The Jakarta Post
Mix vinegar and water and put it into a spray bottle to clean tables, sinks, ceramics, bathrooms and mirrors. (Shutterstock/ 5 second Studio)
House cleaning products are basically a mixture of chemicals and fragrance, resulting in a sharp smell that is not exactly tolerable. In fact, cleaning activities may actually lead to long-term respiratory problems, as a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine has warned.
To hinder that, zero-waste consultant Rachelle Strauss and lifestyle blogger Madeleine Olivia encourage the use of natural ingredients to create alternative cleaning products. Here's how you can join the bandwagon:
Create a multipurpose spray using vinegar
Mix vinegar and water and put it in a spray bottle. “If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, you can add essential oils,” Strauss says.
She personally likes to add lemon or lime to her mixture for cleaning tables, sinks, ceramics, bathrooms and mirrors.
Vinegar can also be used to descale water marks by boiling it inside dirty kettles.
Olive oil adds extra shine to furniture
Standard olive oil can be an alternative to furniture polish. “Dab some on a cloth, polish gently over the surface and leave to dry,” Olivia says.
She also recommends adding a squeeze of lemon to the mixture to produce a fresh scent.
Use biodegradable castile soap
Castile soaps are toxic-free soaps made of olive, hemp, avocado and coconut oil. Olivia mixes four parts of castile soap with one part of water for laundry detergent, dish soap, hand soap or shampoo.
“For sparkling floors, add a quarter cup of vinegar to your bucket of hot water and a generous squeeze of castile soap,” she advises.
Stock bicarbonate of soda at home
Bicarbonate of soda or baking soda can work in three ways: deodorizing, dissolving grease and polishing surfaces. Putting a small bowl of baking soda in the fridge will absorb odors. It can also be used to clean bathrooms.
“Finish with some vinegar spray and your taps will shine,” Strauss says.
You can also sprinkle bicarb of soda on the oven floor as it cools down. Add a little water and leave it for 30 minutes to get rid of grease. “I’m not pretending that it will look like you have used Mr Muscle, but it’ll be good enough,” admits the author.
Sprinkling bicarb of soda along with vinegar down the drain can also help dislodge grease.
Tea tree oil and vinegar battles mold
Olivia recommends spraying bottles and containers with white vinegar and a few drops of tea tree oil to clean mold.
“Leave to do its thing for 30 minutes, then scrub off with a cloth and warm water,” she says. (vel/kes)
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