Using homemade cleaning products is not only chemical free and inexpensive, but just as effective as commercially bought ones. It’s amazingly super easy to make them too! I have been making our own general cleaner for 2 years now, and use recipes to unclog drains, descale our kettle, or our post-Christmas oven. According to a recent article in the Independent “Cleaning products as bad for lungs as smocking 20 cigarettes a day”. That is not only shocking, but asks the question how can we still have adverts showing happy mums spraying / wiping feeding chairs / surfaces with their babies only meters away, breathing in all that toxic horrid chemicals?
Here are all the chemical free, homemade cleaning products I have tested, and been using on a daily bases whilst my kids are playing – knowing it is safe but also works perfectly.
I use lemon (or orange) skin to sit in white wine vinegar for a couple of weeks. Once “ready”, I sieve it into an old spray bottle. Small skins of the lemon can block the spray bottle. Add ¾ of water and a few drops of essential oils. Essential oils not only taking away the chip-shop effect (due the strong smell of vinegar) but they are also antibacterial. Add either tea tree, grapefruit, oregano, cinnamon, citronella, eucalyptus or thyme and you get yourself a nice smelling, toxic free, antibacterial multipurpose surface cleaner. I use it both in the kitchen and the bathroom, including our toilet! It is also perfect for the windows or even mopping the floor, just add a 2-3 tablespoon of it into the bucket of water and it is ready to use.
I use citric acid which is a natural acid found in citrus fruits. Keeping appliances free of limescale, less electricity is required to operate them and they will have a longer service life. I use it on the tiles, taps as well as in the bathroom + kitchen by adding 2-3 tablespoon of critic acid granules into an old spray bottle and fill it up with water. Shake it till all the granules dissolve and it’s ready to use. Perfect to clean your kettle, boil a full kettle, unplug it, add one tablespoon of citric acid and leave it for 15-20 mins. Once done, empty it and boil a few rounds of water to make sure there is no acid left in it (although nontoxic you might not want that citrusy taste in your next cuppa).
I recently tried it and was blown away by how powerful it was. It is so simple, totally chemical free and cheap as chips! All I used was soda bicarb and water. Combine the two to create a paste, then spread it onto the dirty parts of the oven. Avoiding the heating elements, but adding a coat to the oven glass. I left it overnight for maximum effect (also because my oven looked horrid). In the morning I started wiping away the baking soda with a wet cloth. Some parts needed extra scrubbing but overall it came out cleaner then ever before.
I had postpartum hair loss and my partner has stubble, so between a two of us we rinse down a tonne of hair into our drains. This method has never failed so far. I am so glad it works as drain unclogging chemicals seems to be the worst just based on their instructions (use gloves / do it while all the windows are open / don’t be in the same room after using, etc). All that I needed is – again – soda bicarb, white wine vinegar and a couple of kettles of boiling water. Add 2-3 tablespoon of soda bicarb into the drain, pour on top of it 100ml to 150ml of white wine vinegar, wait till it foams (2-3 mins), once finished foaming rinse it down with two full kettles of boiling water.
• Soda bicarb
Most supermarkets sell it but if you want to go plastic free, try bulk stores as they most likely store them too.
• Citric acid
Amazon sells them in cardboard boxes to avoid plastic or try eBay where there are some in paper bags.
• White Wine Vinegar
Supermarkets again sell them usually in glass which can be recycled indefinitely(avoid plastic if possible)
• Essential oils
• If you don’t have an old spray bottle try this lovely glass one.