Go green this spring with these eco-friendly solutions that don’t involve expensive cleaning products and are kind to the environment
Using green alternatives
Achieving a sparkling home in time for summer doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket or the environment. There are many tried and tested, eco-friendly solutions to tricky cleaning problems and the contents of your cupboards is the perfect place to start. From lemon juice to white vinegar here are a few handy helpers for achieving a green clean:
Safe and inexpensive, vinegar is an effective all-purpose cleaning agent, disinfectant and deodouriser. The active ingredient is ascetic acid and it is great for removing greasy coatings and leaving surfaces clean and fresh.
- Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water to make a cleaner for work tops, baths and tiles. Or pour the mixture directly into the toilet bowl to remove discoloration.
- Don’t use vinegar on marble surfaces and when using on tiles make sure it is properly diluted or it may eat into grouting.
Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
As well as a staple ingredient for baked goods, baking soda is a great non-toxic, multi-purpose cleaner. The list of uses for this versatile cleaner is endless – see our top tips below.
- Mix three parts baking soda to one part water to make a paste and use it to clean surfaces and remove stains.
- You can sprinkle baking soda over surfaces, wipe over with a damp cloth and then wipe clean.
- Sprinkle a little baking soda in the bottom of your rubbish bin – it is very effective at absorbing odours.
- If carpets smell, sprinkle over baking soda, let it stand for about half an hour and then vacuum.
- Clean outdoor furniture with ¼ cup of baking soda in a bucket of warm water.
Or ammonia chloride is a very effective cleaner – it’s perfect for cleaning stainless steel, glass and porcelain as it will give a streak-free finish.
- Mix equal parts ammonia and water to remove soap-scum build up in the bathroom, or splash backs in the kitchen.
- A few drops of ammonia in a couple of cups of warm water is a great way to bring the sparkle back to your crystal glasses, ornaments, or chandelier.
High in citric acid lemon juice is a powerful cleaner and also possesses anti-bacterial properties. Lemon juice is a very effective grout cleaner, just scrub it on with an old toothbrush and rinse off. Try some of these green cleaning ideas:
- A mixture of lemon juice and salt will clean up grills and grates.
- Leave a film of lemon juice on chopping boards overnight to remove stains, then rinse – it will disinfect surfaces at the same time.
- Dilute some lemon juice in a spray bottle to clean laminate surfaces, then rinse and dry. It’s great for removing burnt-on food from grills and hobs – just sprinkle some over, leave for a few minutes and wipe with a damp cloth.
Words by: Sarah Beresford. Photography by: Scott Hawkins, Richard Birch/bauersyndication.com.au.