Well spring has finally sprung and the sun has got his hat on so we can all start looking forward to warmer weather and longer evenings. Spring is my favourite time of year; it’s all about new beginnings and a fresh start, flowers are beginning to break through the soil, the trees and in bud and the birds are busy building nests for their new arrivals.
It’s great to have the sun streaming through the windows but it always starts a chain of events…. You notice that the windows are a bit grimy, the rays of golden sun lighting up the dust speckled surfaces and the odd forgotten cobweb behind the sofa. I would normally be off to the supermarket to buy a host of magical cleaners, which make outrageous claims of cleaning with little or no effort from me.
We’ve got a warehouse full of easy-to-use natural cleaning alternatives right here. So here is a quick guide to some ordinary, environmentally safe products which can be used for household cleaning in place of commercial household cleaning products.
Bicarbonate of Soda (baking soda) – An all-purpose, non-toxic cleaner, abrasive & neutraliser, It cleans, deodorises, removes stains, scours and softens fabrics.
Borax(boric acid)– Cleans, deodorises, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper, painted walls and floors and is also a natural insecticide and herbicide.
- CAUTION: Borax can be toxic to small children and pets, keep well out of their reach and inform other household members of the whereabouts and purpose of the borax. Always refer to safety precautions on the package.
Castile – Liquid castile soap is an all-natural, olive oil-based soap, it will clean just about anything.
Caustic Soda (sodium hydroxide)– Is a powerful drain-cleaner and an ingredient in natural soap making
- CAUTION Use with care. Always follow safety instructions.
Cornflour (cornstarch) – Can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs, starch clothes, absorb oil and grease.
Isopropyl Alcohol – Rubbing Alcohol, as it is commonly known, is a very versatile product.
Use to wipe away sticky residues on all kinds of surfaces, as a degreaser on stove and counter tops and as a glass and mirror cleaner.Use it as a pre-wash stain remover for those difficult stains such as oils and inks. It can be used as nail polish remover.It even has other uses, as a de-icer on car windscreens on frosty mornings and as a windscreen washer additive to help prevent freezing even at very low temperatures
Olive Oil – Can naturally condition wood, add some salt and you can scrub pots and pans. Rub it into leather to remove scratch marks.
Salt (sodium chloride)– makes an excellent natural abrasive.
Vinegar (acetic acid) – Cuts grease, removes stains, mildew, wax build-up and is an excellent water softener.
Washing Soda (sodium carbonate) – Cleans clothes, softens water, cuts grease and disinfects. It will also increases the cleaning power of soap.
Hints & Top Tips
To save time and money, make your cleaners in advance and buy the ingredients in bulk for cost savings and to avoid excess packaging.
Make large batches of the recipes and store them in reusable airtight plastic containers and spray bottles. Using a pretty spray bottle or container makes cleaning days more fun and pleasant.
Label all of your ingredients and keep them out of reach of children. While most of these all natural cleaners are not poisonous, some can be harmful or even fatal if swallowed by children or pets.
You can read Dishing the Dirt on Natural Cleaning – Part 2
You can purchase all the ingredients mentioned in this article from www.thesoapkitchen.co.uk