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Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products | Our home made hacks

Before the days of household cleaners in convenient spray bottles, the cleanliness of our houses relied on common ingredients found around the home, and these cleaning methods were rather effective. However, with the industrial revolution came the shift towards convenience, and we have since increasingly relied on ready-made household cleaners.

The last few years have seen a growing interest in natural, homemade cleaning products, steadily moving away from harsh chemicals that could contain irritants and harmful fumes. Many of these recipes are tried-and-tested and often work just as well as their ready-made counterparts, not to mention they cut down on a home's plastic waste.

11 Jun 2021

All-Purpose Cleaner

This recipe works well as an all-purpose cleaner around the home, and you can add essential oils to your preference - we like to use tea tree oil for its extra disinfectant qualities. Castile soap is a brilliant, eco-friendly ingredient when it comes to making homemade cleaning products. It is remarkably versatile as it's gentle on even sensitive skin but powerful at tackling grease and grime. 

Note: vinegar-based cleaners should not be used on marble or granite surfaces; you can omit the vinegar from the recipe for an all-purpose cleaner suitable for granite and marble surfaces. 

You will need:
- 2 cups hot water
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 2 tbsp liquid Castile soap
- a few drops of essential oil (optional)
- Glass spray bottle

Pour all of the ingredients into the spray bottle and give it a good shake. Spray on surfaces and wipe away with a clean, damp cloth.

Glass Cleaner

DIY glass cleaner couldn't be easier, and by making your own and refilling a glass spray bottle, you'll hugely reduce the number of plastic spray bottles that go to waste over the years.

You will need:
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- Glass spray bottle

Mix both ingredients in the spray bottle and give it a shake. Spray the mixture onto windows and glass and wipe down with newspaper or a microfibre cloth for a streak-free clean. 

Drain Cleaner

The traditional vinegar and baking soda trick might not be as effective as once thought, and it does depend on what has blocked the drain in the first place. Generally speaking, a drain clogged with hair is best tackled with either a plunger to release the blockage or by using a piece of wire to hook it out. However, if the drain is blocked by grease or fat, such as cooking oil or soap scum, then one option works better than the rest.

You will need:
- 2 tbsp liquid Castile soap
- Just-boiled water

Mix the dishwashing soap with the just-boiled water and slowly pour it down the drain. The hot water should melt and release any grease that has been causing your sink to drain slowly, and the dish soap will help wash it away. You may need to repeat this a few times to see results

Grout Cleaner

Cleaning bathroom grout is often tedious work, requiring a small brush and a lot of elbow grease. However, one recipe frequently comes out on top when tested against other popular cleaners, and you only need two ingredients; baking soda and 3% hydrogen peroxide. 

You're likely to have baking soda in your kitchen cupboard, and hydrogen peroxide is available in most pharmacies. Although an irritant in high concentrations, 3% hydrogen peroxide is a common disinfectant for mild cuts and scrapes and, used carefully (it is still advisable to wear rubber gloves), it is safe and non-toxic.  

You will need:
- ½ cup baking soda
- ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide
- Squeeze bottle or bowl
- A clean, dry toothbrush

Combine the two ingredients and apply the mixture to the grout. Wait 10 minutes. Scrub the grout with the toothbrush before wiping clean with a damp cloth to reveal your good-as-new grout.

Extra tips:

- Mixing baking soda and Castile soap into a paste with a splash of water works wonders on tough bathroom stains. 
- Combine equal parts of lemon juice, baking soda, and water for an effective stain remover which works well to tackle underarm stains on shirts. 
- Soap nuts make a great natural alternative to laundry detergent, and you can also add the juice from a lemon into the rinse cycle for sparkling whites!

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