacuum up. 

household

Cleaning timber, metal, and plastic blinds

Plantation shutters and blinds are great for privacy, and also great for letting light into a room. The only problem is they are difficult to clean as they act as a massive dust net. The recipe below is a simple solution that will make cleaning these types of window furnishings a little easier and a whole lot faster. Don't bother with brushes or the vacuum cleaner, all you need is a pair of old socks and some basic Gyre and Gymble products. 

Recipe

  • Vinegar spray 80:20 mixed with water, or Gyre and Gymble glass cleaner 
  • Hot water
  • Bucket
  • Pair of old socks 
  • Essential oil 

Fill a bucket with water, making it as hot as you are able to put your hands into, and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Fill a spray bottle with the vinegar mix or use the Gyre and Gymble ready made glass cleaner, and then spray all over the shutters or blinds. Leave for a few seconds then put a sock onto each hand. Dip both hands in the water (ensuring that it is not too hot) and run them along each surface of the shutters. You can finish with a clean dry pair of socks to rub dry. 

This job really only needs to be done a couple of time a year, but this depends on where you live and if you have any smokers in the home. 

household

How to use mint

Mint is a fantastic masking agent, so if you want to use vinegar to clean but really don't like the smell, all you need to do is fill your Gyre and Gymble glass spray bottle with distilled white vinegar then add a few tablespoons - or a good slosh - of peppermint, mint, or spearmint water, then give it a shake to mix through.

Now you can head out and clean with the energising aroma of mint. 

You will find peppermint water in most supermarkets in the cake baking section. 

Cleaning equipment you already own

There are many things you will already have at home that you can use to clean with when using Gyre and Gymble products. Here are some things that I use, that may also be useful to you.

Herb shaker: a stainless steal one with large holes makes it super easy to spread bicarb soda over a carpet bed or lounge chair when cleaning. All you need to do it fill it with bicarb and a few drops of essential oil. 

Toothbrush: an old one is just fine and great for getting into the the areas where taps fit in to sinks or tight spots that collect mould in the shower. Just add vinegar from the spray bottle, leave it for an hour and scrub the mess away. Finish with a few drops of lemon essential oil, just because you can, and this will make the taps shine. 

Lemon squeezer: these are great if you have a heap of lemons and you can squeeze-and-freeze for later use. Lemon ice cubes are also great to clean a sink garbage disposal. Freeze them in batches and store them in zip lock bags. 

Funnel: most kitchens will have a funnel but if not you will find one in our shop. In either case, these will be safe for use with Gyre and Gymble base products. Just pop it in the dishwasher once done. 

Hairdryer: you will need one of these to clean your radiators, and they are also great if you have lots of cables to blow out any collected dust. If you have wax on a table, just get a brown paper bag, cover the wax and point the warm air at the wax which will melt and absorb into the paper. 

Plastic bags: as much as I hate plastic bags, they are on occasion helpful. If you have a shower head that has lots of lime scale build up on it, fill a plastic bag with vinegar and immerse the shower head into the bag. Seal it with a thick rubber band or tie it securely in place with string, then leave for a few hours. The scale should just wipe clean when you remove the bag. 

Cotton balls: soak one in tee tree or eucalyptus oil and put at the bottom of your bins to keep them smelling fresh. Also add one to you vacuum cleaner with tee tree to kill off any dust mites. 

Lavender bags: hang these in your wardrobes and on radiators to fill your home with the aromas of a warm summer. 

Microfibre cloths: these are great to clean with as they do not leave streaks or fibres behind. 

Aluminium foil: needed for cleaning silver, but also when crushed into a ball they make a great scouring ball to scrub with. Try this on a BBQ top before you cook with water and salt. 

Silicone ice cube moulds: these can be used to make lemon ice cubes for cleaning or eating or dishwasher tabs or toilet bombs tabs

cars

Cleaning child car seats

If you have little children you will know what a mess car seats can get into. They are not so hard to clean and these days most will have removable covers which will make life a lot easier. For the removable covers, just wash as per the instructions but for those where the fabric is attached there are a few little tricks to getting rid of the mess. 

Recipe

  • Vacuum cleaner with the long thin and brush attachment 
  • Water spray 
  • Bicarb soda
  • Lavender essential oil 
  • Old toothbrush

Take the chair right out of the car. This will make your life so much easier as you won't keep banging your head on the car roof. It will also give you the chance to turn the chair upside down and give it a good shake. Spray the chair with water in small sections and wipe clean, you may need a toothbrush here too.

Once done and the chair is dry sprinkle bicarb soda liberally, with a few drops of lavender mixed in, all over the chair and leave this for an hour. This will give you time to find all the squashed fruit and crackers that have escaped the confines of the chair.

All you do once the hour has passed is vacuum up all the bicarb and you should be left with a fresh smelling crumb free chair. Just ready for the next food collage to be created.