Right then. Spring Cleaning. Now the marmalade making is out of the way, you might be trying to tidy and freshen up your surroundings now that a weak and watery sun is starting to show up the dust! I blogged this earlier in the year but I think it is worth a repeat.I have been experimenting with making my own cleaning items just as medieval housewives did in the Still Room. I saw a programme the other day about the toxic cleaning chemicals that we regularly use without even thinking about it.
I have made Citrus Spray Cleaner, a Citrus Beeswax Furniture Polish and I also have the recipe for the cleaner I use on my hard floors. These are all very easy to do and only have natural ingredients. The Citrus Spray cleans glass and mirrors beautifully with no streaky residue. Spray on, wipe off with kitchen paper or a soft cloth.
The furniture polish is great fun to make and you can ring the changes - instead of citrus try adding essential oils instead - lavender, bergamot, or use fresh herbs instead of the citrus peel.
The floor cleaner works like magic - cleans easily and then dries to a non-sticky gentle sheen with no build-up.
Try them out - I would love to know what you think. I shall be making more things like this during the year and will keep you posted. I am going to sell them in The Old Smithy as well, it is all preserving, after all.
We have great jars for the polish and the spray bottles for the window/glass cleaner.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The still room is a distillery room found in most great houses, castles or large establishments throughout Europe dating back at least to medieval times. Medicines were prepared, cosmetics and many home cleaning products created, and home-brewed beer or wine was often made. Herbs and flowers from the kitchen garden and surrounding countryside were preserved for flavoring food and processed into what today we call essential oils, and infused or distilled, or brewed (etc.) as required to make rose water, lavender water, tinctures, peppermint-based ointments, soaps, furniture polishes and a wide variety of medicines. The still room was a working room: part science lab, part infirmary and part kitchen.
Originally, the still room was a very important part of the household. The lady of the house was in charge of the room, and she taught her daughters and wards some of the skills needed to run their own homes in order to make them more marriageable. As practical skills fell out fashion for high-born women, the still room became the province of poor dependent relations.
In later years, as physicians and apothecaries became more widely spread and the products of the still room became commercially available, the still room increasingly became an adjunct of the kitchen. The use of the still room devolved to making only jams, jellies, and home-brewed beverages, and it became a store room for perishables such as cakes. The still room was staffed by the housekeeper or cook, then later by the still room maid.
TOP TIP: Always keep some citrus peel soaking in distilled malt vinegar - great for salad dressings and using making mustards etc.Always handy to have by you and uses an otherwise waste product (lemon or orange peel)
For floor cleaner:- use a good splash of malt vinegar, a squirt of washing up liquid and a generous shake of bicarbonate of soda or baking powder in a bucket. Add hot water and swirl around with your mop to combine. Wash over the floor, leave to dry