Sick of having a cupboard full of expensive cleaning products? Make sure you always have these basic ingredients on hand to help simplify and transform your household cleaning.
While there is no shortage of dirt, germ and grease busters on the market, you can seriously cut down on the number of cleaning related containers in your cupboard by keeping some basic household products on hand.
Here are the top 5 these five environmentally friendly, mix and matchable goodies, plus our top tips -
1. Bicarbonate Soda
If there is one product you need to keep in bulk, its bicarbonate soda. Generally found in the cooking products aisle (where it has even more uses), this wonder powder can be used as a deodoriser or cleanser. Add to water to clean and deodorise your bins, use as a paste with water to clean bench tops, or even throw a handful into the bottom of the dishwasher mid-way between loads to eliminate odours. Stubborn oven grime can be tackled with a paste made of bicarbonate soda and water added to a warm oven, left overnight and then wiped clean. And if you have a bed (or carpet) wetter in the house, sprinkle the affected area liberally with bicarbonate and leave to draw up urine for a few hours, before vacuuming away.
As well as added taste to your chips, white distilled vinegar has a multitude of cleaning uses. You can clean windows and glass with an equal mix of vinegar and warm water for a streak and soap residue busting finish, then use the leftover mix to spray and wipe out the fridge, stainless steel stoves and oven tops, or clean bathroom surfaces like tubs, tiles and bench tops. Much like bicarbonate soda, vinegar has deodorising qualities – it makes a good floor cleaner when mixed with water, or can be used to clean and deodorised a toilet if used neat (3 cups in the bowl and a spritz around the sides left for a half hour should do the trick.)
Fun fact: If you add vinegar to bicarbonate of soda, it will bubble and fizz – and makes an excellent cleaner for tough jobs like deep cleaning the toilet or oven, or as an effective pre-treatment to scrubbing grout.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide
A natural alternative to bleach, hydrogen peroxide can be added to the wash to brighten whites, directly to a stain to remove it, or to a bucket of hot water and vinegar to clean and disinfect floors. You can spray hydrogen peroxide directly on chopping boards, counters, bathroom surfaces or eating surfaces to remove germs and bacteria, and you can keep toothbrushes germ free with a regular soak in hydrogen peroxide (just keep them out of reach of children while they are soaking.)
4. Eucalyptus oil
A terrific grease buster, eucalyptus oil can also be safely added to the loo as a disinfectant, a bucket of hot water and vinegar for mopping floors, or to a load of washing to kill dust mites (and give a delicious scent to your washing!) You can also make your own room refresher spray by mixing a quarter of a teaspoon of eucalyptus oil with a half teaspoon of vodka and two cups of water in a spray bottle.
5. Microfiber and electrostatic clothes and mops
Because they work by attracting dirt, hair and other debris to the fibres where they then stick; microfiber cloths, electrostatic mops and dusters are a great way to dust and sweep without using any chemicals or cleaners at all. They can be used on windows, blinds, walls, bathroom and kitchen surfaces – even cars can be cleaned using microfiber cleaning equipment. Water or a white vinegar and water mix can also be used in conjunction with these super cleaners to clean and deodorise dirty surfaces.
What’s your go-to homemade cleaner around the house?