Have a tool kit of natural cleaning products
Some of the most effective natural cleaners are also household products. None of them are very expensive, and most of them have many different uses.
A tub of citric acid costs around £2 to buy, and you can find it in recyclable cardboard packaging. With so many uses, it's worth buying.
Plus Kate uses it in her elderflower cordial making!
- Some of the many uses of citric acid include descaling kettles, irons, shower heads etc. Other mainstream descalers on the market cost £1.20 for 3 single use sachets. However, this tub of citric acid has lasted for 2 years!
- Simply boil a half filled kettle with one or two tablespoons of citric acid and watch the limescale disappear. Rinse the kettle and reboil once before using. No nasty chemicals to wash off.
- Top tip, pour the boiled water with the citric acid into or over your shower head and iron, taking care not to burn yourself. Also can be used for descaling dog water bowls, metal watering cans or anything else that has standing water in.
2. Bicarbonate of soda
Again this is available in a cardboard box, sometimes it's wise to transfer to a lidded container if you are worried it might get wet! Some bulk buying stores have started to offer Bicarb as an unpackaged item too!
- It has so many uses, combine with water or lemon to make a thick paste for scrubbing greasy oven doors, hobs, sinks, and worktops.
- Or sprinkle directly on a scrub pad in place or a cream cleaner (remember Jif!)
- It's also perfect for cleaning away mildew in a bathroom without using bleach or strong chemicals. Simply apply with a dab of water, scrub lightly and rinse.
- Bicarb is a great deodoriser. Either on it's own sprinkled into a bin or in a open tub in the fridge or with added essential oils like lavender. This is perfect for deodorising and cleaning and soft furnishings, including your mattress which might seem impossible to clean. Sprinkle a light dusting of bicarb and lavender oil onto your bare mattress, leave for 20 mins and then hoover up.
- Baby and toddler soft toys can be placed inside a bag with bicarb and shook to remove dust and dirt without washing - vacuum any residue off. Plus a bicarb paste solution can safely be used to wipe any plastic or wooden toys that get grubby.
When life gives you lemons, make a lovely G&T - cheers!
You can also use them for cleaning, their fresh scent is just the best for the kitchen and bathroom. They're naturally antibacterial and very safe to use too.
- Clean your microwave by heating a bowl of water with sliced lemons, allowing the boiling lemon water to steam up and then and wiping afterwards. Or pop a few slices in the dishwasher to freshen it up.
- Two parts olive oil mixed with one part lemon juice can polish wooden furniture - always test a small area first.
- Mix with distilled vinegar and two parts water to give a great smelling natural floor cleaner.
- Oven doors - as above - the lemon half makes a great scrubber with bicarb sprinkled on it.
- And use a lemon half and salt to scrub your wooden or bamboo chopping boards to a squeaky clean. Simply sprinkle coarse salt over the board and scrub with the lemon, leave for 10 minutes and rinse
4. White or distilled vinegar
Dont use vinegar for cleaning natural stone, granite, marble, quartz, or similar. This is because vinegar can be corrosive to these materials, and may etch the surface.
- Perfect for cleaning dishwashers - run a cycle with a container in the top tray and then a SEPARATE cycle with bicarb on the base of the dishwasher for a limescale and grease free dishwasher.
- Mix 50 50 with water and use in a repurposed spray gun for practically any cleaning, particularly good for glass and mirrors or oven doors.
5. Oxygen Bleach
Oxygen bleach, also called oxygenated bleach, is a gentle bleaching agent that removes stains and brightens laundry.
Also known as percabonate of soda, it is a natural, safe and gentle alternative to chlorine bleach that is also biodegradable. It works to remove stains by releasing oxygen when it mixes with water. It's safe for use on almost all types of washable whites and some colours.
- Add Oxygen Tablets to your wash to brighten whites. Pop a tablet in the drum along with your usual laundry detergent.
- Make a solution for soaking. Simply dissolve an Oxygen Tablet in warm water and leave your clothes to soak fro at least an hour - Oxygen bleach works much slower and safer than chlorinated bleach, and without the harsh side effects, smell and environmental impacts.
- Mix a paste solution following pack instructions and use to clean grout, surface stains, carpets and upholstery - making sure to check a small area first.
For these and many other useful tips, including stain removal read our Green Guide and sign up for our Newsletter.