From aggravating allergies and asthma to disrupting hormones, not to mention damage to the environment, everyday household cleaners can cause and exacerbate a variety of health problems, with a whole host of toxins linked to poor health. So, if you’re looking to ditch the bleach and harsh chemicals in favour of kinder, healthier options we’re here to help. Thankfully, green cleaning doesn’t have to be expensive, and you needn’t overhaul your regime – here are 18 tips for keeping your home spick and span the natural way…
Ovens and surfaces
Something of a cleaning superstar, vinegar is a safe, multi-use product. Spray a small amount in the oven, on the hob, or on surfaces, let it sit for ten minutes and simply wipe clean with warm water. You can also use vinegar to remove hard water deposits in the dishwasher. Be warned, it can have a strong smell, so you may want to leave the windows open to air the room.
Dull pots and pans
No longer reserved for margaritas, shine pots and pans with a little salt and lemon. Scrub a sprinkle of salt round pans with a lemon wedge for a simple and inexpensive way to bring dull pots back to life.
Grease on stoves
Grease on the stove can be tricky to remove and makes even a sparkling kitchen look dirty and unkempt; to tackle grime, mix baking soda with warm water and scrub the stovetop with a cloth. You can also use this trick to brighten dulled stainless steel appliances.
The kitchen bin
A basic mixture of baking soda and water will revive a dirty bin – baking soda is ideal as it removes and prevents odours, so once you’ve cleaned your bin sprinkle some in the bottom to control future smells.
Keep granite countertops vibrant without expensive cleaners or toxic chemicals, mix alcohol and water in a spray bottle then spray and wipe countertops and other surfaces for a gleaming finish.
Ensure clothes smell fresh after washing or drying by adding four tablespoons of white vinegar to a regular wash cycle. The acidity controls odour and the small amount of vinegar shouldn’t be detected once washed. Vinegar also works to soften clothing during a rinse cycle.
Special detergents often have harmful chemicals that can aggravate skin, so remedy dull whites with the time tested power of baking soda – a small scoop in a whites wash is all you need.
Pre-treat stubborn stains with a concentrated mix of baking soda and water before putting clothes on a regular wash for stain-free results.
The bathroom doesn’t need industrial strength cleaning power and chemical treatments, making your own green cleaning wipes is simple and inexpensive – add alcohol to baby wipes for a more natural way to disinfect surfaces.
Taps and metal finishings
Shine metal and remove hard water build up with cotton balls soaked in alcohol.
Simply wipe bathroom mirrors with a diluted mixture of vinegar and water for a clean, streak free finish.
Notoriously hard to clean, periodically spray shower curtains with a mixture of vinegar and water and let the solution sit for 15 minutes before rinsing.
Scrub wet surfaces with a little baking soda and a rag to remove scum and help prevent soap build up in the future.
To unclog drains without turning to heavy duty, chemical-laden products, pour boiling water down the drain before using a plunger.
Turn to vinegar and hot water for shiny, clean hardwood floors. Remember, some hardwood floors are more durable than others, so always test any cleaning approach in an out of the way area, such as a corner or beneath furniture, before using.
TV screens and technology
Invest in a reusable microfibre cleaning cloth for an eco friendly yet effective way to clean computer monitors, laptop keyboards and TV screens.
When it comes to cleaning, don’t overlook the air – indoor air quality is increasingly being linked to a range of health problems including weaker immune systems and breathing issues. Invest in an air purifier and change the filter frequently.
For an inexpensive way to clean air, snake plants, ferns, English ivy and peace lilies have all been shown to remove harmful compounds as well as produce fresh oxygen.
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