Need to spring clean your house? Even if it 's Autumn, Winter or Summer?
Here's all our tips on cleaning naturally, organically and ecologically without breaking the bank economically...
It’s that time of year again, whether it's the crocuses popping out their heads in the Spring, the nights drawing in through September or the aftermath of Christmas, many of us will feel the inexplicable desire to clean our houses, our living spaces and our lives. Whatever it might be that drives it, the longer or shorter days, the impending Christmas or summer visitors, perhaps even an unbeknownst biological cleaning clock! Surveys show we’re all reaching for the cleaning products at the turn of the seasons.
What many of us might still be unaware of is that quite often the process of cleaning our homes rather ironically makes our planet dirty and may not doing ourselves much good either. Many of the products we use are full of harmful chemicals that are not only bad for the planet but for us too.
You might already have some eco friendly cleaning products on your shelves that you weren’t aware of. Bicarbonate of Soda and Vinegar are two common household products that have a multitude of uses, outside just giving your cake a bit of lift and your chips a bit of bite!
Refreshing your musty drinks bottle or flask - simply wash normally then add a teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda, top up with warm water then leave to soak for a while - say half an hour. Empty and rinse and your drinks bottle or flask should be lovely and fresh smelling.
Sparkly stainless steel - use a moist cloth with a dab of Bicarbonate of Soda on it. Rub gently on cool appliances then polish with a clean, dry cloth to bring back the gleam!
Grimy grout- make a paste of two parts Bicarbonate of Soda to one part white vinegar. Use an old toothbrush and scrub the mixture into the grout then rinse off for pretty instant gleaming grout.
Getting grease off the floor - if you get a greasy spill on the floor, clean up most with kitchen roll then sprinkle Bicarbonate of Soda on the spill. Give it a while to soak up then mop up as normal. This will get rid of the grease and stop the spreading that normally happens when you try to mop up grease too soon.
Smelly bins- wash the bin out with a strong solution, about 4 parts Bicarbonate of Soda to 1 bucket warm water. Leave to soak for a while then empty and rinse. Et voilá beautiful bins!
Clean windows with a solution of 2 tablespoons of vinegar to 2 pints (1 litre) warm water and a dash of washing up liquid (hand dishwashing detergent). Put into a clean, empty spray bottle, shake to mix before use.Wash from top to bottom on the inside of windows and from side to side on the outside. This way you will be able to tell on which side any smears are.
If you want more tips, why not try this wallchart from Liz Cook (pictured left), it's a popular gift as well as gracing the walls of many eco-friendly souls and gives many tips eco-cleaning, keeping your consience as clean as your house will be!
So, before you reach for the duster, just take a moment to look at the ingredients list on your cleaning product and ask yourself is it clean for the planet and you, or just your home. If you decide that you no longer want to use any of your current cleaning products remember you can safely dispose of household chemicals at your local community recycling centre. To find your nearest household chemical disposal point check out www.greenerscotland.org
You'll need elbow grease to clean naturally! Here's our cloths and scourers including an ingenious oven tray scourer. If it's going to be messy, try using these Fairtrade gloves to protect yourself.
Pure beeswax is all that's needed to give your good wood a proper polish.
Did you know you can filter our webshop? Simply go to the shop page and click on the word filter on the right-hand side of the page. It will let you pick either organic, vegan, Fairtrade or gluten free, so you can shop for organic products with ease.
Try Living Naturally for all your laundry, or Bentley Organic for cleaning products.
Dr Bronner Sal Suds cleaners are an all-purpose cleaner made of plant-based surfactants with natural spruce and fir-needle oils. They come in a range of sizes; the huge 3.78 litre is a popular buy from our webshop (saves all that lugging around), the 960ml Sal Suds can be found here and the smaller 472ml is available here.
Try Soapnuts - they literally grow on trees!
Ecoballs are great value for money, working out at about 2-3 pence per 30 minute machine wash. Each ball lasts for around a 1000 cycles in the washing machine and are hypoallergenic. You can get an Ecoball refill pack here.
Faith In Nature do a range of excellent cleaners, buy the bulk sizes to get the most for your money, this washing up liquid comes in 5 litre packs now!