Most cleaning projects can be tackled with nothing more than vinegar, baking soda, soap, and water, but other ingredients are useful for specific jobs.
Baking Soda: cleans, deodorizes, softens water, and scours.
Soap: Unscented soap in liquid form (along with soap flakes, powders, or bars) is biodegradable and will clean just about anything. Castille soap such as Dr Bronner is one example of an excellent cleaning ingredient.
Lemon Juice: is effective against most household bacteria. Lemon essential oil is also fantastic for this and lasts longer in cleaners than fresh lemon juice.
White or distilled Vinegar: Use to cut grease; remove mildew, odours, and some stains; and to prevent or remove wax build-up. Get a white vinegar not malt vinegar unless you want your house to smell like a chippy!
Vegetable or Olive Oil: makes fantastic wood polishes.
Alcohol: Alcohol is an excellent disinfectant. Vodka is a potent odour remover, and other forms of ethanol (grain alcohol) can be used for cleaners and disinfectants. But it can be drying on skin, so be careful when using.
Cornflour: Use to clean windows, and shampoo carpets and rugs
Note: These formulas and substitutions are offered to help minimize the use of toxic substances in your home and reduce the environmental harm caused by the manufacture, use, and disposal of toxics. Results may vary and cannot be guaranteed to be 100% safe and effective. Before applying any cleaning formulations, test in small hidden areas if possible. Always use caution with any new product in your home.
Make sure to keep all homemade cleaning products well labelled and out of the reach of children.
Recipe: Mix 100ml white vinegar and 30g baking soda into 2L of water and 2-4 drops of your favourite essential oil (lavender, lemon and eucalyptus are great for smell and cleaning).
Storage: Store in a glass container for 2-3 weeks.
Purpose: to clean hard water on shower panels, bathroom fixtures, windows, mirrors with a natural fibre cloth. Also good for loos. Simply leave in the bowl for 15 minutes before scrubbing.
Carpet Stain Remover
Recipe: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on stain, let sit for several minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water.
Coffee and Tea Stains
Remove stains in cups by applying vinegar to a sponge and wiping. To clean a teakettle or coffee maker, add 2 cups water and 1/4 cup vinegar; bring to a boil. Let cool, wipe with a clean cloth and rinse thoroughly with water.
Magic of Lemons:
- Rub a slice of lemon over a chopping block to reduce bacteria
- Put half a lemon in your dishwasher and run on an empty cycle
- Put half a lemon in a bowl of hot water in the microwave and on a medium heat turn on for two minutes to loosen grease and get rid of odours.
- Use 2-4 drops of Lemon essential oil in your bin, down your hoover nozzle, or in your washing detergent to naturally clean and get rid of odours.
- Use lemon juice in to clean dis-coloured utensils or Tupperware
- Remove scratches on furniture