My favoured approach to cleaning has always been to buy the most powerful mould and mildew spray I could find and use it as liberally as possible. This was primarily due to laziness on my part as I could just spray it and let it deal with any mould that dared to invade our old and damp Cornish home. I’ll admit that the spray sometimes made me cough due to the toxic fumes and bleached my clothes if I sprayed it too widely but until my husband’s diagnosis it never occurred to me to use a kinder cleaning product.
My Favourite Natural Cleaning Recipes
Before I started making my own cleaning products I bought a book called Less Toxic Living. The first recipe I tried was the anti-bacterial spray from this book as I needed an effective cleaner whilst my husband was immunocompromised. Once I had figured out what the ingredients were and where I could buy them (see previous post) the actual making of the cleaning products was amazingly simple. Even I could do it!
These initial five recipes take minutes to make, are easy to use and most importantly, they work!
- White Vinegar
- Distilled Water
- Bicarbonate of Soda
- Essential Oils: Tea Tree (properties: antibacterial; antimicrobial; anti-fungal; antiviral; antiseptic), Cinnamon (properties: antibacterial; antifungal; antiviral), Clove (properties: antimicrobial; antifungal; antiseptic) and Lime (properties: antiseptic; antiviral; antibacterial; disinfectant)
- A jar with a lid
- A tub with a lid
- 3 empty spray bottles (I use my empty white vinegar spray bottles)
- Citrus Peel – orange, lemon or lime (or just mix up whatever you have).
Citrus All Purpose Cleaner
Please note: This one needs to brew for a while before it is ready to use but it is worth the wait.
- Loosely fill your jar with citrus peel.
- Pour white vinegar on top until the citrus peel is covered.
- Put on the lid and store in a dark place (i.e. in a cupboard) for two-three weeks.
- Remove the citrus peel using a sieve and pour the liquid into an empty spray bottle.
Your all-purpose cleaner is ready to use.
Tip: You can add distilled water if you prefer a more dilute cleaning product.
Courtesy of ‘Less Toxic Living’.
- Pour 500ml of white vinegar into a spray bottle.
- Add 5 drops each of the following essential oils: tea tree oil, cinnamon, lime and clove.
- Give the bottle a shake.
Your Anti-Bacterial Spray is ready to use
Tip: shake the bottle before using to mix the essential oils.
Courtesy of Don’t Waste the Crumbs.
- Pour 250g bicarbonate of soda into a tub.
- Add 30 drops of essential oil – I use lavender but the recipe also recommends cinnamon.
- Stir it.
- Close the lid until you are ready to use it.
- Sprinkle the powder on to your rug or carpet and leave it for at least 30 minutes before hoovering it up.
Tip: Check what type of filter your hoover has to ensure that the powder will not clog it up.
Anti-Mould and Bathroom Spray
Courtesy of Wellness Media.
- Add 600ml of white vinegar into an empty spray bottle.
- Add 150ml of distilled water (I use cooled, boiled water).
- Add 80 drops of tea tree oil.
- Screw the top on and give the bottle a good shake.
Your Anti-mould and bathroom spray is now ready to use
Tip: Always shake the bottle before using and if you are cleaning mould, spray it on and leave it for 30 minutes before wiping it off.
- Fill a mop bucket with 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 hot water.
- Add 30 drops of cinnamon.
- Mix it round with the mop.
Tip: We have wood floors so I only use a small amount of water for mopping. As an estimate it is roughly 300ml white vinegar and 600ml of water.
It is at this point in the blog that I have to ‘fess up’!
When my husband was going through treatment my lovely family paid for us to have a weekly cleaner to give us one less thing to worry about. When we returned to Cornwall we decided to try and keep this up and we found a great cleaner who didn’t even raise an eyebrow when I said she would need to use my DIY cleaning products; well, at least not one I could see over the phone!
I am relieved to say that she was quickly a convert and I couldn’t post this article without giving her the credit for the vast majority of the cleaning that goes on in our house.