Basic natural household cleaning kit
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You’ve all been waiting patiently to begin making your own household cleaners.
You know some of the nasties you want to avoid and today we’re going to talk about some safer alternatives.
Have a read through, then start to gather supplies for your own recipes!
This a naturally occurring mineral composed of sodium, boron, oxygen and water, soluble in water. It can deodorize, inhibit the growth of mildew and mould, remove stains, and can even be used with attractants such as sugar to kill cockroaches or ants. It is a great alternative to bleach as it ionically removes dirt and oil.
Deodorising – sprinkle into the dustbin or onto carpets before vacuuming. Use to clean pet litter trays and in drains.
Mould and mildew – use in areas where mould is a problem to remove and inhibit new growth, such as the bathroom tiles, damp walls, in the refrigerator or on clothes left too long after washing.
Stain removal – Use as a pre-soak for laundry, to scrub the draining board, or to remove stubborn marks from kitchen surfaces and hard floors.
Hydrogen Peroxide 3%
Hydrogen peroxide is a naturally occurring substance. Ordinary water is H2o whilst hydrogen peroxide is H2o2 carrying an extra oxygen atom per molecule. This happens when ozone gas, (o3) is created in the atmosphere during electrical storms and dissolves into rain water.
H2o2 is a natural oxidiser, that is it scavenges oxygen from other substances that are more weekly formed. Oxidation is a vital process in the breakdown of organic substances, what we call, for the benefit of this article, as ‘stain removal’.
H2o2 is also a powerful bactericide, for the the same reason of its oxygen scavenging properties. Many Bacteria, mycelia, and viruses need oxygen to live, not only as a gas in the environment, but also as part of the makeup of other mediums. H2o2 removes oxygen from their environment and thus halts their life cycle.
H2o2 has therefore many health enhancing properties, and can be used for bleaching, stain removal and bacterialcidal cleaning. As a note, and discussed elsewhere on our site, H2o2 is produced when honey is used on skin abrasions, hence its healing benefits!
Use freely around the home, just be careful to test surfaces and fabrics for colorfastness… remember H2o2 is an oxidising agent (bleaching agent)
Hydrogen peroxide is available in different concentrations commercially from 3% to 35%. 3 and 4% is usually safe for cleaning purposes where there will be moderate exposure to skin membranes. ON NO ACCOUNT USE 35% as this is very powerful and will severely attack skin membranes. Do not handle this product unless you are competent and equipped to dilute it safely.
White distilled vinegar
This an inexpensive cleaner, good for removing stains, removing hard water deposits, shining glass, windows and most metal surfaces. It can also remove mildew and deodorize. Removes taints and smells left by cooking also fantastic for cleaning hard surfaces. Removes grease. It Softens and prevents static in the laundry.
Vinegar contains about 5 percent acetic acid, which makes it a mild acid. It is normally used in a solution with water, but it can be used straight.
Stain removal – mix just a couple teaspoons of white vinegar with hot water to clean hard floors and work surfaces. You can add a few drops of essential oil if you don’t like the smell of the vinegar, although it dissipates in a few minutes.
Hard water deposits – leave in the toilet bowl overnight or on the kettle to prevent the build up of lime scale.
Shining glass, mirrors and windows – use neat with a soft cloth for very dirty glass
Deodorising – pour a cup down the drain and allow it to sit for half an hour.
Bicarbonate of Soda – (Baking soda)
It is extremely versatile as an all-purpose, non-toxic, non-abrasive cleaner. It cleans, deodorizes, scours, polishes and removes stains.
Cleaning : Baking soda causes dirt and grease to dissolve in water, so it is very effective in cleaning kitchen work surfaces, ovens, saucepans and the bathroom.
Deodorising : as a deodorizer it actually eliminates odours rather than just covering them up. Use in the refrigerator, on carpets, upholstery and on vinyl Sprinkle baking soda on your carpet before vacuuming to eliminate food and pet odours. It can help deodorize drains.
Scouring and polishing
Scouring : Baking soda itself is non-abrasive, but coupled with the action of a scouring sponge or some fine steel wool, it will remove the most stubborn of stains from all types of surfaces.
Polishing : It can clean and polish chrome, plastic, porcelain, silver, and stainless steel.
Stain removal : from sinks, work surfaces and china / porcelain. For stubborn coffee stains in cups, sprinkle baking soda on the stain, wipe with a damp sponge, and rinse.
It also softens fabrics and removes certain stains. Baking soda can be used as toothpaste too.
After using on any surface, rinse well with hot water to remove the white, powdery residue.
Liquid Castile Soap
This is probably the purest form of commercially available soap you can buy. It has no colouring, SLS or scents.
Lemons are, yes, well, acidic! They are also antibacterial, and bring a pleasing aroma to your home. Lemon juice can be used neat to break down grease, or in dilution to freshen and cleanse.
Caution: Don’t get lemon juice your your eyes, it will sting. Also protect broken skin, it wont be harmed, but it will smart for a time!
Jojoba or olive oil
Oils are very penetrating, thus they are useful for breaking down substances like glue, gum and tar. Oil also acts as a ‘solvent for other oil stains, diluting their colour and viscosity. Part of a multistage process in some cases. These oils have wonderfully nourishing properties for wood as well, and in time build up a protective coating – don’t use neat though, or the oil will attract dust and marks.
lemon, lavender orange and Tee tree Essential oils have very concentrated properties: a strong scent, and powerful antibacterial effects. they are an effective easy way of enhancing your cleaning products.
Washing soda (sodium carbonate) is also known as soda ash, and it can be found in the laundry section at the supermarket. It has many uses besides being a laundry booster; it also neutralizes and eliminates odours, and is a wonderful heavy duty cleaner, acting as an excellent substitute for powerful solvents.
Washing soda can peel wax off floors, and it isn’t recommended for aluminum, so only use on surfaces such as unpainted wood, glass or stone, that won’t be harmed.
Plastic spray bottles
A convenient device for applying home made cleaners. Use the garden variety with an adjustable spray nozzle that has a ‘closed position’ for safety of storage. Obviously, mark up your bottles carefully with permanent pens on waterproof abels.
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You’ve all been waiting patiently to begin making your own household cleaners. You know some of the nasties you want to avoid…