Ten ways to clean your home without harsh chemicals
Cleaning. It’s that boring job that has to be done regularly if you want to keep your house looking and smelling good. But your household cleaning products may be putting your health at risk, with scientists regarding household cleaning products as one of the most important sources of indoor pollution and one of the most insidious threats to human health.
The good news is that you can keep your house looking spick and span using natural cleaning products that are effective and safe, and that will actually save you money. What’s not to love about that!
Here are our top eco-friendly cleaning tips, using products that are probably already in your pantry:
- For an all-purpose cleaner that is safe to use on most surfaces, just mix warm water with a squirt of white vinegar or non-toxic soap. You can use this on your benchtops, cupboards, whitegoods, inside your fridge and just about any hard surface that needs a gentle clean.
- To keep your shower sparkling clean, a 50/50 mix of water and white vinegar will keep the mildew and soap scum away. Just place into a spray bottle (with a few drops of essential oil if you don’t like the smell of vinegar), spray onto your shower surfaces and leave for 5 – 10 minutes before wiping off. If your shower is badly mildewed, try spraying pure white vinegar directly onto the area.
- The toilet can be one of toughest areas to clean but you can make your own heavy-duty toilet cleaner that not only cleans, but also deodorises at the same time. Sprinkle half a cup of baking soda around the toilet bowl followed by 10 or so drops of tea tree essential oil. Add ¼ cup of vinegar and get the mixture fizzing by giving it all a good scrub.
- When you need some handy disinfectant for your floors or any other surface, simply mix 2 cups of water with 3 tablespoons of liquid castile soap and 20 – 30 drops of tea tree oil.
- For a simple, non-toxic air freshener that will leave your home smelling fresh and clean, just fill a jar (that has a lid) about quarter of the way with baking soda and then mix in 5 – 10 drops of your favourite essential oil. Poke holes all over the lid and screw on. This great little air freshener doesn’t just mask bad smells – the baking soda neutralises odour and the essential oil will leave your home smelling amazing.
- Chopping boards are a haven for germs and nasty smells, but you can quickly sanitise and clean wood or plastic cutting boards with a lemon! Just cut in half and rub over the surface of your board, then let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing off. If you need some heavyweight scrubbing power, just sprinkle some coarse salt over the board before rubbing with your lemon.
- Ovens are probably the worst cleaning job of the lot and those store-bought oven cleaners are usually caustic and can leave your oven smelling that way long after you’ve finished cleaning it. For a natural cleaner that really works, make a paste by mixing ½ cup of baking soda with around 3 tablespoons of water. You want a paste that’s spreadable but not too runny. Using your hands, spread the paste all over your oven (remove racks first), but keep clear of the heating elements. This can be pretty grimy work, so wearing gloves is a good idea. The mixture will turn brown as you rub it in – a sign that it’s working! Leave for at least 12 hours then wipe out, removing as much of the paste as possible. Spritz with a spray of vinegar (this will highlight any areas where there is still baking soda residue) and then wipe out again with a clean cloth.
- If you want to give your carpet a natural deep clean, just mix equal parts of water and vinegar and put in your steam cleaner, along with a few drops of essential oil to keep everything smelling great. For high traffic areas, use a higher ratio of vinegar to water. Don’t have a steam cleaner and think you can’t afford one? We can help – just check out our affordable mini-loans to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually get a payment into your bank account within 24 hours - so you can start checking out those steam cleaners now!
- To keep mattresses and upholstery looking and smelling great, put some baking soda into a shaker (a mason jar with holes in the lid works well), add a few drops of essential oil and shake onto your mattress or sofa. Leave for an hour or so and then vacuum off.
- For a completely natural furniture polish, mix a tablespoon of warm coconut oil with half a teaspoon of lemon juice and buff the mixture on to your wooden items with a soft cotton cloth
So there you have our top 10 tips for cleaning everything in your home without using harsh chemicals. Go on – give a few of them a test run. We’re sure you’ll be glad you did!