9 All-Natural Home Cleaning Products
Cleaning products often contain a cocktail of chemicals which are potentially hazardous to our health. Common ingredients such as perchloroethylene, triclosan, ammonia, sodium hydroxide and chloride, have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders and hormone disruption. These cleaners are also very environmentally unfriendly and if they find their way through drains into the natural ecosystem, they can cause a lot of damage to waterways and wildlife.
Fortunately there are natural cleaners that do just as good a job as chemicals and which are readily available in the home. They cost a fraction as much, are environmentally friendly and completely non-toxic to users.
So let’s look at the top 10 ways to clean your home – the natural way.
Vinegar is the number one all-purpose natural cleaner and it has been used by householders as a substitute for chemical cleaners for many years now. Vinegar has great degreasing properties, its natural acidity is perfect for disinfecting and deodorising, it is completely non-toxic and it works well in many household cleaning situations including;
- Bathrooms – mix it with water and spray tiles and grout
- Appliances – clean kettles and coffee makers by boiling vinegar water in them
- Toilets – disinfect the bowl with pure vinegar
- Shower heads – unclog blocked shower heads by soaking them in undiluted vinegar
- Windows and mirrors – spray with 50/50 vinegar/water solution and wipe off with newspaper for a smear-free finish
- Blinds and fly screens – vacuum first without removing and then spray with vinegar water, clean with paper towels and allow to air dry
- Carpets – remove stains by spraying with vinegar water, covering with a dish towel and then ironing the towel.
- Baking soda
Baking soda is the second most popular natural cleaner. It can be found in most kitchen cupboards and will clean a myriad of surfaces in a variety of situations. Baking soda is non-toxic, cheap to buy, easy to apply and works well in areas such as;
- Dishwashing – mix with mustard powder to clean dishes as well as any dishwashing detergent
- Refrigerator – mix with water and use the paste to scrub the inside of your fridge or remove odours by placing a container of baking soda in the crisper
- Oven – make a paste and coat the inside of the oven. Leave it to sit overnight and then remove the paste with a spatula and wipe away any remaining residue with a wet cloth
- Upholstery – sprinkle with baking soda and vacuum, then brush gently with a mixture of dish soap and water and allow to air dry
- Grout – apply a paste of baking soda and water to the grout and then scrub with a toothbrush.
Next in our list of natural cleaners is lemon, which is an excellent disinfectant, a natural air freshener and great for removing oil, dirt and soap scum from tiles. It also protects surfaces against the growth of mould and is a natural substitute for kitchen and bathroom detergents. Lemon can also clean microwave ovens when mixed with water and left on high for ten minutes and lemon juice works well for cleaning lime-scale from showerheads and taps.
Many people don’t realise that the corrosive and gaseous nature of cola makes it perfect for removing stubborn stains from dirty ovens, burnt dishes and rusty taps. It is also ideal for cleaning oil from garage floors and driveways. Simply pour a few cans of room-temperature cola on the oil stain, allow it to sit overnight and then blot with old towels in the morning and rinse off any remaining residue with a hose. Cola will also unblock a drain when left to sit overnight in the pipe.
Natural oils such as olive oil and essential oils make excellent all-natural cleaners. Wiping wicker furniture with olive oil will protect it against cracking and a few drops will refresh and polish wood, leather furniture and parquet. And essential oils are great air fresheners, deodorisers and disinfectors and can prevent the growth of mould and mildew on walls.
Salt is the cheapest natural cleaning product and can be found in any household kitchen. It can be used to clean kitchens, baths and sanitary ware and to clean and disinfect sponges and washcloths. You can also use it to clean woollen rugs by strewing with salt, sprinkling with water, waiting half an hour and then vacuuming.
- Hydrogen peroxide
This is one of the most common household disinfectants and is normally used for treating small cuts and abrasions. But it also makes an excellent natural cleaner and is ideal for cleaning bathroom tiles and grouting, whitening crockery or fabric and thanks to its antibacterial properties, disinfecting kitchen bench tops and work surfaces.
Charcoal tablets are completely natural and are ideal for absorbing even the most unpleasant odours. Crushed charcoal tablets placed in refrigerators, rubbish bins and other areas with persistent bad odours quickly absorb and eliminate the smells, making them the perfect eco alternative to commercial air fresheners.
- Talcum powder
A simple substance that’s so harmless it’s used on baby’s delicate skin, talcum powder can also be used to clean stains from fabrics and floors. Just sprinkle the greasy spot with talcum powder, cover with a clean piece of paper, weight it down, leave overnight and then easily clean or beat the stain out the following day.
- Raw potato
Potatoes are not only natural and delicious to eat, they can also be used to clean a variety of surfaces including bathroom tiles and windows. Just rub with a slice of raw potato and then wipe the surfaces with a clean, dry cloth. Believe it or not, the mixture created from raw potatoes left in warm water for 24 hours can also be used to effectively clean dust from your favourite paintings and wall hangings.
Ready to raid the pantry?
You’re bound to have a large portion of these items in your home already, so the next time you run out of oven cleaner, see what you can concoct from our list and save yourself the time, hassle and money of replacing your chemical cleaner. Feel great in the knowledge that you’re not only saving yourself some money, but you’re also being a lot nicer to the environment.