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