Eco-friendly products for the home

Why not have Eco-friendly products for the home instead of expensive, potentially toxic cleaning products – all in brightly coloured plastic containers - lurking there?

Why not consider natural alternatives that are cheaper, readily available and probably just as effective - sometimes more so?

No need to seek out a load of highly priced 'natural' branded items with obscure ingredients

Use the eco-friendly products for the home such as lemons (the cheap bottled juice will often suffice) distilled white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, soda crystals, salt and old fashioned soap flakes.

Of all these bicarbonate of soda is probably the most versatile. It shifts grime from sinks in a flash and really makes them sparkle.

Simple ingredients such as these can literally work wonders – just like a magic wand. Take a look at the tips below.

ECO-FRIENDLY PRODUCTS FOR THE HOME

1. Make your own window cleaning mix with ½ pint cold water and three tablespoons of distilled white vinegar. Store in an empty (used) spray bottle. This mix works a treat when wiped over windows, mirrors etc, allowed to dry off for a minute or two and then polished up with scrunched up newspaper. The Daily Telegraph seems to work particularly well. Two eco-friendly tips for the home in one here. Plus any left over mix keeps well.

2. Make a paste from bicarbonate of soda and white distilled vinegar to remove lime scale from taps.

3. Bicarbonate of soda is now being hailed as the 'wonder' cleaning aid and is certainly a superb eco-friendly product for the home. Mixed into a paste with cold water it can be used for cleaning stains on the glass hob of a cooker. This is particularly good where manufacturers urge caution against using abrasive cleaners. This simple remedy is also fine for cleaning sinks. It works wonders on ceramic butler sinks that absolutely gleam after the 'treatment'.

This mixture can also be used to clean the inside of badly stained cups, also to polish silver and stainless steel cutlery. Bi-carb one of the most eco-friendly products for the home and even better, is also so versatile and inexpensive to buy.

4. Distilled white vinegar will also remove lime scale from kettles. Fill the kettle to lime scale level, leave to stand overnight. Empty kettle in the morning and flush out well. Some folk like to boil up the kettle with clean water to avoid any lingering taste of vinegar in the early morning cuppa.

5. I have not tried re-using the vinegar that is used in this way for any other cleaning task, but will do so when the occasion arises and will report progress.

6. To clean/deodorise a chopping board, spread bicarb over the surface, spray with white vinegar. Leave it to bubble for a while then rinse off with hot water. Don't spend good money on buying a spray bottle, re-cycle/use an empty one from another 'commercial' product.

7. To clean burnt pans put half a cup of soap flakes or washing detergent in the pan, cover with boiling water, leave to stand overnight and wash out in the morning.

8. Distilled white vinegar - another one of the superb eco-friendly products for the home - works well on cleaning mould on tiles and shower screens.

9. Lemon juice works well for cleaning brass and copper. Rub on and then polish with a soft cloth. Use the old, cut-up T shirts as a polisher.

10. Half a lemon in a small bowl half filled with water and heated in the Microwave for two minutes works wonders where cleaning and degreasing is concerned. Just carefully remove the bowl when the timer indicates and wipe out the microwave with a damp cloth.

A lemon is surely one of the top-class eco-friendly products for the home - it even comes in its own packaging.!

11. A strong mix of household salt in boiling water will kill weeds between paving stones. Use on a hot sunny day.

12. To remove red wine from clothing, cover with household salt, allowing the salt to absorb the wine, then launder as usual.

13. To clean really grimy windows try mixing 1 tablespoon cornflour with 1/2 pint water. This removes both grease and grime. Use a cloth to apply and polish with a clean cloth. Another one of the eco-friendly products for the home that are becoming invaluable.

14. If your pet should have an 'accident' on a carpet, remove the urine (and smell) with a cloth dipped in a strong solution of household soda and water. Press the cloth down hard on the stain. Repeat this several times until your cloth comes up clean. The smell and the stain should be gone.

15. The smell that clings to plastic food containers, - particularly lunch boxes which can be closed for several hours, and that are in use every day - is notoriously difficult to remove. Try filling them with very hot water, add 1 tablespooon bicarbonate of soda, a few drops of liquid detergent and 1 tablespoon white vinegar. Leave to stand for at least 15 minutes. Rinse clean and allow to air-dry.

We will continue adding more of these eco-friendly products for the home to this list as soon as we have tried and tested them ourselves.

Meantime, do remember that 'old fashioned' washing soda is now being hailed as the wonder ingredient and features in so many easy DIY tips where it is found to be absolutely invaluable.

Have we covered everything? Let us know.

Why not pass your cleaning ideas on to us that use eco-friendly products for the home via the

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then we can share them with our other readers.

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