Embrace Natural Cleaning Products: Turn Your Home from Toxic to Eco-Friendly
As we become more conscious of the impact our daily choices make on the environment, it becomes easier to see where we can make changes.
One of the most obvious and easiest areas to make a change is with cleaning products. It’s time for us to stop washing litres of toxic chemicals down our drains and disposing of hundreds of plastic bottles on an annual basis.
Fortunately, there are numerous items in your pantry that work very well as cleaning products and cost far less than their more toxic chemical counterparts. Try mixing one of these natural cleaning products up the next time you’re facing a mess and you’ll never go back to buying potentially poisonous products again.
Commercial air fresheners simply mask spells and coat your nasal passages, diminishing their ability to pick up unattractive odours. In contrast, using natural formulas absorbs odours, removing miasmas and creating healthier, fresher air:
- Just placing dishes of bicarbonate of soda or vinegar with a splash of lemon juice in a small dish will absorb unpleasant tangs.
- Stock up some houseplants. They’ll remove toxins from the air while combatting funky smells! Depending on where you are in the world, options include snake plants, peace lilies, Boston ferns, Barberton or Gerbera daisies, and the red-edge dracaena.
- Do away with cooking odours by simmering one tablespoon of vinegar in a cup of water on the stove while you’re preparing meals. You can also do this with cinnamon and water or other spices that you like the smell of.
- To remove fish and onion smells off of cutting boards and utensils, wipe them down with vinegar before you wash them in soapy water.
- Keep fresh coffee grounds on the kitchen counter.
- Mix up dried herbs and flowers and keep bowls of this in various rooms in your house.
Aromatic All-Purpose Cleaner
Mix up one part white vinegar, one part water, some lemon rind, and a couple of sprigs of rosemary for a wonderful smelling all-purpose cleaner. Pour your mix into a spray bottle, give it a good shake, and then let the ingredients infuse for at least a week.
This cleaner is amazing for dust bins, removing hard water stains, wiping away smudges on the wall, and much more.
Basic Wood Cleaner
Combine 1/2 cup of lemon juice, roughly four lemons, 1/4 cup of water, 1/2 teaspoon of natural liquid soap, and a few drops of olive oil in a bowl. Then dip your sponge into the mixture, squeeze out excess liquid, and set to cleaning wood.
You can also use vinegar instead of lemon juice to prolong the life of your wood cleaner. if you make a large batch, you can then keep the mix in an airtight glass jar. The lemon juice combination won’t keep, so make as much as you need for one use if you go the citrus route. You can also add between three and five drops of essential oil for fragrance, with eucalyptus and peppermint working exceptionally well with lemon.
Carpet Stain Remover
Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and apply it directly to the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes and then clean it with a sponge or brush dipped in warm, soapy water. If you’re tackling a fresh grease spot, sprinkle some cornflour onto the area and give it between 15 and 30 minutes. Then vacuum it all up and you should have a spotless surface.
If you need something a little more heavy-duty, combine 1/4 each of bicarbonate of soda, salt, and vinegar. Rub the paste onto your carpet, let it stand for a couple of hours, and then vacuum.
To make an eco-friendly glass cleaner to wash your windows and mirrors with, combine two cups of water, 1/2 cup cider or white vinegar, 1/4 cup of 70% concentration surgical spirits, and, optionally, one or two drops of your favourite essential oil.
Avoid doing this chore on a sunny day because this solution will dry too fast, leaving streaks. If you’re cleaning mirrors you can avoid streaks by spraying the solution onto a paper towel or soft cloth before wiping them down.
To fight grease, combine 1/3 cup of clear ammonia with 1.13 litres of water and a dash of dish soap. And always add the ammonia to the water, not the other way around.
Mix 1/2 cup of this solution with 1.13 litres of water again and use it to clean oven racks, your stove’s hood, and the grill. Dip your sponge into the mix, wipe over the surface, and then rinse with clean water.
You can also soak grill grates and oven racks directly in this solution and add a little more ammonia if they’re very dirty.
Kitchen Cleaner and Deodoriser
Mix up four tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda with 1.13 litres of warm water to clean appliances, kitchen counters, and the inside of your refrigerator. It deodorises as well as shines steel items and you can pour bicarbonate of soda straight from the box into your drain or dustbin to remove bad smells.
To shine stainless steel and remove spots, make a paste from bicarbonate of soda and water. Apply it to the steel surface using a damp cloth and gently rub it in the direction of the metal’s grain. Rinse and buff dry when you’re done.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Pour 1/2 cup of bicarbonate of soda with a 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar directly into your toilet. Let it finish sizzling, then scrub and flush.
Your Eco-Friendly Clean House Shopping List
Keep the following items in stock in your pantry and you’ll never be without the tools to clean your house in a responsible, sustainable, eco-friendly way. You probably already have white vinegar, lemons, olive oil, and salt already, so just add:
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Great-smelling spices like cardamom pods, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and star anise
- Herbs with a fabulous aroma, like lavender, lemon balm, mint, peppermint, and rosemary
- Natural liquid soap
- Corn flour
- Surgical spirits
- Your favourite essential oils
Make Your Home Eco-Friendly
There are so many facets to creating an eco-friendly home. The food you eat, the furniture you buy and type of mattress you sleep on, and the lightbulbs you use all play a role. If you’re looking for ways to embrace a greener lifestyle, natural cleaning products are an excellent option.
These solutions are skin-friendly, allergy-free, and aren’t the result of animal testing. Plus, you’re getting the job done without having to negatively impact our already overburdened planet.
We hope that you’ll rethink your cleaning routine and start using these eco-friendly products. Keeping your house clean, fresh and smelling great is simple and sustainable, it’s up to you to embrace the change!