Dr Chemical's Backyard Blitz

Getting the backyard ready for summer can be costly and time consuming, but there are some simple hardware solutions to make the clean-up faster and cheaper.

Perth's Dr Chemical shows us his ultimate do-it-yourself formula - to bring your barbie back to sparkling, and get rid of stubborn weeds without using poisons.

Make the following mixtures in a sprayer with plastic fittings.

Oil stain removal

100 grams of caustic soda with a litre of water

Spray thoroughly on stain, scrub then wash it off with water. Stain may not disappear, especially on porous ground, but it will fade.

Two kilograms of caustic soda will cost around $15. A good quality plastic sprayer will cost around $20.

Barbecue cleaner

100 grams of caustic soda with a litre of water

Spray it on, have a scrub then wash it off with water.

Weed killer

1 cup of hydrochloric acid and 1 cup of salt into 5 litres of water

Spray a generous amount on the weeds. They'll be dead by the next day.

Twenty litres of hydrochloric acid will cost around $48 and last for years, while a 25kg bag of "pool salt" is around $7.

The ingredients should be available from your local hardware store. The way Dr Chemical has used hydrochloric acid and caustic soda in this story is diluted and safe - but don't eat it, follow any advice on the packaging and keep the pure chemicals out of the reach of kids.

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