In this information-driven age, we are becoming more and more aware of how to look after ourselves and fight against the influx of chemicals, pollution and processes that come into contact with our bodies on a daily basis. Modern cleaning supplies can bring out all kinds of allergies and be harmful – which seems to be a growing concern for parents. Do you want to keep your family healthy and chemical-free but still want that lovely clean feel to your home? You can have the best of both worlds.
Warm water and vinegar will work wonders for all sorts of general surface cleaning. Don’t worry about the smell of the vinegar as it will disappear as soon as the surface dries. If you like the fresh, clean smells that come with store-bought detergents, just take some natural essential oils like lavender, tea tree or lemon grass and dilute them in warm water. This mixture can be wiped over the counter after you have scrubbed it down with vinegar. While you will leave your home smelling fresh and clean, scents like lavender and tea tree are also great bug deterrents.
All you need is a spray bottle with a half vinegar and half water mixture, and some elbow grease and you’re good to go. Simple.
Throw vinegar and your favourite essential oil into a bucket of warm water and mop away.
To clean and polish up real sealed hardwood floors take a soft cloth and apply a mixture of olive oil and vinegar (one part vinegar to two parts olive oil).
Put some baking soda into an icing sugar dispenser (or a jar with holes in the lid) and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil (remember lavender or tea tree oil helps deter bugs). Sprinkle the mixture onto your couch or mattress and leave for one hour, then vacuum. Don’t forget to put your mattresses and couches into the sun twice or three times a year, just to kill off any mould or bacteria that might be developing.
Fill your sink to the brim with hot water and mix in a cup of vinegar, let this sit for 30 minutes, drain the sink, mix bicarbonate of soda into a paste with water and scrub down with a soft sponge. To bring out the shine, take a soft cloth, apply a small amount of olive oil and rub down the sink.
To remove bad smells from your drain, throw some bicarbonate of soda down the drain followed by two cups of warm vinegar. This should kill off and eat away any gunk stuck down there.
To clean your microwave place a cup of vinegar in a microwavable bowl and place on high until it’s boiling over. It will have covered the walls of the microwave in vinegary condensation. Let the bowl sit in there for 3 minutes once it has stopped turning, then carefully remove the bowl of vinegar. Take a soft cloth or paper towel to wipe down the surfaces.
Homemade oven cleaning solutions tend not to work all that well. So go for an organic version. If the thought of using vinegar and bicarb etc are not something you can get your head around yet then look into organic cleaning products – though some of the ranges are not entirely honest about being chemical-free. However, I trust products sold by my favourite organic online store, Faithful to Nature. Go take a look at their home cleaning section as there is a wide variety of products to choose from and something for everyone.