Cleaning our home is important for our health and well-being. A clean home makes us feel fresh, energised in addition to protecting our families from diseases and health problems. Keeping your home clean can reduce the risk of allergies, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, headaches, irritation of the throat, eyes and many contagious diseases.
With so many cleaning products in the market, it can be hard to choose a safe and trustworthy option. A lot of products like air fresheners and sprays are a source of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and may negatively affect your indoor air quality, actually causing the health problems you expected to avoid by cleaning your home. Others have so many toxic components that it is dangerous to use or store them, especially if you have kids at home.
Luckily, almost all home cleaning tasks can be done with natural ingredients you have in your kitchen and you can combine them yourself to create safe and cheap homemade cleaning products. Find below some I have tested:
This is my favourite one and it has only 3 simple ingredients: water, baking soda and white vinegar. I always keep a spray full of it at home to clean windows, carpets and rugs, tables and surfaces, chrome fixtures, remove spider webs and kill plant pests. It is totally safe for your family, pets and plants and a very efficient cleaner. Just mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 4 of white vinegar with 1 litre of water and prepare for some fizz, which is the natural reaction when you mix the 2 first ingredients. I like to keep it in a spray container but you can store in any container and use a piece of cloth to help spread the mix on your desired surface.
If you ever tried to clean windows with water and soap, you know how frustrating it can be. Unless you dry it very fast after cleaning, it gets loads of soap and water stains. Instead of relying on toxic cleaning products you find in the supermarkets, you can use the universal cleaner. Or you can make a specific mix to clean windows, mirrors and glass shower screens. You just need to add 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) to the universal cleaner. The alcohol helps the mix evaporate faster. Use black-and-white newspaper or a cotton cloth to scrub and spread the mix. It is better to do it when sunlight is not passing through the windows. Your windows will be clean fast and without stains.
Stain and odour remover
This one is also based on vinegar and baking soda (the must-have ingredients for natural cleaning!) and is even effective for removing cat urine odour. In case of a liquid accident (example: wine spill or pet urine) you should start by using absorbent paper or a cloth to remove as much as possible (if it is urine, use gloves). For all cases, you should spray a mix with equal parts of vinegar and water. Do the paper/cloth absorbing process again (let it stay for 5 or 10 minutes in case of urine) and then sprinkle enough baking soda to cover the affected area. You can vacuum it the next day. You can add some scrubbing in each phase for resistant strains but avoid it in case of urine in soft furnishings as it can spread it further deep in the material.
Air freshener ideas
A lot of natural things can be used as air freshener so you do not expose yourself and your family to indoor pollution caused by the industrialised sprays. Some ideas are using slices of fresh citrus fruits like lemon and lime around the home, certain houseplants (spider plants, English ivy, areca, bamboo palm, lady palm and sword fern, among others), coffee (ground or beans) and dried and fresh herbs and flowers. Coffee is a really efficient neutraliser used by professional cookers and sommeliers to clear their hands and noses from persistent odours.
Are you ready to save money and space on your cupboard by reducing the amount of cleaning product you buy? Start by getting some white vinegar and baking soda and test our universal cleaner instructions here. I always find new uses for this universal cleaner such as cleaning pots and pans and the washing machine. Don’t forget to let us know which new uses you found by leaving a comment below and Green It Yourself Now!