CLEANING YOUR HOME
We wanted to be able to clean our home with safe products.
Like anyone else ,we also wanted it to smell lovely and fresh too.
We have two dogs , that can be a challenge! Not to be surrounded by any doggie smells.
Our largest dog, a Labrador Retriever, has a habit of licking the floor, and his paws constantly.
It has made us more aware, of just what we were cleaning the floor with.
All these products leave a residue, causing air pollution, which can be inhaled by them as well.
Of course, any of these products are also flushed down the drain, and into our environment.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO FIND MORE INFORMATION ON A CHEMICAL OR PRODUCT CLICK HERE
WHAT IS FOUND IN THESE PRODUCTS
A great explanation, of these products and deeper information can be found on the links below.
This article is a little old, but still relevant, in what can be lurking in your cleaning products.
They have a really good article, on what is in cleaning products , giving you solutions too.
WATCHING A TV PROGRAM
There used to be a house cleaning program on T.V.
Where they went into homes, that had serious problems with years of neglect, and cleanliness issues.
It was interesting to see that they used natural products such as vinegar,bicarbonate and cola, to clean such a deep grained dirt. It was” Oh my gosh! how can you let the place get like that! ” type of programs.
Before seeing that program, I had heard of my gran, and mum, using vinegar to clean windows,with the aid of a newspaper as well.
I never thought that something so natural, could be that effective.
Since then, we have armed ourselves with loads of vinegar,lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda and essential oils.
There are safer products on the market,but it does take some reading of bottles, and searching the isles in your supermarket.
Often an organic cleaning agent, can also be found in your local health or organic shop.
We find these rather expensive, so we have listed a number of recipes to help you D.I.Y.
On the dangers in using the chemicals in cleaning products, hand wipes and mouthwashes could be affecting your ability to having a baby.
We have kept it simple, and often distilled white vinegar mixed with pre-boiled water works well in a spray bottle, you can add a few drops of essential oil too , this helps to get rid of dirt, and soap scum.
You can also add some lemon juice, to one part of the white distilled vinegar, and two parts of the water, about one part of the lemon juice.
This makes a good disinfectant. We use a spray bottle, then add a label, so you can work out each product later.
THE SPRUCE.COM has some good advice on using Vinegar to clean , also some warnings on mixing it with Bleach, which causes a bad reaction.
FOR THE TOILET
You can just add neat vinegar. I think vinegar has become my best friend! cost wise it saves a fortune.
You can also use Baking Soda with some essential oil too, Baking soda does have some abrasive quality too.
On a T.V. program ,I saw them putting down a bottle of cheap cola over night to remove stubborn stains.
There is a video below to explain how you can use this.
Another way is to sprinkle some Baking Soda around the inside of the bowl,you can then add some vinegar and let it sit a while. Tea tree is a disinfectant which can be added.
( careful using Tea tree oil if your dog drinks from the loo as it is dangerous for dogs.)
I have seen the use of Hydrogen Peroxide too, not one we have tried, as we have a septic tank, which you have to be careful with.
THE TOILET BOMB, I TRIED MAKING, AND WHAT I THINK I DID WRONG!
I saw one video that made a toilet bomb , Not to blow up your loo! But a pod that can be chucked down to react with the water, making the loo clean.
It sounded great!
I mixed the Baking soda , Citric Acid and some distilled water, you are then supposed to put the mixture in an ice cube tray or mould and leave to dry for some hours.
SO of course after reading that, I decided to add some essential oil to make them smell nice.
That, is when I ended up with mount Vesuvius coming over the sides of the mould! Perhaps I should just follow the basic recipe next time!
I couldn’t get the mix just to sit in the mould, I was afraid nothing would be left after the drying period.
They have reacted to the essential oil so much, that they now don’t react in the loo!
Oh well you learn by mistakes.
here is a little video by Natural Ways on using coke in the toilet and other odd uses
I have heard about a couple of tips to clean and loosen dirt.
I am not a fan of microwaves, but I certainly have had my share of mistakes in them, then having to find some way of cleaning off the concrete type food mess.
One mistake I made was ,to put a crushed crisps, on the outside of a chicken piece, as it doesn’t colour in the microwave.
It had spectacular results and plastered its self over the entire interior of the oven!
CLEANING THE MICROWAVE NATURALLY
With a heat proof glass bowl either 50/50 of water and vinegar or water and lemon juice.
Allow it to come to boiling point , the steam helps loosen and dirt, let it cool a little and then it can be wiped.
I cook a fair bit, and have a set of those beautiful brass pans.
They are great for a bit, then the outside tarnishes fairly quickly.
An old fashioned way of cleaning I found on line, was to get some table salt and vinegar, using a cloth or sponge, dip it in the vinegar squeeze out the excess then sprinkle on salt and very gently rub the sides , its like magic !
Rinse very thoroughly and buff up with a soft cloth.
CLEANING AN OVEN
I have to say this is one job that I am not keen on doing, a lot of ovens these days have a self cleaning cycle, ours has, but it still doesn’t get everything off .
I went on the search and found a different method on WIKIHOW
Also with the oven, prevention is often better than cure( or clean).
A good friend of ours, reminded me today ,about the dangers of using tin foil to line your oven to keep it clean.
LILY NICHOLS has a well written article on the dangers which most of us are totally unaware of, in using tin foil to cook with in the oven.
has a NON TOXIC NO FUME OVEN CLEANER , easy to make and leave on your oven over night. They also offer many recipes for a number of DIY recipes, great site.
USING ESSENTIAL OILS
We use quite a few Essential oils in our household cleaning products, also in disinfecting.
After a friend of ours was using Tea-tree oil near one of her dogs , and the dog ending up at the vets quite ill.
We are careful what essential oil we use near them. Especially in a place where your animal can lick the area.
There are some ideas of essential oils ,and how to be careful around animals, on the Healthy Animal part of this website.
NIFTY has some great ideas of 7 D.I.Y. household cleaners
Also a lot of the recipes for making homemade soap products use a CASTILE soap.
We are only starting out on this journey into making our own products .
I have seen the recipe, on how to make Castile soap, which is a pure soap.
I have also included a video made by OH, THE THINGS WE’LL MAKE which makes this look fairly simple.
GOING GREEN – is a site written by LISA BRONNER
With many answered questions for anyone using-
DR BRONNER’S range and Castille soap, how to dilute, and use these liquids correctly, so that they are more effective.
DR BRONNER’S SAL SUDS BIO DEGRADEABLE CLEANER for use in many cleaning situations in the house very concentrated. Great reviews.
BICARBONATE OF SODA –
I love Bicarbonate, it is so useful in cleaning and baking, an amazing product.
THIS VIDEO BY CLEAN MY SPACE IS BASED ON BICARBONATE OF SODA
BICARBONATE OF SODA
By NORTEMBIO this is such a great product . This is a great size container.
They also give a free leaflet with loads of ways of using it.
HEXEAL – this company has a whole list of products to use in natural cleaning including different sizes of Bicarbonate of soda.
SIMBR is a hand held one for toxic free cleaning, car carpets, bathrooms and more, it comes with a load of accessories.
We bought one of these to clean bathrooms ,without the need for using chemicals.
You do need to be careful with the temperature these cleaners get to.
H20 has a different type which can clean floors too. A friend of ours swears by hers.
I remember when I first saw these, it seemed a strange concept then, to clean without a spray of something, now they can be used in all cleaning situations.
There is a book on THE NATURALLY CLEAN HOME , which has a load of good reviews.
THE DYNAMIC DUO a book on using both Vinegar and Bicarbonate soda in cleaning.
I remember years ago, picking up a book on using Vinegar in cleaning, and just about everything else, it was fascinating just what was possible.
THE SPRUCE.COM has a number of ideas for natural cleaning, some I have used such as lemon for cleaning cutting boards, a couple were new to me.
WASHING UP and DISHWASHER
To wash up without using the normal bottles that are in the supermarket, I know it is fairly simple to find something like an ECOVER ,BioD, Faith in Nature, who’s brand Clear Spring can also be found on Amazon .
They cover a range of cleaning and washing products.
These can sometimes be found in supermarkets, or your local health food store.
Of course there is also ways of making your own washing up liquid.
This recipe I found on the GUARDIAN newspaper website I have listed it below but you can also click into their link. It is an old copy but the recipe looks simple to make.
3 tbsp liquid Castile soap
2 cups warm water
2 tsp glycerine
2 tbsp. white vinegar
10 drops lavender essential oil
Mix all ingredients in a jar, cover, and shake well to blend. Use about 1 tbsp for dish washing.
WASHING UP LIQUID –
Another simple recipe is 1/2 a cup of Castile soap with the same 1/2 cup of water
( I tend to filter mine, and boil it so it is as near to distilled as possible. I have read that it makes the product last longer. Then add 2 TBSP of white vinegar and mix in 1 to 2/3 cups of baking soda., I then add a few drops of an essential oil like lemon or orange .)
Sometimes, I find that it doesn’t always cut the grease.
So I am going to put a few more recipes that I find here,
HELLONEST again has a recipe for DIY washing up liquid with Lavender .
BIO D – washing up liquid ( 5 litres)
They say this is a family owned company that try to give a range of cleaning products that are kind to the environment and people. Where possible are plant based. This washing up liquid contains vegetable glycerine.
ECOVER WASHING UP LIQUID ( 5 LITRES)
This is a larger size , to save money, of course this available in smaller sizes. I just wanted a comparison to the prices of the BIO D . Available in different scents from essential oils. This has been around for years, it was at least one that I had heard of. They also make dishwasher tablets too
SOAPNUTS Can also be used for washing up too, another link is also found on laundry washing.
ECOVER DISHWASHER TABLETS – these are again part of the range of this long standing company. They are usually available in your local health food store.
RINSE AID FOR DISHWASHERS –BIO D RINSE AID FOR DISHWASHERS –
As to the use of Distilled white vinegar, have a look at two site for their differing advice.
USING Distilled White Vinegar. This was also mentioned on WIKIHOW
CNET.COM Have an article explaining why it is not a good idea to use Vinegar in your dishwasher.
I honestly have seen the use of this , everywhere on the net.
We have been searching for ages, on something that doesn’t contain a ton of harsh chemicals.
The thought of washing clothing and bedding, and then sleeping or basically wearing those chemicals for 24 hours is not a great thought.
I know that a lot of people like the scent of the conditioners on the market, but I find the scent very overpowering, and it lingers for an incredible amount of time.
The fragrances they use ,smell very chemically to me.
The advertisements on TV are offering even longer scented clothing,what on earth do they use to make that happen? Essential oils, are a more gentle fragrance.
There are again products out there, that you can purchase to reduce the chemicals in your wash.
I wanted to list some that are available, also some DIY solutions that are easy to make, and hopefully can save you some money too!
There seems to be a huge amount of recipes on the internet, we have tried one that seems to be working for us.
There are a load of Laundry Hacks on the internet, we have not tried them all out, I have found an interesting page on THE SPRUCE.COM who have found 8 Hacks that don’t work. Explaining some of the science behind these findings.
I had seen the aspirin cleaner for the washing before, not tried it though.
This article explains why that doesn’t work, plus all this is going into our waterways.
We have not used Borax which some recipes call for.
There seems to be many sides to the debate, as is often found when you go on a search for information.
I think you have to look at what your machine has in its information, and look at the ingredients that you are happy with, to make an informed decision.
BIO D CONCENTRATED LAUNDRY LIQUID ( 5 litres)
They produce a whole range of cleaning products.
We have tried these type of washing balls before, it took us a little time to get used to them.
I suppose it is the concept of chucking a plastic ball into the wash-load and wondering how on earth that could clean anything. You can hear the little balls inside them.
They were recommended to us from our neighbour.
They are quite cost effective as they do 1500 washes .
They use natural minerals and magnetic balls.
They also soften your clothing so no need to add conditioner as well.
If you are used to heavy fragrance, you may find it takes time to get used to no scent.
We have bought refills in the past for the balls.
One tip, I would say is to put a date somewhere when you start using them ,as I totally forgot then didn’t know how long it was active for!
ECOZONE MAGNOBALL ( for Limescale)–
This ball is made up of a strong magnet , which helps prevent limescale in your washing machine.
We have heavy limescale here, and really needed a chemical free way of achieving this.
They do say that you will need less detergent if you are using this ball.
It lasts up to five years too which is great.
HOMEMADE CLOTHES WASHING SOLUTIONS
THE SPRUE.COM has an interesting article asking if Homemade washing detergent is safe for HE Machines.
THRIFTY HOMESTEADER.COM has a debate on using Homemade recipes for washing clothes, which gives another perspective.
This recipes for a DIY solution to making your own washing liquid is by BEXZWALKER.CO.UK
A great website covering many ideas on Natural living.
DIY NATURAL.COM written by MATT JABS has another detergent recipe which is in a powdered form.
HELLO NEST has another recipe in the liquid form. They say it is also more cost effective.
These are Eco friendly Indian Soap Nuts – Soap Nut shells contain a substance called SAPOIN which is like a natural detergent. No need for conditioner either. Gentle on the skin.
They come from India and Nepal . They have been using them for hundreds of years! wow amazing with all the searching I have done over the years never to have come across them.
I was reading some interesting comments, on someone looking for alternative solution for their washing machine, they mentioned these soap nuts. I really fancy giving these a go.
You are given some muslin bags with the nuts, you use 4-5 half shells per wash load .
It sounds as though you can use them twice if it is a cool wash.
I have seen comments that you must allow them to totally dry between washes or they can go mouldy.
There seem to be other ways that these can be used around the house, cleaning, making up your own hand washing liquid.
There is a way of using them also for personal use such as for your hair, I will put some information in the shampoo blog. There is more information on this link.
NAKED SHELLS – ( pack of 10 )
No nothing like the name! they are extra bags that you can purchase to put in the Soap Nuts.
They can be used for Herbal Infusions too.
I found this really interesting VIDEO by SIMPLY KLAIRE .
I have never seen Conkers used like this before.
KLAIRE has a link on her video to look into this in more depth.
Explaining the best way to use them and what to avoid.
WASTELAND REBEL has another article on using CONKERS for washing clothes.
I felt I had to go searching a little more, as it was something I had never heard of.
We do have a conker tree in our garden, which I have to admit, drove me nuts! No pun intended . With all the spiky shells and the keeping the dogs away.
If this does work, it could be my favourite tree in our garden!
TREE HUGGER.COM Has some fantastic ideas on how to remove stains on clothing and carpets naturally.
CLEANING YOUR MATTRESS
this informative Blog is by HOUSEWIFE HOW TO’s .COM
I have heard of sprinkling a mattress with bicarbonate, then hoovering it off.
A hoover each week does wonders for keeping on top of all the dead skin cells Yuk!
TUMBLE DRYER SOLUTIONS
These can just be popped into your dryer instead of using softener or dryer sheet.
They say it also reduces dryer time which can only be good for saving money.
I love the look of these ! I had never seen these before.
They are reusable , soften clothes without any chemicals, and reduce static
( that alone would be great ,I am always getting zapped by my jumpers! )
Reusable up to 1000 times, good for sensitive skin , made from New Zealand wool.
STWIE WOOL DRYER BALLS – Little sheep ! so cute.
I had include a link to these little wool balls they went down very well with our daughter
I absolutely hate the smell that comes from Dry cleaning. It even smells like a chemical soup.
I first really thought about this process after watching on TV a documentary on how they had even found the chemicals leaving a residue in breast milk! I was horrified, a baby drinking that!
This article on CARE2.COM gives a list of the chemicals and their effects. Offering solutions to cleaning a different way.
ORGANIC CONSUMERS ORGANISATION offer a really clear insight into the chemicals used.
A simple solution to stop using these chemicals in these products
SCIENCE DIRECT .COM have 10 questions on the chemicals and effects of AIR FRESHENERS.
INDOOR DOCTOR.COM have advice on the plug in air fresheners and the health hazard.
I am never happy, with a load of chemicals pumping into the air! The public toilets have me holding my nose!
DO YOUR OWN THING
A really easy way is to have a clean spray bottle , adding a distilled water then adding some drops of essential oils, such as lavender or tea tree.
THE PRAIRIE HOMESTEAD.COM – They have 10 different suggestions for a homemade air freshener.
SAFER OPTIONS TO PURCHASE
Chemical free and reusable.
For air and surfaces, just essential oils a blend of 41 different oils.
The old fashioned way for putting into to draws and cupboards.
Simple but beautiful , good to repel moths.
Our neighbour, had a terrible time with this problem, they stated to eat into all her expensive woollens, heart breaking.
Cleaning with more natural products like beeswax.
My gran used to use a lavender scented polish, It brings back memories , Lavender is such a great oil.
EARTH FRIENDLY POLISH make a natural product with Orange and Olive oils.
They do other products for around the house and animals called ECOS .
HOMEMADE RECIPES FOR FURNITURE CLEANING
THE SPRUCE has some great tips on natural cleaning and how to make your own furniture polish.
I guess the most simple way is with vinegar and water.
My mum used to use a newspaper with it to get a shine.
TIPS BULLETIN have 6 different recipes for a homemade streak free window cleaner.
Our water here is really hard, to find a safer way of removing the Limescale, would be great, it looks like you haven’t cleaned!
I SAW THIS VIDEO BY HOUSEHOLD HACKER with a number 100 year old solutions , these were tested again , a bit of fun but also some ideas of how to use lemon to clean your boots and milk to remove some ink stains.
over 5 million people have seen this video , must be something in it!