Our supermarkets are awash with shelves of synthetic chemical products that have been specifically designed to tackle individual problems around the home. But what were people using before all of these things were invented and why are they not so common now? The truth is a lot of people could do most of their home cleaning with every-day kitchen items. While eco-friendly cleaning products, ones that are natural and have minimal impact on the environment are beginning to become more and more prominent, what about those good old-fashioned products that we didn’t even know were suitable for cleaning?
White Wine Vinegar
Or most other vinegars, but white wine vinegar tend to be the most effective. If you have a spare spray bottle lying around fill it with an equal mixture of water and vinegar and you can use it almost anywhere in your home. The only areas to avoid are bathroom grout (the acidity tend to erode it) and any marble surfaces, but other than that it is a fantastic natural disinfectant and deodorizer. Most people are put off by the fact they envisage their house having a slightly acidic must to it once they have finished cleaning, but the smell completely disappears once it has thoroughly dried. It can be a good stain remover when applied to fabrics and upholstery, but as with any stain remover it is always recommended to test an inconspicuous area first to check for discolouration etc.
But other than that, in the bathroom you can use your new multi-purpose cleaner to clean all bathroom furniture, and use it neat in the toilet bowl to disinfect and clean here. Water down slightly further and use to mop floors and tiles – vinegar is really effective on water stains and soap residue, meaning your bathroom will sparkle pretty quickly! It is a pretty similar story in the kitchen, where you multi-purpose cleaner can be used just about everywhere, while vinegar can also be used as a natural fabric softener when you come to wash your clothes.
An old-fashioned favourite, lemon juice is fantastic in a number of areas around your home. It is a fantastic polish for items made of brass and copper, and mixed with baking soda will make a superb cleaning paste for use all round the home. In the bathroom, just like the white wine vinegar, it is very effective on soapy deposits and tough water marks.
If you need to polish your hardwood furniture, make a two-to-one solution of olive oil and lemon juice and there you have it. It will produce a fantastic finish, but just be aware that lemon juice can act as a natural bleach, so make sure you test an area first.
Otherwise known as baking soda, it is a fantastic non-abrasive surface cleaner and natural deodorizer. As discussed about, mixed with lemon juice it creates a great multi-purpose cleaning paste, but it most adept at removing smells.
Place some in a box in your fridge or freezer and any funky odours caused by vegetables on the turn or items past their best will disappear quickly, while it will also have a similar effect on your bins (sprinkle some in and add a small amount of water to swill the inside. It will clean and deodorise at the same time), and is particularly effective at removing the pungency from smelly shoes or trainers. You will find a lot of off-the-shelf cleaning products contain baking soda, it is incredibly versatile.