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Give Your Home An Eco Clean Shine

How to give your home a beautiful shine without the nasty chemicals

 

Create a clean and safe environment for your family, pets and plants with these simple and environmentally friendly cleaning recipes.


 

We live in a world where white and foam depicts "clean". Surfaces are sterilised and air fresheners deodourise the air we breath. Our clothes, our furniture, surfaces and dishes are washed with chemicals to rid them of germs quickly and easily; but what we don't realise is that the chemicals that we are ridding ourselves of germs with, can actually be more harmful to us than the germs they destroy.

 

Eco Cleaning Products
For those of us that don't have the time or water to water our gardens, often resort to an efficient way of re-using water. If you have a small home or granny flat and are limited with the use of water, this is an excellent water-saving technique that still allows you to have a beautiful garden and lawn. Grey water from our kitchen and laundries is fed through a hose, from the grey water tank, and onto our gardens providing them with nutrient-rich recycled water. Due to that fact that the water is derived from our kitchens and laundries, we must be careful of the products we use. Most cleaning products you buy off the shelf can contain harmful chemicals that are not only harmful to you but also to your plants. Therefore in response to this we need to look at cleaning products that are safe for you, your family and your plants, that you can also make yourself at home.

 

Equipment

To start you will need:

  • Re-used material rags (made from old clothes and towels)
  • Abrasive scourer, such as scotch brite
  • Protective gloves (as some ingredients in their pure form can effect your skin)
  • Spray bottle
  • Feather duster

 

Ingredients

  • Bi carb soda & baking powder
  • White vinegar
  • Melrose Castile liquid soap (available from Wray's Organic stores or online)
  • Essential oils: eucalyptus, lavender & citrus (lemon or orange)
  • Herbs/spice: cloves, (or an alternative to essential oils: citrus peel and French lavender sprigs)
  • Borax
  • Salt

 

Cleaning The Kitchen

Dishes: Dishwashing liquid is a little to complex to make yourself, therefore a good idea would be to go to your nearest organic grocer or search the dishwashing section of your local grocery store and search for "organic" or "grey water or septic friendly" dishwashing liquid. A great brand for this is Earth Choice.

For those hard to remove stains on pots and pans an excellent recipe for this is one by Apartment Therapy:

Instructions

  1. Cover the bottom of the pan with water .
  2. Add the vinegar, and bring to the boil.
  3. Once boiling, remove the pan from the heat and add the bi carb soda. It should froth up.
  4. Empty the pan and use a scourer to remove stains and burn marks. If necessary add an extra bit of dry bi carb soda.
  5. For tough stains, make a paste of bi carb soda and a couple of drops of water. Apply to troublesome spots and leave for about 10-15 minutes before washing as normal.*

Silverware can easily lose it's shine and often requires harsh chemicals to restore them back to near new again; however Apartment Therapy have also found a great "make-it-yourself" recipe for a silverware cleaner.

Dirty Dishes and Stubborn Stains

You will need:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Glass dish or aluminum baking dish
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon bi soda
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • Rag for polishing
  • Tongs to remove silverware from boiling water

 

 

Instructions:

  1. Bring water to a boil. When combined with the other ingredients the water will activate the bi carb soda and start the process of transferring the tarnish to the foil.
  2. Add the dry ingredients into the pan and slowly pour in the vinegar. You will cause a slight reaction, so pour carefully! It is possible to clean your silver without adding vinegar, but the vinegar will dramatically speed up the process.
  3. Pour in the boiling water and then place the silver into your pan, making sure each piece is touching the foil. Try not to let any of the pieces overlap. This should only take about 30 seconds but if you have heavily tarnished pieces you may need to let them soak a few minutes longer.
  4. Use tongs to remove the silverware and work off any remaining spots by buffing with a rag. Then, look deep into your shiny silver and admire the smartypants that brought it back to its original glory!*

 

Stove tops: Cleaning your stove top doesn't have to be a struggle against the grime. Firstly take off some of the larger and easier sections with the easy Spray 'n' Wipe recipe below:

 

Natural Spray 'n' Wipe

Ingredients

  • White vinegar
  • 3 sprigs of fresh lavender, or 1 drop of lavender essential oil
  • 1 tbsp cloves

 

Stained Stovetop

Method

  1. In a spray bottle add cloves and lavender
  2. Fill remainder of the spray bottle with white vinegar.
  3. Spray generously on surfaces

These techniques should have your kitchen and dishes sparkling in no time. Not only will this save you money but also save your family and plants from the nasty chemicals found in harsh commercial cleaning products.

 

The Bathroom

The bathroom can be one of the hardest places to keep clean, with moisture constantly present, mould and soap scum can easily get into grout, leave marks and stains. These recipes however will naturally clean off those nasty stains and soap scum in no time.

 

The Tub Scrub

Ingredients

  • Bi carb soda
  • Melrose Castile liquid soap
  • Spay n wipe mix

Method

  1. Put the plug in the bath tub (if you have one) and sprinkle generously, the bottom of the tub and grooves between the tiles, with bi-carb soda.
  2. With your surface Spray 'n' Wipe, in the spray bottle, spray onto the bi-carb. It should foam a little.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of Castile liquid soap drizzled around the tub.
  4. With a scourer, it is time to get a little elbow grease into it and scrub that tub and tiles.
  5. Rinse off with water.

 

Eco Clean Bathroom The Spray 'n' Wipe spray formula is not only handy for general surfaces, it is also great for window and mirrors. Spray and wipe with old newspaper to create streak-free mirrors and windows.

 

For those nasty, stubborn mould and mildew stains and to easily clean your toilet, Apartment Therapy has another great recipe:

Mould and Mildew

  1. Mix 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 cup vinegar to make a paste.
  2. Scrub with a scourer and rinse with water.
  3. For tough mold, let it sit for an hour before rinsing with water.*

Toilet Cleaner

  1. Mix 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar in the toilet.
  2. Let it sit for 15 minutes (or longer, if necessary), scrub, and flush.

 

Now the bathroom's clean, let's move into the laundry.

Did you know that chalk can remove stains from your clothes? Well according to Apartment Therapy, if you rub chalk onto a stain before washing, will absorb the grease and easily remove the stain while it washes in the machine. (Apartment Therapy, 2016)

Doing laundry is a chore most people hate. Washing, sorting and ironing; it often seems endless. These simple adjustments however might just help you spend less time in the laundry and more time doing what you enjoy.
Laundry Basket and Pegs
Now we know how to remove those pesky stains, let's look at the next step, washing them. Firstly we are going to need to make washing soda; this is a natural de-greaser for your clothes. The recipe for this can be found from a cute little website called Mommypotamus.com, alternatively you can buy this online or ask your local organic grocery store.

 

Washing Soda

Ingredients

  • Baking soda
  • Baking pan/cookie sheet with a lip around the outside
  • Heat-proof spoon or spatula

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Spread 2-3 cups of baking across a baking pan or baking paper.
  2. Bake for about an hour, stirring after 30mins. The baking soda needs to reach 200C to convert to washing soda, so the exact amount of time needed will vary based on whether your oven runs hot/cold and how thick the baking soda layer is in your pan.
  3. The washing soda is ready when it is flat and grainy, instead of light and fluffy like baking soda.**
     

Now we have our washing soda we can now make laundry powder. All you need for this recipe is:

  • 6 cups washing soda
  • Three bars of 4.5 5 ounce soap, finely grated (One made with coconut oil works best)
  • Lemon & lavender essential oil
  • White vinegar

Method

  1. Cut soap into small chunks. Add to the food processor along with the washing soda.
  2. Blend until you have a fine powder. Lay a dish towel over the top of your food processor to prevent the powder's fine mist from escaping into the air.
  3. Allow powder to settle for about 2 minutes before opening the lid.
  4. Pour into a clean container .
  5. Add 2-3 tablespoons laundry detergent per load (If you are washing in cold water, dissolve it in hot water before adding it in) .
  6. Add a drop of lemon essential oil with every tablespoon of laundry powder.
  7. In the softener compartment fill with white vinegar to the line, then add 3 drops of lavender essential oil and viola!**

You can store pre-made fabric softener by using a 2 litre bottle of white vinegar, add 5-6 sprigs of lavender into the bottle, replace lid, and allow to stand overnight before using (pouring directly into the fabric softener compartment). 

 

Last but not least let's move into the living room, the space where you want to look the best, as it is where visitors will see immediately after walking in the door. Firstly grab your duster and swish away removing any webs and dust. Next, for most surfaces including wood you can use the homemade Spray 'n' Wipe formula in your spray bottle; however you can make your own wood furniture polish by juicing a lemon and mixing it with a tablespoon of vegetable oil and a tablespoon of water, dab onto a cloth and there you have it.*

Eco Clean Loungeroom

 

To clean brass, add vinegar to a cloth and sprinkle salt on the surface, giving the combination a gentle rub over.****
For marble mix 2 drops of dishwashing liquid with a cup of water and your ready to go; however do not use anything citrus or acidic like vinegar on these marble surfaces as it can eat away at the marble.****

Give your windows a great shine with newspaper and the Spray 'n' Wipe mix before paying some serious attention to any carpet you may have. Before you vacuum your carpet you'll want to remove any stains, to do this you will need:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup bi carb soda

Method

  1. Firstly in a spray bottle mix all ingredients together
  2. Spray generously on stain
  3. Blot dry with a cloth and allow to dry fully
  4. Vacuum the area once dry

Now your carpet is stainless you, can finish off with a good vacuum and your home should be looking as beautiful as ever.***

Please note when handling and mixing ingredients, in their pure and combined form, wear protective gloves to prevent any possible skin irritations or reactions.
Always spot test before using products.

 

 

 

 

References

 

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