Key steps to using natural cleaners
- Test natural cleaners on a small area first.
- Research how to get the most from natural cleaners - and learn what surfaces each one can, and can't, be used on.
- Remember that natural cleaners may require a bit more elbow grease to work effectively. Consider commercial cleaners for really stubborn stains or for peace of mind when hygiene is a concern - such as in the kitchen or bathroom. Or you could try a combination - for example, Cif Nature's Recipe range contains vinegar.
More and more of us are choosing to ‘go green’ and adopt a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. We recycle our household waste, we turn lights off in favour of natural light, and some of us have even installed renewable energy systems to reduce the amount of fossil fuels that are used. Here is a handy list of affordable eco cleaning products that you can use in many areas of your home.
For more information on the ingredients in products mentioned in this tip, visit What’s in Unilever Products here. For even more tips on eco-friendly cleaning, check out this article.
Natural cleaning products for your home
If you can’t find eco cleaning products in your local store, or if you’d simply rather make your own solutions, there are natural cleaning products that you can use that are good for the environment and for your budget.
Baking soda contains small amounts of natural acid, making it an excellent natural cleaner. Here are some ways you can use baking soda to clean different areas of your home.
- Keep an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator and food cupboards to absorb bad smells.
- Sprinkle baking soda onto your carpets before vacuuming to freshen the fibres.
- Sprinkle baking soda onto kitchen work surfaces, and wipe with a damp cloth to remove dirt, stains, and greasy residue.
Vinegar is acidic, and while it’s not as good as baking soda at cleaning dirt, it is considered to be more effective in the removal of germs and bacteria from the home. One study concluded that a diluted solution of vinegar is effective at disinfecting surfaces.
- Pour vinegar onto a washable cloth and wipe over kitchen and bathroom walls to slow down the growth of mould.
- Mix vinegar with a small amount of salt to make a paste. Use this to clean stainless steel or chrome taps and sink basins.
- Pour vinegar onto the inside of the oven door and leave to sit for five minutes before wiping off. Any grease stains and food splatters should lift off easily.
What many people don’t know is that lavender oil is actually a very effective antibacterial product.
- Create your own antibacterial spray by mixing 20 drops of lavender oil with a cup full of water. Keep in a spray bottle and use as necessary. There’s no need to wipe or rinse – just allow to dry naturally.
- Soak cotton balls in lavender oil and leave by doors and windows to deter bugs from entering the home.