In Eco Friendly, Starting Out

I love natural cleaning products and here’s why:

  • They are the best for our planet.
  • They don’t contain harmful/harsh chemicals which can be damaging to you, your family, your pets and loads of wildlife which rely on waterways to survive.
  • They smell great and you can pretty much pick and choose your favourite scents.
  • They don’t have that awful chemically, bleachy smell that lingers for days.
  • You can DIY a lot of cleaning products without the need for plastic packaging.

I think everyone should get into natural cleaning rather than store-bought, chemical-laden, environment-damaging products, but there is a common misconception that I come across – people think going natural is difficult and time-consuming.

And, I do get this.

Taking the time to mix ingredients at home when you can just buy one ready-to-go bottle isn’t too attractive when you are pressed for time, but guess what? There are quite a few one-ingredient-wonders that are all natural, multipurpose and that you can just grab and use – it’s a great place to start getting the hang of natural cleaning.

So without further ado, let me share my top 5 one-ingredient natural cleaners for your toxin-free home.

  1. Eucalyptus Oil

Not only is eucalyptus oil great for clearing your airways and making you feel better when you have a cold, but it’s awesome for cleaning as it has antibacterial properties.

Use to:

  • Clean sticky spots around the place/remove glue/remove the sticky residue from price tags
  • Polish stainless steel appliances, tapware and sinks
  • Clean and kill germs on toilet seat and basin
  • Add to washing to kill germs and add fragrance
  • Add to mop water to fragrance house and reduce bacteria

2. Bicarbonate Soda

This readily available ingredient is cheap and super effective. It is found in a lot of natural cleaning recipes, but is also great on its own for some quick and easy cleaning. It is mildly abrasive so gives a good clean without scratching your surfaces and absorbs odours which is very handy.

Try it for:

  • All kinds of bathroom cleaning – tiles, taps, toilet bowl, basin
  • Kitchen benchtops (mine are white stone and bicarb has saved me from dark scuff marks on many occasions )
  • Softening and brightening clothes by adding to your wash
  • Removing baked on stains on pots and pans (soak in bicarb and water for 15 minutes then scrub)
  • A dishwasher refresh – run an empty cycle with bicarb in the bottom
  • Coffee/tea cup/tea pot stain removal – scrub with bicarb to remove stains
  • Cleaning the oven – make a paste with water and leave on your oven for 24 hours before washing off
  • Cleaning the fridge – sprinkle bicarb on your sponge of choice, scrub each section of the fridge and wipe with a clean, wet cloth
  • Neutralising odours in sofas and carpets – sprinkle on and leave for an hour or so before vacuuming
  • Absorbing odours in the fridge – put some bicarb in a bowl at the back of your fridge to absorb those suspicious and sometimes unidentifiable odours

3. Castile Soap

This soap can be made from a range of plant-based oils and is usually purchased from bulk food shops or health food shops. It is chemical-free so very handy for natural and gentle cleaning. It is great as a plastic-free replacement for liquid soaps (as you can buy it in your own container/bottle) and can be used for a range of purposes.

It can be used it for:

  • Hand soap in a reusable pump bottle
  • Laundry detergent
  • General cleaning – add to mop bucket, use it to clean down benchtops/basins
  • An all-purpose spray – add to a spray bottle with some water
  • A body and face wash
  • Dish soap
  • Pet and human shampoo
  • Window cleaner (although you might need to do a final water rinse to remove all streaks)

4. White Vinegar

Vinegar is seriously legendary stuff. I mean, what can’t it do? It can even kill mould! There are a thousand uses, I’m sure, but here are some of my usual ones:

  • Add to the rinse aid compartment in your dishwasher for streak-free (and chemical-free) dishes and glasses
  • Add to your clothes wash for softer, less staticky clothes
  • Spray all over your toilet, leave for a while, then scrub
  • Spray all over mould (80% vinegar, 20% water) and leave for a few hours before giving a good scrub. Note: this is not guaranteed to remove all mould stains, but will kill mould
  • Add to mop buckets, spray cleaners etc. for a bit of added power
  • Mix with water (80% vinegar, 20% water) in a spray bottle for an all purpose spray and wipe

5. Essential Oils

And now for my final one-ingredient-wonder for your low-tox home – essential oils! I must admit, for a long time I thought these were just for burning in your oil burner, but I have since learned they are the zing in my natural cleaning regime! I add oils to everything and anything to make sure my stuff still smells fabulous.

Some ideas for you to try:

  • Add a few drops to your washing machine load for fragrant clothes
  • Add a few drops on a handkerchief in your drawers for even more fragrant smelling clothes
  • Add lemon or orange drops to your spray bottles of DIY cleaner and your mop bucket
  • Add eucalyptus oil to your bathroom cleaning spray bottle or just wipe on surfaces directly
  • Clean your fridge with a mixture of vinegar and vanilla essential oil
  • Add a few drops of your choice to your dishwasher for a sweet-smelling machine and dishes

And there are actually loads more uses for these one-ingredient wonders, but the ideas above cover a lot of them and are a great place to start especially, if you are feeling like natural cleaning is all too hard; they’ll show you how easy it can be!

If you liked this post and want to learn more about easy natural cleaning, jump into my FREE 5-day DIY Low-waste Challenge! You’ll receive a 5-minute recipe each day that will help rid your home of plastics and toxins.

OR jump straight in to my ONLINE COURSE packed full of natural cleaning recipes and tips – Natural, No-Toxin Cleaning – you’ll ditch the chemicals and the plastic bottles and make your home much safer!

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