Today I want to share the recipes I use for making my own eco cleaning products. It can seem hard to look past the antibacterial surface sprays, bleaches and de-scalers we have grown up using, but they are terrible for the environment, not to mention your plastic waste!
Whats fascinating about this approach to cleaning is that we aren’t reinventing the wheel! I know this is how my Maman and Grandmere cleaned.
Soda Crystals feature heavily on this page… They are non-toxic, natural and cheap! Yes they come in a plastic bag, we can’t win everything all the time. They are a good start to decreasing the bottles in your cleaning cupboard. Buy them from a local hardware shop (you can get them from big DIY stores and supermarkets but always shop local where you can). Soda Crystals are a great water softener as well as ideal for tackling dirt, grease and oil.
I get a lot of my cleaning recipes and ideas from Natural Stain Remover by Angela Martin and I cant recommend it enough! Id love to know your cleaning ideas too so please do comment and share your cleaning recipes!
Step One: Containers
I have bought sprays from Method in the past and keep the bottles to reuse for my homemade ones. I am saving to buy glass bottles as plastic bottles although a reuse item, are not ideal. You can buy glass bottles from many places including Baldwins.
You will need cloths for cleaning, you can buy old cotton tea towels or pillow cases from charity shops or save ones you’re getting rid of. Cotton cloths are great for doing the dishes and coconut husk scourers are a brilliant alternative to sponges.
I recommend avoiding traditional sponges as these do break down and deposit micro plastics into the water system… please ditch these and embrace something greener!
Don’t throw away socks that can’t be repaired, use them as dusters! Pop on your hand to get right in there to dust tricky corners/angles.
Try cleaning windows with distilled white vinegar, a good rub with a muslin cloth afterwards will ensure that they’re free of marks and sparkling. TRY…. one cup of vinegar to three cups water.
This solution can be used on shower heads, kettles and taps…….Fill the kettle with a solution of one part water to one part white vinegar and leave overnight. In the morning, the limescale will come off easily – but remember to rinse thoroughly to remove odours or your cuppa will taste very strange!
You can brighten white laundry with lemon juice. It doesn’t have to be fresh – bottled juice works just as well. Pop it in the detergent drawer half a cup of lemon juice to your wash.
Stains like blood or coffee, you can use Soda Crystals. Simply soak the offending article overnight in water with the crystals. Follow packet instructions.
Blocked Drains & Toilets
Soda crystals are brilliant for this.
Don’t use that non-recyclable scouring pad, you can make you own cleaning solution with Bicarbonate of Soda. Also works on on kitchen worktops, sinks, cookers and saucepans. Use the half and half dependant on the area you need to cover. Simply make a paste of half bicarbonate of soda and half water to rub into stains
Or, Apply lemon juice and salt to the stain and leave it in the sun. Keep the stained area moist with lemon juice until the mark disappears, then allow it to dry and brush away the salt. Did you know that Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent, so is great for removing stains. You can remove marks from a chopping board by rubbing them with lemon juice and leaving overnight.
Glycerine isn’t just for sore throats! Although you will need to buy it in a Chemist……dilute the glycerine with one to two parts water and apply to the stain, leave to soak for one hour before washing as normal.
I hope I have inspired some cleaning changes in your home, let me know how you get on!
Feature image Daiga Ellaby