Green rubber gloves

Too many of the everyday cleaning products in our cupboards are bad for the planet – and us!  Thankfully, you can make your home sparkle using effective, natural cleaning products.

They will also save you money and protect your children and pets from toxins that enter our waterways and harm wildlife and our health.

Here are some tips:

Vinegar

An old-fashioned staple, vinegar has many uses because it cuts through grease and grime. The smell is minimal but, to overcome it, you can mix in a few drops of your preferred essential oil, like lavender. It’s fantastic at removing limescale in a toilet. Just pour some down, leave it overnight and scrub in the morning.

You can also use it on tiles, baths and sinks. Be careful, it can damage some surfaces and shouldn’t be used on wood, stone, iron or aluminium. And make sure to use clear white vinegar for cleaning purposes.

Bicarbonate of soda

The bicarbonate of soda you use in baking is another green cleaning staple that your grandmother will know well. It’s alkaline, rather than acidic like vinegar, so it’s best to use them separately.

Bicarb has really good deodorising properties, so is good to sprinkle after spillages or accidents. It can also be made into a paste with water to clean tiles.

Look out too for soda crystals, which are even more alkaline than standard bicarb and so have greater cleaning properties. They can be used to unblock sinks.

Bulk

To save money, you can buy your basic ingredients in bulk from the internet or DIY stores. As well as vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, why not try some sodium percarbonate – also known as ‘oxygen bleach’? You can add it to your white wash to disinfect, brighten, whiten and remove stains without the toxicity of chlorine.

Inspiration

‘The Great British Bake Off’ winner Nancy Birtwhistle offers green cleaning tips on social media. The blog ‘Moral Fibres’ is another great source of ideas.

Readymade products

If you don’t have time to make your own cleaning products, try some of the eco-friendly ranges at your supermarket. Look out for Ecover, Method and Bio-D.

Many brands offer refillable solutions. It’s cheaper and cuts down on plastic pollution. You just need to bring your own bottles to certain stores.

To date, it’s largely been small independent outlets offering refills, but supermarkets are now getting in on the act, including certain branches of Tesco. Aldi offers concentrated cleaning products that you dilute with water, which cuts plastic too.

Disclaimer

This information is provided for guidance only. Please see the full disclaimer in our terms and conditions.

 

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