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GREEN TIP: Natural Household Cleaning Recipes

Regular cleaning products bring toxic chemicals into our homes and create unnecessary plastic waste. Simple ingredients such as bicarbonate of soda, lemon juice, vinegar and essential oils make effective cleaning agents for every room of the house and protect our environment, families, bodies and bank balances.

Common Natural Cleaners 

Combined in various ways, these common household items work just as well as the most expensive and noxious cleaning products on the market.

  • Vinegar is an excellent natural cleaning product as well as a disinfectant. It cleans much like an all-purpose cleaner.  Mix a solution of equal parts water and vinegar and you have a solution that will clean most areas of your home (try buy vinegar in bulk to reduce unnecessary plastic packaging waste).  Beware that improperly diluted vinegar is acidic and can eat away at tile grout. Oh, and don’t worry about your house smelling like vinegar. The smell disappears when it dries.
    • Bathroom: A vinegar solution can be used to clean the bath, toilet, basin, countertops, mirrors and windows.  You can also mop the bathroom floor with it.  Use pure vinegar in the toilet bowl.  Vinegar will eat away soap scum and hard water stains on fixtures and tiles leaving them shiny and beautiful.
    • Kitchen: Clean the stove top with equal parts vinegar and water. Most appliances can be cleaned with this same all purpose mix. Likewise counter surfaces can be cleaned and disinfected with the same spray. Use vinegar for shiny clean floors.
    • Laundry: Vinegar is a natural fabric softener.  Add ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle insteas of regular fabric softener. Vinegar has the added benefit of breaking down laundry detergent more effectively. Vinegar can be used to clean the washing machine as well.
  • Lemon Juice can be used to dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits.  It is great for cleaning and polishing brass and copper. Try mixing lemon juice with vinegar or bicarbonate of soda to make a cleaning paste. Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle bicarbonate of soda onto it.  Use the lemon to scrub dishes, surfaces, and stains.  Mix 1 cup olive oil with ½ cup lemon juice to make a furniture polish for hardwood furniture. Lemon juice can also be used to treat stains because of its natural bleaching qualities. 
  • Bicarbonate of Soda can be used to scrub surfaces in much the same way as commercial non-abrasive cleansers. It is also a great deodorizer. Place some in the fridge, freezer, bin, laundry and even smelly shoes. Bicarbonate of soda is one of the most versatile cleaning agents on the planet. 
  • Essential Oils Grapefruit seed extract and essential oils such as lavender, clove, and tea tree oil have antiseptic properties and operate as natural fungicides. Add a few drops to a vinegar and water cleaning solution.
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