In ensuring our actions and behaviours reflect the kind of world we wish to leave for our children matters of sustainability are very important. In our cleaning business we strive to reflect this concern in the products we use and the approach we have to clean your home or premises.
This link provides practical solutions/resources and steps we can take as individuals, families, communities and in our work places to mitigate our impact.
NATURAL CLEANING SOLUTIONS:
You can make your life easier by following tried and tested approaches to looking after your home, premises, family and colleagues.
Here are some ways of achieving that with less expense and reliance on expensive solutions and at the same time being more self-reliant.
The most economical way to give your home an eco-friendly cleaning is with natural do-it-yourself cleaning solutions you make with gentle, everyday household products. Chemical-laden cleaners create toxic fumes and may promote growth of bacteria resistant to antibacterial drugs.
Look no further than under the sink or in the pantry for these multitasking, economical, non-toxic ingredients that work alone or in combination to effectively clean every room.
The slightly acidic nature of white vinegar makes it effective at dissolving grease, soap scum and lime deposits from smooth surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom. Because it’s so gentle, vinegar is also safe to use on hardwood floors. Mix 1/4 to 1/2 cup of vinegar with water in a bucket or spray bottle and use it to clean everything from windows and mirrors to toilets and floors. Use undiluted vinegar to tackle tougher cleaning jobs.
Here are 15 uses for the wonderful, inexpensive product — white distilled vinegar:
- Cleaning windows and mirrors – As I already mentioned, this is my favourite use. Just mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and label.
- Laundry Rinse Cycle – This is actually the one that I use the most often. I stopped using a commercial liquid fabric softener and have been using vinegar in its place. It gets rid of odours, softens fabrics, and helps to get rid of static.
- Clean the Shower
- Get Rid of the Stink in Your Garbage Disposal – Make ice cubes with vinegar (full strength), and then run them through the garbage disposal.
- Remove Build Up from Taps – Use a mixture of four parts vinegar to one part salt as a scrub for these areas.
- Freshen Stinky Hands – If your hands are less than fresh from chopping pungent vegetables, pour vinegar over your hands to get rid of the odours.
- Cut through the Grime on the Top of Appliances – Use a cloth and full strength vinegar to wash off that disgusting grime that can build up on the top of appliances like the refrigerator.
- Get Rid of Germs – If you’ve had a lot of sickness running rampant around your house, use full strength vinegar to clean areas that receive a lot of touches, such as door knobs or toilets.
- Clean Your Microwave – A mix of two parts water and one part vinegar, heated to a boil in the microwave, will not only loosen stuck on food, but will also help to clear out undesirable odours. (As with any time that you are bringing a liquid to a boil in the microwave, please be careful with this.)
- Safely Clean Toys – A mix of vinegar and water is a great way to clean toys without harsh chemicals.
- Remove Stickers and Decals – To help remove, spray on some vinegar and let them stick for a few minutes before trying to peel them off. Try again with the vinegar, if they can’t be peeled off after the first soaking.
- Shinier Toilet Bowl – Instead of using harsh chemicals, try spraying vinegar into your toilet bowl and then clean with a brush, as you might normally.
- Clean Mineral Deposits in Automatic Coffee Makers – If you’re noticing a build up in your coffee makers, you can run a cycle with vinegar to help clear that out. Make sure to rinse well after that cycle, however. (Be sure to check your owner’s manual to check for cleaning notes.)
- Get Rid of (or At Least Deter) Ants – Using vinegar for cleaning might help to deter ants.
- Clear Shower Heads of Build Up – Take off shower heads and soak in vinegar overnight to remove build up. If you can’t take off the heads (or just don’t want to), you can also soak a cloth in vinegar and wrap it around the shower head overnight.
Baking soda not only deodorises, but also acts as a green cleaning and brightening abrasive that rivals traditional powdered cleansers. Sprinkle hard surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen with baking soda and rub into a paste with a wet cloth, then rinse and wipe dry with a clean cloth. To remove stains or clean the inside of a messy oven, allow the paste to set for several minutes before rinsing; to boost the abrasive action for tougher cleaning jobs, add sea salt to the paste. Sprinkle baking soda onto carpets and vacuum to freshen fibres.
Lemon juice cuts grease, kills mould and mildew and leaves a streak-free shine on hard surfaces of all kinds. Combine lemon juice with other pantry staples such as vinegar or olive oil to make cleaning products that work harder, and to leave a fresh, natural scent behind when the job is done.
Available in the laundry detergent aisle, sodium borate, or borax, has a long history as a non-toxic powdered laundry booster, but it’s also effective in home made cleaning products to disinfect kitchen and bathroom surfaces, cookware and floors. Remove stains from laundry before washing by rubbing a paste of dishwasher detergent and sodium borate into the fabric and rinsing.
The bubbling action of hydrogen peroxide does wonders in lifting stubborn gunk on surfaces, but also works to fizz away perspiration stains on white fabrics. Keep a spray bottle filled with a peroxide and water mixture near the washing machine; spray spots and rinse with clean water before starting a load. If you don’t have hydrogen peroxide in the house, or need to safely remove stains from coloured fabrics, try club soda or diluted vinegar instead.
Blend 1 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup of lemon juice in a spray bottle, mist onto a soft cloth and polish wood furniture the natural way. Polishing with olive oil moisturises wood and imparts a lovely shine; lemon juice cleans the surface and leaves behind a fresh scent.
40 Natural solutions – that work.
- Eucalyptus oil removes the gummy residue left by shop stickers.
- Buffing a marble tabletop with car polish leaves a thin, invisible film that helps reduce the risk of stains.
- To remove furniture indentations from pure wool carpet place a tea towel over the area and then press with a warm iron. The heat will lift the fibres. Do not attempt this with synthetic or a wool/synthetic mix carpet.
- Light a match and let it burn a few seconds to remove toilet smells.
- To stop bathroom mirrors steaming up, regularly rub a dry bar of soap over the surface and rub in with a clean cloth.
- Stop clothes with thin straps falling off hangers by sticking small felt furniture pads onto the hanger just beyond where the straps sit.
- To remove oil from silk clothing, gently rub cornflour into the area and lightly brush off. Cover the oil mark completely with more cornflour and leave to sit for a few hours. Shake clothing free of flour and then hand wash, or use a gentle machine cycle, using soap suitable for delicates.
- To keep spiders or any other nasty surprises out of shoes you keep outside, (such as your gardening shoes or work boots), place old stockings over the top of them. Make sure the stockings don’t have holes in them, and if they don’t fit snugly over the top, use an elastic band to secure them.
- To make candles last longer, cover with a plastic bag and place in the freezer for 24 hours before lighting.
- To keep your car windows ice and frost free when left outside overnight in the wintertime, mix three parts vinegar to one part water, put it in a spray bottle and spray on the windows as needed.
- To prevent buttons from becoming loose or undone, dab a little clear nail varnish on the top thread or onto the stem of the thread and leave to dry.
- To remove pollen from the stamen of flowers, take a piece of sticky tape about five centimetres long, gently press the sticky side to the pollen mark and lift off. Repeat with clean sticky tape as required. Do not try to brush it off.
- To reuse the bits of soap that are always left over, combine them with glycerine and some warm water. Pour into a bottle for a handmade liquid soap.
- To pick up small fragments of broken glass, press pieces of bread onto the affected area.
- If you have an aquarium, save the water each time you change it and water your house plants with it. It’s full of nutrients and makes a great fertiliser.
- To stop ants entering your house, draw a chalk line on the ground where you want them to stop. If you live in a rainy area where ants are a problem, you must re-draw the chalk lines each time it rains.
- To deter silverfish, place whole cloves in wardrobes and drawers.
- To get blood out of fabrics, use hydrogen peroxide. Apply it directly to the stain and then launder in the washing machine.
- To remove body oil stains from collars and cuffs of coloured shirts and blouses, rub hair shampoo directly on the stains. Rinse out the shampoo, then wash the clothes as usual.
- To revive a vase of wilted flowers, add a teaspoon of mild detergent.
- Use leftover Styrofoam peanuts as great drainage in the bottom of a pot.
- To stop drawers from sticking, rub a bar of soap across the runners to make them glide smoothly.
- To prevent ash from flying everywhere when cleaning out a fireplace, use a spray bottle filled with water to cover the ashes with a light mist.
- To clean the bottom of the iron, sprinkle salt on the ironing board and iron back and forth.
- To locate light switches in the dark, put a dot of luminous paint on tape and stick to the switches.
- To keep pinking shears or scissors sharp, cut through a sheet of folded aluminium foil or coarse sandpaper.
- To leave a room smelling fresh after you vacuum, place a few drops of your favourite essential oil (such as lavender or peppermint) near the vent where the hot air is released. The air warms the oil and blows it into the room.
- To mask unpleasant odours, put some coffee beans in a saucepan and burn them. The smell of coffee will overpower the other nasty odours.
- To clean a microwave oven, add four tablespoons of lemon juice to one cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Boil for five minutes in the microwave, allowing the steam to condense on the inside walls of the oven. Then wipe them with a soft cloth.
- To clean a stainless-steel sink, put the stopper in the sink with two denture-cleaning tablets and half fill with water; leave for several hours or overnight and the next day it should be sparkling. Then use the water to clean the draining board, too.
- To remove fingerprints from stainless-steel appliances, place a small amount of baby oil on a napkin and wipe the affected areas. The fingerprints will just wipe away.
- To remove marker pen off hard surfaces, spray on hair spray and then wipe it off.
- To remove cat and dog hair from clothes and furniture, rub them with damp rubber gloves.
- To clean your shower curtain, wash it in the washing machine with about one cup each of vinegar and bleach, some white towels and a normal amount of washing powder. Adding fabric softener will help keep the curtain clean. When the load is done, return the curtains to their place in the bathroom to drip dry. The wrinkles will disappear in a day or so. (Check your washing machine manual to ensure it’s okay to use bleach).
- To clean glass windows, add about one tablespoon of cornstarch to about one litre of lukewarm water. Wet and a rag or squeegee, remove excessive water and wipe down glass as if using regular glass cleaner. Dry with either a soft cloth or paper.
- To restore toilet bowls back to their shiny best, clean with old, flat Coke or Pepsi. To dissolve lime scale, leave the soda overnight to soak.
- Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to clean the tops and creases of Roman blinds.
- Vacuum a mattress, particularly along piping and crevices, removes dead skin cells that attract dust mites.
- Clove oil (sold in chemists for toothaches) kills mould spores. Mix three drops in one litre of water and then use to wipe down areas susceptible to mould.
- To get rid of the smell of garlic from your hands, rub against stainless steel – your sink is ideal. Then wash hands with soap or detergent.
At work tips:
- Ensure you are recycling your printer cartridges.
- Sort the compost (food scraps etc) from other rubbish.
- Ever thought of a worm farm or Bokashi system or similar? They are easy to use and set up; don’t smell and the end products are brilliant to use in office pot plants and kitchen herb gardens maintained in pots. You can pick the fresh herbs and add them to your lunch or snack.
- Soft plastics can be cleaned and recycled. Major supermarkets accept these.
- Keep your packaged lunch purchases to a minimum so we don’t add to landfill.
- Confidential papers go into a shredder or specified bin to be collected and taken off site.