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Travel: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Last weekend Nana and I took a rather lengthy journey north for a night away at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, with Little Dude in tow. The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a luxurious country hotel...

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A Place To Enjoy My Garden I love my garden. I love the fact that I have a garden, especially with the recent gorgeous weather we've been having. Whilst I have a pretty compact garden, there's a lot going on out there. Plants, fruit...

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Cuddles With Ben Cohen Some days I have a really difficult job. Days like this for example. *Ahem* That rather nice young man is former rugby player Ben Cohen. Ben is a bit of an expert when it comes to cuddles. He has...

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Spring Cleaning

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle, Product Reviews | Posted on 13-02-2013

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I know its still a little chilly out there – and I know for a fact some of you still have snow! – but spring is just around the corner I promise, and for many of us its the time we embark on a decluttering the house and giving it a good clean. Spring Cleaning is something of a chore – unless you’re someone who enjoys it of course… – but it is possible to make it as easy as possible, and also protect the environment and your family.

I don’t know about you but I generally don’t like using harsh chemical cleaning products in places where my son is going to go or around food. Now being 2 years old he goes in most places at the moment so I’ve made the switch to eco-friendly – and Little Man Friendly – products. As well as using eco-friendly cleaning products I am also using recycled tools to do the work for me.

Ecover
Ecover provide the ultimate in environmentally friendly cleaning products. Their range contains plant based ingredients as opposed to harsh chemicals so they are safe to put down the drain, but are also gentle on your skin and the surfaces they touch. Cleaning with an Ecover product means your child or pet can come into contact with whatever you’ve cleaning immediately, without risk. Whilst the products are gentle on you they are tough on stains. I thought something that was plant based would never deal with the 101 stains and spillages caused by your average toddler. I was wrong.

I used the All Purpose Cleaner on my kitchen floor. The kitchen is where a lot of the action happens, and where most of the spills occur. The floor can go from squeaky clean to fairly hideous in the blink of an eye, so its important to have something to hand that will do the job without worrying about Little Man “helping” in the process. It cleaned the floor beautifully, and I was so impressed I filled my kitchen sink with hot water and a cap full of cleaner and did my whole kitchen. Every bench, the cooker top, and the sink all came up beautifully, and the delicate lemon scent makes everything smell fresh and clean.

Cleaning wipes are something I’ve often used. They are great for highchairs especially, but I used the Ecover Multi-Action Wipes to clean out my fridge. I don’t want chemicals inside my fridge – especially my vegetable drawer where items tend to be loose and unwrapped – so these pomegranate and lime scented wipes sounded ideal. They have an ecological antibacterial formula in them which kills 99% of bacteria – perfect for a fridge – and they too leave behind a delicate scent. One large wipe made swift work of the shelves in my fridge and a small one – each large wipe has a perforation across the centre – cleaned in and around the vegetable drawer. Upon completion I was confident about putting loose vegetables straight back inside without risk of contamination.

Washing up is a daily chore in every house. Again I want something safe on my cutlery and crockery – especially Little Man’s – so I tried the Lemon & Aloe Vera Washing Up Liquid. I continued to be thrilled with the results from the Ecover range as bowls, plates and cutlery came out clean. Cups and glasses even sparkled, and Little Man’s surprisingly large range of plates, bowls, cutlery, cups and snack pots all ended up fresh and clean, without a chemical in sight.

I am officially converted to Ecover, and doubt I’ll go back to the harsh chemical products I used to use. You can find their range in most supermarkets, or you can buy from Ecover Direct. You can also get some of the range from Abel & Cole with your vegetable box!

EcoForce & Dishmatic
Whilst you’re using eco-friendly cleaners why not use recycled and eco-friendly tools? EcoForce have a range of scourers, sponges, brushes, cloths and dusters which are all made from recycled materials, and that still get the job done. Would you believe that the sponges are made from the foam that other manufacturers send to landfill? And they are still effective when it comes to cleaning tough stains. The cloths are strong and super absorbent so perfect for quickly and cleanly mopping up spills and puddles, and the super soft dusters are perfect for use on glass and mirrors. We used one to clean the interior of our car windscreen and it came up brilliantly. You can also get recycled plastic clothes pegs and bag grips which are strong and long lasting.

Dishmatic has a wonderful invention which was one of my favourite things to test out. They have a washing up brush with a sponge cleaner on the end – the sponge can be replaced when its worn out, and there are different heads available depending on the task. When I love about this is that you fill the handle with washing up liquid and it dispenses as you clean. It makes the washing up quicker and easier and I found we used less washing up liquid this way. Its always filled and ready for action. A great idea!

Ecorforce and Dishmatic products can be found in supermarkets, DIY stores, Oxfam and online here.

Guest Review: Bionaire Steam Cleaner

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Reviewer | Posted on 07-01-2013

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One more new Guest Reviewer, and this time its my Mother In Law! I was sent a Steam Cleaner to review and handed it over for her to test it out.
“Well winter is on us once more and the challenges of winter cleaning loom again. The wet weather and mud, especially when you have to contend with a dog who loves splashing through puddles and running through long grass they then leave marks all around the house. Even when we have rubbed them down with a towel you still get that wet dog odour, not to mention the ‘nice’ line around your furniture where they will insist on rubbing themselves’ dry. So when I was offered the chance to trial the new Bionaire Steam Cleaner I was eager to see if this could resolve some of these problems.
Layla’s dog basket is a particular problem, it is washable but by the time you have put it through the washing machine, it then takes an age to dry.  By this time she has made herself another bed, usually the most comfy chair in the house. She was reluctant to let me get at the basket but I persisted and after brushing the loose bits off I set too, to see if I could freshen and clean it up. She was very content with it after it had been cleaned and curled up in it straight away.  I wasn’t even allowed to put it back into the correct place in the lounge.
The steam cleaner came with simple instructions on how to assemble and included some accessories for different functions.  I found that it was quite light to handle even when it was filled with water, and it quickly heated up.  Layla’s bed was made from a fake suede material, on the exterior which looked quite shabby and a fleecy lining.  I passed the steam cleaner over the external surface and it immediately restored it to the original look.  The interior lining took a little longer to look clean but what was instantly apparent it no longer had that doggy odour.  The whole process only took a few minutes and as you can see she soon snuggled back down in it.
My next project was the furniture. Now I have a black Labrador and even after drying her with a towel after her walk she will rub herself along the furniture, which unfortunately is a light gold colour so I have a ‘lovely’ black line.  So after attaching the brush head to the steam cleaner I lightly steamed the area and the brush head picked up all the black hairs.  Again what was immediately apparent was that the doggy odour had gone.
Well after you have cleaned the house with the Bionaire Steam Cleaner you can also use this handy gadget on your clothes as well.  I have a lovely new top, just in time for the seasonal parties.  This top has a loose draped front and after washing it I tried to iron it.  Unfortunately this stretched the garment.  So I washed it again but this time I used the steamer to steam the creases out and hey presto those gentle folds came back and it fitted perfectly.  There is also a tool for pressing trousers for that sharp crisp look.
So now I have cleaned the house and resolved some ironing issues I am now ready to enjoy the Seasonal Holiday and party party party!!”