Make Your Own Cleaning Solution
Kitchen Garden|June 2021
Some natural plant-based products can do a great job of cleaning your home, as garden writer Susie Kearley explains
Susie Kearley

If you have a yearning to live more simply and want to reduce all the plastic bottles of cleaning products in your cupboard, then making your own from simpler ingredients is one way to do it. Two of the main ingredients which have great cleaning power are vinegar and lemon. White vinegar has long been known to make a good cleaner, deodoriser and pest repellent. Lemon with its acidic nature is good for cleaning and has disinfecting properties. These two powerful products combined with one or two other ingredients including home-grown herbs can provide a complete home cleaning kit.

LAUNDRY PRODUCTS

One natural solution to washing your clothes is using soap nuts. These are nature’s alternative to chemical laundry liquids and are readily available to buy from specialist suppliers. Soap nuts or soap berries are the dried fruit shells harvested from the soapberry tree. Sadly, we can’t grow our own soap trees in the UK as they prefer the climate of the Indian continent but they are 100% biodegradable and vegan. They can be used a few times so a bagful of soap nuts can do a lot of washes, making them economical too.

For clothes that are stained before washing, dab a little white vinegar on the stain and it helps eliminate smells too. Stubborn stains, like tea, coffee, grass stains or perspiration marks can be removed by soaking an item in white vinegar before you put it in the washing machine – this gets rid of lingering smells too. Collars and cuffs come up clean when you rub stains with a homemade baking soda and white vinegar paste before washing. You could also add 150ml (5fl oz) of white vinegar to your laundry to help prevent colours fading.

In the dryer after washing you could use little herb bags. Buy or make small cotton or hemp cloth bags (roughly 5x5in). Mix ½ cup of baking soda, 1⁄8 cup arrowroot powder, some lavender flowers and/or sprigs of rosemary. Add a few drops of essential oils to help boost the fragrance. Put the mixture into the bags and drop into the middle of the dryer.

CLEANING TIPS FOR THE HOME

MAKE A KITCHEN SPRAY

The following is a mild cleaning solution that cuts through grease and may kill some germs but it should be noted that it will not disinfect as well as some proprietary products which have been tested thoroughly and are known to kill food poisoning pathogens and viruses like Covid-19.

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