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.

And keep your eyes peeled for my new online course packed full of natural cleaning recipes and tips – COMING SOON!

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