Now more than ever we all need to do our part in helping the environment.
Most of us probably use the same cleaning products that our parents have used for years and even possibly their grandparents before us. Now for some people this means buying the same products from stores, however for others this can mean using cleaning tips, tricks and hacks that their parents and theirs before them used. And if they worked so well for them why would they not work for us now?
Traditional cleaning products contain chemicals that can wash away, polluting our water, our homes and our bodies. On top of this the plastics and other materials being used tend to go to waste or require recycling and you pay for the packaging every time you buy a fresh product.
Rather than doing this you can re use any bottles you may have and make your own cleaning products. This is something that we are very passionate about here at Country Cleaners. Not only do natural cleaning methods really work, they also save on packaging, costs and can be used on many areas around your home.
With our eco-friendly cleaning hacks your home, holiday let or work premises will shine in no time and at a fraction of the cost of regular cleaning products. Today we will be looking at two products that really shine in terms of cleaning power and I bet you have them in your home already!
Baking soda & Vinegar
How does baking soda work?
Baking soda has been used for cleaning for 1000’s of years, there is evidence of ancient Egyptians using baking soda as a cleaning agent. But how does it work?
Baking soda is a base which means it is the opposite to an acid and also reacts with it. Most odours in your home will be acidic, caused as a waste product of bacteria.
Therefore baking soda actually reacts with and neutralises the odour rather than covering it up the way candles and air fresheners tend to. Due to this you will need to occasionally mix up the baking soda and eventually switch the box. This is because the baking soda becomes neutralised over time too.
How does white vinegar work?
We all have white vinegar in our cupboard but not all of us know what an effective cleaner it is, so how does it work?
Vinegar is an acid, therefore it reacts with bases (the opposites to acid) some bases you may have come across needing to clean are limescale from hard water, leftover soaps, or toothpastes.
Vinegar works much like baking soda in the fact that it reacts with the base and therefore neutralises it.
How do the two work together?
As described above vinegar is an acid and baking soda is a base individually they work by reacting with whatever you are trying to clean. Vinegar for bases and baking soda for acids, so when used together they naturally react with each other.
We want the reaction to occur on whatever we are trying to clean, we put the baking soda down and then spray with acid, the baking soda being so fine that it can penetrate into whatever needs cleaning ( an oven for example) getting under the dirt and grime.
Then we spray with vinegar and a chemical reaction occurs (it foams up) this can lift stains off of surfaces allowing us to wipe away with ease, however we do not want all the baking soda to react as the secondary tool of this process is that the fine granules are slightly abrasive meaning when scrubbing they help to get stubborn stains off much like the bristly side of a cleaning sponge.
Creating your own multi purpose cleaner
We can all agree that a multi purpose cleaner is a requirement in any home and it’s something everybody should be using to keep on top of those little cleaning tasks around the house. But how much do you think you spend on replacing these products once you are done?
According to a Statistica– study the average UK household spends anywhere between £2.10 and £3.20 a week on cleaning products.
Now that may not sound like a lot, however across the course of a year you could be spending as much as £166 in a year!
So what can we do about this and how can we save ourselves some money as well as protecting the environment?
Well we can create our own products saving us money on the product and the packaging!
The first item we suggest is a multi purpose cleaner that can be used for wiping down, disinfecting and sanitising frequently touched areas protecting you by killing bacteria and keeping areas squeaky clean. The traditional products contain chemicals that can be harmful for the environment & your health, however you can create your own using the following household items.
Mix 60ml of distilled white vinegar with a tablespoon of baking soda into a litre of warm water. Peel a lemon and add to the mixture to create a fresh scent. White vinegar is acidic so it makes a perfect disinfectant to wipe away any bacteria. This cleaning solution can be used anywhere in the home!
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
We would suggest doing this as often as the sides need wiping down.
Let us know what you think of this cleaning tip in the comments.
Homemade window or glass cleaner
When cleaning windows or glass I think we have all used a product that has left streaks or smears over the window. Who knew there were household items that can clean your windows or glass free from streaks and smears?
This hack is very simple. Mix white vinegar and hot water into a spray bottle and you are good to go! Spray onto a microfibre cloth and buff away. This creates the perfect solution for streak and smear free windows!
- White vinegar
Now for any marks that just won’t budge we can go further with our household ingredients. How?
Add equal parts of baking soda and coconut oil to create a paste. This is a great way to clean off tough sticky marks that won’t budge. For example, the labels and stickers left behind on glass jars that refuse to move! Scrub over, let it sit then rinse clean.Ingredients:
- Coconut oil
- Baking soda
We would suggest using this as part of your regular cleaning routine.
Over time bad odours can cling to our carpets and rugs. So how can we deodorise your carpets or rugs? (this will also work for mattresses too).
Sprinkle baking soda over the item with 10 drops of an essential oil of your choice on the carpet. After 30 minutes vacuum the baking powder and your carpets and rugs will smell like new again!
- Baking soda
- Essential oils
We would suggest using this as required.
If you have tried this and it doesn’t work for you, it may be time to look at hiring a carpet cleaning machine or a professional carpet cleaning service from us. For more information head over to our carpet cleaning page and fill out the contact form.
Freshen up your microwave
This tip does not involve vinegar or baking soda but we liked it so much that we had to include it. We have all seen poorly looked after microwaves and how dirty microwaves can become but there is a way to avoid this and it’s simple!
Place half a lemon in a microwaveable bowl and fill halfway up with water. Pop inside the microwave for 2/3 minutes on a high heat setting. The oil in the lemon will break down and soften any built up grime. Then simply wipe away with a cloth, no scrubbing needed!
Lemons also have antibacterial and antiseptic properties keeping you safe as well as deodorising any bad smells.
We would suggest doing this weekly however you can do this as often as you like.
When removing the bowl it may be hot from the microwave. So please remember to handle it with care and never leave microwaves unattended when in use.
There are many more uses for these household items when it comes to cleaning you can subscribe to this blog to ensure you never miss cleaning tips in the future
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Do you have any cleaning tips using baking soda or vinegar that we haven’t mentioned here?
If so let us know in the comments section and share the knowledge further helping the environment.