our favourite homemade recipes that really do work!
If you’ve ever cleaned a home without rubber gloves, you’ll know how much regular cleaning products dry and damage your hands. After cleaning, these chemicals stay on the surfaces that have been cleaned – on kitchen worktops, floors, basins and baths - giving out potentially toxic fumes long after use. They then come into direct contact with anyone in the home through touch, breathing or even having a bath! The effects of absorbing those chemicals and breathing in the fumes from them are subject to many studies and it’s now accepted that they can contribute to asthma, skin conditions, allergies and other longer term health issues. Also, once these chemical cleaning products leave our homes down the drain, they end up in our water supply and in the food chain, with massive environmental implications. Many of the chemicals in everyday cleaning products are not monitored and it is only in recent years that the alarm bells have been going off for scientists and health and environmental activists alike. It has been proven over and over again that you don’t need to use bleach and other harsh chemical cleaners to get a house clean and free of harmful germs. In fact armed with some e-cloths, an e-mop and our home-made recipes you can kill more bacteria and germs than many chemical counterparts so we at the green cleaner are left wondering…
If it is as easy
as this to clean without
chemicals why clean with
There are four main ingredients used in green cleaners: lemon juice, white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and citric acid. Lots of people also add their choice of pure essential oil for their properties and smells – lemongrass oil removes the smell of vinegar and is naturally antibacterial; Tea Tree Oil has a great disinfecting power with its anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. You will also need spray bottles and washing up bottles – these can be bought or even better recycled from finished products.
bicarbonate of soda An all purpose, non toxic cleaner that removes stains and scours - simply sprinkle it on a damp sponge or cloth and use. As it acts as a mild abrasive, it’s great for cleaning sinks, toilets and baths without damaging the surface. A thicker solution can be used on cookers, ovens and other areas subject to tougher grime. A water/white vinegar/baking soda solution is great for cleaning toilets and drains. Sprinkled dry onto carpets and left for a few moments, then vacuumed up – it is also a brilliant carpet cleaner and deodorizer.
lemon juice The natural qualities of lemon juice make it the perfect substitute for bleach. Use neat on a cloth as a kitchen/bathroom cleaner or to naturally disinfectant surfaces and chopping boards – please note do not use on natural stone eg limestone. Once the lemon has been squeezed, you can use each half as a cleaning product – great rubbed round taps or on sinks, baths and draining boards. Use a cloth and hot water to wipe down the surfaces after us. And if you’re feeling lazy, you don’t even need to squeeze them, you can buy bottled lemon juice!
white vinegar White vineger has acidic levels that are mild enough to be a safe cleaning agent but powerful enough to cut through many types of dirt and grime. It works amazingly on limescale - wrap a soaked cloth around the limescale area and leave it for a few hours to soak and has shown its magic on toilets too! A few drops of white vinegar on a soft cloth is perfect for cleaning and shining stainless-steel sinks while a water/vinegar mixture is all you need to get a perfect clean on windows, mirrors and other glass surfaces and it can be mixed with olive oil for a natural wood polish. Don’t however be tempted to replace white vinegar with brown unless you want the house to smell like a chippie!
citric acid Citric acid is a weak organic acid that is found in many fruits and vegetables, especially citrus. It’s used to preserve and flavour many drinks and foods including fizzy drinks and sour sweets – that’s how the cola turns a two pence coin back to looking new! Also the active ingredient in many eco friendly cleaning products it is an amazing de-scaler in its own right removing stubborn limescale in toilet bowls, kettles, dishwashers and washing machines – we love it!
essential oils Essential oils add fragrance and extra anti-bacterial and anti-fungal power! Add your favorite essential oils or herbs to any of these formulas for fragrance or to add extra anti-bacterial or anti-fungal properties but take care if pregnant as ingesting some essential oils can be harmful. Lavender: This is great for taking away the smell of vinegar and a great partner to vinegar when cleaning windows. Tea tree: This is naturally disinfecting, anti-viral and anti-fungal so perfect for disinfecting and removing mould. Lemongrass: This takes away the smell of vinegar and has great anti-bacterial properties .
RECIPES Making your own green cleaning products sounds harder than it actually is. Why not give try ? You could save a fortune and help save the planet! Here’s a few hints, tips and safety notes to help you on your way! - If you want to save time and money when making your own products, you can make larger quantities of some products in advance – buying the ingredients in bulk saves money and avoids excess packaging. - You can store products in airtight plastic containers and spray bottles but make sure you put the date you made it on and spot test when using regularly. I save bottles and containers from shop bought products for this, but you can also buy them from us or your local hardware store. - Please note that as with any shop-bought cleaner it is important that you always spot check your homemade cleaner on any surface before use. - Take special care with surfaces that might need delicate cleaning such as limestone kitchen surfaces or ceramic bath tubs – these surfaces can be damaged by anything acidic or abrasive. - Also take care to label all your products and keep out of reach of children. While most of these natural cleaners are not poisonous, some can be harmful if swallowed by children or pets. - And finally…don’t forget you can add your favourite essential oils or herbs to any of these formulas to add anti bacterial, disinfecting or anti-fungal properties and personalise – If I had my way everything would smell of lemons or parsely!
multi purpose cleaner
ingredients: - water - white vinegar - lemongrass oil - tea tree oil - eco washing up liquid method: Fill a spray bottle half full with water, top it up to 他 full with white vinegar, add 10 to 15 drops of essential oil: the lemongrass removes the smell of vinegar and is naturally antibacterial while adding tea tree oil too increases the disinfecting power. Add a couple of drops of washing up liquid, put the cap on and shake before use.
stainless steel cleaner & polisher
ingredients: -olive oil -white vinegar method: For this you will need 2 cloths. Firstly put a little olive oil onto a cloth and rub the surface to get rid of marks and smudges. Next put a little white vinegar onto the other cloth, wipe over, and rub to polish.
bath & kitchen sink
ingredients: - bicarbonate of soda - white vinegar - lemon juice method: Mix two parts bicarbonate of soda to one part vinegar and one part lemon juice. To use, apply the mixture with a damp cloth and leave for 10 minutes before wiping with a cloth or sponge. As you rinse it off, drains will be kept fresh too. Works on draining boards, sinks, baths, shower doors and tiles.
ingredients: - olive oil - lemon juice method: Mix one part olive oil with one part lemon juice. Rub on furniture or apply with a spray bottle, then polish with a dry cloth. Use this mix to make all your wooden surfaces gleam.
vinyl, laminate or tiled floor cleaner
ingredients: - hot water - white vinegar - a couple of drops of essential oil if required method: Make a mopping solution by diluting eight tablespoons of vinegar in three litres of hot water adding essential oils if required.
no-streak window, glass & mirror cleaner
ingredients: - white vinegar - water - newspaper to use method: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. To use spray on surface, wipe dry with crumpled newspaper and buff with newspaper or cloth to shine.
Toilets are one of the hardest challenges for the green cleaner as it is here that the strongest of the chemical cleaners are usually used. When using any of these recipes, lower the water level of the bowl as much as possible by putting your toilet brush in and out of the bowl. to clean and deodorize: bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar sprinkle bicarbonate of soda into the bowl, squirt with vinegar and then scour with a brush. to remove limescale from the bowl and under the rim: pour white vinegar onto tissue paper and stuff under the toilet rim, then pour white vinegar into the bowl and leave for several hours, preferable over night. to remove and keep away stubborn limescale: sprinkle a tablespoon of citric acid into the toilet bowl water and leave to work â€“ overnight or longer if possible. Repeat daily until the limescale has gone and then use as a weekly treatment to keep it at bay.
Making your own
ISN始T AS HARD AS IT SOUNDS why not save a
fortune & the planet!