When it comes to keeping a home clean and smelling fresh, most people turn to store-bought cleaning agents. Yes, these sweet-smelling chemicals do the job, but they could be doing harm to both your health and the wider environment.
Cleaning chemicals can cause serious damage to ecosystems if they get into our water courses, which is why anything we can do to reduce our reliance on them should be welcomed. You might be surprised to find out that just five natural substances are needed to keep your home clean – and there’s a good chance you already have them some of them in your kitchen cupboards.
Armed with vinegar, water, baking soda, salt and essential oils, you can keep your home clean and fresh whilst doing your bit for the environment. These seven cleaning hacks are relatively simple, but they deliver results.
7. CLEAN YOUR BATHROOM AND KITCHEN WITH A NATURAL MULTI-PURPOSE CLEANER
You can clean and sanitise your bathroom and kitchen effectively with the following recipe.
3 parts water
1 part white vinegar
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
6 drops of essential oil
Add the ingredients to a spray bottle, give it a quick shake, and you’re ready to go. Whether you’re cleaning worktops, appliances or your floor, this completely natural multi-purpose cleaner will cut through grime and grease – and leave your home smelling fresh for hours afterwards.
6. KEEP YOUR OVEN AND RANGE CLEAN WITH SALT
Cleaning an oven and cooking range is one of the most difficult jobs in any home. But by attending to spillages and accumulations of food before they harden, you’ll find that keeping these essential appliances clean is a relatively straightforward task.
As soon as you notice a spillage or accumulation of food in your oven or on your cooking range, sprinkle some table salt over the affected area. For the best results, do this whilst the area is still hot. Add a little water to form a paste, and leave it for 10 minutes. You should find that a quick scrub with a scourer cuts through the spillage easily.
5. CLEAN STAINLESS STEEL WITH VINEGAR
Stainless steel is everywhere in the average home. Toasters, ovens, cooking ranges, refrigerators and dishwashers are all available in the highly durable metal – but keeping these appliances clean and free from streaks is not easy.
If you turn to a store-bought cleaning agent, you’ll probably be introducing monoethanolamine into your home. This unpleasant chemical can cause skin irritation and respiratory problems – as well as untold damage to the environment. But just a little vineger and water will deliver exactly the same results.
Fill a spray bottle with one part white vinegar and two parts water. Spray the solution onto your stainless steel surfaces, and use a microfibre cloth to polish. Finish off with a thin coat of olive oil to really make your stainless steel shine.
4. CLEAN GLASS AND CERAMIC RANGES WITH BAKING SODA
Glass and ceramic cooking ranges are incredibly difficult to keep clean. The inevitable splashes and spillages that occur during cooking quickly carbonise on the extremely hot surface of ranges – leaving you with a very difficult and time-consuming clean-up operation afterwards.
Instead of turning to expensive cleaning agents, sprinkle baking soda over the affected area whilst the range is still hot. Spray a solution of two parts water and one part white vinegar over the spillage, and allow around 15 minutes of contact time. You should then find that scrubbing the range with a micro-fibre cloth will be enough to remove even the most stubborn of hardened food.
3. CLEAN TILE GROUTING WITHOUT CHEMICALS
It doesn’t take long for tile grouting to become discoloured with limescale and mildew. And unlike the smoother surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom, grouting is notoriously difficult to get clean. Many people turn to highly caustic, bleach-based cleaners for the job, but there are two ways to get exactly the same results without doing the environment – or yourself – harm.
Mix together two parts baking soda and one part white vinegar to create a paste. Spread this paste over all of your grouting – and leave overnight. The next morning, use a stiff-bristle brush or a scourer to scrub the grout clean. Whilst this method is effective, it can be time-consuming. But there is a faster way to clean your grouting without using potentially harmful chemicals.
The superheated steam from the Shark Handheld Steamer cuts through grime and mildew with ease. Ergonomically designed for use with one hand, this powerful cleaning tool directs a jet of superheated steam to specific target areas. It also comes with a scrubbing brush attachment – handy if you need a helping hand during the cleaning process.
2.CLEAN FURNITURE WITH NATURAL POLISH
Furniture polish is one of the most harmful substances most people keep in their home – yet there is a green alternative that delivers similar results. Create a solution of three parts water, one part olive oil and one part lemon juice. Put your polish in a clean spray bottle, and rub it into your wooden furniture with a micro-fibre cloth for instant results.
1. REMOVE MOULD NATURALLY
Most store-bought mould removal agents contain high levels of bleach – which can be bad for both your health and the environment. But you can create your own green alternative by adding two teaspoons of tea tree oil with two cups of water. Put the solution into a spray bottle, and use it as you would use a commercial mould removal spray.
You can buy tea tree oil from most leading chemists and health food stores. This natural substance has a pungent odour, but it dissipates a lot faster than the smell of bleach.
These seven cleaning hacks prove that you don’t need to harm the environment to keep your home clean and fresh.