These are chemical infested times we live in, and I for one have developed a jaw-chattering fear of just how many chemicals we seem to be exposed to – heaven help us!
Women apply an average 168 chemicals on their bodies every day. But then there is also the GIGANTIC problem of the chemicals found in cleaning products which mean that the average household contains about 62 toxic chemicals…all in the name of a clean kitchen sink.
Yes Good Lord, please can somebody save us from this chemical soup of hormone disrupters we all seem to be sitting in? Hmmm….but how? Well, actually there is a way that doesn’t involve sealing yourself in a chemical-free bubble, or living in a cesspit.
Getting started on cleaning your home without chemicals
You only need a few basic products to be able to start green cleaning, most of which you’ll already have.
When it comes to alternative cleaners, nature is what it’s about. Lemon and other citrus fruits or lavender, for example, all have natural properties that kill bacteria and smell much nicer than the average multi-surface cleaner.
What’s in a cleaning cloth or mop? Look out for those which are hard working like e-cloth’s range of award winning products which out perform and outlast traditional cloths, enabling a deeper clean thanks to millions of clever tiny fibres that break up, trap and absorb grease, dirt and remove over 99% of bacteria using just water. Perfect for families and smaller households saving you precious time by reducing the effort required to remove stubborn dirt. Looking to avoid harsh chemicals?
Now it’s time to talk dirty….
- Remove thick grease, dirt and bacteria with e-cloth’s Wash and Wipe Kitchen Cloths and use them to achieve clean home appliances, worktops or even for the washing up.
- To clean drains make up a solution of 8floz vinegar with 3oz/75g of baking soda. Pour directly into the drain, leave for 10 minutes, then run clean hot water down the drain to clear grease and debris.
- Remove cooking smells from the kitchen by boiling a cup of water with one tablespoon of vinegar.
- To clean tiles rub the surface with undiluted white vinegar. Leave for 15 minutes and then rinse thoroughly.
- Try using a quarter of a cup of white vinegar as an air freshener.
- For a sparkling shower, try the e-cloth shower pack. The durable and highly absorbent cloth effortlessly lifts, traps and removes water marks, soap scum and grim from shower screens and tiles, and even features a handy hang-on suction hook! Used regularly it can also prevent the build-up of limescale.
- Bathroom floors can be difficult to manoeuvre a mop around and reach those difficult nooks and crannies. The e-cloth Bathroom and Tile Mop is rather nifty at this – ideal for smaller floors, walls and hard to reach areas such as over the bath.
- To clear a clogged shower head, dismantle it, soak the pieces in a bowl of white vinegar for 2-3 hours and clean off sediment with a stiff brush.
- Many people are slightly allergic to feathers and down, so look into allergen-resistant bedding.
- Use an air purifier to reduce dust and pollen.
- Keep your bedroom well dusted and vacuumed and wash curtains as well as bedding.
- Check out e-cloth’s dusters which have a jaw-dropping ability to attract and hold dust! Made with the brand’s special fibres, their unique natural positive charge attracts and locks in dust, making dusting faster and easier that with conventional dusters.
- Use a humidifier in winter to fight scratchy skin and respiratory ailments; and air conditioner or dehumidifier in summer, when heat makes it hard to sleep.
- Having shining windows can make your entire room feel brighter and fresher – ting! The Glass & Polishing e-cloth is ideal to get windows glittering in no time, leaving them lint-free, smear-free and sparkling. Simply spray a gentle mist of water on the surface and polish clean with the dry cloth….ta-dah!
Green cleaning recipes
When it comes to tried and tested home-made cleaning recipes, Vicki Bates, Co-founder of the green cleaner says advises, “To start you’ll just need four main ingredients – lemon juice, white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and citric acid – and some spray bottles and washing up bottles which you can either buy or recycle from finished products. Always ensure the containers are labelled and always spot test each one to be doubly sure”. So let’s get busy….
Citric acid is commonly used as a preserving and flavouring ingredient in fizzy drinks and sour sweets – that’s how the cola turns a two pence coin back to looking new – and is also the active ingredient in many eco-friendly cleaning products. It can be used on its own to increase effectiveness on stubborn limescale or just sprinkle a tablespoon into toilet bowls or into a kettle of warm water to magically descale!
White vinegar has acidic levels that are mild enough to be a safe cleaning agent but powerful enough to cut through many types of dirt and grime. It works amazingly on limescale – just wrap a soaked cloth around the limescale area and leave it for a few hours to soak – and has shown its magic on toilets too! A few drops of white vinegar on a soft cloth is perfect for cleaning and shining stainless-steel sinks while a water and vinegar mixture is all you need to get a perfect clean on windows, mirrors and other glass surfaces. Alternatively, it can be mixed with olive oil for a natural wood polish too. Just don’t however be tempted to replace white vinegar with brown unless you want the house to smell like a chippie!
The natural qualities of lemon juice make it the perfect substitute for bleach. Use neat on a cloth as a kitchen/bathroom cleaner or to naturally disinfectant surfaces and chopping boards etc. Once the lemon has been squeezed, you can use each half as a cleaning product – great rubbed round taps or on sinks, baths and draining boards. Use an e-cloth and hot water to wipe down the surfaces afterward. And if you’re feeling lazy, you don’t even need to squeeze them, you can buy bottled lemon juice!
Bicarbonate of soda
An all purpose, non toxic cleaner, bicarbonate of soda removes stains and scours brilliantly. Simply sprinkle it on to a damp sponge or cloth and use. It acts as a mild abrasive and is great for cleaning sinks, toilets and baths without damaging the surface. A thicker solution can be used on cookers, ovens and other areas subject to tougher grime. A solution using water, white vinegar and baking soda is great for cleaning toilets and drains. Sprinkled dry onto carpets and left for a few moments, then vacuumed up – it is also a brilliant carpet cleaner and deodoriser.
You can also chose to add pure essential oils to their cleaning mixtures for their properties and smells:
- Tea Tree Oil has a great disinfecting power with its anti-viral and anti-fungal properties
- Lemongrass oil removes the smell of vinegar and is naturally antibacterial.
Are you concerned about chemical content of your cleaning products? Have you ever tried any of the above natural cleaning methods? Perhaps you’re looking for more hacks for a tidy and clean home? Do share in a comment below.
*This is a collaborative post with e-cloth