Choosing safe cleaning products

Before you reach for the bottle of bleach, it's helpful to know what other natural products can clean your home just as well, without all the fumes or environmental impact.

Here's a list of some tried and true favourite natural cleaners that will not only clean and scrub just as well as their chemical counterparts, but will also help save you money.

Cleaning with vinegar

At around $2 for a large bottle, distilled white vinegar is not only one of the cheapest cleaners it's also one of the most versatile.

For all manner of glass, combine half a cup of ammonia with 1 cup of distilled white vinegar and 2 cups of corn starch in around 3 and a half litres of water. Straight vinegar is also good for spraying after you clean the shower, as it stops build up from hard water.

Vinegar can also be used to remove the lime deposits on taps by mixing 1 teaspoon of vinegar with 2 tablespoons of salt. It's also a great deodoriser, so you can clean out bins with it too. Its proven effectiveness on mould, bacteria and other germs means you can get rid of the nasties, without adding more with your cleaner.

In fact, the list of things that can be cleaned with vinegar is so long, it's best to check out the link at the bottom of this page for more recipes.

Eucalyptus, lavender and other essential oils

We all love the smell of Eucalyptus when we are a bit under the weather, but did you know it is also marvellous for removing sticky things from just about anything? Labels on jars, chewing gum, you name it, Eucalyptus oil will get rid of it - and it doesn't smell live solvents! You can also add 1-2 teaspoons in with your wash to get your clothes smelling fresh.

One of the most popular ways to wash woollens is to mix 300 grams of pure Soap Flakes with 200ml methylated spirits then add 50ml Eucalyptus. You can leave this mixture stored in a jar until you're ready to use it, then just dissolve 1 tablespoon of the mix with warm water before you add it into the wash.

Lavender oil is similarly useful in washing, but also has a range of other uses. Not only does it have anti-bacterial properties, but it also smells wonderful in your home. Try mixing lavender and lemon oil into a bucket of warm water for washing floors.

Tea Tree oil is one of the most powerful anti-bacterial oils of all, and can be used all over the home. Try adding Tea Tree oil to a spray bottle of water and vinegar mix for a great all-purpose cleaner. It's especially good for bathrooms.

Bicarbonate of Soda

Along with Borax and vinegar, Bicarbonate of Soda (or Bicarb, as it's commonly known) is one of the handiest natural cleaners in the house. Open a box of bicarb and place it in your fridge to absorb smells for up to 6 months. Make a paste of bicarb and vinegar to remove stubborn stains in clothing or carpet, of make a mixture of bicarb, vinegar and water in a spray bottle as a handy all-purpose cleaner. It's also great for cleaning grout between tiles. Just add bicarb with a toothbrush and watch the whites return to white!

But why stop there? There are so many ways you can use these and other ingredients to get great cleaning results. Happy (and safe) cleaning!

Get tips here for using safe and cheap, readily available, everyday items to clean your home.
cleaners;essential oils;cleaning products
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Choosing safe cleaning products