Did you know that the average household (spends) between $1,800 and $3,600 a year on cleaning products?
Try these green products which are free from bleach, phosphates and ammonia. Get rid of those toxic cleaners and start fresh with these easy on your budget and better for the environment products.
BAKING SODA (sodium bicarbonate): An all-purpose, non-toxic cleaner. Cleans, deodorizes, removes stains and softens fabrics
WHITE VINEGAR: All-purpose cleaner
Have you ever tried white vinegar as a cleaning product? Use a little in a spray container – it’s great for mirrors and windows. Mixed with eucalyptus oil it is fantastic on basics, kitchen boards and stainless steel – plus it’s toxic-free.
An alternative to bleach, it deodorises, removes stains and boosts the cleaning power of soap
CORNSTARCH: Starches clothes, absorbs oil and grease
HERBS and ESSENTIAL OILS: Great for disinfecting and fragrance
OLIVE OIL: DIY Furniture polish Mix together 1 teaspoons olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon whisky or brandy and 1 teaspoon water. Rub on furniture with a cloth and buff for a deep shine.
LEMON JUICE: Cuts through grease. A bleach alternative
Furniture polish: It is a really good penetrating oil and combines very well with beeswax to make an excellent furniture polish.
Insect inhibitor: It’s also a good natural insect inhibitor for example, if you want to keep spiders out of your home, wrap some pantyhose around the head of a broom, add a couple of drops of lemon oil (or alternatively rub a lemon directly over the pantyhose) spread it evenly over the broom head with your hand and then extract the cobwebs with the broom, making sure you touch the walls as you go, so the oil is transferred around the house. Spiders won’t like it and will stay outside.
Inexpensive citronella candle: Put two drops of lemon oil in the well of your candle. When you light the candle and the well warms up, the smell will permeate the surrounding air and the mosquitoes and flies will stay away.
TEA TREE OIL: A good cleaning agent for children’s hard toys: Simply place 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil and 1 litre of water in a spray bottle, shake, and lightly spray on the toys. Then, wipe over with a pair of pantyhose. Tea tree oil is safe to use on toys, as it’s a non-toxic disinfectant.
LAVENDER OIL: A great fibre relaxant
It’s fabulous for something Shannon describes as Bachelor Ironing, (ironing when you don’t want to). All you need to do is hang up your clothes after washing, then spray them with a light mist of lavender oil (one teaspoon) mixed with 1 litre of water in a spray bottle.
You can also use this mixture as a personal insect repellent, by misting it on yours arms, legs etc. and rubbing it in.
Keep bugs out of your home
If you want to keep bugs out of your home: put a couple of drops of lavender oil on some pantyhose and wipe it on your light bulbs while they’re off. When you turn them on and they warm up, the fragrance is released and it repels the bugs (while infusing the house with a pleasant aroma).
TABLE SALT: Spills in your oven?
Clean up spills in the oven the easy way by sprinkling salt on them immediately. When the oven has cooled, brush away the burnt-on food with a damp sponge. Works like a dream!
OIL OF CLOVES: Long used as a cure for tooth ache, oil of cloves is a great mould inhibitor for outdoor fabrics like garden shades and umbrellas. The oil actually kills mold spores.
Simply add a quarter of a teaspoon of oil to a litre of water in a spray bottle, lightly mist it over the fabric, and you can store away umbrellas etc for months without the worry of mould taking over by the following summer.
For moldy surfaces that don’t like water (like leather shoes etc), add a 1/4 teaspoon of oil of cloves to 500ml baby oil, give it a good shake and wipe a few drops of it over the shoes using a pantyhose cloth. The mold will lift off straight away and won’t come back.
OLD SOCKS: Give old socks a good home! Use old socks and t-shirts to clean the house. Cotton is better than the plasticised materials sold for cleaning and is better for the environment.