Cleaning isn’t just for springtime. Our lifestyles change during the summer and we all know Summertime means barbecues, backyard cricket and al-fresco dining.
As the temperatures start to rise and the days become longer, we begin to spend more time outdoors soaking up the sunshine. The school break is longer, households tend to be fuller, and all of these things will affect our cleaning regime.
Start your summer right by getting your home in order with Euca’s summertime cleaning tips and tricks.
1. Get your garden ready
Have your garden looking immaculate so you can entertain guests in style. Before you start planting, watering and trimming, you’ll need to make sure your tools are in good shape. Here’s how to clean those dirty old, rusty gardening equipment and how to look after them for next time.
- Remove the dirt. Spray Euca Multi (nee Tuff) onto any caked-on dirt and grime. Let sit for a short time then rinse off. If needed use the force of a garden hose to spray away any surface soiling on large areas. For stubborn built up areas, chip away carefully using a putty knife.
- Remove the rust. Scrubbing rusty areas with steel wool or a standard washing sourer usually does the trick. Remember if it’s rusty now, it will rust again, so it will need protecting when you are finished. Use Euca Universal to fully clean and polish the metal surface, removing the final traces of any corrosion. Note Euca Stainless cleaner is also a good alternative here as well.
- Remove the sap. Cutting plants and small branches etc, leaves a residue of plant sap on your tools. To remove this effectively we recommend of best cleaner, Euca Lift it. Lift it is made with citrus and sugar cane juice (ethanol) so is highly effective. Spray onto tools and wipe clean with a cloth. Repeat after use.
- Clean your tools after each use. Once you have finished using your garden tools, you should always clean the dirt and grime off them, following the tips above before storing them.
- Rinse, dry and store. If you need to wash or rinse your tools before putting them away, use clean water and make sure you dry them thoroughly. Either air dry or wipe dry with a cloth. Doing this will make sure they are ready for next time, and you will reduce the issue of any corrosion. Coating bare metal surfaces with Euca Eucalyptus Oil is an effective eco-friendly metal protectant.
2. Get your patio area ready
Like many of us, your patio may have been neglected during the colder seasons. Bring new life to yours by giving it a makeover as things start to heat up. We recommend Euca Show Time for effective removal of soils and grime, plus leaving a great clean finish that lasts. You can use Show Time on all cement, tiled, brick or wooden surfaces like decks. Plus, don’t worry if you have windows, doors or walls in your cleaning area as Euca Show Time will clean these too. In fact, we recommend washing down the outside of your house, sliding glass doors and windows with it as it’s designed to remove dirt easily leaves glass looking extremely clean.
You can use a standard bucket and water, or if you have one, a pressure washer.
Bucket process: you will need a mop & bucket, gloves and a coarse broom or brush and access to water via a hose to rinse. Note a squeegee is also helpful, plus make sure the mop you use can be used outside as its going to get dirty.
- Mix 20 to 40ml of Euca Show Time to a mop bucket 8 to 10 litres of water.
- Using a mop (not your inside mop,) mop thoroughly over all the surface area, being generous with water and the soap foam. No need to wet surfaces first, its works well dry applying. Use a coarse broom to scrub as well if needed.
- Once you are satisfied you have mopped or scrubbed all areas, let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Don’t worry if the surface looks like its drying and flat looking, it will all wash off.
- Now using a hose, rinse clean, using the broom to remove the excess water, if you have a squeegee, this can help in removing water.
- Now let dry before walking on.
Pressure washer process: You will need any good brand name washer, gloves, a coarse broom or brush and access to water via a hose for the washer. Note a squeegee is also helpful, plus you can use a mop to quicken the drying process, just make sure it can be used outside as its going to get dirty.
- Follow the filling guide of your washer for the foaming attachment. Most use an attached bottle of about 1lt or 500ml. you can dilute Show Time down, or use neat, this will also depend on your machines ability to adjust water flow mix. Minimum would 50/50 mix of water and Show Time.
- High Pressure a good foam mix onto the decking / floor area, walls and doors and glass (make sure doors and windows don’t leak and are sealed well). You can apply directly to dry surfaces, no need to wet areas first. Systematically clean the whole surface. Use a coarse broom to scrub in areas hard to get too, or you cannot spray directly water at.
- Once you are satisfied you have covered all required areas, let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Don’t worry if the surface looks like its drying and flat looking, it will all wash off. On walls and windows, you will see the foam dragging dirt downwards, this in normal and shows its removing grime.
- Now use the pressure washer without the foaming attachment. Just clean water. High Pressure rinse. Using the broom or squeegee to remove the excess water.
- Now let dry before walking on. Glass areas will dry nearly streak free. Use Euca Glass to finish any glass areas where needed.
3. Get your grill ready
Barbecuing is an Australian summer tradition, and this year should be no exception. But we all know everyone’s BBQ can do with a spruce up every once in a while, particularly if you don’t use your BBQ regularly. Cooking outside should be no different to cooking inside in cleanliness, allowing of course for seasoning / sealing the metal hot plate and grill, the rest should be cleaned as if in the house. You cook meats and vegetables with oils and marinade, so they can get quite messy, here’s how to keep yours in good nick year-round.
You will need gloves, standard BBQ cooking equipment, Euca Multi, Euca Universal, spray bottle with clean water, cooking oil, paper towel and stainless-steel wool sourer. The Euca Multi can be in a spray bottle, or in a small bucket of Multi (nee Tuff) mixed with water.
- Always Pre-clean before use, even if you have cleaned when finished previously. Clean the hot plates and grill area as they can be exposed to weather or elements, plus you may not know what “creepy crawly” has visited since you were last there.
- Use Euca Multi (nee Tuff) on all cooking surfaces, spray on, or use your BBQ tongs and stainless steel sourer, dipping into bucket of Multi and water and scrub cooking surfaces. Multi is a great degreaser, made with Eucalyptus and citrus so it cuts through fat and grime, plus is non-caustic so safe to use, but you should still rinse with clean water, hence the spray bottle of water is needed. You can do this process with the BBQ lit and heating up, as this helps in the cleaning as well. Multi wont ruin your seasoned hot plate. Wipe clean with a paper towel, and season metal with your favourite cooking oil.
- Before lighting the BBQ, you should regularly check under grill area for any build up of fat or remaining charred food – remove and clean as necessary.
- Another routine process is to remove fat catcher tray under BBQ and check for excess build-up of cooking residue. This is what can cause fires. Clean thoroughly if needed and add some BBQ fat collecting agent or “Kitty Litter” in the tray to soak up fats and oil.
- Check and clean under hood for any build up as well. Use Euca Multi to clear any grease build up with paper towel, cloth or sponge.
- You can finish and detail the whole outside of the BBQ with Euca Universal. This will really spruce up the look, polish, clean and shine all metal, plastic surfaces. Clean the inside of the hood, outside and all the switches etc. make it shine and protect it.
4. Get ready for pests
One of the few negatives of the summertime is the pests that come with it. Unfortunately, they love the warm weather as much as we do. Here’s how to keep unwanted visitors away.
- Soak cotton balls with clove or peppermint essential oils, and leave them in high-risk zones. These scents repel mice while making your house smell like a spa. Double win!
- Cayenne powder is another pest repellent that can be sprinkled at common entry points.
- If you find ants trailing through your house, use a white vinegar spray and soapy sponge on your surfaces to stop them in their tracks.
- Ants also dislike the scent of peppermint. If you can pinpoint their point of entry, use a cotton ball soaked in peppermint essential oil to drive them away.
- Euca Lift It, as well as being a highly efficient cleaner, is also a natural insect repellent.
- Stink bugs hate strong scents like catnip, mint and garlic.
- Banish them by mixing 2 tablespoons of garlic powder in 1 cup of water and leaving the solution in small containers at suspected entry points.
- Herbs and flowers can be planted both in your garden and outside to keep flies away from your house. Herbs and flowers that can repel flies include: Basil, marigold, lavender, bay leaves and catnip. As a bonus, some can be used for cooking as well.
- A mixture of vinegar and Euca Dishwashing Liquid can help you trap flies. To use this method, mix about an inch of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a tall glass. Cover the glass with plastic wrap. Secure the plastic wrap with a rubber band and poke small holes in the top. Flies will be attracted to the vinegar in the glass and will fly through the holes. However, the Dishwashing Liquid causes the flies to sink instead of being able to land on the vinegar.
- Cayenne pepper can help repel houseflies. Mix it with water and spray around the house to deter flies from coming in.
- Venus flytraps are carnivorous plants that eat insects. If you plant them outside, they’ll naturally eat flies. Inside, you might need to feed the plant flies. When a fly gets in the plant’s trap, it closes around the fly. It then secretes digestive fluid to dissolve the insect’s soft insides. It breaks down the insect over 5 to 12 days, then spits out the exoskeleton.
- Used since the 1940s, blue spotted gum (Corymbia citriodora) or more commonly known as lemon eucalyptus oil is one of the more well-known natural repellents. eucalyptus oil as an effective ingredient in some mosquito repellents. Best used in a diffuser or essential oil burner.
- Crushed lavender flowers produce a fragrance and oil that can repel mosquitoes. Lavender oil is effective at repelling adult mosquitoes. Lavender has analgesic, antifungal, and antiseptic qualities. This means that in addition to preventing mosquito bites, it can calm and soothe the skin. You can grow lavender in an outdoor garden or in indoor planters. Crush the flowers and apply the oil to bite-sensitive areas of the body, such as your ankles and arms. Also drop some lavender oil on a clean cloth and rub it onto the skin.
- Cinnamon is more than just a great topper for applesauce or pancakes. Cinnamon oil can kill off mosquito eggs. It can also act as a repellent against adult mosquitoes. To make a diluted 1 percent solution, mix 1/4 teaspoon (or 24 drops) of oil for every 4 ounces of water. You can spray the fluid onto your skin or clothing, around your home, and onto upholstery or plants. Be careful when applying cinnamon oil, as a concentrated dose can irritate your skin.
- When it comes to repelling malarial mosquitoes, thyme oil is one of the best at providing protection. You may also want to throw thyme leaves into a campfire. Research shows that burning thyme leaves offers 85 percent protection for 60 to 90 minutes. For a homemade brew, combine 4 drops of thyme oil to every teaspoon of base oil, such as olive or jojoba oil. For a spray, mix 5 drops of thyme oil with 2 ounces of water.
- Citronella is a common natural and effective essential oil that works against mosquitoes. Made from a mix of herbs, it’s an ingredient in many mosquito repellents. When outdoors, citronella candles can provide up to 50 percent extra protection.
- Tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil, is a popular essential oil from Australia. This oil is known for its antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. But recent studies also suggest that tea tree oil may be an effective insect repellent.
Potential risks: Essential oils should never be put on the skin directly. They are always diluted in a carrier oil such as almond oil. The recipe is usually 3 to 5 drops of essential oil in 1 ounce of carrier oil. It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction from the active ingredients in essential oils. Before you use any new product, spot-test the product on a small section of your skin and wait an hour or two to make sure that no reactions or burning sensations occur.
5. Get ready for stains
Is your house ready for the dirt and stains that the summer brings?
Spending more time outdoors usually means more stains on your clothes, especially when it comes to kids. Grass and mud can mark fabrics permanently if you don’t treat them quickly. Pre-washing is the easiest way to remove stains. Putting stained clothes directly into the washer and dryer can make them set permanently.
- Place a couple of layers of paper towels or a towel on the spot to absorb the urine.
- Stand on the towel to absorb as much urine as possible.
- Apply Euca Smell Expel, 4 cleaners in one. A disinfectant, deodoriser, odour eliminator and cleaner all in one.
- Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Blot it dry with a soft cloth. Reapply if necessary.
- The acid in vomit can stain the carpet’s surface fast, so make sure to wipe it up immediately. You can use a dustpan or scraper to remove the larger chunks.
- Dry with a towel to clean up the moisture.
- Use Euca Glass, spray onto soiled areas, and gently rub with a clean cloth. Do this several times to remove a tough stain.
- When the stain is gone, let the areas air dry, plus blot dry with a towel. Euca Glass will evaporate and won’t allow resoiling like other cleaners.
And there you have it! Euca’s top summer cleaning hacks. We hope you try them out so you can relax this summer without having to worry about dirt, pests or stains. Euca has a wide range of eco-friendly cleaning products that will help you along the way. Visit www.eucaonline.com.au to shop our full catalogue.