Natural cleaning or ‘Green Cleaning’ is a way to clean your home using fewer cleaning products and safer alternatives. This produces less waste and reduces the need for artificial chemicals that can be harmful to your family and the environment.
To clean well, cheaply and safely throughout your home all you need are the basic ingredients below:
- Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- White vinegar
- Washing soda
- Pure soap
- Lemon juice
All purpose cleaner
Warm water mixed with pure soap or white vinegar is a cheap and easy general cleaner for throughout the home.
In the bathroom
Toilet cleaner: Make a paste from borax and lemon juice. Use for cleaning non-septic toilet bowls.
Ceramic cleaner: Clean tiles, sinks, toilets with bicarbonate of soda using a damp cloth.
Mirror cleaner: Apply Eucalyptus oil with a wad of newspaper to prevent mirrors fogging.
In the kitchen
Surface cleaner: Use bicarbonate of soda on a damp cloth to clean benchtops, sinks, windows and your refrigerator surfaces.
Dishwashing detergent: Use pure soap and add white vinegar to the rinse water to give glasses an extra shine.
Oven cleaner: Wipe the oven down while still warm with a soapy cloth.
In the laundry
Bleach: Use 1 cup of lemon juice in half a bucket of water and soak overnight, or substitute half a cup of borax per washing load to whiten whites and brighten colours.
Stain remover: Use eucalyptus oil to remove stains before washing. Apply a few drops and let it evaporate.
Laundry detergent: Mix one third of a cake of pure soap (grated) with one third of a cup of washing soda. Dissolve in hot water and top up with water.
The mixture will set to a soft gel. Use 2-3 cups per wash.
In the living room
Carpet cleaner: Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on the carpet before vacuuming to deodorise. For stain removing just vacuum or brush when dry.
Window cleaner: Wash windows with warm soapy water if very dirty. Add half a cup of vinegar to a litre of warm water. Use crumpled newspaper moistened with vinegar to get a beautiful sheen.
In the car
Battery cleaner: Clean battery terminals with a mixture of 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda with 1 litre of water and apply generously. Smear petroleum jelly around the base of the terminals to prevent oxidisation.
Polish: Give your car a normal wash. Allow it to dry, then sprinkle cornflour over the duco. Polish to give that extra sheen.
Chrome polish: Use flour or bicarbonate of soda with a dry, clean cloth.
Tar remover: Moisten a cloth with eucalyptus oil and rub clean.
Further Information on Natural Cleaning
The Natural Cleaning Guide (PDF 1.2MB)
produced by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has further information on natural cleaning.