A key area that Em and I are addressing to take our lives back to basics is to use less chemicals around our homes.
On the farm, we have an environ septic system which can only process specific cleaners so this has really helped me to look at what I’m using to clean around the home. I will be the first to admit that I thought unless my home smelled like bleach or disinfected then my house wasn’t truly clean. But my decision to start leading a healthier, more environmentally friendly life has made me look at the chemicals I was using to clean, and to make some changes.
With a lot of research and plenty of trial and error, I now only use vinegar, bicarb soda, dishwashing liquid, lemon juice and few essential oils to clean around my home. Going along this line is not only good for the environment, but it’s good for you and your family. And as an added bonus, it’s inexpensive too.
What we’ll show you here is what has worked for us. Depending upon your own cleaning regime, you may have to go through your own trial and error to find an effective and more natural cleaning process. Start with one cleaner that you’d like to replace and try a few alternatives. One less chemical brought into your home is a great place to start.
Here are a few changes I have put in place at my place:
Disinfectant cleaning spray
Apple cider vinegar with a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Place in a reusable spray bottle, spray on kitchen benches and cupboards and wipe off.
50% white vinegar, 50%water and about 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid (I use “Earth Choice” brand, safe for grey water and septic systems, inexpensive). Place in a reusable spray bottle, spray onto surface and scrub with a cloth (I like to use the abrasive side of a microfiber cloth), then rinse off.
Dishwashing liquid is a great all-purpose cleaner. When you take a look at what it does in the kitchen ie removes grease and grime off your dishes, it can be a great cleaner elsewhere around your home.
I did try using bicarb soda as a cleaner first in the bathroom then rinsing with vinegar, but I found this to be time consuming and you need to really scrub the bicarb off otherwise it lingered and looked streaky.
50% water, 50% white vinegar and a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Place in a reusable spray bottle, spray onto surface and wipe off.
Bicarb soda. Place directly into the prewash compartment of your washing machine up to the marker (about ¼ cup in my machine). The machine will disburse it automatically.
White vinegar. Pour directly into the fabric softener compartment of your washing machine up to the marker (about ⅓ cup in my machine). The machine will disburse it automatically.
I use white vinegar for fabric softener and the smell dissipates when the fabric is dry, it doesn’t linger on the clothes. It’s really great for towels and tea towels as it makes them soft and absorbent. I also like to add in either a few drops of eucalyptus oil or lavender oil for fragrance.
300ml white vinegar and about 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Place into a reusable spray bottle and spray where necessary. Leave for about 5-10 minutes then wash per normal. Great on the under arm area. Note: I actually use 2 lemon juice cubes for this cleaner. When I have a glut of lemons from my tree, I squeeze the juice and freeze in an ice cube tray then store in an airtight container. This is what I use to make this stain remover. No waste!
Heavy duty stain remover
Dishwashing liquid. For heaver stains or stains that have been there a few days I add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to the area and rub in with water. Then pop it into the washing machine.
1 cup white vinegar, few drops of eucalyptus oil, sprinkle of bicarb soda. Pour into the bowl, scrub with toilet brush and flush. Works great.
General cleaner for tiles/vinyl
Half a bucket of warm water, 1 cup of vinegar, and a small squirt of dishwashing liquid (no more than 2 teaspoons otherwise you’ll get soapy floors).
Bicarb soda is a great option to deodorise your lounge suite, rugs and carpets. Sprinkle on, brush in and then vacuum.
When using vinegar as your green cleaner, don’t be concerned about having an overpowering, vinegary odour. The smell disperses quickly and does not linger at all.
One of the biggest changes I have notice is my grocery bill. When I look at all the different cleaners I used to buy for all the different cleaning jobs around the house, it cost me a fortune. Now I buy one main cleaner (white vinegar) at a cost of $1.20 for 2 litres at our local supermarket and it does a multitude of different jobs. You can’t go wrong.
I hope this has helped you to at least take a look at changing your cleaning products; even a small change can make a huge difference. Why not try one when you’ve run out of your old cleaner? You might be surprise how well it works.
Need Help With Your Chore List? Subscribe today and gain access to our free printables. We’ve created a Beautiful guide that you can print and keep on your fridge!