Modern cleaning products have been equated to smoking 20 cigarettes a day! Isn’t it time to revert to the simple, cheap and effective green cleaning alternatives?

Natural Home Cleaning Products

Green cleaning products are simple and easy to use,  but they work!

In fact, they have been working hard and cleaning well for centuries… why, on earth, did we ever decide to swap them for less efficient, more environmentally harmful, biologically detrimental alternatives?

Read on to find out..

Why Green Cleaning Is A Must

Natural home cleaning products are becoming an increasingly important consideration for the following reasons:

  • Improving our health
  • Keeping our environments safe for our family and friends
  • Reducing the production of toxic chemicals that are reeking havoc within our bodies and our environment
  • Significantly reducing our carbon footprint
  • Significantly reducing the production of plastics

Please note: the following information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult with your healthcare professional before changing your healthcare regimen.

Natural Home Cleaning Products Are Safe

Over 85,000 chemicals have been unleashed on a poor, unsuspecting public in the last few decades.

Who knew there were that many?

A lot of these chemicals test safe in isolation, but there is no way of knowing what kinds of chemical reactions are taking place out *in the wild!

*I use the term in the wild a tad reservedly, because what it actually means in most instances, is in your home, in your car, in your gardens, in your place of work, and even more so in your gym, and in your general leisure facilities… so, they are essentially where you spend the vast majority of your time!

Natural cleaning products do not add to the burden of chemicals within our environments. In fact, making and using green cleaning products improves the quality of our environments both directly and indirectly

Is Health & Safety The New Form Of Fascism?

We are waging a fanatical war on bacteria! We have practically gone ballistic with the much maligned bugs in our environments.

Chemical warfare is alive and well and completely dominating suburbia!

Everyone is terrified of super-bugs. We can hardly take a step, these days, without being tacitly invited to zap the heck out of the last bedraggled bacteria about our person… Invitations to use hand sanitisers and other forms of bug-annihilating substances are everywhere, and are no more fervently offered than in hospitals, where flesh eating bacteria lurk around every corner.

Tragically, it is our desperation to indiscriminately kill bacteria that has led to this very unfortunate set of circumstances.

This article by Dr. Axe bears testament to the fact that green cleaning products are most definitely the way forward!

We Need To Learn To Differentiate Between Our Bugs… And fast!

Did you know that we have thousands of different types of bacteria in our gut? You probably did!

And, you also probably appreciate that it’s these bacteria that help us digest our food and provide us with about 80% of our immune system. Yep!

But, what you probably didn’t know is that these bugs are making the majority of our decisions for us as well! Uhuh, thought not!

And yes, you read that correctly…

The health of the bacteria in our gut is what informs our choices on a minute by minute basis… and, because we are being bombarded by synthetic materials, medications, and environmental toxins, mainly in the form of chemicals, all of our beautiful life sustaining bacteria are slowly but surely fighting a losing battle.

Most bugs are not only good… but, they are actually completely essential for our well-being and ultimately, our survival!

Yes… our survival!

Which Are The Good Bugs?

The natural bacteria found in soil

The natural bacteria found in our gut

The natural bacteria found on our pets

Notice what they all have in common? Yes… natural coupled with bacteria… meaning, bacteria found where it is meant to be!

And, it’s these good bugs that fend off the bad ones… so, if we indiscriminately kill bacteria on our bodies and within our environments we are very likely providing the bad bacteria with a very distinct advantage.

Because we need bacteria within our gut to digest our food, (and think for us), allowing us to sustain our bodies with all of the nutrients that we need, we are a lot more defenseless when it comes to fighting off the bad guys.

Natural Home Cleaning Products Are Effective

Natural home cleaning products will sanitise, deodorise and clean up dirt and grease. What they won’t do is destroy everything in their path including the skin on your hands like modern cleaning products will…

What makes natural home cleaning products way more effective than the chemical alternatives is that they restore cleanliness to the home without reducing it to a chemical war zone.

Houses cleaned with conventional cleaning products are dangerous to you and anyone else that visits you.

Natural Home Cleaning Products Are Easy & Kind

Natural home cleaning products are inexpensive and very straightforward. Let’s face it, you are not going to add unnecessary toxic ingredients to your formula just so that you can make your product that little bit different from your neighbours!

But, with patent and copyright law being what it is, this is precisely what commercial producers are doing before being able to launch their own particular brand of chemical weapons onto the market…

Did you know that you could prevent the cruelty to tens of thousands of lab animals if you refused to buy ‘new’ and ‘improved’ formulas of old products that work perfectly well, (too well(!), as you’ve already read), that are often made more deadly with the ‘new’ and ‘improved’ ingredients?

It’s new formulations that keep the lab rats, rabbits and dogs in a constant state of torture.

Natural Home Cleaning Products Can Be Made By You

Wild As The Wind run fun workshops that allow people the practical hands-on experience of making their own eco-cleaning products for the first time. But, you don’t need to attend a workshop… you can just go ahead and buy the ingredients and get on with your eco-Spring-clean all on your own!

Natural Home Cleaning Products Are Only Part Of The Answer

Because industry is pouring so much toxic waste into our rivers and seas, and because conventional intensive farming methods mean the obscene use of antibiotics and other nasty hard-core chemicals, and because we humans are consuming medications that are not broken down by the body, (so they land in your loo in the same condition they were consumed, e.g. things like antibiotics and the contraceptive pill), there is a perpetual build up of these increasingly deadly substances in our water courses.

We need to change a lot of our consumer habits if we are going to return our world to a safe environment within which the children of today can grow up healthily and happily.

Unfortunately, industry has co-opted our governments, so the decisions being made by governments, which should be for the good of us all, are actually anything but! New legislation is generally instituted to protect and increase the financial interests of the corporate entities who pull the governments strings.

Corporate lobbyists write the laws and the government slips them through Parliament via a process of filibustering and subterfuge.

The upshot being? A more detrimental outcome for us all… a weakening of environmental imperatives and the use of evermore exotic chemical cocktails that no-one really ever really knows for sure are safe, lab coat or not…

Changing How We Clean Our Homes Is A Start!

Using Distilled Vinegar, Bicarbonate of Soda, Citric Acid or Lemon & Orange Juice, and Essential Oils, is a great way of doing your bit for the environment! Particularly your own!

Somewhat interestingly, it’s the essential oils that Wild As The Wind advocate you use in your Essential Oil First Aid Kits that are the most effective in keeping your homes clean and safe as well as your bodies.

Essential Oils Kill Bad Bugs & Support The Good!

The best thing about using essential oils in your you home cleaning product recipes is that you don’t need to have a chemistry degree in order to figure out which ingredients support good bacteria and which ones are deleterious. Mother Nature knows which plant oils kill the bad bugs and allow the good ones to flourish. Phew!

The second best thing about using essential oils in your home cleaning gear is that they smell amazing!

Oh yeah, and the fact that they aren’t slowly killing you is also pretty good!

That’s a win, win, win for essential oils, right there!

Basic Home Cleaning Product Formulations

The following green cleaning formulations can be used for a broad spectrum of applications even though only the minimum of ingredients are used.

There are way more uses for the ingredients mentioned… perhaps I will write another post listing over 100 uses for these amazing substances? (Please let me know if you’d like me to…) Please also let me know your green clean hacks. My friend Heidi’s grandmother swore by using the dregs of black tea from her tea pot to clean her windows rather than using vinegar… I love it! This option is even less costly than the incredibly affordable Distilled Vinegar!   Also, I know this is a little off topic, but my friend Rina uses Cider Vinegar instead of a conditioner after shampooing her hair. So, please let me know of your health and beauty hacks as well!

Please add you suggestions in the comments or email them to me, and I’ll share them with everyone else.

Or, just come and blat the social media pages if you like…?

Scouring & Soaking

Sodium Bicarbonate and Citric Acid, when combined, are a rarefied powerhouse of cleaning potential!

Sodium Bicarbonate and Citric Acid are both earth and human safe. When mixed together, in a ratio of 2:1, these two amazing ingredients balance each other out resulting in a pH value of 7.

This makes this little cleaning combo very kind to the skin and the environment. In fact, this particular formula will actually degrade within 7 days when deposited in the waste water system.

Making Your Mix

Add two parts Sodium Bicarbonate to one part Citric Acid

Plus…

Sodium Bicarbonate and Citric Acid, when added to a little moisture, either water or vinegar, causes a chemical reaction that makes these ingredients fizz like bath bombs or Alka Seltzer.

*The reason these things have effervescent qualities is because of the citric acid and an alkalising substance being combined, and then water added.

*Substances that effervesce help to lift dirt and grime from surfaces, as well as deodorise and sanitise.

Please make sure you store your blend in a dry air-tight container if you pre-mix these ingredients for use at a later date. Any moisture will make the mix set, growing increasing hard as time goes by.

Green Cleaning With Essential Oils

It is possible to add any combination of essential oils to this powdered formula, at point of use, without negatively impacting it’s fizzing potential.

I advocate using any combination of the oils I recommend for using in your essential oil first aid kit, but only with the proper dilution of essential oils.

Sodium Bicarbonate & Citric Acid

The most common uses of this cleaning combo are for:

  • toilets bowls
  • sinks
  • baths
  • cooker hobs & ovens
  • chopping boards
  • drains
  • soaking cleaning cloths

Citric Acid

Citric Acid on it’s own is great for breaking the bond between lime scale and the surface it has attached to whether it is natural (porcelain / stainless steel) or a synthetic polymer or plastic (Formica etc…)

Citric Acid can be used to keep draining boards lime scale free at a minimal cost and without excessive rinsing afterwards. (I prefer using Distilled Vinegar for my draining board, as you will see if you continue reading…)

Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium Bicarbonate acts as a gentle scrub that will remove tough deposits, (including burnt-on greasy grime), that will clean metal, enameled, fiberglass and plastic surfaces without scratching.

It is also great for neutralising odours, so it’s great for pet baskets, carpets, stinky shoes, bins and ovens etc. In fact, I advise you to keep a piece of parchment covered in Bicarb at the bottom of your oven at all times!

Because Bicarb inhibits mold and bacterial overgrowth it’s perfect for cleaning kitchen work surfaces, baths, shower trays, sinks and tiles and around kitchen and bathroom window frames.

However, I prefer the algae killing properties of distilled vinegar, and the absence of any residue for dealing with really damp, old wooden window frames etc…

And, I actually prefer the Citric Acid and Bicarb combo for going to work on bathroom surfaces… together they seem to make for lighter work… especially if you use oils in the bath like I do.

Ants don’t like Bicarbonate Of Soda either… so sprinkle and leave it down for as long as needed, then simply vacuum it up. In fact… leaving a little Bicarb in your vacuum cleaner will neutralise the odours in the bag also.

Distilled Vinegar

Using White Vinegar or Distilled Vinegar is as equally environmentally friendly as using Sodium Bicarbonate and Citric Acid. The only thing with Distilled Vinegar is that you have to be careful about using it around plants. High enough concentrations will kill a plant… just as much as overly acid, poorly composted waste from your compost heap will kill your plants also.

The first Green Cleaning workshop with the Green Wedmore Group was a very lively affair with everyone pitching in their ideas.

Apparently, organic gardeners often use Distilled Vinegar as a weed killer… so it’s essential to use it with caution around your favourite plants.

A particularly impressive idea was for killing all the bacteria and removing limescale in washing machines. Adding a good sized cup full of Distilled Vinegar and then running the washing machine, (empty), on a 90 degree cycle will descale and debug it nicely.

Like Bicarb, Distilled Vinegar really goes to work on grease and sticky substances. I advise using it with an antibacterial essential oil of your choice, either Tea Tree Essential Oil or Oregano Essential Oil, as well as a citric essential oil such as Organic Sweet Orange Essential Oil or Organic Lemon Essential Oil. Use all four if the mood takes you! Just remember to never exceed a 5% dilution of essential oils and shake your Distilled Vinegar and Essential Oil solution well before use as oil and water don’t mix.

Distilled Vinegar is brilliant for cleaning any surface, including your car, (as it kills algae and arrests the development of rust it’s positively ideal! It’s even meant to reduce the formation of ice on your windscreen over night in winter… but I can’t say I’ve witnessed much difference to be honest…)

I use it to clean all firm surfaces, including the kitchen and bathroom floors. (I leave the cleaning of fabrics to Sodium Bicarbonate and Citric Acid.)

I also use it to remove lime scale from my draining board. I find it works better than Sodium Bicarbonate and Citric Acid as it can be less labour intensive. And, as it makes metals gleam, (stainless steal, copper and brass), your draining board will look like new when you’ve finished.

Just leave a Distilled Vinegar saturated cloth over your draining board for an hour or so, or even over night, and hey presto!, the jobs a good ‘un!

However, I use all three in the laundry!

Sodium Bicarbonate and Citric Acid are brilliant for stain removal either by pre-soaking or adding to the pre-wash cycle. You can also massage a strong solution of Sodium Bicarbonate and Citric Acid onto cuffs and collars, and baby clothes.

Adding a couple of tablespoons of Distilled Vinegar to your wash instead of a fabric conditioner will really do the trick.

*All of these suggested cleaning products are safe for use with a septic tank.

Health Warnings

If you know you are intollerant to any of the stated ingredients mentioned in this post please refrain from making and using the recipes provided.

Only use in properly ventilated rooms.

*Dogs are allergic to Tea Tree Oil so please ensure you only use this oil in rooms where no dogs are present. If used in properly ventilated rooms it will be safe to allow dogs to return after an hour or so… Distilled Vinegar will evaporate and essential oils are volitile and so will disperse relatively quickly.

You may want to consider using rubber gloves, and protective eyewear if you are sensitive to the recipes. Vinegar can enflame sensitive skin, especially eyes, the membrane of the nose and lungs. Please protect yourself from excessive inhalation and exposure to the eyes.

Vinegar can be damaging to certain surfaces. It is the acidity in the vinegar that causes the reaction. DO NOT USE on marble and concrete, or if the manufacturer of your kitchen, bathroom and furniture has stated that the surface of what they have supplied you with will react badly to lemon juice or vinegar.

Essential oils should NOT be used in solutions that exceed a 5% dilution.

Always store your Bicarbonate Of Soda and Citric Acid in air tight containers. If moisture is allowed into your Bicarbonate Of Soda and Citric Acid blend, then it will harden over time and will lose it’s effervescent quality. It will, however, remain a powerful cleaner, but will be more difficult to dispense.

The information provided relates to domestic strength vinegar that can be bought over the counter at your local grocery store. If you opt to use industrial strength vinegar, then you do so at your own risk.

If any of the cleaning solutions get into your eyes, rinse them thoroughly with cold water. Consult your healthcare professional for further advice.

If swallowed, drink plenty of cold filtered water and consult your healthcare professional for further advice.

Disclaimer

The information provided is not intended to replace the medical directives of your healthcare provider, or those of professional chemist. This information is not meant for the diagnosis of health issues. If you are pregnant, have serious or multiple health concerns, consult with your healthcare provider before using essential oils or associated products. If you experience any complications or adverse reactions contact your healthcare provider.

About Rachel Wild

Rachel Wild is the Creative Director at Wild As The Wind. She's been a professional writer for print and digital publication for more years than she cares to remember. She is no longer a 'writer for rent', now very gratefully, devoting all of her time to her passion... writing about health and well-being and sharing it as far and wide as she can. (Please help her!)

Rachel passionately supports creative endeavour and independent thinking. "The future, if it's good, will see a triumph of quality over quantity, substance over style and give rise to truly inspired thinking born of fearlessness and compassion."

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Comments

  1. Anthony Lamb‎ to Rachel Wild via Facebook

    Hi Rachel, I have a formal white shirt, the collar of which is a trifle yellowed. What is your remedy for this? I haven’t been able to find any of your cleaning tips in your web site or FB page. Can you point me there please? Best wishes Anthony

  2. The staining is probably from natural oils. We tend to produce quite a lot of oil around the neck and face to protect us from climactic and environmental issues.

    Over time, the oil will discolour fabrics, as do oils that we apply to our skin… I warn people who use Wild As The Wind FACIAL OIL No. 2 and No. 7 that staining will occur over time…

    The way to remove stains is to do the following…

    It’s difficult to remove a pre-existing stain. Fresh oil stains respond well to being sprinkled with bicarbonate of soda which will remove excess oil and grease… then brush this off after it has absorbed the surface oil. Then soak the garment in undiluted distilled vinegar for 15 minutes or so, and then rinse and scrub with washing up liquid before adding it to your laundry wash.

    For longer standing stains, including dingy whites and underarm staining…

    Soak the stained cloth in a mix of 1:1 hydrogen peroxide to water for approximately 30 minutes before adding to your laundry wash. Then add a cup of hydrogen peroxide to your wash along with your laundry fluid.

    For the most stubborn yellow stains do the following:

    Mix 3% hydrogen peroxide and bicarbonate of soda into a paste. Rub this paste into the stained area of cloth and leave for five minutes before adding to your laundry wash.

  3. Tip Of The Month!

    Deodorise & help kill harmful bacteria & fungus with citronella oil. Add to a spray bottle filled
    with water and use the mixture on kitchen and household appliances. Adding citronella oil
    to the dishwasher, refrigerator and laundry machine is also effective.

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