Friday, 28 November 2014

12 tips for natural cleaning

I love my natural cleaning products.  I have nagging concerns about the chemicals that we rinse into our watercourses, plus I don't know what's in a lot of cleaning products.  Since a combination of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), lemons and white vinegar do such a great job of household cleaning, why would you want to buy and use unknown chemicals?  Here are twelve great ways to use these simple ingredients:
5 Litre White Vinegar

  • Use bicarbonate of soda to clean your oven.  Make a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water, and rub it over the inside of the oven.  Leave it overnight, and then clean off with a damp cloth the next morning.  For more stubborn burnt on grease sprinkle some bicarb of soda or use the paste on the floor of the oven, turn the oven on for a while and leave to cool down before wiping clean.
  • Bicarbonate of soda to clean the bath.  For stubborn scum lines around the bath, scum marks in the shower or sink scrub with a bicarb of soda paste using an old toothbrush or nail brush.  This paste and method can be used to clean all sorts of areas, including those crevices around the base of taps.
  • White vinegar for everything!  Make a solution of half and half white vinegar and water.  This can be used to clean everything around the house.  You can put it in a spray bottle for cleaning surfaces and windows, or use as a solution in a bucket for cleaning floors, tiles etc.  The vinegar smell soon disappears once the vinegar dries.  If you really don't like the vinegar smell then you can chop some lemon skins and drop them into the solution to infuse for a week or two before using.
  • Plugholes - if your drains are getting a bit stinky, just throw some bicarb of soda down the plughole and follow it with some white vinegar.  This is the same mixture that school kids use to make their science project volcanoes.  The eruption in your plughole will clean out all the gunk and then you just rinse it down.
  • White vinegar to rinse washing machine and dishwasher.  Pop a couple of cups of white vinegar in the washing machine or dishwasher and run on the hottest setting for an occasional rinse.  It will clear out any musty smells and rinse out any hard water build up.
  • Dab white vinegar on tomato based stains and then get them in the washing machine immediately.
  • Sprinkle some bicarb of soda in the bottom of your kitchen bin to keep odours at bay.
  • Pop a cup of bicarbonate of soda down your toilet pan and leave for an hour.  Put a cup of white vinegar down and allow to react for five minutes, then flush to leave your toilet sparkling.
  • There's no denying that deep fat fryers are a nightmare to clean regardless of your method.  The most effective that I've found is to empty out the oil, put in a mix of white vinegar and water and switch on, allow to boil for at least ten minutes, then let the vinegary steam cool down before scrubbing.
  • Rubbing white vinegar or lemon wedges on taps and shower heads and then rinsing removes any smears, smudges and hard water build up.
  • One of my favourites is a mix of two parts olive oil to one of white vinegar makes a great cleaner and polish for wooden floors.  Sweep and wipe the floor first, then rub in the oil/vinegar mix, and wipe residue off with a dry cloth.
  • Finally, get rid of those smells in the microwave with a few slices of lemon in a bowl of water.  Heat on full power for a couple of minutes.
Bicarb of Soda (2kg, 3kg, 5kg & 25kg)
If you're using white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda for all your household cleaning as recommended here, then the 500ml bottles of white vinegar and pots of bicarb of soda (for baking) will soon get used up and cost quite a bit.  You can get hold of both in bulk, as well as lots of other natural cleaning ingredients and instructions how to use them on Summer Naturals.  (I'm in no way affiliated or gaining from this link to Summer Naturals, but having found their site, I will be buying my natural cleaning products from them).

What cleaning products do you use, and how do you decide?

Incidentally, I do keep some conventional cleaning products in my cupboard, because Hubby is not quite convinced by my bicarb of soda and vinegar, and when he cleans, he likes to use "proper" cleaning products.

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