Clever cleaning means finding ways to get the same sparkling results that are less harmful to ourselves, our families and the environment. This can be through using more natural non-toxic substances, cutting back on electricity and water consumption or even sweeping in a way that won’t strain your back.
For general cleaning around the house there are two essentials you should always have on hand: bicarb and white vinegar.
Most cleaning and stain treatments listed on this site also include a natural, homemade alternative solution. Simply search for the topic you’re interested in or use the menu.
If you’re not a fan of some of the chemical-laden cleaning products that you find in supermarkets, you can easily make your own from a selection of easy to obtain ingredients. These will not only keep your house safe, clean and fresh, they’ll probably save you money. So will cleaning by the adage LESS is MORE. Use the right tools instead.
Homemade General Cleaning Solution
For a gentle all purpose cream cleanser, mix bicarb with household liquid soap (or buy liquid castile soap from health food stores). You can also turn this into a spray version:
- 1 tbsp bicarb soda
- 1 tbsp cloudy ammonia
- 60ml white vinegar
- 1 drop lavender or lemon oil
- 1 tbsp liquid castile soap
- 2 litres hot water
Mix together in a bucket and pour into spray bottles.
Homemade Floor Cleaning Solution
An excellent all purpose solution for most types of floor, except carpet obviously.
- Squirt of dishwashing detergent
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- Bucket hot water
Simply mix these in a bucket and mop away. Use a damp mop, not saturated, and for best results rinse with just hot water after cleaning.
Homemade Glass Cleaning Solution
For a lint-free clean use a microfibre cloth. This can be washed and re-used over and over. For windows, invest in a squeegee.
- 1/4 cup methylated spirits
- 1 litre water
Add the methylated spirits to the water, transfer to a spray bottle and you’re ready to start cleaning!
Homemade Laundry Washing Solution
This is a good all purpose homemade washing solution. Make it up in bulk then store in resealable jars for convenience. Two cups of this solution should be enough for an average wash.
- 1/2 cup flakes of pure soap
- 1/2 cup washing soda
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of eucalyptus oil
- 9L of hot water
In a saucepan add soap and soda to a litre of the water and bring to the boil, stirring as you do so. Once the ingredients have dissolved add the vinegar and essential oil and stir thoroughly.
Use two buckets and pour four litres of hot water into each. Divide the mixture in the saucepan into each of the bucket. Give a gentle stir, leave to cool, then decant into large jars or resealable containers.
You can also treat stains with this solution. Simply pour directly onto the stain, leave for five minutes, then put the garment into the wash.
Homemade Furniture Cleaning Solution
You can pick up all the ingredients for this excellent and easy to use polish at your local hardware store. Store in a jar with a tight fitting lid and it will last for ages.
- 60g beeswax
- 150ml turpentine
- 2 tablespoons linseed oil
- 2 tablespoons cedar oil
Chop or grate the beeswax in an old saucepan. Add the liquid ingredients and gently heat, stirring as you go, until you have a smooth liquid.
Pour into a resealable container, but leave to cool before putting the lid on.