Clean away grime and mineral deposits without chemicals
As we look for greener, more eco-friendly options, cutting out toxic cleaning products is one way to clean your home, and you don't need expensive cleaning products - packed in plastic bottles or refill packs - to do this.
Shiny stainless steel appliances
Stainless steel appliances look gorgeous in a modern kitchen, but are a nightmare to keep shiny if you have children. Rather than use toxic chemicals, buy a pack of microfibre cloths at your local Builders store or supermarket. Add only a small amount of water to a section of the cloth so that you can wipe and buff with the same cloth. That way you save money on unnecessary products and keep your stainless steel appliances fingerprint-free!
Use vinegar on your sink and taps
After wiping down the sink, spray a generous amount of white spirit vinegar over the sink and taps. Pay special attention to small crevices around the tap and drain. Let this sit for about 10 minutes and then use an old toothbrush and sponge to wipe and rinse with clean water. Buff to a high shine with a microfibre cloth. For tough build up of grime, repeat the process.
GOOD TO KNOW: Do not use vinegar on granite or marble. These are naturally porous and the vinegar will damage them.
Clean spray attachments
Hard water and mineral deposits soon clog up a spray attachment in a shower or bathroom. White spirit vinegar is the natural cleaning alternative to toxic chemicals, and it works just as well.
For a bathroom or kitchen shower attachment, submerge the head in a container of vinegar for about 30 minutes. Use an old toothbrush or soft nail brush to clean away the scale. For stubborn deposits you may need to repeat the process.
GOOD TO KNOW: Use toothpicks to clean out aeration or water holes on spray heads.
Remove scale from a showerhead
When you want to remove hard water and mineral deposits from a showerhead you can do this easily.
Add some white spirit vinegar to a plastic bag, place this over the showerhead and close off with an elastic band. Leave this on overnight.
In the morning, give the showerhead a light scrub with an old toothbrush or soft nail brush and then buff to a high shine with a microfibre cloth.
Clean a steam iron
Sooner or later you may need to clean the heating plate on an iron, depending on who uses the iron and how often it is used. When cleaning any iron heating plate the most important factor you need to bear in mind is to avoid scratching the plate, so avoid using damaging scouring pads or harsh abrasive cleaners.
Where there are mineral deposits [hard water or lime scale] on the heating plate, combine 2 parts white spirit vinegar and 1 part salt in a pot and heat until dissolved. Do not boil, but remove from the heat as soon as the salt dissolves. Allow to cool and rub over the heating plate with a soft cloth.
GOOD TO KNOW: Use a cotton bud soaked in the vinegar and salt solution to clean steam holes in the heating plate.
For burn marks, soak a thick cloth in the solution and let the iron sit on this for an hour, before rubbing down. Any remaining burnt material can be removed with a soft cloth and a dab of toothpaste. The toothpaste acts as a rubbing compound without damaging the heating plate.
Clean an oven without toxic cleaners
Oven cleaners are one of the most toxic cleaners you can use in a home. These products contain a combination of toxic chemicals, yet you can clean away grease with a solution of white spirit vinegar and baking soda. You will find a step-by-step tutorial here for cleaning an oven.
The principle is simple: make up a paste with baking soda and water to spread over the just-warm oven. Close the door and leave this overnight before scrubbing off the next day. Remove any remaining marks with a quick spritz of white spirit vinegar and wipe clean.
Clean stains from shower doors
Most shower doors suffer from a built up of hard water, lime scale or soap scum. This reveals itself as an opaque haze on glass that can be difficult to remove.
Instead of using glass cleaner on shower doors, fill a spray bottle with white spirit vinegar and spray this liberally onto the glass. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and then use a soft cloth to wipe clean. Repeat this for glass that has stubborn stains or a build up of residue that has accumulated over time.
The next time you go shopping, leave out the toxic cleaners and add a bottle of vinegar and some baking soda for a healthy home.