Tag: cleaning hacks

A new look and formulation for our favourite all purpose cleaner. Handy Andy goes greener !

A new look and formulation for our favourite all purpose cleaner. Handy Andy goes greener !

You may have noticed a bit of a change to your beloved Handy Andy Cream. In keeping up with Unilever’s Clean Future Strategy, the new bottles of Handy Andy cream feature a new modern look, improved product formulation and an innovative packaging.

The bottles are now 100% recyclable and is actually made with partly
recycled materials, while the cream itself has an improved formula
consisting of 100% natural cleaning particles and a 100% biodegradable fragrance. Yes it may be gentler on the environment, but its certainly tough on stubborn dirt and grease, leaving shiny clean surfaces with no harmful residue. You can clean the grease and grime off your kitchen counter with an easy to rinse formulation that allows you to simply wipe off the dirt and enjoy hygienically clean and beautiful surfaces.

As South Africans we are looking for effective cleaners, that are safe for our families and the environment. A product, like Handy Andy Cream, that we can use across different surfaces and for various different uses. It leaves no harsh residues behind and is easy to rinse, this is great news for parents who worry with their children crawling everywhere!

Tying in with the more natural feel, Handy Andy has also replaced Ammonia with a new, uplifting Eucalyptus fragrance. This new variant comes in 500ml, 750ml and 5L. It leaves behind a wonderful, fresh scent and is harnesses on the powerful properties of Eucalyptus.

The Handy Andy cream is available at all major leading supermarkets across the country.

** This article is written in collaboration with Unilever and Handy Andy South Africa.**

12 uses for Sunlight Dishwashing Liquid

12 uses for Sunlight Dishwashing Liquid

Sunlight Liquid dish soap is a staple in most households around Southern Africa, but do you really know ALL the ways you can use your dish soap? We use Dishwashing liquid on stains, for kids’ fun, as a degreaser the list is endless, so I thought I’d put together a full list of my favourite Sunlight Hacks.

Easy Window Cleaner

I’ve often made up this concoction if I run out of “normal” window cleaner, and you can never even tell the difference. Sunlight liquid makes a fabulous window cleaner. Mix up a teaspoon of vinegar with 2 teaspoons of Sunlight dish soap and about a litre of warm water Soak a clean cloth into the mixture and wipe your windows down, dry immediately with a microfibre cloth. Apply the same method to your shower door if its glass!

General Multi-Purpose Cleaner and Degreaser

Sunlight Liquid can pretty much be used in every area of your home. It’s great on tiles and is pretty darn good at getting grout clean too. Struggling to get that garage floor clean? Try mopping/sweeping it with a solution of Sunlight and water. Use it diluted as an all-around solution for Kitchen Counters, walls, and floors. 


I’ve showed this before on my Instagram, but we LOVE to make our own bubbles with Sunlight. Grab an old tennis racket and a nice big dish. Mix about ½ cup Sunlight with 1 tablespoon of glycerin (totally optional, I’ve made it without as well), and about 3 litres of warm water.  Warm water always gives better bubbles and don’t “stir” too much, just a gentle mix to incorporate it into the liquid and you’ll get nice big bubbles. 

Carpet Stain Remover

Ok, so using Sunlight to remove carpet stains might sound a little weird, but stick with me, it actually works on a multitude of stains, we even use it in our laundry. To get the stains off your carpet, mix a little Sunlight with hydrogen peroxide and pour it into a spray bottle.  Spray the mixture unto the stains and leave for a while.  You will be shocked at the result.

Jewelry Cleaner

Has your ring lost its shine? Maybe you should wash some dishes 🙂 Sunlight is very gentle on your precious gems and won’t damage them. Mix up a bowl of warm water with a squirt of Sunlight dish soap.  Dip an old toothbrush in the mixture and gently scrub your jewelry until it is looking brand new again. Dry with a microfibre cloth.

Tool Cleaner

Garage tools, especially when used on your car, tend to get really dirty and greasy. In a bucket with warm water, pour a small amount of Sunlight into it. Leave your tools in to soak for about 30 minutes and dry them off well to prevent rust. My dad would always come into the house after working in the garage and wash his hands with some dish soap to get the grease off.

Brush Cleaner

There are many ways you may clean your makeup sponges. I alternate between my hair shampoo and Sunlight, depending on what I have on hand. Squeeze a little Sunlight Liquid straight onto your hand and rub your brushes on your palm in circular motions to remove all make up. Repeat until it runs clear and rinse well. Dry flat on a towel.

Weed Killer

This is one my mum taught me, not only does it kill certain weeds, but it works well to repeal certain pests as well.  Using Sunlight will quickly solve the problem.  Mix 1/2 cup salt, about 8 cups of white vinegar, and 1 teaspoon dawn dish soap.  Spray the mixture directly onto the weed.

Sensory Foam

Another winner for kids’ activities. Take about ¼ cup of Sunlight Liquid with a small amount of water (probably about 1/8 of a cup), blend up with an electric beater until you get firm bubbles. Add in food colouring to add a little colour to your foam.

Glasses/ Scuba Mask Cleaner

Glasses are one of the hardest things to keep clean and they always have a habit of fogging up, especially with face masks! To keep your glasses from getting too foggy, just use a little sunlight liquid. My uncle always swore by this and still does it with his scuba/snorkeling masks. Use a clean cloth and rub a small amount of Sunlight onto the glasses, and wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth. 

Braai Cleaner

The anti-grease powers of Sunlight work wonders on a braai stand. I once read a fantastic tip that said to put about 3 liters of water into a tub with a cup of Sunlight. Soak overnight and in the morning give it a soft brush and voila! Easy peasy.

Paint remover

I’m talking about your kids paints here – Oil paint stains on your favourite table or counter? Rub them away with some sunlight liquid!

How many ways do you clean with Sunlight Liquid?

2020 – a year of Gratitude

2020 – a year of Gratitude

It’s just past midnight on the 29th December 2020. The year the World “stood still”. Instead of jumping into bed as I planned on doing, I find myself typing at my computer, reminiscing on the year gone by.

You see, I am such a serial “planner” and “goal setter”, that I am always moving forward, thinking about the “next thing”. The New Year doesn’t mean much to me, to be honest, it’s just the start of another 12-month cycle, but what it does afford me is the time to actually stop. The time to pause and reflect on the months gone by and think about the possibilities moving forward.

Across the globe, the message is that 2020 sucked. It was the “year of COVID”, lockdowns, cancelled plans and disrupted schedules. It caused the whole world to rethink how we work and how we operate, but it also should us possibility and opportunity. It showed us which professions really truly mattered and it taught a large majority of the world, that working remotely, for most people, is actually possible. It taught us that we dont need exorbitant “Oscar” styled weddings or birthday parties that cost enough to feed a small orphanage. It gave the earth a chance to breathe, a pause from carbon emissions and thousands of feet walking through ancient cities. It gave us a chance to really miss those that are truly important to us, and it also showed us who we could do without.

Looking back at the year, once again, I find myself truly humbled and grateful. Under such circumstances there were truly some incredible moments and milestones that need to be celebrated.

It started off with winning an award, not just coming “runner up”, but actually winning in the “SA Blog Awards.” I didn’t dwell on it too much at the time, because there is a lot of drama involved in these awards, but actually, I should have. I work damn hard at what I do, creating content is not as easy as it seems, and it is something I am proud of. So THANK YOU, to each of you who took the time to vote. I haven’t entered again this year, I actually didn’t even get think about it, but it is something that I should be proud of, So thank you!

In February, literally a week before the world started to “lockdown”, we managed to spend two weeks with my sister and her beautiful family. An odd time for a “family holiday”, but look at Gods’ timing, giving us the chance just before we weren’t able to see each other again. We got to spend time in my family home all together, one last time before we said goodbye. My parents were surrounded by their grandchildren and days were filled with swimming and hammock naps. It’s been over 10 months since I have seen any family member now. My “baby” has grown up into a full blown, walking/talking toddler in that time and I am so grateful that we had those 2 weeks, at least.

We were thrown into juggling home schooling and working from home, as a family. Whilst I truly pray I never have to home school again, it taught me appreciation, like never before, for our teachers. I managed to find the balance that I always wanted, managing school drop offs, afternoon activities and work, yet I also realised that having “some” time in the office is sometimes a very good thing. I am in awe of the resilience our children taught us, taking every single thing in their stride. Never questioning “why” or “when will this end”. Wearing their masks every single day without complaint, they just accepted the new normal and moved on.

I realised, as a mother, that any guilt around screen time, especially during the hard lockdown period we faced in South Africa, should be thrown out the window. I was initially so against time on the PlayStation or too many cartoons, and had full days planned of activities to keep them busy. But, I actually realised, with the right games mind you, how it hasn’t hurt at all. In fact, it’s been a saving grace on many an afternoon when I have had deadlines looming. Of course, I try to balance it out with quality time, but I learnt to let go of misconceptions I once had.

It was the year that uncovered new passions, even pre-covid. Quizzing my aunts on old school household hacks and actually having the time to deep clean my home. I use the term home because, finally, our house started to resemble more of a “home”. Spending more time within it allowed us to give back more to it, with room renovations and painting, furniture restoring and ticking off goals. Without my handyman dad around, we were forced to do more ourselves and I can proudly proclaim that I now my way around a drill now, my husband is a pool expert and I have a re-found love for upscaling furniture. My organization skills were ramped up and I finally got around to projects like my pantry, kitchen cupboards and our constantly messy garage. All of these things deserve a moment of reflection and a “Wow, I did that” thought.

I was given the opportunity to work with brands that blow my mind, brands that I grew up with and companies that I stand behind wholeheartedly. Companies like Woolworths and Builders South Africa are a dream to me and to have the honour of working with them has been such a massive highlight of my year. My Instant Pot family have once again challenged me to rethink the way I cook and I adore being pushed to try new ways of cooking things, and boy did we cook this year! Who didn’t try recreating KFC or Nandos during lockdown? I am so grateful to every brand I have gotten to work with, being recognised by a product that you truly use everyday never ceases to amaze me. The team at Omo South Africa, Sunlight and Handy Andy, I am truly grateful. Being asked to contribute to LEGO will forever leave me in awe and words can’t begin to describe how much I value these opportunities.

2020 also gave us the biggest surprise, and challenge, yet. Finding out that we were expecting a 4th baby was no where near on our “plan”, but Allah is the best of planners. After the initial crash into a brick wall shock, we are both excited and can’t wait for our little girl to have another younger sibling to play with. Now I just have to deal with all my giving birth during a pandemic anxiety.

We threw ourselves into our work and while I do miss the office interaction, it also showed us just how much we could achieve at home. It was a year of promotions and awards, a year of learning and embracing new ways of working, new technologies and fresh portfolios. Pushing our knowledge into spaces we have never explored before.

It was a year which taught me value. The value of relationships, the value of our health, the value in every day moments and beautiful sunsets. Gratitude. Gratitude at keeping our heads above the water while the country around us battled this virus, not only physically but from an economical point of view. It gave us gratitude at the things we so often took for granted, being able to hop on a flight to visit our siblings or parents, or escaping the city for a “weekend break”. I experienced hurt and heartache, I saw competition and comparison rear its ugly head and a lack of support from areas I once turned to. Through it all though I am grateful, for showing me what is truly important and for the people I can truly turn to.

Gratitude in being able to pay our bills and provide our children with food, comfort and knowledge. It schooled me in thankfulness for my husband too. As much as I “complain”, I thank Allah everyday at the rock he has become. My foundation, my support. If you are reading this babe, I really, truly value you, and I am thankful for all that you do.

We went back to basics with crafts, with Raya Maryam starting to enjoy sensory play and at the same time we explored deeper activities with the boys, learning about crystals and science.

2020 was definitely a year of gratitude for me. I blogged slightly less, but I did more video content and like many of us, found myself on Tiktok more 🙂 Not taking myself so seriously.

For 2021, I have no grand plans or “goals”. I have prayers.

I pray for a healthy birth and delivery of our 4th child and I pray that Allah SWT keeps us safe from this virus. I pray for the people that have been affected, the families whose courses have changed. I pray that the vaccination is effective and quick to get here, because the 2nd quarter still seems very very far away. I pray for our economy, that we may recover somewhat, and that we are able to keep people employed. I pray that whatever may happen, my faith will continue to push me through and lift me up. We can get through this, day by day. 2021 is my year of hope, and lots of prayer.

Thank you, once again, for being a part of my community. Thank you for commenting, sharing and trying my ideas. Thank you for engaging and reaching out. We are all in this together, and without you reading this, my platform wouldn’t even exist! Happy New Year from us, and I look forward to growing more with you in 2021!

5 tips for cleaning and caring for your floors.

5 tips for cleaning and caring for your floors.

I often get asked what products to use on different types of flooring. Laminate, tile, wood all require different care, and different homes have multiple types of flooring which might leave you, as a homeowner, asking yourself how you should maintain your floors and keep them looking new. Together with Handy Andy, I’ll be sharing a few tips to keep your floors in top shape.

Ammarah Chand, brand manager at Handy Andy, says “While the task of cleaning your floors may seem like the simplest one on your list, it is important to remember that different floors have their own set of cleaning needs that will help keep your floors looking sparkling clean.”

The best floor care comes from knowing the most effective way to clean and sanitize the kind of flooring you have which is why we have put together five tips that will help you start loving your floors again and most importantly- with only a few products.

  1. Get to know your floors: Find out what type of floor you are cleaning. How you clean laminate or vinyl flooring will differ to how you clean hardwood floors and tiles; knowing the floors you are dealing with helps make the decision of buying the right product even easier.
  2. Less is more: It’s pretty daunting to find a product that is just right for your floors, which may lead to you buying more products than you actually need. “Try to avoid using multiple products and stick to trusted cleaning products that can remove dirt, add shine and are suitable for multiple surfaces. I recommend using a floor cleaner that has germ killing properties such as the new Handy Andy Floor and All-purpose Cleaner which has the power of Domestos. This product has multiple benefits including removing tough dirt and grease, streak free shine, it kills germs, it’s suitable for multiple surfaces and leaves
    surfaces smelling fresh,” adds Chand.
  3. Choosing the right product for the right floor: When shopping for cleaning equipment and supplies, always check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that you are choosing the right product for your type of flooring. This is where usage instructions come in handy.
  4. Take care of them: Try to incorporate simple practices which will help you take care and protect your floors such as not pushing or dragging your furniture. Make use of; an area rug, furniture pads or furniture wheels.
  5. prep your floors well: “always remove any form of dirt or dust from your floors prior to cleaning them with a solution. Use a soft bristle broom to sweep any dirt from the surfaces well,” concludes Chand.

Thanks Handy Andy, for those top tips, always remember, when cleaning laminate or wood flooring to make sure your mop is damp and not wet, you don’t want to place a wet mop on any wooden surface. Happy cleaning and keep following for more top tips!

Favourite Cleaning Products Giveaway

Favourite Cleaning Products Giveaway

To celebrate the beautiful milestone of hitting 6k on instagram, and all the fun we have had this year with organising and home hacks, I have been promising a giveaway of “a few of my favourite things”

Firstly, I do want to mention, I am a firm believer in multi-purpose products. I think my mother taught me that. She would literally clean the entire house off 4 or 5 products max. Of course, when I hit teenage years and discovered the wonders of certain cleaning products, she would always fight with me when shopping; I would throw in certain products and cleaners and she would always say “you’re wasting my money”. She did, however, have a very valid point, and one that has stuck with me. As much as I adore trying new things and new ways to clean, I will always return to a few old favourites. I think it’s important to emphasize, because otherwise, you can end up on spending thousands of Rands unnecessarily in the cleaning aisle.

Keeping your home clean and free of germs doesn’t have to be difficult. Its something we have all had to focus more on with this worldwide pandemic. Whether you’re cleaning up your bedroom, living room or kitchen there’s a handful of basic products (that you may already own!) that can help you get your home into tip top shape.

So, I have put together “a few of my favourite things giveaway” to celebrate the fun we have had over the past year, and all the extractor fans, silverware, and limescale we have cleaned along the way!

What’s in it?

Good old Vinegar and Bicarbonate – My old faithfuls

Yes, I know its not so exciting to include in a giveaway, BUT, as you can see from my article here, with these 2 bad boys, you can pretty much clean your entire house.

White Vinegar is brilliant for getting rid of bad odours, cutting grease and shining glass. I call it my “magic mist”. Just by using vinegar you can take something dull and lifeless and transform it and make it look clean and shiny. It doesn’t leave a waxy residue and lasts a lot longer. Surprisingly, if you use vinegar to clean, your home wont actually smell like vinegar :). We used to clean our windows with vinegar and newspaper. These days I keep one in a spray bottle to mist onto carpets, and furniture for a dustless and odourless result.

Bicarbonate of Soda – the all-time refresher and natural abrasive. You’ve seen me use it on my carpets, on my mattresses, in my washing machine and down my drain. I’ve used it to clean the oven and my grout and it is still often my first go to for anything that needs a pizzazz. Ever seen me polishing silver with it? You need to watch that video, its magic before your eyes 🙂

Addis Microfiber cloths

Whether you colour code are not, these beauties need to be in your cleaning cupboard. They are very absorbent; not only for dirt but for liquid. Used wet or dry they make the ideal cleaning cloth. They are also eco-friendly and can absorb a tremendous amount of liquid. So far Addis has been my favourite brand to find good quality cloths in.

Tip: You might want to buy these in bulk since you’ll be using them for everything!

Chemico Paste.

Another essential in my life, and together we have tackled extractor fans, rust, hard-water toilet stains and grout. This tiny, inexpensive “pot of pink gold” performs miracles before your eyes. It lasts for ages and if it does dry up you can just add a little water, it is something you want to keep in your household supplies. Have a look at all the different ways you can clean with your Chemico Paste here.

Omo Washing Powder/Liquid

I will be honest; we swap between the liquid and powder in my house. As much as I adore how “pretty” the capsules are, I don’t use them because they are not cost effective to me. Again, going back to “multipurpose”; I don’t only use my Omo washing powder to do the laundry, I use it for cleaning the outdoor tiles and the playroom playmats. It’s perfect for these because it foams up wonderfully and you can “scrub” with it. I always use the liquid on more delicate items.

Comfort Fabric Softener

This has been a more recent swap over for me. Up until recently I used another well known brand, but once I smelt comfort, I could never turn back 🙂 Initially I was worried about the stronger scent with a family of eczema sufferers, however we have had no issues at all with it, and wow the aroma that fills my home when I pop clothes into the dryer is incredible 🙂

Sunlight dishwashing liquid

A staple, across all households in South Africa. Since they launched the nature range last year, I have been a convert 🙂 Whether you buy the blue antibacterial or the softer “lemon” it doesn’t matter they are both beautiful (literally I love the packaging). Sunlight is another product in my home that gets used for everything, (both the traditional green bar and the dishwashing liquid), from washing the car to removing oil stains from clothes 🙂


A multipurpose thick bleach second to none, and it is NOT just for the toilets. The more recently released “white and shine” baking soda range is a favourite with me and you can literally use it to clean both your tiles and your toilets 🙂 The formula provides excellent hygiene, eliminating E. Coli and Rotavirus.


I don’t think there is a day that goes by without using Vim in my house! A scouring powder I thankfully introduced my mum to as a teenager and one that she’s still using today too. If you have stainless steel pots and you don’t have vim, you are not living 🙂 We have owned our pots for well over 10 years and apart from one broken handle, they are literally still sparkling. Not to be used on non-stick, but I couldn’t have a cleaning giveaway without this staple.

Handy Andy

A bit like Vim, a product we are never without. I don’t think there is anything it can’t clean, from stove tops to floors and bathtubs. This multipurpose cleaning cream always stands in if we every run out of anything else. Fun fact, my husband once “burnt” the stainless-steel drains and plugs in our bathrooms when he poured a drain cleaner down them. They were literally all black and I tried everything (including my beloved bicarbonate and chemico paste), Handy Andy (with its ammonia, was the only thing that restored the plugs shine)

More specialised products

So those are my basics, items that you will always find in my kitchen cupboard. There are two areas in my house however, that I will always use specialised cleaning product for (sorry mum) – my kitchen and my bathroom (showers).

Astonish Cleaners

Recently launched into South Africa I have fallen in love with the Astonish range. From a curiosity point of view, I think I have tried everything from the range, but I do have some firm favourites. The range is extremely affordable (seriously, and the bottles are big) and they are all proudly cruelty free and vegan. There is still so much of this range that I want to try out but these are a few of my favourites:

The Anti-Bacterial Surface Cleaner is an absolute WINNER in my eyes, I LOVE the fact that it doesn’t actually smell of anything (I don’t want to spray my kitchen counters where I prepare food with strong smelling chemicals) and the size of the bottle is brilliant.

The Citrus Grove Kitchen Cleaner ; I love the soft citrus scent and it is fantastic for cutting through grease. I use this for my kitchen cupboards, everyday wipes on the stove and oven, and on my appliances to cut through that “sticky kitchen grease stuff”.

Window and Glass Cleaner ; I think like most South Africans, up until this year, I used another infamous blue window cleaner. I stumbled onto the Astonish from a curiosity point of view and love it. Used on mirrors or windows its streak free and doesn’t hold a strong smell.

Mr Sheen

Another range that has recently expanded its coverage in South Africa. We could always get a few things, but they have brought in a much more comprehensive range recently and I am loving it. I keep the Disinfectant Spray by the kitchen door and use it on all shoes, packages and school bags before they come in 🙂 I also use the Multi Purpose Surface Spray because I love the soft vanilla and lavender scent. It doesn’t leave “an oily residue” like some of the other furniture polish sprays so that makes me feel like it’s gentler 🙂

In my giveaway I am including the Daily Surface Spray– If I can’t find my Astonish Antibacterial, this is my go-to, especially on Kitchen counter tops. It is a daily disinfectant spray and claims to kill 99.9% of cold and flu viruses, something we ALL need right now 🙂

Dr Beckman

Oh, where do I begin – from the moment I tried out the miraculous “Colour & Dirt Collector Sheets” last year a love affair began. Seriously, if you haven’t seen how these sheets save my laundry, you need to go watch my home hacks highlight. It will change the way you wash 🙂 Since then I have trialled a number of their range, but my absolute top picks have to be the “Carpet Stain Remover”; this bottle and product is just so handy to nip out for any spot stains or treatment needed on fabrics. It is an incredible product to keep on hand if you still have upholstered car seats like me 🙂 The “Service It” Washing Machine cleaner is also fantastic. I typically do my monthly cleans with Washing Soda and Vinegar, but to use this every 3-4 months or so is a treat, it claims to remove 99.9% of all bacteria which puts my mind at ease. Made with Active Carbon, it acts like a magnet to all dirt and odours.

Scrub Daddy Sponges

Last but not least and another new addition to my cleaning cupboard, (and this giveaway), thanks to OneDayOnly.co.za are my “Scrub Daddy” Sponges, Typically you wouldn’t find these in my house because they are not readily available in South Africa. However, all the UK and USA cleaning “gurus” swear by them and I know so many “hinchers” in South Africa were dying to get their hands on this nifty little sponge. I have included two in my giveaway. A sponge is a sponge right? Not necessarily, Scrub Daddy is a “scratch-free sponge” that eliminates needing a different sponge for various uses. Its FlexTexture material allows it to change texture under different water temperatures — warm water makes it soft and perfect for wipe downs and washing dishes, while cold water stiffens it for tough pot and pan jobs. The smiley face makes it easy to hold and handle as you use it.

So there you have it – All of the products included in my favourite things giveaway and some of the items you will always find in my kitchen cupboard. To top it all off i have included one of my favourite IKEA “Variera” Boxes, which I store my cleaning products in, so you can jump on your organisation game like I have 🙂

All entries will be on my instagram page, so head on over to enter and follow me for more home hacks and tips !

What is the difference between Bicarbonate of Soda and Soda Crystals?

What is the difference between Bicarbonate of Soda and Soda Crystals?

I have had numerous messages on “Soda Crystals”, how and where to find them in South Africa and what to use them for. Stick around, this is truly one of the most versatile cleaning agents to have in your home.

In Europe, you will almost always find Soda Crystals aka “Washing Soda” in the laundry aisle at grocery stores, but this cleaning wonder doesn’t just belong next to your washing machine! Soda Crystals make a useful cleaner for bathrooms, kitchens, and more! Let’s talk a little bit about what washing soda actually is, and why is makes such a useful cleaning agent!

But what is Washing Soda (Soda Crystals)?

Washing soda is also known as sodium carbonate, soda ash, or soda crystals. They are related to baking soda, but are processed differently. Washing Soda is MUCH more alkaline in comparison to Baking Soda, it has a pH of 11, which is why it is so effective at breaking down stains. It is also a base component of many laundry powders, but can cause minor skin irritations, so wear those gloves.

Both Bicarbonate of Soda and Washing Soda can be used to clean laundry, both can be used for household cleaning, but one can be eaten and the other absolutely should not be. “Soda Crystals” have a caustic base and are NOT EDIBLE !

Baking soda is the name commonly used for Sodium Bicarbonate. Baking soda has a mild base that is often used as a leavening agent to raise baked goods. It is edible and is mild enough to be used as toothpaste or taken as an antacid. Baking soda is edible . It has a neutral pH of 8.

Soda Crystals are white-ish in colour with larger granules that can be seen and felt (a little like yeast).

Soda Crystals:

  • Dissolves slowly in water and will leave a white residue if not well rinsed.
  • It makes a more abrasive cleaner that can scratch delicate surfaces but cleans well.
  • Great for cleaning sturdy surfaces or fabrics that are easy to rise (bathtub, shower door).
  • The washing soda will clean without damaging the item and can be washed away easily.

Baking Soda:

  • Sturdy surfaces that are hard to rinse (oven floor or floor grout)
  • Delicate surfaces that can be scratched (natural stone counters)
  • Areas used by children and pets (carpet, pet beds)
  • Food preparation surfaces (kitchen sink, cutting board)
  • Easier to rinse and no residue worry

Brilliant Uses For Soda Crystals

1. Laundry Stains

To use on cottons or linens – soak heavier fabrics in a solution of warm water and washing soda. Just fill a bucket and add about 1/2 cup of Soda Crystals and give it a stir. Soak the stained clothes for an hour or two (or overnight). Remove the items from the washing soda solution and wash as usual.

2. Softening Your Water

One of the most popular ways to use washing soda is as a water softener in your laundry. Add 1/2 cup of soda crystals to your wash load, then add the amount of detergent recommended for soft water. (This can also help prevent limescale buildup on the inside of your machine). You can also use it in your swimming pool!

3. Outdoor cleaning

Washing Soda is very effective at removing moss or algae from patios and pathways. You can also use it to scrub down outdoor wooden furniture.

4. Ovens, & Gas Burner Pans

Dissolve about 1/2 cup to about 3 litres of warm water to clean your oven, grill pans and burner tops of gas stoves. Washing soda can help make some of your toughest cleaning tasks easier. Remove the burner pans and soak them for about 30 minutes. For your oven, dip a damp sponge into the solution and scrub the inside, if it’s really stubborn you can sprinkle it on directly.

5. Pots, Pans, & Cookware

Where are my VIM fans? I’ve used Soda Crystals to help dissolve tough food messes in my pots and pans, and it works like a charm! Just add a couple of tablespoons of washing soda and a small squirt of dish-washing liquid to the pot, pan, or dish, then fill it with hot water and let it soak. Don’t do this on aluminium though!

6. Bathroom Cleans

Use a regular solution of washing soda with a sponge or scrub brush to scrub your bathtub, sink, or shower clean. Washing soda will help to cut through soap scum, greasy residues, and limescale!

7. Your Car battery

Yep, by mixing up that 1/2 cup solution, Washing Soda is hugely effective at removing corrosion around your car battery.

In South Africa “Soda Crystals” are not as easy to purchase as oversea’s. I buy mine from Essentially Natural, but you can also pick them up sometimes at hardware stores, in the pool section!

The Only 3 Ingredients You’ll Ever Need To Clean Your House

The Only 3 Ingredients You’ll Ever Need To Clean Your House

What if I told you that you would only ever need 3 things to clean your house?

Ok, apart from a good dish-washing liquid, with three simple ingredients, you can pretty much clean your entire house, top to toe.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my cleaning products, kitchen cleaner, bathroom cleaner, oven cleaner, floor cleaner, stovetop, window… you get my drift, the amount of products avaliable can all get a little overwhelming right? At a time where money is getting tighter and trips to the shops may not be as frequent, with these three things (and a bit of salt), you can get by.

  • Vinegar
  • Bicarbonate of Soda
  • Lemon

Bicarbonate of Soda

An all around “freshener” and fantastic abrasive, this is a MUST have in every cleaning cupboard. We use it everywhere, not just for cleaning but for activities with the kids, to make scrubs for the bath, the possibilities are endless. Just SOME of its uses include:

  • Eliminate all fridge odours by keeping a little open in the fridge on the back shelf.
  • Remove grease from baking sheets – Make a little paste out of vinegar and bicarb and scrub.
  • Keep your mattresses fresh – sprinkle baking soda directly onto mattress to remove any dirt/moisture. Click here for a tutorial, under home hacks.
  • Keep mustiness at bay by popping a little into your cupboard or drawers.
  • Freshen up your flowers by adding a teaspoon of baking soda at the bottom of the vase.
  • Polish your own silver – one of the most popular hacks that I’ve done! Baking soda and hot water are miracle workers when it comes to shining your silver, you can check our hack here. It makes the most amazing “science” experiment for kids too.
  • Clean your bowl, by scrubbing a 2/1 ratio of baking soda and olive oil, you can leave your toilet bowl as shiny as new.
  • Clean your oven – again, by creating a paste out of baking soda and vinegar, rub it into your oven and leave to sit overnight. A simple wipe down with a cloth in the morning will have your own looking like new.
  • Clean your sink – Wet the sink, sprinkle baking soda over the surface, and scrub, then rinse. Use a soft brush and the same paste on the rim. Line the sink with paper towels that you’ve soaked in white vinegar. Leave them there for 20 minutes.
  • Relieve your itch. For insect bites, mix baking soda with a little water and rub onto bites, rashes from ivy etc. The number of times my mum used this on me growing up.

White Vinegar

  • Dustbin deodoriser – Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into dustbin to help absorb odours.
  • Freshen up and clean your kitchen drain by throwing some baking soda down the pipes and then flush it with white vinegar.
  • Soften and freshen your laundry – With Vinegar? Yes I have tried this, and it is true ! You won’t have vinegar scented towels either. Simply add a cup into your wash water, it softens the water and you will see the world of difference in your towels.
  • Clean your shower head – tie a bag filled with vinegar to your shower head to remove any limescale build up. Leave it to soak overnight for any hard to remove stains.
  • Clean your carpet – Remove carpet stains with a mixture of 2 tablespoons salt dissolved in 1/2 cup white vinegar. Let the solution dry, and then vacuum to remove. For tougher stains you can add 2 tablespoons borax to the mixture.
  • Clean your dishwasher – Similar to the shower head, vinegar works a wonder to remove any build up of detergent or water residue. Pour 1 cup of white vinegar into your dishwasher and run on empty with hot water.
  • Wash your windows – Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water to keep your windows streak free.
  • Battling with mosquitoes? Use the same window cleaning mixture to spray around window frames where mosquitoes may enter through. We have done this a few times and I am convinced I noticed a difference. It supposedly works against ants too.
  • Shine your glassware – My mum used to own a hiring company and swore by this – by adding a cup of vinegar to your wash water your glasses will sparkle!
  • Clean your grout – By mixing cornstarch, bicarb of soda and yep, vinegar – you can create the most amazing paste to clean the grout in between tiles.
  • Descale your kettle – we all love fancy glass kettles, but the limescale build up on the element can be unsightly. Pour in some white vinegar and leave to sit, or boil the vinegar up a few times to remove the build up. Just remember to rinse your kettle thoroughly afterwards 🙂
  • Make your own kitchen cleaner – By mixing citrus peel (or some essential oils) and vinegar and leaving it to sit for about a week, you can make a great all purpose cleaner. We haven’t tried this yet but its something my Gran used to do when they lived on a farm.


  • Scrub your wooden chopping boards – Cut a lemon in half and run across your wooden chopping boards with some sea salt. It cleans any grease or dirt on your wooden board and leaves it smelling wonderful!
  • Clean your microwave – Chuck some lemons into a bowl of water and pop it into the microwave to steam. Wipe down the steam once complete.
  • Clean your cast iron pots – This worked wonders, lemon is the most ingredient thing to remove rust. Rub sea salt and half a lemon all over your pan to clean. Rinse and make sure you dry and oil your pans to prevent any future build up.
  • Taps – There is nothing like a shiny, streak free tap. Cut a lemon in half and rub it all over the tap, finish by wiping it down with a clean, microfibre cloth.

There you have it! With these 3 essential items you can literally spring clean your home. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking you to go “all natural”, I use day to day cleaning products just like everyone else, but working together with some of these things has made my life a lot easier and I hope it does for you too!