Household natural cleaning essentials
It's become the norm this day and age to automatically reach for a convenient ready-made spray or liquid cleaner, for pretty much all of our home cleaning and laundry requirements.
A lot of this centres around the convenience factor; it is - or seems to be - so much quicker to use these products than to make our own natural products. We live in a world where everyone is busy working, looking after kids, or committed to other hobbies and interests. Why would we want to spend our invaluable time off worrying about what we're using to remove stains or refresh the bathroom?!
The truth is, there are many fantastic ready-made products on the market, that do a great job and are also convenient. At Pristine Eco Cleaning Services we use a small selection of natural eco-friendly products that are great at what they're designed to do, and are from companies with the same eco and vegan friendly ethos that we have. However, there are a few highly useful natural ingredients that can be used for various jobs around the home (or workplace), and they are easy, convenient and cheap. Keeping a stock of these items in your home may end up saving you some time, aggro, and pennies.
Here is a run down of our top natural wonder products...
1. Bicarbonate of Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate). Referred to as Baking Soda in the US and not to be confused with Baking Powder (which has added raising agent for baking).
A salt compound with a multitude of uses around the home, it is a natural, non-toxic, effective cleaner, deodoriser and stain remover.
Here are our top 5 uses:
🌿 Odour control. Put a small cup of this in your fridge or in the bottom of rubbish bins to absorb unwanted odours; sprinkle some in your shoes (leave for 15 mins);
sprinkle on mattresses, dog bedding, upholstery or carpets prior to vacuuming.
🌿Mix with water and use to clean worktops, hobs, ovens, kitchen utensils, and bathroom tiles and tubs.
🌿Need to remove some crayon wall art courtesy of your beloved toddler? Simply add some soda to a damp sponge and scrub lightly (only recommended for light coloured walls).
🌿Make up a paste of 3 parts bicarb to 1 part water, and use with a lint-free cloth to shine up your tarnished silver jewellery.
🌿Brighten your laundry by adding half a cup of bicarb along with your usual laundry cleaner. This will help to balance the PH levels and act as a natural whitener and stain remover
2. Vinegar. White or spirit vinegar rather than the kind you sprinkle on your chips!
Like bicarbonate of soda, this has a number of uses in terms of cleaning, and it is really cheap to buy, even in large quantities (around £10 for 10 litres).
🌿Limescale removal: use to de-scale kettles, tiles and taps.
🌿Add a 50/50 mixture of vinegar to water, in a spray bottle, and use as a general kitchen cleaner (great for sinks or removing bacteria from chopping boards), or for glassware. Note that the vinegar smell will quickly disappear.
🌿Get your shower heads gleaming by spraying neat vinegar onto them and leaving for 30-60 mins before rinsing. For really tough stains, wrap a bag around the shower head and put enough vinegar in so it's submerged.
🌿Fabric stain removal: spray the vinegar onto (colour-fast) fabrics and then wipe with a damp cloth.
3. Essential oils.
As well as being an essential staple in our bathroom cabinets (how many of you add oils to the bath or use eucalyptus for colds?), these are ideal as a natural fragrance for homemade cleaning products.
🌿 Add 6-10 drops of your favourite oil to a spray bottle containing 3 parts water to 1 part white vinegar. Shake well and spray onto fabrics, upholstery, carpets etc. to freshen up the material. Our faves for this are lavender and orange oil.
🌿Use in a diffuser to provide a healthier, natural air freshening effect for rooms in your home or workplace. Many essential oils have anti bacterial and/or anti-microbial properties, which means they will help to eliminate the causes of odours in the air, as opposed to masking them like many of the chemical based air fresheners do. If you make one change from toxic to natural, we recommend the use of essential oils with a diffuser (to replace air freshener use).
4. Lemons and Oranges
How amazing is it that these delicious healthy edible goodies are also great at helping with household cleaning jobs too?! They both have fabulous de-greasing and anti-bacterial properties and help to shine up most surfaces. And, being a natural food too, they are 100% healthy (although we don't recommend ingesting your cleaning potions!)
🌿 Add the juice of one lemon/orange to a bowl of hot water and use it to wipe down kitchen surfaces, chopping boards and hobs.
🌿 Add the juice of half a lemon to your washing up bowl to help with the dishes.
🌿 Add the juice of half a lemon or orange to your bucket, prior to mopping floors. Not only will your floors shine but they will smell lovely too!
🌿 Rub a quarter of a lemon around kitchen or bathroom taps to remove limescale and give them a sparkling shine.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- To contain any homemade products, we recommend the use of glass bottles, or BPA-free and recycled/recyclable plastics.
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