Nourish - Natural & Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Tips | Part 2
Welcome to part two of a two-part blog post on natural & environmentally friendly cleaning tips.
In part one we covered 5 natural ingredients for environmentally friendly cleaning.
In part two, we cover ways to make and use these effective natural cleaners.
If you haven’t read part one yet, hop on over to understand more about the ingredients and why we are using them here.
And now on to the question:
How Do I Use Them?
There are literally dozens of variations, measurements, ingredients and oils to use in natural cleaning products and everybody has their favourites.
These are just a few simple suggestions of basic natural cleaning options, but there are plenty more where these come from!
No. 1 – All-Purpose Cleaners
Let’s start with a couple of all-purpose cleaning recipes since that’s what we use in all areas of the house.
Simple All-Purpose Cleaner
This is an incredibly easy recipe to make up a surface spray.
- 1 part vinegar white vinegar
- 3 parts water
- mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts water in a spray bottle and spray on everything from the bathroom and toilet to the kitchen countertops.
- This doesn’t give you the additional benefits of antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic essential oils, however, nor the delicious smell. With this in mind, why not try adding a few drops of essential oil to make it more powerful?
Add 10 drops of a blend or single essential oil, such as peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, lemon or lavender.
All-Purpose Cleaning with Castile Soap
- ¼ cup castile soap
- to about a litre of water in a spray bottle.
- ¼ tsp. tea tree essential oil
Optional: use Dr Bronner’s Tea Tree Castile soap in place of the tea tree oil essential oil
Add to a glass spray bottle and use on surfaces, such as countertops, sinks, taps, oven, fridge and in the bathroom.
All-Purpose Disinfection Spray
- 10-15 drops of Oregano Oil
- glass spray bottle
- Add to spray bottle and use on surfaces or spray around the house to remove bacteria and mould in the air.
No. 2 – To Clean Countertops
Sprinkle a little bit of baking soda onto a damp cloth and wipe over the surfaces and then rinse with clean water. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and scrubbing agent, therefore perfect for removing stuck-on particles and dirt.
Make a paste with a small amount of baking soda and some Castile soap.
If you have opted for a neutral scented castile soap such as Dr Bronner’s Baby Mild Castile Liquid Soap, try adding antibacterial essential oils. Perhaps eucalyptus, lemon or rosemary. As a result, you’ll get more of a clean!
Use a drop or two of oregano oil on a sponge or wet cloth for quickly cleaning kitchen counters, sinks and stoves.
Similarly, you can even wipe down the inside of your fridge, in the same way, to help remove any bacteria or mould trying to make itself a home.
For the easiest clean, simply use neat vinegar on a dishcloth and wipe any greasiness off your kitchen surfaces or hob.
No. 3 – Window Cleaner
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 10-15 drops of lemon essential oil
- 1 cup water
- To help keep the flies at bay in summer, try adding fly repelling essential oils like lavender or lemongrass to the mix.
In a glass spray bottle mix 1 cup white vinegar, 10-15 drops of Lemon Essential Oil and water.
Spray and wipe with newspaper to really bring out the shine and prevent smearing.
No. 4 – Household Air Freshener
Simply fill your spray bottle with water and add in 5-10 drops of whatever essential oil scent you love the most.
Lavender, lemon, lemongrass, peppermint, orange, May Chang and so on. You can even combine them to really get your senses going.
If you have an atomiser/diffuser you can also add a few drops of whatever oil you like and let it disperse across the room.
No. 5 – Laundry
Essential oils can be used to enhance the cleanliness and fragrance of your laundry.
Kill Dust Mites
One advantage of adding Eucalyptus to your laundry is that it can kill dust mites that just looove living in your bedding.
To achieve effective dust mite control, add 25 drops of eucalyptus to each washing machine load.
For general freshness, place a washcloth dampened with approx. 10 drops of Lavender, Lemon, Bergamot, eucalyptus, lavender or any other scent you like and add this to your laundry.
The benefit of adding these oils means moths will also be deterred when you put your nicely clean clothing in the wardrobe.
Speaking of moths. To help prevent moths from invading your wardrobe, try placing several drops on a cotton wool ball of either:
cedarwood, rosemary, lavender, thyme, clove, cinnamon, peppermint or lemon.
Hang them in the wardrobe or pop them in your draws and this should shoo them off.
Alternatively, fill tea bags with lavender flowers and do the same thing.
No. 5 – Floor
Depending on the type of floors you have, the type of cleaning will vary, but any floor can be cleaned naturally.
For laminate, ceramic, no-wax vinyl, linoleum floors, brick or stone tiles
- ½-1 cup vinegar
- in approx. 4 litres of water
- 10-15 drops of essential oil
- Use a mixture of ½-1 cup vinegar in approx. 4 litres of water. Use a wet mop and really bring up that shine.
- Additionally, add 10-15 drops of essential oil to boost its cleaning powder. Try 10 drops of Lemon Essential Oil, 4 drops of Oregano/Tea tree/Eucalyptus Essential oil to power-up those antiseptic properties!
No. 5 – Stubborn Dishes
Dishwashing by Hand
If you know you won’t be running to wash up straight after eating, this is for you.
- dishes tend to become difficult to clean up after food has started to dry, so what you can do is sprinkle salt over the dishes. This helps to make them easier to wash up later.
- If you have a stubborn dish or cooking pot, add about 3 tablespoons of salt into the dish or pot and fill with boiling water. Let it stand until the water is pretty much cool and wash as normal.
- Try adding a couple of tablespoons of vinegar to your hot soapy dishwater to help cut the grease. This works really well on roasting trays etc.
- Another option is to soak the item/s in hot soapy water and scour them with salt or baking soda until clean. Rinse well.
Dishwashing with Dishwasher
Add 1 cup of undiluted white vinegar in the rinse compartment and run the dishwasher as usual (with no dishes in it). This removes soap build-up and can help the dishwasher run more efficiently. Aim to do this a least once a month.
No. 6 – Drains
The number one cause of clogged kitchen sinks tends to be fatty substances, such as fat, oil and grease. Another is food particles that have got caught in the U bend. If you’re trying to de-gunge and deodorise your plug holes, try the following:
Hot Water and Washing-Up Liquid
- Bring 2 litres of water to a boil and then stir in a few tablespoons of natural Washing-Up Liquid or Sal’s Suds.
- Slowly pour this water down the drain and then flush with hot tap water. You may need to do this several times if your plug is very gunky.
How it Works: The washing-up liquid helps to dissolve the fat whilst the hot water melts some of the grease/fat that’s narrowing the pipes. This magic combination helps to remove the buildup and allow the drain pipes to run freely once again.
You can also do this trick once a week as general sink-maintenance to keep it free and clear.
Hot Water and Salt
This is particularly food for soap scum and clogs, as well as grease and fat narrowing the pipes.
- Bring 2 litres of water to the boil
- Pour about half a cup of salt down the plughole.
- Wait until the water is just off from boiling temperature and slowly pour it down the drain.
Again, it may take several rounds of salt and hot water to achieve success, but you’ll get there.
How it Works: Because salt acts as a natural scouring and abrasive agent, it works wonders here. That combined with the melting power of hot water, the two together help to remove soapy/scummy/grease build-up.
Again, flush your drains once a month with this hot water and salt trick. This duo will help prevent greasy build-up and keep your drains running smoothly and deodorize them at the same time.
No. 7 – Fridge
For a quick wipe down, simply sprinkle equal amounts of salt and baking soda onto a damp sponge and wipe the fridge surfaces down.
This mix of baking soda with an equal part of salt and water also makes a great scrubbing paste for plastic and wooden cutting boards.
To keep your fridge odour-free, place a small bowl of baking soda inside the fridge. Additionally, you can add in 5-10 drops of vanilla, orange and lemon essential oils. In turn, this will absorb any odours.
No. 8 – Oven
Spray water over the bottom of the oven and throw a whole load of baking soda over it. Then, spray it once more with more water to make a paste. It tends to work best overnight but you could leave it for an hour or so if you’re in a rush.
In the morning scrape out all the baking soda mixture which will have altered in colour to a murky brown. Following this, use a wire brush to scrub any stubborn spots.
To give it a good shine, once all the baking soda has been wiped off, give it a rinse with vinegar and water.
No. 9 – Bins
Just as we saw with the fridge, baking soda will also help absorb the smell of the rubbish. For this reason, we can do a similar thing. Sprinkle the bottom of the bin and then sprinkle again after you put a new bag in. Additionally, there’s the option of sprinkling a couple of essential oil drops into the bin too. Eucalyptus is a great one here.
No. 10 – Kettle
Remove limescale build-up from inside your kettle with vinegar.
Mix equal parts water and vinegar and let stand for an hour. After that, boil this mixture up and leave for a further 10-15 minutes. Then pour it out, and thoroughly rinse out the kettle.
No. 11 – Toilet
- Castile soap
- Tea tree oil
- Pre-dilute 1 part castile soap with 4 parts water in a squirt bottle.
- Add ¼ tsp. tea tree essential oil and squirt around the bowl thoroughly.
- Sprinkle baking soda onto the toilet brush and proceed to scrub the bowl and let sit for 10 minutes before flushing.
No. 12 – Pets
Do you have cats? Line the litter box with a cup of baking soda before adding litter to help neutralise the smell.
For further advice on how to clean your home naturally, check out the cheat sheet from Dr Bronners here.
To learn more about these effective cleaning agents, check out part one.
Any questions? Drop into your local Nourish store to chat with our expert team and explore our full range of foods, supplements and skincare. You can also find our full product range in our online store.
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention.
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication.
* note that essential oils are extremely concentrated and potent. Most essential oils should be diluted before use, and unless they state they are food-grade, they are not for internal use.
If you’re pregnant, diabetic or have a medical condition please consult a medical professional before using essential oils.
Also, take care when using essential oils around pets.