Cleaning ideas that are kind to the environment and your bank balance

We all want to live in a clean and healthy home, right? But when it comes to commercial cleaning products, we might actually be causing more harm than good.

The good news is that there are plenty of non-toxic, environmentally friendly and biodegradable natural cleaning products available to maintain your home. Even common pantry items can be used to create homemade cleaning products that are an alternative, safer cleaning solution – natural cleaning ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and essential oils* are not only safe for the environment, but also for your family and pets*.

Baking soda, in particular, is a miracle of nature! Discovered long ago in the 1840s, the common household ingredient is made from trona and is mined from natural deposits all around the world. It has since become popular for its cleaning, scouring and deodorising properties, among others such as cooking and baking.

Here are some of our favourite homemade cleaner recipes and top tips for natural cleaning around the home.

Two recipes for homemade natural cleaners:

All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 cups water, and 1/4 teaspoon dish soap to make an all-purpose cleaner. This can be used to clean a variety of surfaces such as countertops, sinks and tiles. The best part is you can also reuse an old cleaning bottle, reducing plastic waste!

Oven Cleaner: Mix baking soda with a little water to create a paste and spread it on the oven’s surface. Let this sit overnight then scrub away the grease and grime in the morning for a sparkling oven.

It’s important to remember that not all homemade cleaning products are safe for all surfaces or materials, so be sure to test a small area first before using anything on a larger scale.

*It’s also important to note that some essential oils are toxic to animals, so be sure to check if what you’re using is safe or leave essential oils out of your homemade natural cleaners altogether if you have pets.

Baking soda tips and tricks:

  • Stained teacups: Fill your cup with a mix of baking soda and water. Leave until the stain has disappeared. For extra stubborn stains, use baking soda with white distilled vinegar.
  • Rubbish bins: Sprinkle baking soda into your rubbish bin to remove unpleasant odours. After emptying, swirl with water, pour out to dry and add more for next time.
  • Mattress stains: Make a loose paste with baking soda and water, apply to the stain and leave to dry. Disperse onto the mattress then brush off the residue.
  • Rust on cooking utensils: Dip the cut edge of a potato into some baking soda and rub over the rust. Rinse and wipe with a cloth dipped in olive oil to prevent rust returning.
  • Carpets: Sprinkle baking soda over carpets to deodorise them, leave for an hour then vacuum.
  • Hairbrushes and combs: Make a solution of baking soda and warm water. Soak hairbrushes and combs for an hour to remove dirt and grease then rinse with warm water.

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