Eco friendly, healthy eating and holistic living are all the rage at the moment; here at Trust and Dust, we think that’s pretty marvellous! As we become more aware of the effects our actions have on the environment, trying to use natural products, recycle and reduce our impact on the world around us is the only way to go to protect the planet for future generations.
Normal cleaning products can be full of chemicals, which of course do work well to break down dirt, disinfect and leave a fresh smell, but what about how they can impact our homes? Shop brought non-eco cleaning products can aggravate asthma and other allergies, they can be dangerous to young children and pets (even without them accidentally getting hold of the bottles!) and they can cause pollution to your indoor air.
And that’s all without even mentioning how they can negatively affect the environment, both in their production and with the repercussions of chemicals going into our drainage system.
Therefore it’s surely a great idea to buy eco-friendly products, as they are usually made from naturally derived biodegradable ingredients that don’t impact the environment. They can be a bit pricey though, so we think home-made eco-friendly cleaning products are even better!
Here at Trust and Dust, white vinegar has long been on our radar, as a window cleaner, kettle de-scaler and de-calcifier in the bathroom. A top tip to remember with vinegar is that it only smells when it’s wet, as soon as it’s dry the fish and chip scent goes!
We wanted to try and replace all the rest of our cleaning arsenal with green cleaning products as well, so we found lots of recipes online, and created the following products to replace old favourites.
- Toilet bleach– There are lots of different ideas for this, but one of the most surprising was to use cheap coke! You literally pour it in and around the bowl, leave for 15 minutes and then brush and flush! It works well, however, buying lots of plastic coke bottles isn’t a good eco plan, so we’d advise using a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar instead! Squirt vinegar around the bowl then sprinkle baking soda on top. Leave it for 15 minutes and then brush and flush. This works just as well as shop brought loo cleaners.
- General cleaner for kitchen and bathroom/floor cleaner– It’s amazing how quick and easy this is to make and the tea tree oil adds the lovely smell and disinfectant quality, while the baking soda provides the scrubbing action.
In a clean, empty spray bottle add 3 parts white vinegar, 1 part baking soda and 10 drops of tea tree essential oil. Give it a good shake and you’re ready to go!
Tip some into your mop bucket and add hot water for a really effective floor cleaner.
- De-scaler- If you need to de-scale a kettle, iron, washing machine etc. you cannot go wrong with white vinegar. We also use it un-dilited on shower screens and taps with lots of calcium marks. You can leave it a while for really stubborn marks, but it tends to lift most marks right away.
- Oven cleaner– Shop brought oven cleaner, which is usually the foaming spray you leave on for 30 minutes, is certainly effective, but one of the worst products in terms of smell and how pollutant it is to your indoor air. If you’ve ever breathed in the fumes by mistake, you’ll know it isn’t a pleasant experience! So we trialed a mix of, you guessed it, baking soda and white vinegar…
To start we made a paste of the baking soda with water, and spread it all over the inside of the oven. This isn’t a quick solution, so we left it over night. In the morning, we sprayed the baking soda with white vinegar, and lightly wiped off the grease and dirt! It worked equally as well as the shop brought products, felt much safer to use and the only con was that you need to leave it on for at least 8 hours, but as long as you are organized it shouldn’t pose too much of a problem. Check out our pictures below for our before, after and in-between!
- Window cleaner– For smear free windows, mix white vinegar with water and spray, wiping off with a good quality micro-fibre cloth. If you have to use kitchen roll, please make sure you recycle it!
- Furniture polish- I’ve saved the best until last… This eco-friendly product not only cleans and polishes your surfaces to perfection, it also smells lovely and leaves a nice sheen on wood.
Mix a tablespoon of castile soap (easy to buy online) with water in a spray bottle (we re-used an empty one), give it a good shake, and there you have it!
You will have noticed that there were only a few ingredients mentioned in our home-made cleaning solutions, yet another great reason to go green when you clean! To get started, you just need to source- baking soda, white vinegar, castile soap and optional essential oils for disinfectant qualities and because they smell nice 🌼
All of these ingredients, save the essential oils, are very cheap to buy, so that’s yet another bonus of eco-friendly cleaning. Make sure you buy the products from the relevant food section, rather than the cleaning section as they often mark them up despite the fact it’s the same product, packaged differently!
Let us know how you get on with our green-cleaning solutions and if you have any other ideas we can try.
Be green and be clean ☺