October 24, 2023

Eco friendly, cheap cleaning

I try to be eco friendly and hate food waste and so last year I started to make some orange, eco friendly cleaner. lemons and other citrus fruit work the same. I hate the use of chemicals. A lot of people are saying that you need to use anti bacterial stuff due to Covid etc, but that does not kill a virus unfortunately 😔. I also think that using anti bacterial chemicals everywhere stops us all building up natural immunity.  I often have my hands in soil as I never wear gloves, but am rarely ill as I have always been in less than clean environments.

To make the cleaner I fill a jar to 2/3 full with distilled white vinegar, and throw in my citrus peels as I use them, making sure that they are pushed under the vinegar. They need to infuse for at least a week, but some of mine infuse for months which is better. I then fill up a spray bottle with one part of the infused vinegar and one part water, and use as you would any house cleaner. Citrus contains d-limonene which cuts through grease and dirt and leaves my house smelling fresh. The acidity in vinegar dissolves scum and soap debris in sinks. I do not use on my bathroom stone floors or my wood floors, and wouldn’t use it if I had granite or marble work tops as it may etch them. It is also not good for electronic screens or for anything made from rubber, either.  My gran told me not to use on kitchen knives also.

If I have some deep cleaning to do I will use the vinegar and citrus solution first and then make a paste with bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and water and put it on the surface I want to clean.  I let it bubble for a bit.  This acts like an abrasive which I scrub with gently.  I then wash it off with a damp cloth and water.

I use bicarbonate of soda to clean my drains too.  I sprinkle half a cup of bicarbonate of soda down the drain and then half a cup of vinegar, put the plug in as it tends to foam up, and leave it over night , or at least an hour. I then boil the kettle and pour boiling water down the sink, and all the gunk flushes out.

This saves money on cleaning products and is another way of saving waste and using orange peel as apparently it is not good for the compost.  Many writers suggest not putting citrus peels into compost due to preservatives used in growing them which may harm the bacteria in compost. If you do not have any citrus peels but have essential oils, those work as well, and also disguise the smell of the vinegar.

For cleaning the shower screen or windows I use white vinegar on newspaper.  I call into Waitrose to get free Newspaper as they print their weekly magazine on it.  I then buff up the window or screen using dry newspaper afterwards.  I was taught to do this for inspections when I was in the Navy and it works a treat.  Another way to clean windows is with citric acid and vinegar and to wipe with a cloth, but I save my citric acid for preserving.  I would never use citric acid on metals such as brass or copper as it can tarnish, and apparently it can also corrode marble (but I am not posh enough to have marble in my house).

I will be honest, commercial cleaners probably work better and you might need a bit more elbow grease to get the same results with some of these cleaners, but it avoids toxic chemicals in the house (which in recent studies are being shown to be so detrimental to our health). For me, also, it often means that I can steal bits of money from my cleaning budget to help some of my other budgets (my cleaning budget is £10 a month). The recent price rises are stretching my budget to the maximum and so this is a way that I have saved.  I always use gloves when cleaning as, although these are eco friendly, some people may still have a reaction.  There are so many allergies to normal things now a days that is best to make sure.

If you want to know how to make eco friendly detergent from horse chestnuts the link is here.

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