You can’t put a price on having a nice, clean home. Thankfully, there are lots of cleaning hacks without using chemicals, in case you are worried about your children being within reach or if you simply don’t have a bottle of cleaner handy when you need it!
Most things can miraculously be cleaned with a bucket full of warm water and a splash of vinegar. These are great solutions for cleaning cabinets and walls, the inside of the fridge and nearly any hard household surface that just needs a gentle cleaning. You can also clean windows with a spray bottle of vinegar diluted half and half with water – great for achieving smear-free windows!
When you mop tiled or laminate floors, add a big splash of vinegar and a few drops of essential oil to a bucket of warm water – changing the water as it gets dirty. The vinegar smell will fade as it dries, so no need to worry about a vinegary-smelling house! A little bit of vinegar is also great for cleaning blinds and for polishing wood surfaces.
A great way to start the day is having tea or coffee in your favourite mug, but this can sometimes be ruined when you notice brown rings of tea or coffee inside. Vinegar and salt are a very effective combination to deal with tea or coffee stains on most surfaces, including mugs. Vinegar is mildly acidic and can chemically dissolve the pigments that constitute the stain. Adding salt as well will aid in this reaction and help to scrub off the stain.
Vinegar and salt are a very effective combination to deal with tea or coffee stains on most surfaces, including mugs.
Vinegar is a great chemical alternative to cleaning the bathroom. We all know bleach can be a dangerous chemical to have around a house with children, so using a friendly substance such as vinegar is a great alternative. Not to mention, that flushing harmful chemicals ends up in the water supply which can have a negative impact on the environment.
As well as vinegar, other acidic substances such as lemons are ideal to clean laminate worktops as well as BBQ grills. You can also use half lemon, half salt to clean even the most heavily discoloured brass; the same method works for copper items too. You can also soak food storage containers in diluted lemon juice to remove stains and odours, add baking soda and scrub, then rinse and dry.
In order to clean the toilet without chemicals, pour some baking soda into the bowl along with some white vinegar, mix with your toilet brush and then let it set for 15 minutes before scrubbing and flushing. You can use a spray bottle with 50/50 water and vinegar to get underneath the rim of the toilet bowl. To clean grouting between the tiles, mix one-part water and three parts baking soda mixed into a paste. Apply to grout and let sit, scrub with a toothbrush and remove with a sponge.
Lemon is great for cleaning your microwave. Add some water into a bowl and then squeeze in a whole lemon and drop two lemon halves into a bowl. Microwave the bowl for three minutes so the liquid comes to a boil. Let this stand for three minutes without opening the microwave door so the steam will loosen the food gunk. Wipe the microwave clean with a clean towel!
You can achieve a lovely gleaming shine on chrome fittings such as taps and bath handles by wiping them with vinegar and water. A 50/50 mix of water can get your tiles clean, or you can make a special cleanser to be applied with a wet microfiber rag to remove tougher stains. Mix baking soda, lemon juice, salt, non-toxic dish soap and vinegar in a plastic container to use on tough patches.
Smells are everywhere in our home, and sometimes they aren’t too fresh! Your kitchen may smell of last night’s curry or your bathroom may not smell like a bouquet of flowers all the time. Before reaching for an air freshener that may contain harmful ingredients to you and the planet, take a deep breath and consider using a do-it-yourself, green alternative.
Diffusing essential oils, many of which have antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties, will help to freshen and purify the air. Simply boil a pot of water, take it off the heat and add a few drops of essential oil, such as lemon or eucalyptus. The scent of the oils will infuse the whole room.
A great clever hack to cleaning the shower head is to fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and then tie the bag around the shower head so that the head is immersed in the vinegar. Leave on for up to 12 hours and remove carefully. Pour it down the drain and your shower head should be clean and free of hard water residue!
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