Fifteen Safe Natural Household Cleaning Recipes
Over recent years there has been much concern over what is used to create many products sold as household cleaners, including items such as air fresheners, carpet cleaners and products designed for cleaning the bathroom or kitchen. With this in mind, it is easy to understand why interest in safer, more natural alternatives is growing.
It is very likely that most households already have several well-known ingredients that can also be used to create safe and effective cleaning products. These ingredients and the cleaning products they can be used to create are considered by many to be better for our health and the environment. They may also be cheaper than bought man-made cleaners and are multi-purpose, eliminating the need for a large variety of induvial items.
Three items commonly used in creating natural cleaning products are vinegar, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda. These three easy to purchase items can be used in a great variety of ways around the home and are safe and mild enough to even be used in clean children’s toys.
Bicarbonate of Soda
Bicarbonate of soda (also known as baking soda or simply bicarb) can be used as a highly effective cleaner and deodoriser all over the home. Small pots of the powder can be placed in fridges, freezers and rooms to help remove odours. It can also be sprinkled into dustbins, onto carpets and into shoes to freshen and eliminate lingering smells.
Bicarb can be used in its powder form and sprinkled over oven interiors and other kitchen surfaces or can be used on a damp cloth. Alternatively the powder can be mixed with water to form a paste that can be used in place of any bought cream cleaner. The slightly alkaline nature of bicarbonate of soda makes it particularly good at cutting through dirt and grease.
Freshly squeezed or bottled lemon juice can be used in many cleaning applications around the house. Lemon juice is a good choice for grease-busting and for removing scum lines and water marks in kitchens and bathrooms. Any smooth surfaces such as glass, plates and brass will be shiny after cleaning with lemon juice.
Vinegar’s acidic properties make it a good choice for tough or especially grimy cleaning such as greasy oven tops. It can also be diluted with water and used from a bowl or in a spray bottle. White and apple cider vinegars have a less over powdering smell that will dissipate quicker than if malt vinegar is used, so these varieties may be preferable in cleaning. To use diluted, mix vinegar at a ratio of 1:1 with water. Vinegar is an effective cleaner for cleaning bathroom taps, windows and also sinks and toilet bowls.
½ cup salt
1 ½ cups bicarbonate of soda
½ cup water
Mix together the ingredients until they form a smooth paste. Spread the paste over the oven and leave overnight. Rinse well with water and dry.
3 cups white vinegar
10 drops of tea tree oil
Mix the ingredients and pour into the toilet bowl. Leave for 15 minutes, scrub and then flush.
All-purpose spray cleaner
Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar and store in a spray bottle. This can be used for cleaning baths, toilets, sinks, tiles, floors and kitchen work tops.
Lemon and vinegar cleaner
Fill a jar with lemon peels and then pour on enough white vinegar to completely cover the peels. Seal the jar and leave for at least two weeks. Strain and reserve the vinegar and then dilute it with equal amounts of water.
Carpet and upholstery freshener
Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda over the carpet, mattresses or upholstery and leave one hour before vacuuming as normal.
Place open containers of bicarbonate of soda in rooms, fridges, freezers and cupboards to reduce unwanted smells. The powder can also be sprinkled in the bottom on bins to take away odour.
Brass and copper cleaner
Make a paste of lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda. Rub the paste onto the surface with a soft cloth, rinse and dry.
Safe baby and children’s toy cleaner
Mix ¼ cup of bicarb with 1 litre of warm water and use to soak or wipe toys. Rinse with water and dry.
Mildew and mold remover
Add 2tsp tea tree oil to 2 cups water and store in a spray bottle. Shake before use.
Cleaner for burnt pans
1 cup vinegar
2 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup of water (adjust for pan size)
Cover the bottom of the pan with water and add the vinegar. Bring the water to the boil. Once the water is boiling remove the pan from the heat and add the bicarbonate of soda (it will fizz). Leave the pan to soak and then scrub as normal.
Container with a tight fitting lid
Cut the lemon in half and squeeze out all the juice into a container. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of water. Put on the lid and shake well until mixed. Use on a soft cloth.
Tile grout cleaner
Mix 1 part water and 3 parts bicarbonate of soda to form a paste. Apply to the grout and let sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing with a toothbrush. Rinse to remove.
Mix 1 part bicarbonate of soda, 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water together. Add ¼ cup to the final rinse cycle.
Extra strength bathroom cleaner
Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 2 parts water and store in a labelled spray bottle. Spray onto the surface and leave for one hour before rinsing well.
Laminate floor cleaner
Mix 1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon water and mop as usual (damp mop only).
© 2014 Claire