My Favourite Natural Household Cleaning Products

After my last post about my favourite natural products for kids, the comments section had so many wonderful suggestions from you lot that I’m still placing Amazon orders and trying them out for myself. A few of you showed interest in a post on natural cleaning, so here I am. It appears I may be Rock My Family’s resident hippy…

There’s quite a lot to cover so I’m going to get stuck right in. Just know that this is by no means an exhaustive list, these are just things that I have tried myself and absolutely love and vouch for. I’m sure there’ll be some more excellent suggestions in the comments section too.

Let’s just get the big guns out of the way first. Everyone’s tried and loved Method. What can I say, the branding, the formula, the ease of use… These are genius products and realistically I could have just written an entire post about this brand. I’ve used Tesco links here because I find them the most reasonably priced for this range and they often have £1 off. First up, is the Method Anti Bac cleaner. Whilst I use other homemade cleaners detailed below on a daily basis, I still like having a good old antibacterial for the particularly nasty spills and grimy kitchen messes (raw chicken chopping board, I’m looking at you). The Method Daily Shower spray is also wonderful. I spray it after every shower on the glass screen and tiles (then squeegee it off, even though it says to leave it on). !t only takes 10 seconds and means the shower screen is always sparkling. And finally… I hate a mop and bucket. It might be something to do with my years in retail where I was the teenager tasked with mopping the floor with a stinking grey mop and even more gross bucket. So now I opt for a microfiber mop and good old direct spray Method Floor Cleaner. No bucket, no grey water, no dry heaving. Just fresh scents and easy cleaning.

In terms of other brands, I feel like I only really have one recommendation. Dr Bronners Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner. A true use-it-for-everything product. It seems pricey at first glance but honestly, a tiny amount goes a long, LONG way and it can be used for hard floors, carpets, dishes, laundry, windows… Just about anything.

When it comes to dishwashers, I cannot fault the effectiveness of Finish. But I also seem to find I can taste it on my dishes, especially after pouring a glass of water, which can’t be good for you. I personally rate If You Care dishwasher tablets, I like that they’re fully biodegradable. I used to use Ecover dishwasher tablets which are actually really good, but I wasn’t too keen on the fact that they’re individually plastic wrapped.

On that note (and I warned you of my hippy ways) we’re in the long, slow process of trying to greatly reduce our plastic use at home, so I’m opting for more homemade products where I can. I’ve been using some of these for years and honestly, every single one is a peach and saves a massive amount of money on cleaning products.

For windows, mirrors and any other glass/shiny surfaces in our house I use a spray bottle of water with a 1/4 cup of white vinegar in it. Yes, you do smell the vinegar as you clean but I promise that after 5 minutes, even the keenest nose won’t find a lingering fish and chip smell. If the initial smell really does bother you, you can add a few drops of essential oils (lavender and rosemary is a great combo). I would also like to add that for windows, I rate this spray finished off with the much famed Karcher window vac. Does anyone own a Karcher? Are you like me and can’t imagine life without it now?

I also like to put a cup of white vinegar in the dishwasher & washing machine on an empty hot cycle to clean them out about once a month or two. Once again, absolutely zero lingering smell, just gleaming stainless steel appliances.

For an all surface cleaner, I get a big glass jar and fill it with lemon & lime peels, then top it up to the tippy top with white vinegar. Leave that in a dark cupboard for two weeks and then strain and bottle it. You can then add 1 part of your newly infused vinegar to 1 part water for the best multisurface cleaner. This is what I typically use on a daily basis. The infusion part seems like a bit of a faff, but it makes for a nice fresh smell and lasts for quite a few spray bottles worth. You can also add whatever essential oils you like for your favourite scent. My preferred are any of the following: grapefruit, mint, tea tree, eucalyptus or lemongrass.

For toilet cleaner, once again, it’s vinegar to the rescue. 1 cup of vinegar mixed with 1/2 cup baking soda will give you a frothing paste that when scrubbed into the bowl will leave a truly gleaming loo.

A few citrusy hacks I swear by are half a lemon rubbed face down over any wooden chopping boards, cover the board in salt and leave for 5 mins before wiping clean. You can also put half a lemon in a bowl of water and pop it in your microwave, I stick mine on for 3 minutes and then the microwave is super easy to wipe down and smells lemony fresh. Another great lemon trick is to boil a lemon in a full kettle of water to make kettle scale lift easily and keep it in top condition. The last citrus tip is half a grapefruit dipped in coarse salt used to scrub off nasty bath scum. Smells divine too.

I have waffled on for quite a while now, but hopefully, you will have found something useful in it. My final word on the topic is loo roll. Yes, loo roll. As well as tissues and kitchen roll. I cannot rate this company enough. Who Gives A Crap (yes, that’s the company name). Not only do they only use recycled paper and/or bamboo (seems kind of absurd to be chopping down fresh trees to wipe our bums), but the quality is excellent, the packaging is plastic free, they donate 50% of profits to building toilets in countries with poor sanitation AND they deliver a box of loo roll straight to my door. No more lugging it around the shop and to the car. I find them great value too, considering they only have double length rolls. It’s also a fun topic of conversation when guests see the branding.

I would love to hear from you guys. What are your natural cleaning product loves? Any good simple cleaning hacks?
I feel a bit self-conscious talking about our plan to reduce our household plastic waste as it’s quite out there, but if anyone is interested in hearing about changes we’ve made, successes and fails, I’d be happy to share on here (or Instagram). Some changes have been far easier than expected.

Image from Rebecca’s Utility and Boot Room tour

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Naomi can’t decide which she loves more: adventuring with her boys or being left alone in a luxurious bath with a great book.
Follow Naomi on Instagram @naomiliddell

42 Comments. Leave new

Love these ideas! I would be interested to know how you’re cutting out the plastic, maybe a future post?!

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Happy to share Jane, like I said, it’s a long and slow process and I’m definitely not perfect at it, but I think it’s mostly about small changes, not perfection.

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I’d also be interested to hear about this. I am astonished at how much rubbish we produce given there’s only 3 of us!

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It’s crazy isn’t it Rebecca, I remember opening my fridge a couple of years ago and actually just standing in complete shock at how much plastic was in there alone. I mean, I’d bought it all and put it in there. But I had never actually thought about it until that day.

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Great post! Love method – I can recommend the granite cleaner for anyone with stone/quartz worktops; it smells divine and is the only thing I’ve found that doesn’t leave streaks.
On the natural products front, though not quite cleaning related, I’ve just ordered some beeswax wraps that are supposed to be like reusable cling film so fingers crossed they work as I hate the waste of cling film!

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K, yes to beeswax wraps!!! They are amazing. They do take a bit of getting used to (having to heat them up in your hands etc.) but I swear sandwiches taste fresher in them.

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Great to hear you are trying / have tried the Beeswax wraps. Are these the ones made by an Australian company with the pretty ditsy patterns? I looked at getting some of these but thought them pricey. Anyone know if there is a British company making the same? I love the idea of them. My children take pack lunches and we am trying to cut down how much tinfoil and clingfilm we use.. a fascinating blog – great for a New Year – thanks.

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This is great! Love baking soda for a ceramic hob or the oven, it’s magic.

I find some of the Method stuff has a very strong smell, but can’t rave about their glass cleaner enough. It’s brilliant. Ecover do a washing up liquid that smells of chocolate orange…. mmmm

Very timely on the plastics too. Shocked this week to see our plastic recycling exported to China and often buried!

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This is super helpful Lucy, we’re just about to buy a cooker with ceramic hob for our new house and now I know how to clean it! 🙂

I agree on the strong smell, but I find that mainly with their collaborative ranges rather than the main range. I bought a Rebecca Atwood version of their all purpose once and I swear you could smell it upstairs when I cleaned the kitchen. Too much for me so I just stick to the normal range.

I didn’t see that report on China burying plastic!! Where do they think it’s going to eventually go?…

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Great post, alll my friends are talking about reducing plastic waste so not out there at all. I think there’s real momentum growing in mainstream conscious. Unrelated to cleaning products, I recently swapped my dog to a raw food diet and had to choose from the hundreds of pre-prepared products on offer. In the end I chose the only brand I could find that didn’t package each daily meal in a plastic tub (theyloveit.co.uk if anyone’s. Interested). This is not something I’d have given much thought to a year ago. I’d be interested to read about your changes.

Back to the topic of cleaning products, this is something I’m also trying to be more conscious of too. When we bought our house, I was scrubbing some paint splashes off of the floorboards with white spirit after we decorated the bedroom. We had a carpet cleaner man in doing the hallway at the time and he saw what I was doing. He handed me his own spray bottle and said “try that” wow it was a miracle, the paint just dissolved away. Turned out it was simply natural ethanol mixed with orange and lavender essential oils. After he’d gone I made some myself and use it on everything, it’s a really effective multipurpose cleaner. You can switch up the essential oils but the orange (in quite high ratio volme) is key. I did a bit of research online an it’s recommended to use dark brown glass bottles as they’re eco friendly and keep the contents stable so I invested in a spray one but it only lasted a month before I accidentally smashed it which was a massive pain so I’m on the lookout for an effective, eco friendly alternative spray bottle to glass.

I’m terms of products on the market, I found a new brand, Seventh Generation in Tesco and thought I’d give it a go. We’ve only used non-bio since Fern was a baby but I’ve been toying with the idea of going back to a bio now she’s older and her skin doesn’t seem to be too sensitive. This struck me as a good introduction to bio. Their ingredients are natural, they don’t test on animals and their packaging is all made from recycled milk bottles. I really like their ethos and the product worked well…

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Well done on the dog food Philippa, I’ll be passing this on to my Mum. Also, it’s very reassuring to know I’m not the only one thinking about and making changes at home. My family all take the mickey out of me for it, so I guess I assumed I was a bit of a black sheep!

We’re in the process of buying a house that’s going to need repainted so I have literally just written down your carpet cleaner’s tip. Genius! I also like to paint as a hobby (canvases and whatnot, not hobby wall painting!), so I reckon this is going to come in very handy indeed. Thank you!

Also, I’ve just been using my old method bottles for cleaners, but maybe now I’ll have a look out for dark glass…

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I am ALL about the vinegar, cleans just about anything! I also really rate the You cleaning range.

My sister has fully embraced the zero waste lifestyle (I think she’s down to one carrier bag sized amount of actual rubbish per month. I think at the moment it requires A LOT of planning to be able to fully commit which people just may not have time for but hopefully the momentum will carry on and make it more manageable! Definitely gonna be checking out who gives a crap

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Kate, I’m so inspired by the zero waste movement. That’s where I get most of my ideas. I take my hat off to your sister. That’s a big commitment. I tend to say that we’re trying to be ‘low waste’, because I feel like there’s a lot of pressure on ‘zero wasters’ to be perfect. And I have no interest in adding that kind of pressure to my life. I’m aiming for better, not perfect.

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Oh, absolutely. It’s one of those things I think that once you’ve noticed how much plastic you go through you can’t un-notice it, so like you I’m just trying to reduce the amount I use and make more sustainable choices.

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Love Method. The rhubarb kitchen and water mint bathroom antibacterial sprays are my favourite. I’m very excited to try that floor cleaner, as someone who isn’t very good at mopping the floor that sounds quick and easy to use!

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Suzy, run don’t walk to buy some of that floor cleaner immediately. It will change your floor cleaning life. Also a second lover of the water mint bathroom spray.

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Perfect, thank you so much Naomi!! I was one of the ones who wanted to see the post and it does not disappoint 🙂

I have tried to be an awful lot more conscious about chemicals since our daughter arrived a couple of years ago, and I do like Method (the bathroom cleaner is fab!). I have also just come across a lovely online shop called Plain Useful that sells natural cleaning products, I have bought a couple to try but confess I haven’t used them yet but here is the kitchen cleaner as an example if anyone fancies trying it too (https://www.plainuseful.com/product/mangle-wringer-kitchen-cleanser). I do use water and vinegar on glass, so simple and agree the smell disappears very quickly. Definitely trying out some of your other ideas, thank you!!

Likewise on reducing plastic – a good idea for a post. So many of us are trying hard (I didn’t know how to respond diplomatically to the checkout man at the supermarket the other day who was fairly insistent I should be using a plastic bag to keep all the onions together!!) and I would love a round-up of the best products people have found or ways to reduce plastic waste.

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Hello Annie and Naomi – thanks for mentioning our website. We do indeed sell the full Mangle & Wringer range. It’s brilliant. It’s a small British company (yay!) whose recipes were inherited from a woman who was a kitchen and laundry maid (in true Downton Abbey style) who then worked her way up to housekeeper. She carefully recorded all her natural cleaning recipes in a notebook (yes lots of vinegar,Naomi and lemons!) and on her death left the notebook to Vanessa who, after trying out some of the recipes, decided to start a business selling them.
We try to avoid selling anything plastic on our website. We sell lots of traditional, wooden cleaning brushes – things that do the job, last a lifetime, don’t cost the earth and look good enough to be left out!

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Question – does the toilet paper leave that really annoying dust?? I have tried so many brands (currently on Waitrose own which is really good!) but I would like to change to something more eco-friendly. I often find the more eco, and also the cheaper, toilet paper does tend to have that annoying disintegrating feeling and just carpets the place in dust… Thanks!!

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I know the very dust you’re talking about. And that cheap, ‘recycled’ feeling that inevitably means you end up using more loo roll to compensate for it.

With Who Gives a Crap, I personally prefer the Premium one, it’s a few quid extra, but it’s made from bamboo, it’s super white and feels super silky and lovely. I also like the black, white and gold paper packaging.

But they’re normal range I will also vouch for, although slightly grey in colour, is not flimsy or dusty and I’ve found it FAR superior to the other recycled options I’ve tried.

Who knew I had so much to say on loo roll? 🙈

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Haha! It’s an important subject!! Thank you, I will give it a whirl 🙂

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Hey Annie! I was hoping you would like this post. Glad it was of some use.
I am SO intrigued by that kitchen cleanser, I think I was sold at Rosemary and Eucalyptus scent. I love that it’s in a tin too. Will you report back once you’ve given it a whirl please?

As for the whole checkout experience and loose veg, I swear by reusable produce bags. Mine are from when we lived in Australia (the company was called Onya) but I found these on Amazon which look exactly the same as mine.
http://amzn.to/2DD5Uj8

I could also definitely help out with products and ways, I think it’s been just over 2 years that Gavin and I have been making changes, so there’s lots to talk about!

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Ooh thanks! They look good. Also about to embark on clingcloths which are sold by a mum local to me, sound great. Will report back on the kitchen cleanser, I was planning on giving it a whirl this weekend.

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Ps you have just introduced me to Amazon Smile! How did I not know about this?!

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Really liked this post, I was wondering what the Karcher window vac was like but didn’t want to invest the money without someone recommending so thanks very much Naomi 🙂

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Because we’re currently living with the in-laws, I’m using my theirs, but when Gavin and I were listing the appliances we need for our new house, I have put Karcher window vac above even a kettle or toaster… That’s how much I love it.

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My main takeaway from this post is that I should buy more lemons!

Thanks for the tips, I was aware of some of these, but for some reason am rubbish at actually using them.

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Haha, yes lemons are awesome. Buy more. We were lucky enough to have loads of local lemon trees in Australia, but now I’m going to be buying the shops out. No lemon trees in Scotland unforts.

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I’d like to hear about plastic reduction too please. An initial article to lead but especially interested in the wider conversation and idea sharing it will promote here. As you said above; small changes. Bit by bit, straw by straw, we can all start making differences now.

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Love this post, right up my street! I’ve been reducing our plastic waste for a couple of years now and at first everyone thought I was a bit mental. I tried an organic veg box but it didn’t really work out as kept getting kale every week and we got a bit fed up of it! However it really frustrates me that my Tesco home delivery all comes in bags even when I select loose veg and no bags. We’ve used lush solid shampoo and conditioner for a couple of years and we love them. Also using bamboo toothbrushes, and recycled loo paper. I’ve also just had a baby and he’s in cloth nappies and we’re using cheeky wipes, both of which take a bit of getting used to after using disposable nappies on our first son. I’d be keen to read a post on reducing plastic waste further, especially if it encourages others to think about it too.

I use method products but have never made my own. Some great tips there, I’ll try out some of the concoctions! We have an elderly cleaner who we inherited with the house (!) who is lovely but a bit liberal with bleach and cleaning products so it’s dufficult to tell her to go easy on them and convince her to use alternatives but I think she’s coming round! What is a micro fibre mop?! I hate how filthy our mop gets (farmhouse with muddy boots and dogs at the back door). Can you take off the microfibre cloth and wash it?

Great post Naomi, would love to hear more from you (I’ve enjoyed your posts since you were a rmw real bride!) x

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That last line just gave me a grin from ear to ear. Thank you for the kind words. It means SO the world.

The home delivery thing is very annoying, why can’t they just reuse the copious amounts of cardboard boxes they have lying around the warehouses? Good on you for all your sustainable swaps! I’ve got an electric toothbrush so I’m going to use it until it’s completely bust before swapping for bamboo. Any toothpaste tips? I’m finding it hard to find a good swap for that.

Microfibre mops are the way forward. The cleaning pad comes off and can be chucked in your washing machine. Also depending on the brand you get, it might come with a few different types of cleaning pad, like a general floor one and one for muckier jobs.

Also, I wish I had inherited a cleaner!

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I am totally in love with the smell of Method rhubarb anti bac spray. And I’m a fellow fan of the squirty floor cleaner. Also: vinegar. It cleans everything. Gonna try a few of the other brands mentioned here now too!

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That’s good to know Tracy as I currently have the citrus Method anti bac and it’s really not very nice….

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Fab post Naomi, love all of your tips! I make my own household cleaners and have a few amber glass spray bottles from here https://www.baldwins.co.uk/aromatherapy/bottles-jars Apparently essential oils shouldn’t be stored in plastic because overtime it causes the plastic to leach. Plus the amber glass looks nice!
I would love to hear more about your plastic reduction as it’s something we’re really trying to get to grips with. Like you say it can be overwhelming but taking small steps is a good approach. Have you seen the surfers against sewage website as they have some good ideas. It’s packaging that can be tricky so def going to try your toilet paper suggestion!

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Fab post, thank you! Totally not hippy! Can I ask what natural reminders you use for gettting stains out of clothes…how do they manage to get THAT dirty at Nursery…or is it still good old vanish?! Also can’t recommend Babipur enough (www.babipur.co.uk) for all eco friendly living essentials, might help with the plastic reducing!

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Thank you for this article, I’ve been trying to use less plastic since last April and it’s hard sometimes especially if family don’t get on board! Great cleaning tips I will give them ago, currently just using the method anti bac spray for everything and I’ve still got a swifter floor thing and just clip a micro cloth on that which works well. Have my veg delivered by a local company that takes what the supermarkets don’t want called wonkyveg boxes but only leicestershire based at the minute. I’ve just found http://www.spolsh.co.uk and have ordered a starter kit. Thanks again for a fab post!

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Yes to method cleaning products they are amazing. I use the grapefruit multi surface and the rhubarb anti bac, both floor cleaners (we have a mix of laminate and original floorboards!), in the bathroom I love the toilet cleaner, and the normal and antibacterial cleaner!

The window vac is a gamechanger! My in laws have one for condensation on the windows and we got one (on offer in Argos last year) and use it for condensation, window cleaning and shower and mirror cleaning.

Packaging waste is my main concern now (especially toddler pouches and snack packets!) oh and cling film and freezer bags!

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Great tips! I haven’t made my own cleaning products yet, but have started using more eco-friendly brands when I had my first child.
When I read this post though, I was thinking, where can I get canisters of litres and litres of vinegar that I need apparently 😀

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I’m loving all the lemony ideas, thanks Naomi!!

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Hi Naomi,

Great posts!

I’ve tried a couple of the Method products. I also love the Mangle & Wringer natural cleaning product range, especially the Spray and Go surface cleaner (https://www.mangleandwringer.co.uk/shop/spray-and-go/) and the Pure Laundry Powder (https://www.mangleandwringer.co.uk/shop/pure-laundry-powder).

My daughter and I are keen to go plastic free (as close as), so that’s our next thing for 2018.

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I really love Method too, in particular the shower spray. I love that they’re a cruelty free brand too <3

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