If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been to the supermarket hundreds of times to buy what may seem like all of the cleaning products under the sun – and they’re all for different purposes – window cleaner; floor cleaner; oven cleaner; bathroom and kitchen cleaners…the list goes on.
Since making my new year’s resolution to be more eco friendly, I’ve taken a good look in my cleaning cupboard. Not only have I got numerous spray bottles full of cleaning products for various different purposes, most of them contain a number of chemicals. Sadly, many can be harmful to us and marine wildlife, and are polluting our rivers and oceans. Not good at all.
I decided to look into the idea of using natural cleaners. For most of the cleaning around the house, I discovered that 3 key ingredients are needed:
Bicarbonate of Soda / Baking Soda
Bicarb is great for using as a natural scrub. It can be used on its own, and can also be mixed with water to create a paste. Sprinkle it into the kitchen sink, the bathtub or the oven, and scrub as you normally would. Then just wash it away. Simple!
Think about it for a minute…bicarb is often used as an active ingredient in toothpaste. Our teeth are made of enamel. And so are our bathrooms. So if it can clean our teeth, then why can’t it clean the bathroom?
I tend to use white vinegar, although apple cider vinegar and malt vinegar can also be used. My preferred approach is to either soak lemon peel (which is naturally antibacterial) in the vinegar 1-2 days before using it, or to add 10-20 drops of an essential oil fragrance, shake to mix together, and then spray as needed.
The great thing about vinegar is that it’s naturally antibacterial, but also works really well for polishing mirrors and taps. Use it after the baking soda (do not mix them together for cleaning as this will just create water) to leave a clean and shiny finish.
Essential oils are the third ingredient that I’d recommend for cleaning around the house. They’re great for adding to vinegar to create cleaners with different fragrances.
Top tip: Add different fragrances depending on which room you’re cleaning. For example, I often add lemon or peppermint if I’m cleaning the bathroom, and lavender for the kitchen / lounge area. There are many others to choose from. The choice is yours.
Essential oils are also great for making air fresheners. You’ll need a small, empty spray bottle (I used an old perfume bottle), add approx 10 drops of the essential oil fragrance of your choice, and fill the bottle with water. Shake the bottle to mix them together, and viola! You have a natural room spray or air freshener.
They’re also great for the budget!
Besides being more eco-friendly, using these ingredients works out to be cost effective too. At roughly 70p for 200g of bicarb, between 25p-£1.00 for a bottle of white vinegar, and £1.00-2.00 for each essential oil, the cost is minimal. They’ll be even cheaper if bought in bulk too!