I know a lot of bloggers cover this topic at some stage but I thought I would share a few inexpensive cleaning products that I use to replace the more toxic commercial cleaners. In my cupboard (and maybe yours too) you will always be able to find:
Loosely woven cotton cleaning cloths - you can pick these up from Bed, Bath & Beyond (really cheap!)
Lemons - if you are like me and don't have a lemon tree just grab one or two each time you go to the supermarket
Eucalyptus Oil - I love this stuff! You can read about it's properties and uses here
Spray bottle - you can pick these up almost anywhere nowadays
White vinegar - excellent for killing mould spores
Washing Soda Crystals - I only discovered these this year and find them great especially in the kitchen. You will find them in the laundry are of the supermarket.
So how do I use these simple things to clean my home?
In the kitchen
Fill the sink with hot water and add a couple of tablespoons of washing soda crystals. Add any baking dishes that have that horrible baked on grease. Leave to soak for an hour then wash and rinse well. The grease will come off easily.
Cut a lemon in half and dip it in baking soda. Use this to clean your kitchen benches. It works similar to Jif and will leave the sink sparkling.
Tip a few tablespoons of baking soda into the kitchen sink drain. Pour in half a cup of vinegar and leave for an hour. Follow with boiling water from the jug after you've made your self a cuppa.
Add 10 drops of eucalyptus oil in a spray bottle filled with water. Use this to wipe down your kitchen cupboards, fridge, outside of oven, etc. Remember to shake before you use it to disperse the oil.
Make a paste of baking soda and water. Wipe down the inside of the oven and leave to dry. Rub off with a clean cloth then rinse. Obviously this will only work if your oven is used for light cooking and baking. If you have a lot of roast dinners you might have to go heavy duty.
In the bathroom
Grab a bucket and half fill it with very hot water, add two tablespoons of washing soda crystals, a few drops of eucalyptus and a cut lemon. Use your cloths to spread the mixture around the shower, bath and hand basin. I find this works as good as Jif, maybe even better. Rinse well.
Use your eucalyptus spray mix for other surfaces including the toilet. I use toilet paper for the seat and rim instead of a cloth.
Apparently you can use the washing soda crystals in the toilet bowl. I must admit I've never tried and have opted to use commercial toilet cleaner there.
I use the eucalyptus spray mix everywhere! Window sills, dining room table and chairs, coffee tables, etc. I do suggest though if you have expensive furniture to check first. As you may already know eucalyptus is great at removing sticky stuff. I would hate for it to remove the polish on your tables!
Use neat eucalyptus oil to remove glue or sticker residue from glass. Previous tenants had put a lovely (not) Wash your hands sticker on the bathroom mirror. I dabbed on eucalyptus oil at night then it wiped off cleanly the next morning.
You can use white vinegar mixed with water to clean your windows but that's another downfall of mine - I'm addicted to commercial window cleaner!
I've also had a go at making my own laundry liquid and quite often make my own liquid hand soap. Not only are natural cleaners kinder to the environment but they are also kind on your wallet. One pack of washing crystals have lasted me six months.
I also just wanted to say thanks to everyone who joined in the blog hop. With almost 40 entries (excluding a few double ups) I hope that everyone had a bit more traffic to their blog. I will be hosting one next weekend also and I will leave the linky open all week so if you're late to arrive you will still be able to link up. I know some of you weren't really sure what to do with the html code for the hop - if that's the case for you I'm happy for you to just link up without placing the code on your blog. That way you'll still get more visitors to your blog.
Today I'm linking up to At my house hosted by Buttons by Lou Lou