Oh, cleaning. You might not be everyone’s favourite job, but we do love the look of a freshly scrubbed bathroom or squeaky-clean kitchen. Stick on a podcast or favourite playlist as you’re working, and a good scrub of your home can actually be pretty satisfying. Not convinced? We understand. But, whether you’re a cleaning enthusiast or a more reluctant housekeeper, there’s a good chance you can improve the experience by switching to greener products.
Most supermarkets, as well as many online shops, offer green or organic versions of popular cleaning products, but if you’re shopping on a limited budget, or just want to save a few pounds where you can, you could also try making your own. We’ve listed a few of our favourites below.
Homemade All Purpose Cleaner
4 tbsp distilled white vinegar
2 tbsp liquid Castile soap*
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups hot water
Add the ingredients to a spray bottle using a funnel, then gently shake to mix them together. Mix in a few optional drops of grapefruit, eucalpytus or lavender essential oil to fragrance, or tea-tree oil for its anti-bacterial properties
*Castile soap is a versatile, natural, vegetable-oil based soap, which can be used as hand, hair and body wash, as well as cleaning almost anything around the house.
DIY Washing-Up Liquid
4 tbsp liquid Castile soap
2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
1 cup water
2 tsp glycerine
5 drops essential oil (lavender, lemon or tea-tree)
Stir the soap and water together until blended. Add the other ingredients and then pour into a bottle or similar container.
Natural Sink & Toilet Cleaner
1/2 cup baking soda
2 tbsp liquid Castile soap
Combine the ingredients to form a soft paste, then use to gently scrub baths, sinks, tiles and toilets clean.
Easy Glass & Mirror Cleaner
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup surgical spirit/isopropyl alcohol or vodka
2 cups water
1 tsp cornflour
Mix the ingredients together in a spray bottle, before applying to windows, mirrors or glass surfaces with a soft cloth.
If you have bottles left over from your old cleaning supplies, rinse them out and re-use to store your homemade products. Otherwise, it’s worth investing in a few reusables which will work for the task at hand, for example, spray bottles for surface cleaning, pump-action dispensers for washing-up liquid, and so on. While you’re shopping, keep an eye out for reusable bamboo fibre cleaning cloths as an environmentally-friendly and more sustainable alternative to the standard microfibre kind which can shed micro-plastics.
Finally, bear in mind you don’t need to replace all your cleaning products at the same time. Wait until the old ones run out, and maybe start with the recipe which sounds best for your needs, before adding other homemade cleaning products into the mix. Start with some of the more basic ingredients, then add and collect things like essential oils as you go along. Experiment to see what works for you, and which fragrances you like around the house.
KEEP READING: Find more eco-friendly cleaning hacks in this post by our friends at The Green Purpose.