eco-friendly cleaning tips

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips and Hacks at this Challenging Time

The War Against Germs

From ancient mixtures of boiled goat fats and ashes to modern artisanal soaps with calendula and coffee grinds, humans have been inventing clever ways of cleaning ourselves since the very beginning. Cleaning is very important as germs do not have anywhere to live once dirt has been removed. It is widely known regular cleaning can help to prevent the spreading of contagious infections. With the current outbreak of COVID-19, it becomes increasingly important now to keep ourselves and our home as clean as possible. But before you spray your countertops with bleach or lather up with commercial chemical cleaning products, make sure you’re aware of what’s in each of the formula. Many of the ingredients used in regular household cleaning products can cause more harm than good.  For example, while effective at blasting away surface germs, bacteria, and mould, chlorine bleach is gaseous at room temperature and can severely impact skin, eyes, and upper respiratory systems. Triclosan, found in numerous antibacterial cleaning products and hand sanitizers, has been linked to reproductive issues and skin inflammation, as well as weakening of the immune system.

Luckily, there are alternative ways to keep things fresh and sanitary. Non-toxic homemade cleaning products are not only better for us; they can also help save us money and protect the environment. Making your own products cuts down on packaging waste and reduces the release of household chemicals that can contribute to air and water pollution. And you may not be aware that the majority of the most powerful cleaning products may well already be on your pantry shelves.

Most Common Non-toxic Natural Cleaning Products

Vinegar: An incredible multi-purpose product that can be used all over the home to get rid of stains, grease, dirt, odours, mould and mildew. It may have a slightly off-putting smell, but this quickly dissipates, or can be counteracted by delicious smelling essential oils.

Baking Soda: Baking soda has been used for over a century with proven virus-killing abilities that also effectively cleans, deodorizes, brightens, and cuts through grease and grime.

Lemon Juice: As a very strong acid, natural lemon juice can annihilate mould and mildew, remove grease and keep your surface shine.

Olive Oil: As a good-for-you cooking oil, olive oil is also great at loosening up stains, grease and grime on all sorts of surfaces.

Essential Oils: Naturally anti-bacterial, essential oils not only help to sanitise your house, but make great scent additions to homemade cleaning products. Some of the best to go for are lavender, green tea and lemon.

Salt: Salt is a super versatile mineral that has a nifty way of scouring off dirt. When combined together, salt can also boost the cleaning effects of other ingredients, such as vinegar or bicarbonate soda.

Castile Soap: Castile soap is made from 100% plant oils and can be used as an all-purpose cleaner around your home, from laundry detergent, to dish soap, hand soap, floor cleaner and even shampoo.

DIY Eco-friendly Cleaning Recipes

  1. DIY All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup water
  • A few drops of essential oil of your choice

Add vinegar and baking soda into a clean spray bottle, then add water and essential oil and gently mix. You can use the natural solution to remove hard water stains, clean trash cans, wipe away wall smudges, and much more.

  1. DIY Kitchen Cleaner and Deodorizer

  • 4 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 litre warm water

To clean kitchen counters, appliances, and the inside of your refrigerator, all you need is baking soda. Apply it with a damp cloth and rub gently in the direction of the grain. Rinse and buff dry.

  1. DIY Toilet Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup vinegar

Mix baking soda and vinegar and pour it into the toilet bowl basin. Let it sit for several minutes. Scrub with a brush and rinse by flushing. Borax and lemon juice will also work as an alternative recipe.

  1. DIY Glass Cleaner

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol 70% concentration
  • 1 to 2 drops of essential oil for smell (optional)

Mix ingredients into a glass spray bottle. This solution can be sprayed onto any glass surface and wiped clean with a microfiber cloth. The rubbing alcohol will evaporate quickly, and the essential oils should cover up any vinegar smell.

  1. DIY Brass Cleaner

  • vinegar or lemon juice
  • Table salt

To clean non-lacquered cabinet pulls, bathroom appointments, and more, dampen a sponge with vinegar or lemon juice, then sprinkle on salt. Lightly rub over surface. Rinse thoroughly with water, then immediately dry with a clean soft cloth.

  1. DIY Liquid Laundry Soap

  • 1 bar of castile soap (5oz)
  • 2 cups Borax
  • 2 cups washing soda
  • 20 litres of hot water

Grate one bar of castile soap with a grater or food processor. Place grated soap in a pan with 2 litres water on low heat, stirring regularly until soap is completely dissolved. Place hot water in a 20 litres bucket and stir in borax and washing soda until completely dissolved. Pour the soap mixture from the pan into the bucket and stir until mixed well. Use ½ cup liquid for light loads and 1 cup for heavier loads.

  1. DIY Stain Remover

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid
  • 2 cups of water

This stain remover should come to the rescue for any accidents you have! Mix the ingredients together, give them a good shake and keep in a spray bottle to use whenever you have a tough stain on your clothes or the carpet.

  1. DIY Air Freshener

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon rubbing alcohol
  • 15-20 drops of essential oil

Many candles and air fresheners can contain harmful chemicals that will stay trapped in areas of your home. Try out this all-natural alternative.

Healthier for You and Better for the Earth

We all have the right to a safe home. By using eco-friendly cleaning products, you can ensure your home will be safe and healthy, free from exposure to any of the toxic chemicals that are present in commercial cleaning products. By switching to more eco-friendly cleaning products made from all-natural plant-based ingredients, will keep your home safer and your family healthier while doing your part in promoting a sustainable environment and protecting the planet earth.

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