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As the planet literally burns around us, only the truly ignorant aren’t thinking about how we can do all the right things for the environment: be sustainable, use less plastic, reach for natural products. Lately I’ve started incorporating this way of thinking into my household routine, choosing natural cleaning prods not just for our precious planet but also because I’m up the duff and I don’t fancy poisoning my unborn kid by breathing in a bunch of nasty chemicals when I’m scrubbing the shower.

So with that in mind, I’ve done a lot of googling lately of how to create DIY natural cleaning products — there’s loads of sites out there from various blogs and sustainable living pages. Using these concoctions to clean reduces your use of plastic (you either make what you need, or you can store the mixtures in glass bottles or washed / recycled plastic ones), and the amount of potentially toxic chemicals that you’re putting into the air. They’re really helpful if you are sensitive to chemicals and also, they make life a lot cheaper. Win, win, win, win. All we do is win.

Here’s a couple of natural cleaning recipes, from blogger Madeleine Olivia and Root and Revel that I’ve had on high rotation. Warning: there’s a lot of vinegar.

MOULD CLEANER

I cannot tell you how obsessed I am with this concoction. I have a bit of mould in the tile grout in one corner of my shower, and I love to spray this on regularly and wipe / scrub the nasty stuff away.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Glass spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Tea tree oil

Fill the bottle with white vinegar and add 3-5 drops of tea tree oil, which has mould-ending powers. Spray it on the mouldy area and wait at least 30 minutes before wiping off — you can scrub with an old toothbrush if you have particularly pesky stains — never throw out your toothbrushes, they are solid gold for cleaning.

ALL-PURPOSE SPRAY

Okay, so vinegar is a key ingredient here and I bet you’re sensing a theme — it’s the darling of natural cleaning. The stuff is just so good, so do yourself a favour and stock up on those enormous 5L bottles of it.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Spray bottle
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1/2 a lemon

Pour the hot water, vinegar and baking soda in a large jug. Squeeze in the lemon juice, and you can also cut off the rind and add it to the mix for extra zest. Stir and allow the mixture to cool (you can take out the lemon rind at this point). Pour into your spray bottle, and away you go. You can use this spray anywhere around the house and I particularly love it in the kitchen. Just don’t use it on granite bench tops as the vinegar can damage the surface.

Natural Cleaning
Credit: Instagram / @rootandrevel

TOILET CLEANER

Vinegar of course features again but so does the amazing bicarb (baking) soda, another magical natural cleaning ingredient that adds a bit of grunt to your stain-removing missions.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • essential oil of your choice

This is so bloody easy. All you do is pour everything into the toilet, wait a few minutes, and then scrub your little heart out. The mixture will be a bit fizzy because of the bicarb and dissolve all the gross stuff in your toot bowl.

AIR FRESHENER

Instead of buying an aerosol can of spray to mask your poo smell (because everyone’s shit stinks, I don’t care who you are), here’s an easy little creation to keep next to the toot.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Your favourite essential oil

This toilet freshener spray is piss-easy, if you excuse the pun. All you do is fill the bottle with water and add about 10 drops of your favourite oil — think lavender, sandalwood, rose, anything pleasant to the nostrils — and then spritz away!

Natural Cleaning
Credit: Instagram / @rootandrevel

GLASS CLEANER

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  • 10 drops essential oils

Pour the warm water into a measuring jug and stir in cornstarch until it’s dissolved. Add the vinegar, alcohol and your fave oil and stir to combine. The pour the mixture into a glass spray bottle and get cleaning.

Natural Cleaning
Credit: Instagram / @rootandrevel

STAIN REMOVER

My fave little ingredient, baking soda, returns for this one, a good little potion to have on hand for when you have a stain on your clothes or carpet. If you use Dr Bronner’s castile soap body wash it’s perfect for this (and other natural cleaning mixtures), but you can use any kind of liquid soap.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 tsp castile (or any liquid) soap
  • 2 cups of water

Pour all the ingredients into a spray bottle and give it a hearty shake to combine. Spray on the affected area and leave for a few minutes to sink in, then scrub or wash. It also works as a clothes soak for more stubborn stains.

Image: Instagram / @rootandrevel