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Eco-Cleaning Made Easy in the Lounge / Sitting Room

How to Green Clean Everything in Your Lounge or Sitting Room with Hemp Oil Soap and Soapnuts

Natural soap, also called traditional soap, soft soap, black soap or more specifically Hemp Oil Soap is great for cleaning carpets, rugs, sofas, the hearth, fire surround and many any other cleaning jobs.This soap reveals in greasy dirt, soot and the truly grimy dirt. Soapnuts and your home made soapnut liquid love to clean shiny surfaces such as glass, ceramic, china, mirrors and windows.

Eco-cleaning, or cleaning with green products is so enjoyable that you won't want to stop! However, don't over do it!

These eco-soaps make cleaning easy, safe and dare I say, enjoyable! You will not need rubber gloves!

If you need extra motivation, invite some friends around! It is amazing how it speeds up the tasks and add more purpose. Well before they arrive, everything will be sparkling and fresh.

How to Clean Leather Sofas and Chairs without Chemicals

I couldn't wait to perform this experiment. I had horses when I was a child and I would clean every bit of leather tack every weekend. I was always astounded at how the glycerine-rich 'saddle soap' would remove grease, sweat, mud and soften the leather. Such as satisfying job! Black soap, also glycerine rich works in exactly the same way as 'saddle soap', even lifting grime from the pores and stitches. In fact, the original saddle soap was probably the same as our hemp oil soap!

If the leather is very grimy, or dry wipe either the hemp oil onto the leather with a wet cloth which has been wrung out in warm water. If the stitches are dirty, use a soft nail brush to rub neat soap in the line of stitches. Leave the soap on for 10 minutes or so to work. Do not rub or scrub the leather as you can damage the surface. Be patient and wait - Go and make a cup of tea or something. Then rinse the leather with a warm wrung cloth and a soft scrubbing brush for the stitches, wiping away the dirt. Rinse thoroughly. Allow the leather to dry completely. It will be mat when dry.

If you are a perfectionist, you will rewax the stitching. It is easy. Once the stitches are clean and thoroughly dry, you could allow a full day for the drying to be sure, simply rub the stitches with a piece of beeswax. Brush into the stitching with a dry and soft nail brush.

Most leather sofas will need further treatment to ensure maximum flexibility, or you'd like a little sheen, you can feed them with a homemade leather food using 1/4 of a pint of cold pressed edible oil, 1 oz of beeswax and even a drop or two of essential oil.

Melt the beeswax with a double boiler, add the oil and warm through to mix. For a traditional aroma, add essential oil such as lavender, at the end. When it is cool enough, pour it into a suitable container and label it.

Apply the feed to the leather with a soft cloth. Allow it to thoroughly soak in. It could take hours, especially if the room is cold. Then buff with a soft cloth. You can sit down finally!

Cleaning Faux leather, Pleather, Imitation Leather, Naugahyde, Leatherette, PVC or Polyurethane Sofas with Natural Soap

Simply wipe with a cloth wrung in warm water and a blob of soap. Rinse afterwards. Buff dry with a clean and soft cloth.

Cleaning Velour Sofas with Planet Friendly Cleaning Products

Hoover the sofa first, making sure that the hoover brush is clean to avoid introducing stains and marks and that you are using the right attachment. Make up a mixture of 1 tsp of Hemp Oil Soap in 1 liter of warm water. Dip a chamois leather in this and wring it it very well. Rub the cloth with this mixture. Rub with and against the grain of the pile. Re-wet the chamois leather in the soap solution and wring as required.

Then replace the soap with vinegar water, to rinse, using the same technique. Finally, rub the velour dry with a dry cloth. You will know when that the sofa is completely dry, once you have found the cat sleeping on it again.

How to Clean a Wool or Silk Carpet or Rug with Hemp Oil Soap

Before you eco clean the rug or carpet

Always test clean a small area and inconspicuous area of the washable surface before proceeding. Check for colour fastness and the compatibility of soap on the surface. Antique and valuable rugs should always be cleaned by a specialist.

If you do decide to clean the carpet yourself, you should choose a dry and breezy day when you can open the windows because you will be aiming to have the carpet dry within 3-6 hours. Cleaning a rug is hard work and if the rug is not cleaned properly, it could look much worse than before. So if you have any doubts call the professionals.

How to perform a colour fastness test on your rug

Making up the cleaning solution. Apply to a small and inconspicuous area. If the carpet is patterned then test each colour separately. Leave the soapy water to work for 10 minutes or so. Blot the damp area with a clean white cloth. Does any colour transfer to the white cloth?

Rinse the area with water containing a splash of white vinegar. Blot and check again. Now allow the small washed patch to dry. Has there been any colour transference or leaching across the coloured tufts?

If the answer to either of these two questions is yes, do not proceed. Seek professional advice.

Preparing to Clean your Rug

All of our rugs of are natural materials - wool or silk, we don't have any fitted carpets. So we haven't tested these methods on rugs or carpets of synthetic or mixed materials. First hoover the rug thoroughly. If the rug can easily be turned over, hoover from the underside before hoovering the topside. Clean the floor underneath.

Look for any stains on the rug and pre-treat them before starting to wash it. Look for any signs of insect activity such as webs, droppings, carcasses, unexplained holes, broken fibers etc. If there are any signs of insect activity, then this is your new priority. If not, you are ready to start your carpet or rug cleaning operation.

Rugs used to be beaten, washed with soap and laid on the lawn or hedge to dry in the sun and air.

One day my mum was drying a Chinese silk rug she had just washed on the grass. In my child's brain, I just had to find out whether a lawn mover could cut rugs too. So I compulsively steered the machine, blades whirring, over the rug to find out. If you are thinking of doing the same, I can reliably inform you that the machine will stall and the blades will leave grass and cut marks on the rug. Now I have grown up a bit, I leave my own rugs in situ now and use a Vax machine. The moral of the story is, don't put the rug on the lawn if anyone is planning on doing the mowing!

Cleaning your Rug with a Carpet Cleaning Machine

Make up a soapy solution of 1-2 soup spoons of hemp oil soap, 1-2 soup spoons of vinegar and cool-warm water sufficient for your bucket or machine reservoir.

Add this into reservoir of the carpet cleaning machine. Wash the rug. A carpet cleaner sends soapy water into the carpet and sucks dirty water up. This means that the rug isn't left sodden. You will still need to take measure to assure that the carpet dries quickly.

Cleaning your Rug by Hand

If you have doubts about being able to get the carpet dry again, then don't even start hand washing your rug.

If you can proceed, make up some of the soap and vinegar or lemon solution above. Again, test the rug for colour fastness and compatibility with the solution. Rub the soapy mixture into the rug with a wrung cloth, a brush or a sturdy sponge. Work the pile in all directions. Leave the soap to work for a while, if possible 5-10 minutes.

Then use a cloth wrung in fresh water to dab the carpet and try to lift the liquified dirt. Carry on until the rug is washed. If possible allowing the soapy mixture to work for 5-10 minutes before going over using a cloth wrung in fresh water to rinse. Now press old towels into the rug to lift out any remaining water. To accelerate drying, leave the carpet pile down. If it is warm and breezy open the windows and or doors to create a through draft, use a 'dry' heating source such as underfloor heating, radiators, a fan, a wood burner etc.

Once the rug is dry, turn it the right side up and hoover it again to lift the pile. Only place furniture back onto the rug once the rug is completely dry again.

Prolonging the life of your rug

The rug will enjoy a longer life if it is hoovered or swept regularly. Some people advocate using the carpet beater function of the vacuum to removed damaging dirt particles and grit, others swear that it breaks fibers and shortens the life span of the rug. I'll let you make up your own mind.
Rugs can be turned periodically to even out the wear. To turn a rug, fold the short edges in towards the middle, spin the rug 180° and fold it out again.
Another way to even out the wear is to move the furniture on or around the rug to create a new circulation path.
Do you remember the stair runner, used to be loosened periodically and slid up or down half a stair to even our the wear?
To avoid excessive fading, keep the rug out of the direct path of sunlight, or turn the rug accordingly through the seasons. Put the rug away if you have a new puppy, because urine can stain and tassels and fringes are apparently very satisfying to chew.
Always roll a rug when transporting it. Just make sure your dog isn't asleep on it when you roll it up!

Other Ways to Clean a Rug Naturally

Some people swear by simply putting the rug outside on a day when it it raining heavily. However you you will need to bring the soggy carpet in and then get is dry quickly. It could be tricky to get the weather to cooperate in Britain!

Another technique involves moving the rug across icy snow or beating the rug in the cold snow (not slush). It is supposed to be a stirling method. Other people drag the rug across a thick lawn. I haven't tried these myself.

Cleaning the Hearth

The hearth gets covered in dust, soot, coal dust and other tar-looking burnt matter. Hemp Oil Soap is the nemosis of fireplace grime.

Make sure that the fire is fully burnt out and remove any ash with a small shovel. Gently sweep the hearth with a soft horse hair brush, or better still hoover any remaining ash.

The hearth and any iron work can be washed with Hemp Oil Soap and a bucket of hot water. Use soapnut liquid to clean marble surfaces. Change the water as needed.

The Fire Surround

Use the Hemp Oil Soap also for wooden fire surrounds and the mantelpiece.

Cleaning Ornaments

Ornaments love to be clean and look their best! My grandmother used to dust everyday with a chicken feather duster. It is not necessarily the best strategy unless you like to inhale dust and chicken feathers, but cats encourage this form of dusting! We prefer to clean the ornaments with a damp cloth, chamois leather or sponge, wrung in a bucket of warm water containing a slosh of Soap Nut liquid - to the full disapproval of our cat.

Ah, now you can sit down and relax!
Ah, now you can sit down and relax!

Call us with your eco-cleaning challenge!

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