Now that I'm back to cleaning the house myself again (no more cleaning lady - sniff) I've been experimenting with some homemade cleaning remedies. We had previously been using 'eco friendly' citrus based sprays from the supermarket, but I figure even these come in plastic bottles and still tend to contain a long list of unidentifiable ingredients. I tend to think more now about what I'm wiping on the floor with The Booba spends crawling round on it (and then sucking on his hands...). So I've been having a crack with the old white vinegar and bicarb - and I'm happy (and a bit surprised) to announce that they actually work! Apparently vinegar even has strong antibacterial and antiviral properties, so those hooked on 'sterilising' their homes can feel comfortable with this alternative too. Here are some 'recipes' that have been working well for me:
* add a cup of vinegar to a bucket of hot water to mop the floor
* use vinegar neat to clean the toilet
* use vinegar neat to wipe shower tiles (apparently it has mould inhibiting properties)
* to clean the microwave add 1/2 cup vinegar to 2 cups of water and cook on high for 3 minutes. Then wipe out the inside of the microwave.
* to deodorise and disinfect a stinky cutting board soak in vinegar for 5-10 minutes.
* to clean a smelly drain tip down 1/2 - 1 cup of bicarbonate of soda then slowly poor down 1 cup of vinegar. Follow with water.
* for an all purpose cleaner that is particularly good for cleaning the bathroom sink add 2 tablespoons of bicarb to 1 tablespoon of vinegar and use it to scrub with. I've found this is much better at getting rid of that black gunge around the base of the taps than standard spray cleaners.
* put vinegar in an old spray bottle and use to wipe down the highchair and the mat that lives under the high chair.
* wet a newspaper with vinegar and use to clean the mirror (yes I used to think this sounded stupid too - but its fantastic at getting rid of those little white toothpaste spots).
Some of these ideas have come courtesy of a booked called 'Clean Sweep' by Alison Haynes (2008, Murdoch Books Australia), and the rest from www.frugalfun.com/vinegar.