Making eco friendly cleaning products
Keeping your home clean without the use of harsh chemicals is not as hard, or as much work as you might think. Even the preparation of eco friendly products takes very like time, and utilizes only 3 main ingredients:
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1. Apple cider vinegar & Distilled White Vinegar
Here we have one of natures most potent cleaners, the presence of acetic acid in both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar is powerful antibacterial properties. (1) Between White vinegar and Apple cider vinegar, white is the preferred for cleaning products. It is efficient at removing stains, grease and dirt from kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
2. Bicarbonate of soda
This is another one of natures wonder products. Not only is it useful when combined with the other ingredients mentioned here, it is also a great cleaning product on its own. Bicarb can be used for removing rust, as a gentle scouring powder or even for removing paint in a process called soda blasting! (2)
3.Essential oils (optional)
The essential oils are used to improve he scent of the cleaning products. Some oils such as Lavender are good to use if you have pets as it pests and parasites don’t like its scent. If you don’t like lavender or just fancy a change, you can also scent your eco cleaning product with citrus oils.
Using a combination of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and some essential oils you can make some easy eco friendly cleaning products.
Cleaning the kitchen without chemicals
I know what your thinking, how can a home made spray be effective against bacteria from meat Bacteria like e.coli and salmonella? Well, rest assured, the Acetic acid in both vinegar’s has great antibacterial properties. It is effective against other ‘gram-negative’ bacteria that can cause meningitis and other infections.
To give the eco friendly cleaning spray a good scent we will be using some essential oils. You can use any essential oil you like but remember it needs to blend well with the smell of white vinegar. In my experience the best oil to use is tea tea oil. It is not only complimentary to the scent of the eco kitchen spray, its is also a natural disinfectant.
There are 100’s of recipes out there but I have used this one for a few years now and it has served me well in the kitchen, for natural kitchen cleaning we recommend you use white vinegar. Do not use this spray on soft stone worktops like marble;
Eco Friendly Kitchen spray – that smells good
Ingredients for eco friendly kitchen cleaner;
- 280ml Water
- 280ml Distilled white vinegar
- a few drops of Tea Tree oil
To store the liquid you will need a ½ litre spray bottle. Before each use, shake the spray bottle until the essential oils mix with the contents.
- Mix the 280ml of water with the 280ml of distilled white vinegar.
- Poor the liquid into the spray bottle.
- Add the drops of tea tree to the bottle
- Shake and use around our kitchen
To keep in with the trend of improving our impact on the world, it’s good practice to use a glass spray bottle. You can even re-purpose old bottles with adaptable spray bottle caps, simply clean out old bottles & refill them with the cleaning solution.
How to clean the bathroom without chemicals
For the cleaning your toilet, bath & shower you can use the same solution as the eco kitchen spray, if you want some variation in smell you can always mix up the essential oils with something like a citrus based oil.
To clean ceramics in the bathroom with a gentle eco friendly gleam you can use a scrub made from bicarbonate of soda. Use this scrub by applying generously to any ceramic surface and washing of with a cloth and warm water. This scrub is great against mold, soap scum and lime scale.
The following will give you around half a cup of eco friendly scrub, you can make as much as needed based on these ratios.
Ingredients for eco friendly bathroom cleaner;
- ½ a cup of Bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar
- 4-8 drops of tea tree (or your choice of essential oil)
Combine the ingredients before cleaning, there will be bubbling! This is nothing to be alarmed about. Mix the scrub and apply to the area you want to clean. Leave for 30 seconds to a minute and wash off with warm water. Not only will your restrooms be clean and smell great, they will gleam.
Chemical free pet care
If you are like me the idea of throwing chemicals over your cat or dog every 3 months during flea season, isnt a very nice one. The chemicals used change nearly every year due to resistances developed by the flea and other parasites. This makes me wonder how long the chemicals used have been tested for and what side effects could they possibly have?
The good news is that with the same ingredients that has been used above, we can also fight such infestations without the use of harsh chemicals. There is some effort required from the owner but I believe it is a worth while sacrifice for our furry friends;
Can I get rid of fleas with vinegar?
Yes and no, vinegar can be used as part of a multi pronged attack and defense routine against fleas. Used in conjunction with things like bi-carbonate soda, and vacuuming you can effectively combat fleas without chemicals.
1. Bicarbonate of soda against fleas
We have already read about the mighty cleaning power of Bicarb, this awesome tool, supplied by nature, is also effective in the fight against fleas. 24 hours before you vacuum a room, generously spread bicarbonate of soda over the carpeted areas and on material furniture.
Bicarb dehydrates the flea eggs and causes mischief to the flea itself, after 24 hours, vacuum the area and dispose of the vacuum contents right away. You should hoover every day, especially in areas where pets sleep. Use bicarb once, maybe twice per week
2. Essential oils for fleas
Fleas are creatures of convenience, they will stay on a host so long as it is worth their while. One of the ways we can make the environment less hospitable for fleas is to use essential oils.
Citronella, cedar, rosemary, peppermint, lemongrass and lavender are all great at repelling fleas from the home. Find the ones that you like the most and add them to your laundry and carpets (watch out for staining).
Do not add essential oils directly to your pets, this could cause unwanted effects such as allergic reactions and poisoning.
3. DIY flea traps
Flea traps are great at drawing in any straggling fleas that have survived the onslaught of bicarbonate of soda and essential oils. To make a flea trap simply;
- Fill a small shallow dish with water and some washing up liquid
- Find a light source you can place over the water source, or float a t-light in the water (practice fire safety)
- Leave over night in infested area’s
The flea is attracted to the warmth of the light in the cool of the night. As they leap towards the warmth they fall back into the water. Washing up liquid helps break the surface tension of the water allowing small things like fleas to fall to the bottom of the dish. Without the washing up liquid, they float and could swim to safety- escaping your trap!
4. The flea combs
Its important to know where the fleas are coming in from. For example in my house, its the cat. He likes to go out hunting. This puts him in contact with wild animals who may pass no flea’s. Fleas also live in the wild, waiting for a host to pass before jumping on for a meal.
After you have identified the animal, or animals who are bringing in the pests it is important to impose a strict brush routine! To achieve this, I bribe my cat with treats and turn it into a pampering session. There are not many cats who will not go along with that.
Get into a routine of brushing your animal(s) at least twice a day with the flea comb. It’s advised to have a bowl of soapy water, when you come across a flea, get it into the water asap & continue brushing your pet. If this is maintained it is by far the most effective way to keep fleas out of your home.
Using a combination of the above techniques it is possible to live through flea season with little to no issues caused by fleas. In turn, you avoid any unnecessary use of chemicals on your furry family members. It requires a little more work but as described, when done correctly these can be used as bonding sessions for you and your pets.
Did you know?
When chickens are kept in bad or cramped conditions they get stressed! This stress is what leads to the feather loss that you see in many photo’s of battery chickens that are not kept properly.