Economical and Natural Cleaning Methods
There is a whole range of cleaning products that is available in the market. Products that claim to make your home squeaky clean and banish all kinds of stains, odours and make stuff sparkle like new. We are bombarded with pretty heavy advertisements shown on the telly that show us how a single swipe of a cloth soaked in a particular brand of floor cleaner that banishes hundreds of germs in one go, or how a single scrub with a brush will make your yellowing toilet bowl turn white like new! But have we ever thought of the chemicals that are used in these cleaners? They are all loaded with quite harmful cleaners, although the manufacturers claim they are safe to use, they are still chemicals we are releasing into the ground and making the natural water tables contaminated. Not to mention the sky-high costs of most of these products. Every litre of these cleaners drained into the rivers and grounds contaminates hundreds of litres of ground water and also degrade the quality of soils.
After reading this article, you will know how surprising easy it is to achieve a sparkling clean house using only a few materials easily found in the kitchen. They are all natural and very cheap and economical too. Also since they are natural, they are safe for the babies, for us and for the environment.
Lemon juice is acidic in nature and therefore can be used for a wide variety of cleaning. Its fresh lemony fragrance also helps get rid of various odours and imparts a fresh fragrance in the house.
- The chrome taps in kitchen and bathrooms tend to get scaled with minerals present in the water. To get rid of these scales, just rub half a lemon on the taps and fittings, allow them to dry. Then rinse with cold water and then rub dry with a soft cloth. They will sparkle again like new.
- To remove wine stains from carpets. As soon as a spillage occurs, squirt the juice of lemons over affected area quickly and dab out with a cloth. Keep repeating until the stains disappear, but this must be done as soon as a spillage occurs. Allowing the wine to dry may not remove the stains completely later.
- When using microwave, sometimes inevitably there is a spillage of liquids and foods inside. There is also a problem of lingering odours from various foods. To clean the microwave and to get rid of these odours, just fill water in a bowl, put in a few slices of water and place it on the turntable. Heat this until the water boils. Remove the bowl and wipe the interior with a clean cloth. It will be clean and fresh with all the odours removed.
- To remove tea and coffee stains from the cups, mugs and pots, fill them up with lemon juice and water mix (use one lemon for 600 ml water) and let the water stand for a few hours. Then scrub as usual, the stains will disappear. A combination of lemon juice with salt works similalry too but the salt grains might leave scratches on your fine bone china.
Soda Bicarb or Baking Soda
Soda bicarb has mildly abrasive properties and is hence good for cleaning built-up dirt and grime. It is also extremely cheap and you can use large quantities of it for cleaning purposes.
- Sprinkle the soda on sinks, baths, toilet bowls and scour it with a brush or sponge. It will remove all dirt and grime and clean these surfaces very nicely.
- To clean wooden chopping boards, make a paste of baking soda with lemon juice and scour its surface. It will clean the surface well and also destroy germs on its surface.
- To clean the cooking tops and gas stove surfaces, cover them with a paste of soda and leave them for a few hours. Then rub with a damp cloth and wipe off. This will get rid of all grease stains.
- I use a mixture of baking soda with salt to clean out water bottles. Just put a teaspoon of equal parts of soda and salt in the water, pour a little warm water and shake vigorously, scour with a bottle brush if needed. Then rinse off with plain water 2-3 times. The bottles will be clean and safe to use again.
- The kitchen sink tends to get clogged up many times due to grease buildup and particles of food that are flushed down the drain. Instead of using chemical cleaners to clear the drain,use baking soda. Pour half a cup of baking soda and salt in equal proportions on the mouth of the drain, pour half a cup of water over it and leave it for several hours. Then pour hot water over this, the drain will have cleared up.
- Along with its cleaning properties, baking soda is also very effective in removing unpleasant odours from home and kitchen. Especially in the refrigerator, the food odours are strong. So always keep a small bowl filled with soda in the refrigerator. Replace the soda weekly.
- Sometimes after cooking strong smelly foods like fish etc. the odours linger for a long time in the microwave and the kitchen. Just mix two large tablespoons with a cup of water and heat in a bowl microwave. Heat this on high for 2-3 minutes. For added benefits add a slice of lemon which will give lemony fresh fragrance. If you have cooked the food on a gas stove, the same remedy will work, just boil the water for a few minutes.
Other Natural Cleaners
Some other ingredients that can be used effectively to clean several things are tomato ketchup, toothpaste, coffee grounds etc. Yes toothpaste and ketchup are useful for cleaning, but since they are quite expensive I am not giving them much importance. But for special purposes such as cleaning brass and silver items, they are very effective. Rubbing these special things with either ketchup or brass cleans out all grime and makes them sparkle.
There are other things too that you can use to get rid of odours around the house, like activated charcoal for instance. Place small containers filled with activated charcoal around the house in hard-to-reach places such as high cabinets, drawers etc. They will absorb odours and will also prevent formation of mould and mildew in such place.
I have read about several uses of vinegar for cleaning purposes but I have not yet tried them myself. I have now decided to buy a bottle of vinegar and try it out for myself. Even bleaching powder works well for cleaning toilets and baths but since it is a bit hard on skin I have refrained from using it until now. I also hate its smell, but you could probably give it a try. So start cleaning with these natural ingredients and you will probably save a fortune!
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