Cleaning out the house is not everyone’s favourite job, but with all the different products available on the supermarket shelves, it can also be an expensive one. Here are a few tips to cleaning your house in a more economical, greener way. With essential ingredients like white vinegar, lemon, and olive oil, it’s a snap. Read on for all the great tips.
Green Cleaning Checklist:
• White vinegar- just use the cheap white distilled vinegar
• Olive oil- the most basic will do
• Bicarbonate soda- baking powder works just as well – it’s a mix of bicarbonate of soda and starch.
Your essential equipment:
Natural, reusable rags- old shirts, cloths.
Stick to reusable mops and rags instead of throw disposable paper and sponges that contain chemicals and soaps for cleaning. They are more expensive and often more toxic.
Windows – Take two to three tablespoons of vinegar to three litres of warm water in a spray bottle. Dry with crumpled newspaper.
Floors– Eight tablespoons of vinegar diluted in three litres of hot water, is great for mopping vinyl, laminate or ceramic tiled floors. I often add half a lid of Ecover floor cleaner to the mix which gives a great citrus smell.
Sinks– Get a clean spray bottle and fill it with pure vinegar, do not dilute. Spray all over and leave for a few minute and then wipe away. This is a great way to get rid of all those hard water stains.
Microwaves and Ovens– A cloth dampened in equal parts of vinegar and water usually does the trick. Microwave odours can be removed by placing some lemon slices in a bowl of water and putting on high for a few minutes.
Baths, Shower Doors, and Tiles– Mix two parts bicarbonate soda to one part vinegar. This forms a thick paste that can be applied with a damp cloth. Leave this on the surface for 10 minutes then rub with a brush or sponge. Rinsing the mix of these surfaces and down the drains will clean the drains too.
Toilets– To clean the toilet and cistern, just sprinkle some bicarbonate soda onto a damp cloth, scrub area and then wipe with another wet cloth.
To eliminate stains in the bowl- you can place three cups of undiluted vinegar in the bowl and scrub it with a toilet brush.
Wood– Mix one part olive oil with one part lemon juice. You can rub it on furniture or apply with a spray bottle, then polish with a dry cloth.
Mildew and Mould– Prepare one part vinegar or lemon juice to one part baking powder. Apply to affected area and leave for one to two hours or even more depending on the severity of the mould or mildew. After this, it can be rinsed off.
Air Freshener– By mixing eight tablespoons of baking soda with three drops of any essential oil, you can eliminate lots of bad odours. Just place the mix in a decorative bowl or vase.
Dusting– Middle East countries are especially dusty so it is important to develop a method that cleans the dust without moving large amounts back into the air. Try soaking your dusting rag in two parts water, two parts vinegar and two drops of lemon and oil, then wring it out and store in a covered glass jar until you need it.
Laundry– The Eco friendly detergents are well concentrated and are often very economical. I have found that I need to use little to get a good wash, especially with the brands ECOS and Eco-Friend. For a fabric softener you can use vinegar mixed with your favourite essential oil.
If you have bad stains you can soak your clothes in a bucket with some bicarbonate soda for an hour before washing.
And if you can’t manage all the above yourself, you can always call one of many flat cleaning services. Print out our suggestions and ask them to follow your desired eco guidelines.
Happy Cleaning, Happy Breathing!