Reducing our use of chemical based cleaning products is not only good for our own health, it’s also good for the environment and the family budget.
With a few simple, everyday ingredients you can thoroughly and hygienically clean the entire house without worry about any chemical residue.
Here are my 5 favourite homemade natural household cleaners:
Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle to make a fantastic all-purpose cleaner that disinfects and deodorizes (the vinegar smell disappears when it dries). It can be used on the bath, toilet, shower, stove tops and most surfaces (however always test the surface first for colour fad or corrosion).
Vinegar can also be combined with orange or lemon wedges or peel to make a powerful citrus cleaning product. Place the orange or lemon in a glass jar, cover with vinegar and let sit in the back of the pantry for several weeks. Strain the liquid into a spray bottle and clean away.
2. Lemon Juice:
Fresh lemon or lemon juice is also great for breaking down soap scum and shining things like brass and copper. It mixes fantastically with bi carb or baking soda (as does vinegar) to clean and deodorise the kitchen sink and dishwashers.
To clean the dishwasher, place the lemon juice in a cup in the bottom of an empty dishwasher, add a teaspoon of bi carb and then run the dishwasher through a cycle.
You can also clean the oven by making a paste with the lemon juice and bi carb, spread it in the oven, leave for several hours and then wipe clean. Lemon juice is a natural bleach, so do take care.
3. Bi carb soda:
If something is stinky Bi carb can fix it. In addition to its potential when mixed with lemon juice or vinegar, bi carb soda is great for absorbing moisture and deodorizing. Sprinkle it on the carpet or mattress, leave for several minutes then vacuum it up, along with any smells. You can also sprinkle it in sweaty joggers.
4. Essential Oils:
Oils like Tea tree, Eucalyptus and lavender all have fantastic natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties so are great cleaners as well as essential in the first aid kit. I like to clean the bath with tea tree oil and let the antibacterial residue get to work on the kids’ scratches and scraps. Lavender oil makes a great air freshener while also relieving tension and headaches, so I like to dab a little in each room and on the pillows.
5. Apple cider vinegar:
This is another multi-purpose cleaner but my favourite use is as a fruit and vegetable wash. Dilute about 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar per 1 cup of water, place your fruit and vegetables in the solution for several minutes. Give the produce a gentle scrub (I just use my hands), then rinse and dry.