If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, it is lined with various cleaning products. You know the type of thing. The ones you get seduced into buying at the supermarket when you are desperate for something to get rid of the limescale on our taps, or in your bath, or just to make the house shine and smell nice.
I am firmly of the conviction that you can clean your house without resorting to those manufactured chemicals with lots of things in them that I can’t pronounce. Sometimes you need the big guns, but nature provides stuff that is just as good. As my hubby and I are moving house, cleaning is on my mind, and my goal is to do it all from natural sources.
First tool in my arsenal is the steam cleaner. We have one which you can use to clean the oven (very efficient!) as well as steam around the taps, sink, bath and tiles and the other hard floor surfaces we have around the house. It is great. Keeps the place hygienically clean and doesn’t give you a headache from the chemicals. If you add a drop of essential oil in the water reservoir, it makes your house smell fabulous as well. My favourite is either Neroli (Orange Blossom) or Lemon.
So, what will you need to have in your cupboards to make some cleaning products? The shopping list is white vinegar, Bicarbonate of Soda, Lemons or Lemon Juice, Salt, Olive oil, Some kind of bar soap, liquid dishwashing soap, washing soda, Borax (or borax replacement) and essential oils of your choice. You can pick up most of these from your supermarket, but if you can’t find them, try the internet.
At the moment, I am trying to get on top of the laundry. It seems to have taken on a life of its own, and I want to conquer Mount Washmore and keep on top of it while we are trying to sell the house. With the ingredients listed above, you can make a very inexpensive laundry detergent. Take 1 bar of soap, 1 cup of borax or borax replacement and 1 cup of washing soda. Grate the soap bar into a big bowl, mix well with the borax and washing soda. Store in an airtight container and use 1-2 tablespoons per load. It works better in warm or hot water, but if you want to use cold water then dissolve the mixture in 1/4 cup of hot water. For really tricky stains on your clothes, you might want to include a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and some white vinegar in the washing machine. This mix will fizz, but the fizz is what gets the stains out.
Of course there are also Laundry balls you can buy, which mean you will never need laundry detergent at all. The agitation of the washing machine and these spiky balls basing against the clothes gets dirt and stains out. I have never used them, but I have friends who swear by them.
Tomorrow, I will give you some more natural cleaning recipes, all using the ingredients listed above.