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Spring cleaning, naturally

These are just a small selection of the everyday household items which, even if you don't use them for anything else, are cheap and have a multitude of uses around the house and are eco friendly too.

Bicarbonate of Soda
  1. 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 at least half a hour. Empty and rinse and your drinks bottle or flask should be lovely and fresh smelling.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. Beautiful bins!
  6. Watch this space for more tips and ideas for living a more chemical free natural life...


  1. 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 dish washing 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.

    Top Green Cleaning Tips

    1. Many of these products are non-toxic, biodegradable, and made from renewable resources (not petroleum). Home-made cleaners can get the job done and then some. Vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean almost anything. Mix in a little warm water with either of these and you've got yourself an all-purpose cleaner.

    2.It is not uncommon for the air inside a home or office to be more toxic than the air outside. This is because of the presence of toxic materials and substances and the fact that homes and buildings are better insulated than ever before (which is a good thing from an energy standpoint). Keeping windows open as often as possible allows fresh air in and keeps toxins flowing out. This is especially important when cleaning your home.

    3. antibacterial and antimicrobial 'cleaners' that many people think are necessary, especially during cold season, don't clean hands better than soap and water, and also add to the risk of breeding "super germs," bacteria that survive the chemical onslaught and have resistant offspring. The FDA has found that antibacterial soaps and hand cleansers do not work better than regular soap and water, and should be avoided.

    4.Baking soda not only removes those strange smells coming from your fridge, it's also a great odour-eliminator for your carpet. Just sprinkle on a little baking soda to soak up some of those odours and then vacuum it up.

    5.Skip the store-bought air fresheners and instead try boiling cinnamon, cloves, or any other herbs you have a fondness for. Fresh chocolate chip cookies also have been known to create a friendly aroma. Also, plants may not make your house smell different but are good for filtering interior air--pretty much any broad green leaf plant will do.

    6.When replacing your cleaning products, don't just throw the old ones in the trash. If they're too toxic for your home, they won't be good for the drain or the landfill either. Many communities hold toxics & electronics recycling days and will take all of these off your hands. Throwing chemicals in the trash or down the drain means they might end up back in your water supply and come back to haunt you

    7.Conventional dry cleaners are the largest users of the industrial solvent called Perchloroethylene, or perc, which is toxic to humans and also creates smog. The two most common green drycleaning methods are carbon dioxide cleaning and Green Earth. Seek out cleaners that use green methods. If you do take clothes to conventional cleaners, be sure to air them outside before wearing them or putting them in the closet.