You may have ditched your toxic beauty but have you thought about your go-to cleaning products? We worry that only heavy duty chemicals will kill germs and sufficiently clean our bathrooms, kitchens and homes, but that simply isn't true. There are non-toxic alternatives out there that will not only banish bacteria but keep you and your home healthy. With many chemical cleaning products linked to respiratory problems, headaches, skin irritation and more, we look to Mother Nature where possible...
To make your natural grime busters you will need the following:
Baking Soda is a gentle must-have cleaning agent with many uses!
Essential oils – in particular lemon and tea tree have anti-bacterial and fragrant properties
White vinegar – disinfects and removes stains
Olive Oil – great for cleaning wood and helping cut grease
Coarse salt – makes a great scrub when combined with olive oil
Castile soap or a natural liquid soap alternative – a gentle, effective and conditioning cleanser
Equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle makes for a great, all-purpose cleaner. A few drops of your favourite essential oil can be added for a fresher scent.
Lemon juice is a great sanitiser so if you have been chopping meat and are concerned about bacteria, rub lemon juice on the surface (or chopping board) leave for 5 mins then rinse.
Tea tree oil is also a great disinfectant for bathroom and kitchen. You'll just need to mix about twenty drops with a few teaspoons of natural liquid/castile soap and a cup of water.
For wooden surfaces or to polish furniture, combine one part lemon juice to two parts olive oil.
A homemade solution of 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of baking soda, 2 teaspoons of natural/castile soap and some lemon juice or essential oil (about 20 drops) is a great general degreaser. For tough grime on pans, etc., combine olive oil with coarse salt to scrub away grease and fat.
To get that oven sparkly, that old kitchen favourite baking soda works a treat! Make sure the oven surface is damp by spraying with water than apply a thick layer of baking soda. Make sure it is damp enough to form a paste (spray if necessary). Leave for 30 minutes or so, then simply wipe clean. Repeat if necessary. For the oven roof and sides. Pre mix a baking soda and water paste and scrub away!
To clean a blocked sink or drain, add one part baking soda to two parts vinegar. It will bubble like a chemistry experiment and it is best it gets to the block while reacting so pour immediately after mixing. Alternatively, pour a few tablespoons of baking soda down and immediately follow with the vinegar.
Baking soda and tea tree oil works wonders in the loo! Simply pour 1/2 cup of baking soda and about ten drops of tea tree oil into the bowl, then pour in a 1/4 cup of vinegar and, as it fizzes, scrub away!
Use a general surface cleaner (above) or for stubborn grime and stains, a baking soda and water paste works wonders. An old toothbrush can be handy between tiles! Spray tiles with vinegar every couple of weeks to prevent mildew.
Use baking soda and water to clean mould away then spritz with clove oil to prevent its return. Be careful with clove oil around children and pets since clove oil, though natural, can be poisonous if ingested.
The general surface cleaners (above) in larger quantities work well on the floor. Combine two parts water with one part vinegar and some lemon or tea tree oil (about twenty drops) for tiled floors. With wooden floors, supplement the vinegar with lemon juice.
For a natural solution, 1/2 cup of vinegar and two cups of water will leave windows and mirrors sparkling. Apply with a soft cloth.
Cook up your own air freshener by experimenting with your favourite fruit and spice scents – perhaps orange and cinnamon or coconut and lime – or combine a favourite essential oil, such as a citrus or lavender, with distilled water. Alternatively, Vanessa Megan has a gorgeous all-natural room spritz with an essential oil base.
By Nina Weston