7 Tips on How to Create the Perfect Kitchen

Make your kitchen the heart of your home

Kitchens are really the soul of the house and are for more than just cooking but also for congregating. In older houses, the kitchen tends to be isolated and often small. Today, people want a kitchen that incorporates both a workspace and a casual space for dining, or for the kids to get their homework done.

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1) Prep Zone, Cook Zone and Wash Zone

Think less in terms of the traditional triangle layout and more in terms of creating a work area that goes from fridge to sink to stove, with several paces between. The fridge and the sink need to be linked, but the cooking section can be a little more independent. Keep the dishwasher near the sink, and try to keep the bin within easy reach of the Wash Zone, Prep Zone and the Cook Zone. This is simply about keeping the most-used areas of the kitchen in close enough proximity to each other.

Baking trays, pots and pans near the Cook Zone, platters and chopping boards near the Prep Zone and access to dinnerware and cutlery away from the work zone so others can assist in setting the table.

Nothing beats a full extension drawer for pots and pans over trying to reach back into a cupboard for that deep dish pot and lid! Kitchen renovation trend is the use of drawers for storage of crockery, cooking utensils and saucepans.

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2) Desirable design elements in a kitchen

There is a real benefit to a sink with a view.

An exterior space is a huge bonus; if you can add flow through and a deck to create a place to eat al fresco or have a barbecue.

Think carefully about how you plan on using your kitchen. Over the past few years it’s more common to create a multi-use space where you can cook, eat, entertain and help with the children’s homework. Independent dining rooms are increasingly redundant, with the preference to create a single, larger space where people can gather.

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3) Kitchen Island

A work zone and social hub, the island provides additional work surface and can also include a breakfast bar. Think about incorporating sockets for charging phones and laptops as well. An island is the ultimate multitasking space, it’s also helpful to give a little separation between dining and kitchen without being cut off.

Avoid placing your sink on the island bench if you’re a drip-dryer, alternatively build up the bench around the sink to hide it.

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4) Colour

Go for bold colour on your kitchen cabinets, your island, or for your splash back. Alternatively incorporate colour in accessories or artwork to add a little more personality into your space.

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5) Style with appliances

You may wish to use smart coloured appliances to make a strong design statement, adding contrast and interest to the kitchen. Red appliances in particular suit white or rich, dark colour schemes.

6) Clear the bench

If items can be put away or stored out of sight, the kitchen will be a much better place to work.

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7) Build around light

One simple trick to make your kitchen appear bigger is to make the most of the natural light available.

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Our Top Selling Kitchen Cleaning Products

Sonett since 1977
biodynamic | organic | wild harvested

Ecological, effective and economical household cleaning

We think it’s important to use ecological products in the kitchen, you don’t want petrochemical residues on your cutlery, crockery or food preparation areas.

Caring and feeling responsible for water as the essence of all life, made Sonett come into life. By using 100% rapidly biodegradable raw materials such as purely plant-derived soaps, sugar surfactants and minerals such as sodium carbonate and silicates, we increase the washing performance of the water, and at the same time fostering its being returned to and reintegrated into the natural cycle.

We consider it our task to do the laundry and household cleaning in harmony with nature, and especially with the water, in a considerate and revitalising way.

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Allergies, Eczema, Asthma and Dust Mites

House dust mites are present in most human environments, thriving in warm moist places such as mattresses, bedding and carpets, and feeding mainly on flaked-off dead skin.

Up to 85% of people with asthma are affected by the faeces of house dust mites. Those with the most common form of eczema, atopic eczema which is closely linked to asthma, are also affected by dust mites.

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Mites will not be killed in a cold or warm wash but mite allergens (faecal matter) will be made safe and washed away. Low-temperature cycles in washing machines don’t get rid of dust mites, say scientists, 30 or 40°C washes only killed 6% of house dust mites compared with 100% at 60°C, Korean researchers found.

Allergy UK agreed with these latest findings presented at an American Thoracic Society conference. They advise allergy sufferers use 60°C washes.

  • Hot tumble drying items for half an hour after outside drying also kills dust mites.
  • Dust mites love humid climates – dehumidify.
  • Dust mites are sensitive to dry conditions, changes in temperature, and ultra-violet light.

Use an organic cotton dust mite proof cover for NEW mattress and pillows, as a preventative measure to mites getting into the mattress and pillows.

A latex mattress is inhospitable to dust mites. No dust mite cover required.

Latex pillows are inhospitable to dust mites, wool or silk pillows, and doonas, are naturally resistant to dust mites.

Put blankets, pillows and doonas in a plastic bag and pop in the freezer for 48 hours to kill dust mites. You must wash these items after they have been in the freezer to ensure the residue from the mites is gone.

Every two to three months, children’s soft toys should be frozen in the freezer and then hung out in sunlight for six hours.

Dust mites cannot survive on hardwood floors, as opposed to carpet.

Always wet dust and wash cloth in a 60° wash.

Sonett Sensitive range for people with allergies, asthma, eczema, for babies, young children and all those who have sensitivities: 

Pin pointing allergies is often a process of elimination. Using Sonett Sensitive range of laundry and household cleaning products is part of that process.

  • Purely plant surfactants
  • Free from any petrochemical ingredients
  • Free from fragrances, colourings and complexing agents
  • Free from optical brighteners which remain on the skin, preservatives, enzymes, GMO
  • Completely 100% and rapidly biodegradable

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7 TIPS to Reduce Ironing Time

1) Delicates wash is your friend. As soon as the load is done hang garments immediately to dry, preferably out of UV if possible. This technique definitely reduces ironing, in fact you’ll find many items don’t require a iron at all.

Always, always hang clothes as soon as possible, whether with pegs or on hangars, whether out of the washing machine or dryer, or once ironed.

2) Another handy TIP is hang your wrinkled garment in the bathroom while you take a shower. Steam often negates any need to iron at all.

3) Have to give ourselves a pat on the back here, because you’ll find using Sonett Laundry Liquids and Powders your laundry will be much softer, less creasing, meaning less ironing time than conventional products. Everyone wins, including the environment.

4) Almost as soon as you’ve turned your iron on is the time to iron anything delicate that requires ironing. No point waiting about for your iron to come to full heat, get on with the really creased items once the iron is hot.

5) We don’t need to be perfectionists, many items really don’t need to be ironed. For instance I wouldn’t dream of ironing 100% cotton sheets, they’re not that creased anyway, however I have a friend who has meticulously ironed her sheets for years. Each to their own. I’ve found that once a good linen garment has softened over many washes and it’s hung on a hanger straight out of a delicates wash it doesn’t need ironing.

6) I’m told that using a steamer, rather than an iron, makes pressing much quicker and easier.

7) Having the correct tools for the job always helps, as does watching tele or playing your favourite music while you iron. A solid ironing board, with a pretty cover, a good iron, and use Sonett Starch Spray & Ironing Aid with aromatic Rose Geranium and Lavender and you’re away. Also available in 1 litre refill.

P.S. A packed to the rafters wardrobe may cause creasing.

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10 Items you shouldn’t put in the dishwasher

  1. Cast Iron Skillet – all cast iron should be rinsed with warm water, no detergent, otherwise you’re undoing the seasoning.
  2. Wooden utensils and wooden cutting boards – really hot water and heat drying is likely to cause warping.
  3. Vintage crockery – definitely hand wash, dishwasher detergents are way too harsh for delicate crockery, particularly gold/silver trim or hand painted work.
  4. Garlic press and graters – best to wash by hand in warm soapy water. 
  5. Quality Kitchen Knives – good practise is to hand wash so as not to blunt the sharp edge.
  6. Silver cutlery – hand wash.
  7. Pots with burnt on bits – the dishwasher won’t cut it. Instead sprinkle a teaspoon of Bleach Complex & Stain Remover (handy in the kitchen as well as the laundry), pour over boiling water, leave it to soak overnight and it should easily wash out by hand in the morning.
  8. Crystal – dishwasher is too risky, hand wash.
  9. Copper pans – dishwasher detergent is likely to dull copper.
  10. Non-stick pots and pans – may lose their non stick quality when washed with the dishwasher.

Ecological dishwashing

Tablets for Dishwashers 25x20g • Dishwasher Detergent 1kg, 3kg, 10kg • Dishwashing Liquid Calendula 300ml, 1 litre refill • Dishwashing Liquid Lemon 300ml, 1 litre refill * Dishwashing Liquid neutral/sensitive All-Purpose Cleanser 1 litre.

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TIPS for winter coat care

Your winter coats, or coats, are investment garments so great care will ensure they last you for years and years.

Wool Coats

Always read your garment’s care instructions on the label, however, a wool coat can easily be cared for without dry cleaning.

  1. Do up buttons or zips, turn inside out.
  2. Treat collar and end of sleeves, armpit area, for any stains with gentle and effective Stain Removal Spray. Leave it for 10 minutes.
  3. Hand wash or use cold water delicates cycle with Laundry Liquid Wool & Silk, also available free from natural essential oils fragrance Laundry Liquid for Wool & Silk neutral. These products use high-grade olive oil which is processed to obtain soap for outstanding cleansing properties that are also nurturing for woollen and silk fabrics, restoring the protective hydrolipid film.
  4. Roll excess water out with a towel and turn outside in, dry on a sturdy hangar that will hold the shape of your coat.
  5. Be ever so careful with the iron, if indeed it even needs ironing. Iron inside out with a cool iron, or hold the iron slightly above the wool and steam any wrinkles out.

TIPS:

  • Don’t use your pockets for keeping your hands warm, use gloves, or fingerless gloves instead. Once pockets stretch, that affects the line of your coat.
  • Always use sturdy hangars for coats.

DON’T 

  • Use conventional fabric softener
  • Soak or bleach
  • Allow a damp or wet coat to dry crumpled

Down Jackets

  1. Check instructions on the garment.
  2. Treat collar and end of sleeves, armpit area, for any stains with gentle and effective Stain Removal Spray. Leave it for 10 minutes. Laundry Liquid Wool & Silk is very well tolerated by down.
  3. Close all zips, buttons and turn inside out.
  4. Hand wash or use delicates wash cycle cold to 30 °C.
  5. Rinse thoroughly, or rinse twice in cold water.
  6. Keep shaking the down every now and then when drying on the washing line.

DON’T 

  • Use conventional fabric softener
  • Soak or bleach

GORE-TEX®, NGX®, Softshell®, blends or fleece jackets

  1. Follow the care instructions.
  2. You can machine wash your jacket in warm water (30-40°C)
  3. Use delicates cycle and use a Laundry Liquid rather than powder. Specifically for these type of jackets Laundry Liquid Colour is recommended.
  4. After washing, thoroughly rinse your jacket to remove all laundry product residue.

Don’t use fabric softener or bleach as it may damage your jacket.

For coats and jackets, sometimes spot cleaning may be more appropriate, rather than cleaning the entire garment.

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TIPS for Stain Removal

6 Basic Rules

  1. Attend to stains as soon as possible, much more likelihood of success when it’s fresh, as opposed to 24 hours old or more. 
  2. When tackling a stain, always start with cold water especially on stains of unknown origin. Hot water sets protein stains like milk, egg or blood, cooking the protein into the fibres. Hot water is fine for oily stains like butter.
  3. Flush the stain from the inside of the fabric to push the stain out of the fibres.
  4. Treat stains from outside in.
  5. Dab stains on delicate fabrics, do not rub or brush.
  6. Test the colour fastness on a small hidden area before treating the stain.

Sonett products for stain removal:

Gall Soap
Gall Soap Liquid 120ml and 300ml
Stain Removal Spray
Laundry Rinse
Orange Power Cleaner
Bleach Complex and Stain Remover 450g and 5kg An incredibly effective product, completely FREE from any petrochemical bleaching agents It’s effective in the washing machine from 50°C + however if it can act for longer, e.g. having the laundry soak overnight in Bleach Complex, it’s effective from 30°C. Removes all oxidisable stains such as fruit, red wine, tea, coffee, grass, blood, etc. Prevents greying of white fabrics. Brightens yellowed and greyish laundry.

Types of stains and treatment

Fruit, grass and vegetable stains

Apply Gall Soap/Gall Soap Liquid, leave for a few minutes, rinse out and wash as normal. Please test the colour fastness of the garment on a small hidden area before treating the stain. 

Fat, oil and grease stains

Apply some undiluted Orange Power Cleaner, leave for a few minutes and then wash out. This is ideal for removing grease stains on delicate garments. Alternatively treat with Gall Soap/Gall Soap Liquid or Stain Removal Spray, see above.

Pen and ink 

Generally effective removal with Gall Soap/Gall Soap Liquid or Stain Removal Spray.

Milk, blood and egg-white stains 

Thoroughly rinse protein stains using cold water, then, if necessary, treat with Gall Soap/Gall Soap Liquid. Hot water sets protein stains.

Coffee and tea stains 

Pre-treat the stain with lemon juice or Laundry Rinse, rinse thoroughly and then wash as normal. Light fabrics can be washed as normal with Bleach Complex and Stain Remover 50°C, without any pre-treatment.

Cocoa and chocolate stains 

Spray on Stain Removal Spray and leave on to be effective for 10 minutes, then rinse or put garment straight into the washing machine.

Wax stains 

Place blotting paper on the wax and carefully warm with a hair-dryer. Remove the remaining wax with a solvent. Be careful with using a hot iron as the wax liquefies too quickly and can become fixed to the fibres.

Rust and old blood stains

Place the stain in Laundry Rinse, rinse with cold water and then wash as normal using Bleach Complex and Stain Remover, if possible.

 

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9 Tips to Clean Your Kitchen Less Often

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and enjoy it way more

1. Of course you need to do a full on kitchen clean, pantry and pot cupboard tidy etc a couple of times a year, however we have 9 tips that will help you keep your kitchen cleaner on a daily basis with less work.

2. Ensure your sink is kept empty. Rinse and move items into the Dishwasher immediately.

3. When cooking, clean as you go. Nothing worse than trying to cook a meal and dodge things in your work area or a sink full of dishes. Or for that matter having the entire clean-up after a meal.

4. Keep your countertops as clear as possible, much quicker and easier to keep clean.

We recommend trigger action bottle of Sonett Multi-Surface and Glass Cleaner for quick after meal cleaning. Love the residual aroma of organic lavender and lemongrass too! If you prefer extra grease cutting orange, then make up some diluted Orange Power Cleaner in an old trigger bottle instead. Alternatively dilute All-Purpose Cleanser in a trigger bottle. Both of these products are extremely economical as they’re used highly diluted.

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5. Clean your sink after washing the dishes as there’s no point cleaning dishes in a grubby sink.

Only takes a minute with Sonett Scouring Fluid. Alternatively, Sonett Scouring Powder is another favourite for this job, especially if you’re partial to pots of tea and have tea stains in the sink, it cuts through tea and any other stains in a jiffy. Containing no water it’s also highly concentrated and economical.

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6. For tea/coffee stains in cups, put 1/4 tsp Sonett Bleach Complex and Stain Remover into the cup, pour over boiling water, rinse out in the morning. Quick and easy and not just for laundry purposes!

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Bleach Complex is so helpful, we keep a tub in the Kitchen as well as the Laundry and refill from 5kg pack

7. If you have burnt on offerings in a pot or pan, rinse as much as you can, then pop in 1 tsp of Bleach Complex and Stain Remover, pour over boiling water and leave overnight. You’ll be amazed how quick it just all rinses out in the morning. That saves a lot of hard work and time scrubbing!

8. Keep your cleaning products close. You don’t need an array of cleaners in the kitchen, keep it down to the essentials and then store them neatly under the sink, or in some baskets/buckets.

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9. Bathroom Cleaner may be used wherever you need to remove limescale and greasy dirt at the same time. Removes limescale deposits in hard-to-reach places and simultaneously cleans fittings and stainless steel. In other words, a quick spray over taps, leave a while to do their work, then wipe.

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If there are frustrations such a pots and pans that need replacing or fixing, or not having the right tools for the job, sort it.

Because you’re preparing food in your kitchen we think it should be a place of cleanliness and free from clutter, with just a few things that bring you pleasure, a room that ensures you’re in a good frame of mind when preparing meals for yourself and those you love.

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