Shannon Lush's cleaning tips

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cleaning guru Shannon Lush has helped thousands of Australians remove the toughest of stains from clothes and surfaces to help put a sparkle back into Aussie homes.

She can show you how to save hours of time in the kitchen, the bathroom and the laundry — and save money.

Here's her step-by-step guide on how to clean like a pro.

The laundry

  • Save washing detergent:
    Cut the detergent to one quarter of what you use
  • Throw away the fabric softener:
    Use a dessert spoonful of white vinegar instead of fabric softener.
  • Dry your clothes faster:
    Put a dry tea towel in the dryer with your shirt to dry in a fraction of the time.
  • Throw away the iron:
    Spray your clothes with a bottle of water (one litre) and lavender oil (one teaspoon).
  • Avoid shrinking wool:
    Use blood heat water (about 37C) and a small amount of cheap shampoo (about the size of a 20c coin), rinse it in water at the same temperature, then dry it on a towel — flat — in the shade.
  • Avoid the dry cleaners:
    Mix a packet of wheat bran and a touch of white vinegar in a pillow case. Shake it and leave on a chair with the garment for a week and the natural warmth will get rid of the dirt for you without lifting a finger.

    The kitchen

    "The average household spends $1200-$3600 a year on chemicals which they really don't need to spend — I spend a $110," Shannon says.

  • Ditch the fancy grime fighters:
    Use bicarbonate of soda with white vinegar to strip that grime for less than $3.
  • See out of your kitchen window:
    Use a paper towel and wipe horizontally inside and vertically outside so rain doesn't leave track marks.

    The bathroom

  • Combat mould:
    Mix one quarter of a teaspoon of clove oil with a litre of water in a spray bottle. Spray then leave for 24-48 hours.

    Chewing gum in hair

  • Add a few drops of tea tree oil and the gum will dissolve and pull straight out.

    Remove glitter or pencil shavings from the carpet
    When the vacuum cleaner doesn't do the job...

  • Use a cake of soap and water.
  • Roll it over the glitter and it should come straight out.

    More laundry tips:

    Shannon also she says it's possible to teach kids how to clean from the age of two, and have fun doing it.

    "You just have to make it a game," Shannon says.

    "Everybody has to be able to look after themselves, including the kids and it's important you start early so it never becomes a chore."

    Just like sorting all the dark clothes from the light clothes before they go in the washing machine can be a game for the kids and teach them about colours.

    Cleaning the doona

  • Half fill the bath with blood heat (about 37C) water.
  • Put in two squirts of cheap shampoo.
  • Let your feet do the work (the harder you stomp the more dirt and dead skin cells you will get out of it).
  • Squeeze out the water and rinse clean.
  • Hang on the line in a u-shape.
  • When it's nearly dry, unleash the kids with a tennis racquet to get it extra fluffy.

    Cleaning the bath
    You'll need socks, bicarb soda and white vinegar.

  • Tip in the bicarb and spray the vinegar.
  • Rub the bath with socks until it's all clean.
  • Hold hands to avoid slipping.
  • As an added bonus, it also cleans the socks.

    How to stop bad smells in shoes
    Lavender oil kills insects, oil of cloves kills mould and the bicarb soda absorbs sweat.

  • Mix together talcum powder, bicarb soda, tea tree oil, lavender oil and a touch of oil of cloves.
  • Put the mixture inside a stocking, tie it off and punch the inside of the shoes.

    Shannon Lush has published best-selling books: Stainles, Spotless, Speed Cleaning, Save and How to Be Comfy.

    Shannon and daughter, Erin’s new book:
    KIDS CAN CLEAN
    is available from ABC Shops RRP $14.99.

    For more tips, visit her website: http://shannonlush.com/
    She also has her own television series, Lush House

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