Here is a great eco project using natural materials. Make some yourself to give away as housewarming gifts or use them yourself to light your winter fires. If you dont have time they are also for sale on the Green Shopping pages.
We spend thousands of dollars each year keeping our house clean. We attempt this by killing all germs and harmful insects and viruses with all manner of chemicals. These chemicals are packaged as floor cleaners, detergents, toilet cleaners, bleach, tile cleaners, glass cleaners, soap, carpet cleaners and air deodorant! We are encouraged to wage chemical warfare in our home by large companies all at our own expense.
When you are buying these expensive synthetic products you are actually opening doors to various harmful chemicals. These are harsh to our skin, harmful to our general health, exacerbate allergies and eczema and are harmful to the environment when they are flushed away. There is an alternative way of cleaning using natural, easily available and totally devoid of harmful chemicals. Best of all they are so much cheaper than the array of bottles of chemicals you may have in your cleaning cupboard. Here is a list of the ones I use around our home.
White Vinegar Vinegar is a mild acid. It dissolves and removes grease, traces of soap, mildew and wax. It is great at getting rid of bad odours.
Baking Soda This is made from sodium carbonate. It is a naturally occurring substance which helps organisms maintain their pH balance. It has amazing properties of cleaning and softening water.
This helps remove stains, cleans tiles, sinks, tubs and softens water.
Lemon Juice Lemon juice will kill bacteria, deodorize, remove stains and is a mild bleach when used in sunlight.
Borax is a soft, whitish mineral salt crystal extracted from hot springs and dry beds of salt lakes. It is a mild bleach and grease solvent. It inhibits the growth of mould and mildew. Borax is poisonous if swallowed so care should be taken in its use and storage.
Salt is a great scourer and disinfectant. It stops colours running in the wash.
Eucalyptus oil This is distilled from gum trees. It can refresh a load of washing; remove grease, gum and stubborn stains from clothing. It is a great insect repellant and is useful when washing woollens.
Pure Soap Old fashioned soap eg. Sunlight or Wonder Soap are made of ingredients that are environmentally friendly. It can be used in the bathroom, kitchen laundry and in the garden as a pest spray.
You can find all these things in your supermarket. I buy most in bulk to increase my savings. My cleaning kit consists of a spray bottle of white vinegar, a large salt shaker container filled with baking soda, a small bottle of eucalyptus oil, a cake of pure soap and several rewashable cleaning cloths. The great thing about using these products is you don’t need to wear latex gloves or constantly wash your hands to remove the chemicals. Because these products aren’t poisonous I have less concern about babies crawling on a freshly washed floor or even getting hold of my vinegar spray bottle!
Here are a few of my most used recipes for cleaning around the house.
Sprinkle baking soda on benches, the fridge and microwave, spray on vinegar and rinse with water.
Clean the floors with hot water with a cup of vinegar and a few drops of eucalyptus oil.
Use vinegar in the rinse aid compartment and only a tablespoon of dishwasher powder topped up with baking powder.
Clean mirrors with a ball of newspaper moistened with vinegar.
To clean taps rub with salt and lemon juice and polish dry.
To clean tiles apply borax and scrub clean with a small brush.
To clean toilet add one cup vinegar and ½ cup baking soda and let sit for at least an hour, scrub with toilet brush.
Use vinegar to wash walls, toilet seat, floors, showers, window sills and mirrors.