What do the chemicals in the cleaners we use do to the environment? Looking for alternatives?
In The Kitchen
Here’s the quick way to a spotless kitchen and conscience.
Your Basic Kit
- Distilled vinegar.
- Lemons/lemon juice
- Bicarbonate of soda
The inside of the microwave can be a disgusting place. Put a bowl of water and half a lemon in for 5 minutes on high. The mix of steam and gentle acid from the lemon will loosen dirt. Then just wipe it away.
A dishcloth is a great place for bugs as they spend most of their lives warm and wet. Put it (wet) in the microwave on high for one minute. Let it cool before taking it out again.
Shine-up stainless steel pans, chrome kettles and toasters by wiping with vinegar or lemon juice on a cloth. Then buff with a dry cloth.
Burnt pans just need to be filled with water, then add a handful of salt or a couple of tablespoons of bicarb. Boil up and leave to soak overnight.
Stainless steel sinks will shine after a polish with a paste of bicarb and water. Rinse and dry.
Buy your bicarb from the chemist in 500g tubs rather than the little pots used for cooking.
Borax is great for killing germs and mildew. Make a solution and use in an old spray bottle.
Distilled vinegar is great in hard water areas. To clean the showerhead pour undiluted into a small plastic bag, tie around the showerhead and leave overnight. Scrub and poke out the stubborn bits out with a cocktail stick.
In hospitals overusing antibiotics has created super- bugs. Experts think that using antibacterial sprays may lead to the same thing happening in the home. Washing up liquid solution in a spray bottle is convenient and works just as well.
Eco-Friendly Laundry Tips
Don’t let stains ruin your favourite togs. Be gentle but firm with them. Here’s how.
The first rule is to follow the maker’s instructions – they’re there for a reason and some fabrics do need specialist cleaning.
Stains like blood, egg and gravy need soaking in cold water with plenty of salt or some washing power/liquid. Don’t use hot water – it makes the stain ‘set’ in the fibres and it’ll never come out.
Grease is more easily removed with washing soda (from the chemist or hardware store). Add a couple of tablespoons to a tough-stains wash.
Stains from sweat can be treated with either white vinegar or some bicarb. It depends on the body chemistry as to which works best.
Grass stains need glycerine (from the chemist) rubbed into them before washing.
Alternatively try eucalyptus oil. This also works well on tar and oil.
Glycerine is good for lipstick stains and can be chased with distilled vinegar if it persists after washing.
Take care not to rub fabrics too hard or use too many chemicals as that can make things worse.
Published in: Homemaking