Natural cleaning hacks - with all new 2019 hacks
I can't say I have a natural love for cleaning. In fact, I think I'd rather go to have my moustache waxed off than spend the day cleaning my home's nooks and crannies but there's something about that feeling of satisfaction and pride when you put your feet up afterwards to admire your reflection in your gleaming tiled surfaces.
Spring cleaning is a great way to embrace the new season and it certainly helps to re-energise your environment.
Worryingly, more often than not those citrus notes present in household cleaners are chemical-based synthetic imposters masquerading as fresh lemon or orange. Well now is the time to ditch the chemicals and opt for a natural spring clean, so next time you put your feet up you also know your home is naturally fresh-smelling and clean.
We wanted to share with you five cleaning hacks to get your chemical-free spring clean underway. And what’s more, they are not only simple, they’re also easy!
In true Blue Peter style all you need to get started are the following everyday items:
Make an all-purpose surface cleaner.
We have experimented with various different recipes for a great everyday cleaner but keep returning to these two simple recipes, which not only smell great but also possess aromatherapeutic properties.
250ml of boiled (then cooled) water
Two tablespoons of white vinegar
15 drops of lavender essential oil
15 drops of orange essential oil
60ml of white vinegar
Two tablespoons of baking soda
The juice of half a lemon
750ml of boiled (then cooled) or distilled water
Add all ingredients to a spray bottle and shake until they have fully dissolved. You can spray on all types of surfaces and leave for about 30 seconds to disinfect. Wipe clean with a paper towel or cloth. Bingo!
Get your mirrors sparkling.
Here is one of the most simple strategies for gleaming mirrors and windows. All you need to do is add around 40ml of white vinegar to 300ml of water in a spray bottle, shake, then spray onto mirrors and windows. Wipe the surface clean using newspaper or an old t-shirt (or any other lint-free fabric).
Admire your bathroom.
There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your bath sparkle and tiles shining brightly, and with a little elbow grease you can achieve a perfect finish and then enjoy a good cup of tea (or something fizzy...) before you tackle your next job!
- Check out your reflection in the tiles by putting on your most glamorous pair of rubber gloves and mixing 500ml of water with 60g of bicarbonate of soda, 200ml of white vinegar (optionally add a few drops of lemon essential oil) and then using a non- scratch scouring sponge, apply the solution and rinse with water. Voila!
- Now for your bath and shower; use half a grapefruit, dip into some coarse sea salt and get scrubbing. To remove build-up on your shower head you can place the shower head in a plastic bag with about 250ml of white vinegar, grab a cup of tea (you deserve it by now!) and leave it to soak for around half an hour. Using an old toothbrush, scrub clean and rinse with warm water before replacing.
- Removing pesky water spots is easy peasy; simply rub half a lemon over your taps and rinse, to have them spot-free in no time.
A nice touch is to add a bunch of fresh eucalyptus to freshen up the shower as the heat from the steam releases a truly stunning aroma which not only smells amazing but it’s also energising and can help to ease congestion. Get a bunch from your local florist and hang away from the direct spray of water with natural twine (cotton absorbs more water) and enjoy.
Freshen up your carpet and rugs.
It takes just two ingredients to leave your carpets and rugs fresher and eliminate odours - and there's not a chemical in sight! It will be no surprise by now that it involves a healthy dose of bicarbonate soda (120g) and 20 to 40 drops of essential oil. Our go-to oil is lavender; as well as smelling amazing it also helps to remove odours and has antibacterial properties. However you can choose to go with fresh citrus oils, but be cautious of using tea tree oil if you have pets.
All you need to do is take a recycled jam jar, combine the bicarbonate soda and essential oils in the jar, replace the lid and shake until well combined. If you want to use the cleaner Shake n' Vac-style then you need the addition of grease proof paper and a rubber band. Remove the lid and secure some paper over the jar and poke some small holes into the paper and then you are ready to go. To get the best results we recommend you shake liberally onto your carpet and wait a couple of hours before vacuuming.
Purify the air throughout your home naturally.
Firstly, ditch the synthetic plug ins. Now we are of course biased and recommend lighting natural candles or utilising room mists for an instant boost, or enjoy long-lasting fragrances from reed diffusers. You can also try sprinkling rose petals , sprinkled with your favourite essential oil, and in the winter months there is nothing more homely than the scent of orange, cinnamon and cloves.
New hacks for 2019
Keeping your kitchen spick and span.
So by now you will know that baking soda is the King and vinegar is the Queen when it comes to natural cleaning, and the same applies when it comes to cleaning your kitchen. We've picked up a few tricks along the way on our journey to reducing the number of chemicals we use at home that we'd like to share with you.
Keeping things fresh in the fridge is as simple as adding a few tablespoons of baking soda to a bowl of warm water and wiping the surfaces down with a clean cloth, resulting in a crisp and sparkly refrigerator. We are big fans of the natural microfibre cloths that you can wash and wash forever. Well, not forever, but until your pass them on to your children in your will... We have been guilty of using disposable wipes in the past but abandoned them years ago.
There is always a danger that someone (such your partner) will undo all your hard work by leaving leftover Brussels sprouts or a decomposing burrito in the chiller drawer. Well, there is an easy solution. To eliminate the risk of being slapped across the nostrils by a toxic whiff when opening the fridge door, simply grab a storage container and fill it with approximately 120g of baking soda and several drops of zesty lemon essential oil and, hey presto, it'll stay fresh for between four to six weeks.
Microwave magic. We're all too familiar with that popping and banging sound resonating from the microwave when reheating soup or looking forward to beans on toast, only to discover a splattered mess that resembles a sauce-based Jackson Pollock when peering inside. Well, don’t let it ruin your meal; simply pop a slice of lemon in a bowl of water and microwave it for 4 - 5 minutes, letting the steam do all the hard work. Carefully remove the bowl and wipe down. No elbow grease required. It's easy-peasy...
And now for a new ingredient to add to your cleaning products list - coconut oil!
It turns out that coconut oil is not only a firm foodie favourite, but it’s also a bit of a legend when it comes to cleaning and polishing stainless steel elements in your kitchen. All you need is a dab of oil on a microfibre cloth to erase the build-up of grease, grime and sticky fingerprints. It takes just a tiny bit of effort and your stainless sinks and splashbacks will look like brand new again - until the next time you attempt a Bake Off Showstopper...
There are so many fantastic natural cleaning hacks to try but these are just a few of our favourite ones.
We would love to hear your hints and tips, so please add comments and help spread the word about how easy, simple and often cheaper it is go chemical free when cleaning.
Thanks for reading,
At flo we are proud to be