Eco-friendly cleaning tips and products
While it may be the dream to get our homes looking catalogue-pristine, even getting it halfway there can sometimes mean using a cocktail of chemical products.
If you'd like to make sure whatever you're spraying around your house is safe for the whole family, we've rounded up Mumsnetters' favourite eco-friendly products, homemade cleaning solutions and other advice on how to keep your home sparkling, without the need for potentially dangerous chemicals.
Frugal and eco-friendly, these homemade solutions use everyday products you'd find around the house.
- "When my oven door is really greasy, I cover it with a paste of sodium bicarbonate, then pour some white vinegar on it. It removes most of the grease very easily."
- "If you want to prevent your toilet from scaling up in a hard water area, try using the cheapest diet cola you can find. Tip the full bottle in the bowl before bed and flush in the morning."
- "For stains on a sink or a cooker, try bicarbonate of soda just dampened with water. It acts as a gentle abrasive."
- "I already use washing soda instead of posh stain removers and it seems every bit as effective."
- "To prevent limescale build up, we fill an empty bottle with half vinegar and half hot water, shake it together then spray down every tile and faucet then wipe it down. If the shower head gets grotty-looking, take an airtight ziploc plastic bag and fasten it around the shower head. Fill it with your vinegar mixture (shake well first), tape it up and leave it for around 10 hours, then rince and dry off the next day, maybe using a small soft toothbrush."
You can greatly reduce the amount of cleaning products you need to use with some of these suggestions from Mumsnetters on how to use plain old hot water and smart products to your advantage when tackling dirt around your home.
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Talk: Good housekeeping
Oven liners are handy bits of wipeable heatproof plastic you slot into the bottom of your oven to catch all the greasy drips and bits of food that fall through the grating, which are really easy to clean and cut down on the amount of time you spend scrubbing. Here's what some Mumsnetters have said about them.
- "I bought a Teflon oven liner at the same time as my brand new oven. It's wonderful and nothing will ever burn onto the bottom of the oven ever again."
- "A simple but brilliant invention. Easy to remove and clean, unlike the bottom of an oven."
- "It doesn't take all of the graft out of cleaning an oven as somehow, gunge gets underneath, but it certainly means you need a lot less effort! And if you do it regularly, then just taking the sheet out of the oven base and washing it down in the sink with washing-up liquid works a treat in between major cleans."
These very dense microfibre clothes come highly recommended by Mumsnetters for making wiping down surfaces much speedier. Cleaning with these means less chemical intervention as they pick up all sorts of grime with just water.
- "I've just started using ecloths - they're great!"
- "I have an ecloth mop and really can't believe how good it is. Seriously amazing."
- "I love my ecloths. I'm allergic to loads of cleaning products and they work very well to pick up all sorts of grime with just water - they do a glass polishing one too which cleans mirrors and glass quickly and easily without smears."
Steam is magic for getting rid of dirt, and disinfects the area while you're at it. If you get a cleaner one with lots of attachments, you can clean your floors, your windows, surfaces. And we hear it's more than a little bit satisfying to do, too.
- "I have recently bought a Karcher steam mop. It's great for all my floors, and I'm still finding out where else I can use it around the house!"
- "For cleaning your oven, a steam cleaner is a good idea. Some people put a pan of boiling water into the oven first to help soften the dirt."
- "I have a steam mop, which is brilliant. I think they're really effective."
- "I recommend using a steam mop with attachments for cleaning the bathroom, blinds, kitchen, cooker, etc. No chemicals, and the steam will disinfect everything naturally and effectively."
While elbow grease and soap has a lot to answer for, sometimes it's nice to have a bit more oomph up your sleeve when tackling the grottiest of cleaning jobs. These eco-friendly cleaning products come well-rated by Mumsnetters, and don't contain any bleach or other chemical nasties.
"The Bio-D range is fantastic and the packaging is eco-friendly too."
"I love the washing up liquid, and I like the fact that it's a British company."
"The best ever de-greaser and general cleaner I've used is the Bio-D Multi Surface Cleaner Liquid. It's very eco-friendly, and lasts for ages. It doesn't smell and is amazing at cleaning grubby kitchen units and tiles."
"METHOD! I love the stuff, and I clean a LOT."
"They all work well and smell gorgeous."
"Ecover dishwasher tabs are great, and don't leave a nasty perfume taste on plastics."
"Ecozone Ecoballs! I've only used them for a couple of weeks but I'm totally converted to them!"
"I've been using them for six months already and haven't replaced them. I was very impressed and saved a fortune on washing powder."
"I got Ecozone Ecoballs cheap from Aldi last week, and I'm very impressed. They took a spag bol stain out of a light-coloured teeshirt, so I'm happy with them."