Here in Melbourne we are at the height of summer. School holidays are nearly over and weveryone is back at work. For the last seven months I have been working for an environmentally friendly cleaning company here in Melbourne, cleaning peoples houses without using any chemicals. For work I use Enyo products, which are very good, however over the last couple of months have come to the realization that the best way to clean without chemicals is very simple.
Often we are convinced by large detergent companies that in order for our homes to be clean we need to use bleach and other harsh chemicals which we buy at the supermarket.
Well this professional cleaner is here to tell you that is not true. I clean approximately 10 Houses at the moment using a spray bottle of 50/50 white vinegar and water, and a solution of liquid soap which I have made from home made soap, along with a bicarbonate paste which I make myself.
The key to green cleaning is to do it often and dry areas after they have been cleaned. For tough soap scum on glass areas I use a nylon scourer then wash with a microfibre cloth and polish with a soft dry cloth. If you absolutely must use a disinfectant I recommend a solution of cloudy ammonia mixed with water in a spray bottle, but to be honest white vinegar is a great favorite of mine. For grease nothing beats hot soapy water and a clean cloth, and for baked on hard to remove areas try stainless steel wool or gotschalk to get that off.
We are often "sucked in" by horrible advertising telling us that we should use particular products for different areas of our home, cleaning products for the kitchen, and other products for the bathroom/toilet areas and yet again other products for glass and on it goes.
Here is what I use.
For wet areas, sinks hand basins baths and laundry troughs, I make up a paste of the following which I carry around in a small plastic container:
2 cups of bicarbonate
2 teaspoons eucalyptus oil
1 teaspoon glycerine
Add enough water to make a reasonably thick paste and use sparingly with a damp cloth to clean off bath rings and give all wet areas a nice shine. rinse clean and then dry with a soft cloth.
Drying helps prevent water marks and will keep mildew and germs away. Also it leaves everything gleaming!
For glass I use a spray bottle of 50/50 water and white vinegar, wipe with a clean sponge or cloth and always dry using either a chamois or cotton flannelette cloth, as neither of these will leave lint on the glass.
To clean the loo, I generally use a squirt of homemade liquid soap, and clean the whole area inside and out with a toilet brush then wipe clean and dry the outside with an old towelling nappy. I never use bleach or any chemicals.
Cleaning is one f those things we have to do, while it is a bit of a chore and not the most entertaining of pastimes you shouldn't have to wear a gas mask or safety glasses to do it! I hope these simple guide lines are of some assistance to those of you who would like to be clean and green. There are plenty of simple living blogs online to get more ideas from, a couple of favs of mine are Rhonda at http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com; and http://simple-green-frugal-co-op.blogspot.com/
That's all for now thanks for reading, and please feel free to leave comments!