More people these days are making conscious choices when it comes to healthier and more sustainable living. A clear indication of a preference for sustainable living in our area is how well locals have embraced the Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) 3-bin system. In fact the City of Melville has just been awarded at this year’s Waste and Resource Recovery (WARR) awards for its unique approach to waste education within the community.
DIY cleaning products are not only better for the environment because they avoid buying products in single use packaging, they are also better for our health because they are free from chemicals.
Here are 5 simple, inexpensive DIY cleaning options to make and try out at home. Most use ingredients readily available or on hand in most peoples’ pantries.
1. BICARB SODA
Bicarb soda is excellent for breaking down grime, soap scum and grease. All you need to do is mix a small amount with water or lemon juice and leave it on your stove, bath or sink for about 10 minutes before gently wiping off.
To make an effective toilet scrub simply add ½ cup of baking soda, 10 drops of tea tree oil and ¼ cup of white vinegar to the toilet and scrub the bowl until the mixture starts to fizz. Let sit for 10 minutes then flush.
The acid in lemons cut through tough grease and grime naturally. The added benefit is that lemon juice leaves your home smelling wonderfully clean and fresh.
A great use of lemons is to clean a stained chopping board. Simply cut a lemon in half and rub the cut side of the lemon over the surface of the board. Let the juice sit for 10 minutes on the surface and rinse.
3. WHITE VINEGAR
Like lemons, vinegar’s acidity makes it an excellent cleaning substance.
To remove bath rings or soap scum on a glass shower screen pour some white vinegar into an empty spray bottle and spray directly onto the affected areas. Let sit for about 30 minutes before rinsing with warm water and gently wiping away any residue.
4. OLIVE OIL
This one may surprise you. Olive oil can be used to remove tough stains. When applied, marks virtually slide right off the affected surfaces.
To clean stubborn baked on stains from cast iron pots for instance, combine about a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of sea salt in the pan, scrub vigorously with a stiff brush and rinse with hot water. Voila! Stains are gone.
5. ESSENTIAL OILS
Your choice of essential oil can be added to any of the natural cleaning solutions suggested above or why not create your own 100% natural room deodoriser by mixing 1 cup of water with 8-10 drops of your choice of pure essential oil (eucalyptus is a popular choice) and 2 drops of lemon essential oil in a spray bottle. Spray the mist into the air without fear that you are polluting the interior of your home with chemicals.