The sun is out, the air is fresh and hurrah hurrah spring is here! Wonderful though it is to have the change in weather it often becomes clear that it's time to give our homes a really good clean to wash away winter grime. Instead of going straight to the cleaning aisle in the supermarket, try some of these old fashioned remedies to get your home sparkling clean and smelling great without the need for chemicals. They worked for years and in many cases they're actually better than modern equivalents - just ask your granny!

Vinegar: Use white vinegar (keep the brown stuff to go on your chips)

Have a bathroom blitz: Spray a 50:50 vinegar/water solution on tiles, wiping the solution away with a damp cloth. Leave the solution to work for five minutes on dirty grout then scrub with an old toothbrush before rinsing.

Sort sticky scissors: Wipe scissor blades with a cloth dipped in vinegar to remove sticky residue or grime then dry. You can then sharpen the blades by cutting through a piece of foil folded several times too!

Clean a stained fridge Soak a problem area in undiluted distilled malt vinegar then, as the stain loosens, clean the area and dry.

A fresh lemon:

Clean the microwave: Banish nasty niffs and get the inside of your microwave clean by squeezing some lemon juice into water (add the rinds too) then microwave for three minutes. As the liquid boils, it loosens debris and splatters so you can wipe everything clean with a paper towel.

Get taps sparkling: Cut a lemon in half and rub the fleshy part over taps and other limescale covered parts then rinse away. Stubborn areas such as on the end of taps can be treated by leaving the lemon pushed on the end of the tap for an hour or so before cleaning to a shine.

Clean a wooden chopping board: Sprinkle the surface with coarse salt then rub with half a cut lemon squeezing gently. Let it sit for five minutes then scrape the residue off and rinse thoroughly.

Bicarbonate of soda: This is a wonderful cleaning agent that can be put to many uses - here are my top three:

Removing crayon from walls: If a naughty child does some wall art with crayon, gently dab a damp cloth dipped in bicarb and clean the scribbles away - don't scrub too hard and this really works!

Remove stains from mugs: Use a scourer and bicarb to remove all stains from your lovely mugs - the extra abrasion will get them looking like new!

Clean a dirty oven chamber: Chemical oven cleaners are really smelly but this works a treat (I've tried it - but do buy a big bag of soda if your oven is as grimy as mine was!). Mix the powder with water to make a paste and smear it over the dirty oven walls. Leave to work - this can be as little as 30 mins - then scrape off the brown gloop to reveal a clean surface. Rinse clean and voila you're done!

All these remedies do work and they are kinder to the environment, inexpensive and don't overload your home with chemical or artificial smells. Go ahead - spring clean like your granny did!