Have you ever wondered what’s in the store bought cleaning products on your shelves? The list on the back label is endless; most of it is not good for you or the environment. You can make your own cleaning products which are equally as effective and the good thing is that you’ll probably have many of the ingredients in your cupboard and you’ll save money by not buying expensive brand named ones.
1. To clear up blocked drains
: Use this drain cleaner once a week to keep drains fresh and clog-free, ½ cup bicarbonate of soda , 1 cup white vinegar, 4 litres hot water. Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda into the drain and then slowly pour white vinegar after it, it will fizz up, allow the mixture to foam for several minutes, this will dislodge anything that is blocking the drain, flush the drain with hot water, repeat if necessary.
2. Mould and Mildew:
Most store bought products contain bleach, which is useless and doesn’t kill the mould spores! Don’t use a dry cloth as it will disperse the mould spores further. First spray the area with the following mixture: 2 litres of hot water, 2 cups of white vinegar and a ½ cup bicarbonate of soda, leave for about 30 minutes then wash off. Dry the area and spray a solution of 2tsp tea tree oil, 2 cups water and leave. Ensure the area around is clean of mould- if any spores are left, they’ll grow back!
3. Furniture Polish: Varnished wood
: add a few drops of lemon oil into 1/2 cup warm water. Mix well and spray onto a damp soft cotton cloth. Wipe furniture with the cloth, and finish by wiping with a dry soft cotton cloth. Unvarnished wood:
mix equal parts 2 tsps of each olive oil and lemon juice and apply a small amount to a soft cotton cloth. Wring the cloth to spread the mixture into the material and apply to the furniture using wide strokes. This helps distribute the oil evenly.
4. Carpet stains:
Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on stain, let sit for several minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water.
For fresh grease spots, sprinkle corn starch onto spot and wait 15 - 30 minutes before vacuuming.
For a heavy duty carpet cleaner, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax and vinegar. Rub paste into carpet and leave for a few hours. Vacuum.
5. Oven Cleaner:
Moisten oven surfaces with sponge and water. Use ¾ cup bicarbonate of soda, ¼ cup salt and ¼ cup water to make a thick paste, spread throughout oven (avoid bare metal and any openings) Let sit overnight. Remove with spatula and wipe clean. For tough spots, rub gently with fine steel wool.
6. Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Mix ¼ cup bicarbonate of soda and 1 cup vinegar together, pour into the bowl and let it set for a few minutes. Scrub with brush and rinse.
7. Herbal Carpet Freshener: Many carpet deodorizers work to mask odours by deadening the nerves associated with your sense of smell. To freshen carpets try this natural formula: 1 cup bicarbonate of soda, ½ cup lavender flowers. Crush the lavender flowers to release their scent and mix well with the bicarbonate of soda, sprinkle liberally on carpets. Leave for 30 minutes then vacuum.
With a few small adjustments, there are many things we can do in our homes to reduce landfill waste, preserve and protect the natural landscape. Be mindful where you dispose of your chemical cleaning products and lets start running our ecofriendly homes.
Ed Note: bicarbonate of soda is also great for getting pet wee smells out of carpets and fabrics. And if you have a visiting tom cat leaving his mark (even if your cat is desexed!) you can wash the smell away with a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and water.