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Thread: I've just about finished replacing my chemicals with natural cleaners

  1. #19

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    RR and Squid - get yourself the Speed Cleaning and/or Spotless books. They have all the recipes you will need and it also gives you an understanding of stains (I CANNOT believe I just said that!!).
    Eg - protein based stains need a certain mix, wee stains need xxx and sunshine etc.
    Well worth it!



    BTW I just had to mention how brilliantly good old Bi carb and vinegar go in a dishwasher! Jodie mentioned it awhile back and I wasn't really convinced but the results speak for themselves. Bicarb in the dispenser and vinegar in the rinse aid compartment. Awesome.

  2. #20

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    Wow, great tip. I'll have to try that - how much cheaper is that!!

  3. #21

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    Hey ladies I've started cleaning au naturale as well but can't find borax anywhere. I've tried my local coles and hardware store and still no luck. Any ideas where I can buy some borax?

  4. #22

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    There was a segment on this on a morning show the other day, thought the recipes might be helpful:

    HOMEMADE NATURAL CLEANING PRODUCTS

    Why make your own products?
    - Many of the usual commercial cleaning products contain petroleum based products, organochlorides, synthetic fragrances and colours which can be inhaled, come into contact with your skin and absorbed by the body as well as being flushed down the sink into our precious waterways - resulting in water contamination, algal overgrowth and altering the water ph which directly affects marine life
    - By making our own products we can choose non toxic ingredients that have minimal impact on the environment
    What can we use instead?
    - White vinegar -
    - liquid cleanser and degreaser, good for polishing glass, ceramic surfaces, floors
    - The disinfectant properties of vinegar have been verified by numerous studies including those conducted by the Good Housekeeping Institute, as reported on 48 hours (on CBS) in 2000. A straight 5% solution of vinegar kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of viruses,
    - Baking soda, - absorbs smells, mildly abrasive general cleaner
    - Lemon juice - mildly antiseptic, powerful degreaser, and mould remover (really good for removing mould between tiles in the bathroom)
    - Washing soda - which is sodium carbonate, a strong alkaline that softens hard water, is a good degreaser, a heavy duty cleaner and very safe (though can be an irritant so wear gloves when handling)
    - Castile soap - I use Dr Bronners liquid soap which is made from organic olive oil and is as pure and unrefined as you can get. The soap acts as a degreaser and is used in most of my recipes.
    - Borax - used as a natural laundry booster, multipurpose cleaner, fungicide, preservative, insecticide, herbicide and disinfectant. Care with using around food and with handling as can be irritant and is toxic at high concentrations. It is, however a very useful additive to natural cleaners as it's is so effective even in small doses.
    - Water and elbow grease! - the use of scrubbing scourers and a bit of elbow grease goes a long way to clean surfaces. We may need to readjust how much work we need to do to clean a surface rather than relying entirely on the (often toxic and caustic) commercial products to do it for us.
    - Essential oils - tea tree and manuka (antibacterial and antifungal), eucalyptus, thyme, pine, lavender and sage all have antiseptic qualities, citrus is very cleansing and smells fresh. I like to use cinnamon oil as well as it smells lovely. The oils also make the products smell really nice as well as being antiseptic and safe to use (when diluted at the recommended rate).

    Recipes

    1. Viv's air freshener

    Mix 10 drops of essential oil in 20ml of vodka (alcohol source) to dissolve, add to 115 ml water + put everything into a spray bottle and shake before use.

    2. Spray All-Purpose Household Cleaner

    Ingredients:

    Liquid Castile soap (I use Dr Bronners' liquid Castile soap available from health food stores) white vinegar, borax, purified water, essential oils for fragrance. (I use a mix of cinnamon, eucalyptus and lavender), a clean 500ml trigger spray bottle.

    Method

    a) Mix1/4 cup of white vinegar with 1 tsp. borax.
    b) Fill most of the bottle with very hot water (make sure there is enough room for the soap and oils). Shake until the borax is dissolved.
    c) Add the 1/4 cup of liquid soap and agitate
    d) Add 10 to 15 drops of your favorite essential oil mix. (I use 20drops Cinnamon, 10drops Eucalyptus oil, 20 drops Orange oil, 10drops Lavender)

    Because minerals in the water can sometimes inhibit the action of the cleaner, it's best to use purified or distilled water especially for this recipe. It's important to dissolve the borax in hot water so that it doesn't clog the spray nozzle.

    Important!! Don't mix the soap and vinegar directly together, because the soap will clump up and become ineffective

    3. Viv's Toilet cleaner

    In a reused toilet cleaner bottle use about

    1cup White vinegar, ? cup castile soap, water to fill the bottle and an essential oil mix of cinnamon, eucalyptus, pine and lavender (I use 30 drops Cinnamon, 20 drops eucalyptus, 30 drops Pine, 20 drops Lavender). You can add more if you want a stronger smell.

    Mix the vinegar and the water together THEN add the soap (if you mix the vinegar and soap it will separate and go lumpy), then the oils. Squirt some in the bowl, scrub with the toilet brush as usual. Don't flush for an hour or so to let the essential oils disinfect the bowl.
    Important!! Don't mix the soap and vinegar directly together, because the soap will clump up and become ineffective


    4. Dishwashing liquid

    1/4 cup soap flakes
    2 cups hot water
    1/4 cup glycerin
    1/2 teaspoon lemon essential oil

    1) In bowl combine soap flakes and water and stir until the soap is dissolved. Cool to luke warm.

    2) Stir in the glycerin and the essential oil, leave to cool. As it cools it will form a loose gel. Stir with a fork and break up the gel and then pour into a narrow-necked bottle. An old shampoo bottle makes an excellent container.

    3) To use, squirt 3 teaspoonfuls into hot running water

    NB This dishwashing liquid doesn't make much froth in the water but seems to clean and degrease well.

    5. Disinfectant Spray:

    2 Cups Water
    1/4 Cup White Vinegar
    1/4 tsp. Tea Tree Oil
    1/4 tsp. Lavender Oil

    Combine and store in a spray bottle. Shake occasionally. Use where ever a disinfectant spray is needed.

    6. Bath and Tile Cleaner:

    1 2/3 cups baking soda
    1/2 cup liquid soap
    2 tablespoons white vinegar
    1/2 cup water
    a few drops of Tea tree essential oil

    Mix soda and soap. Add water, then add vinegar and oil. Store in a squirt-top bottle and shake before using. Rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving a residue.

    7. Mirror Cleaner

    1-1/2 cups vinegar
    1/2 cup water
    8 drops citrus essential oil of choice

    Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well before use. Spray solution onto mirror and wipe with a dry cloth or towel.

    8. Healthy Dryer Sheets:

    ? part lavender essential oil
    ? part benzoin essential oil (absolute resin)
    small dropper bottle
    10 - 15 scraps of cotton cloth (about 10cm square)

    Make base essential oil by mixing the two oils in equal amounts into a small dropper bottle. Shake well. Label.

    Take 10-15, 10cm cloths and put 4-5 drops of essential oil base on each one. Put into an airtight container that you can easily get your hand into to take one out at a time as needed for the dryer.

    Or try&

    15 drops of spearmint
    12 drops of lavender

    Put this mixture on a clean cloth and then fold the cloth several times.
    Wrap another cloth around that and toss into the dryer!

    9. Healthy window cleaner

    A solution of equal amounts of vinegar and water is a well-known window-washing trick. Dip black and white newspaper pages into the solution and wipe the glass until it's almost dry. Finish wiping with a dry newspaper page. The streaks will disappear and the window will shine.

    ETA: Store Borax carefully. Lethal dose is approx 2.6g/kg - so if a little 10kg person got hold of it then 26g (1 tablespoon) would cause a lot of trouble. It is suspected of damaging fertility and/or the unborn child. If pregnant or planning a baby, use gloves (or better yet, get your DH to do the cleaning lol)
    Last edited by Artechim; September 23rd, 2012 at 09:07 AM.

  5. #23

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    There are such great ideas in here I am sticking the thread so it doesn't get lost.

  6. #24
    LLTJ Guest

    Thumbs up Thankyou!!

    Thankyou so much Artechim, that must have taken you ages...but it is very appreciated!!

    All the recipes I wanted to know you helped me with.

  7. #25

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    Fantastic thread! I am asthmatic so have never used many cleaners. I love the magic eraser type cleaning blocks and mostly use just water, a cloth and lots of elbow grease!

    One of my best tips is to wipe down the shower after each use - it rarely needs more than that!

    Someone mentioned lemon juice for mould between bathroom tiles. How do you do that?

    As for Borax - seems that only Woolies/Safeway has it. Couldn't find it in Coles either. It's in the laundry section.

  8. #26

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    LOL LLTJ, don't give me too much credit - the morning show put it on their website, I only copy and pasted! Glad it helped though.

  9. #27
    LLTJ Guest

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    haha, oh well, its still apreciated

  10. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mez Moz View Post
    Hey ladies I've started cleaning au naturale as well but can't find borax anywhere. I've tried my local coles and hardware store and still no luck. Any ideas where I can buy some borax?
    It took me weeks to find it. I discovered it in the laundry section, really well hidden on the top shelf.
    Because supermarkets want you to buy the expensive chemical products they always have heaps and heaps of those and they're at eye level. For things like borax, washing soda etc you have to look really hard and check top and bottom shelves.

  11. #29

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    Was talking to my Dad this arvo (retired pest controller) about natural cleaners and he reminded me that borax is still a poison. Just a reminder to be careful - keep out of reach of children, etc.

  12. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by JLeigh29 View Post
    Was talking to my Dad this arvo (retired pest controller) about natural cleaners and he reminded me that borax is still a poison. Just a reminder to be careful - keep out of reach of children, etc.
    Absolutely. Everything I've read about it says that and I was careful to wear glooves while I used it.

  13. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sequoia View Post
    Correct. Oil of cloves should not be used during pregnancy. Eucalyptus is ok though.
    Oops! I was wrong....it's not safe to use oil of pennyroyal during pregnancy. Apologies!

  14. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sequoia View Post
    Oops! I was wrong....it's not safe to use oil of pennyroyal during pregnancy. Apologies!
    My naturopath told me the ONLY two oils that were safe to use during pregnancy are lavendar & mandarin. Also, clary sage can be used to bring on contractions, so should be avoided.

    9 drops of eucalytus oil can kill a baby (can't remember where I read that), so I don't know that it would be great for an unborn baby & what goes onto the mother's skin get to the baby.

    Another tip we had from the dishwasher repair man (re: washing machine mold) is to use white vinegar as a fabric softener. It softens the clothes and prevents mold build-up, which we'd been getting.

  15. #33

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    I have been inspired by this thread and have stocked up on white vinegar & bi-carb! I'd forgotten how great it smells and I feel CLEAN!!

  16. #34

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    I use vinegar in the top loader (when we had one) and used it for the towels... they felt so much cleaner!

    Also, vinegar in the rinse-aid - clean!
    Love it ! I have a vinegar book somewhere, has good stuff in it!

  17. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashybabe View Post
    9 drops of eucalytus oil can kill a baby (can't remember where I read that), so I don't know that it would be great for an unborn baby & what goes onto the mother's skin get to the baby.
    I'm not exactly sure about that either, but e oil is very volatile and should always be kept out of reach of kids. Should also be kept away from direct contact from mucuos membranes as well.

    Although these things are natural, they are also powerful

  18. #36

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    Just found this thread and in a bit of a crisis.

    Read somewhere that bi-carb and vinegar can be used as a drain cleaner. I won't have drain cleaner in the house and my laundry sink is blocked something awful. Had to stop washing machine because draining SOOOOOOO SLOWLY that it's flooding the floor.

    Anyone know the ratio of bi-carb to vinegar to clear blocked drains? So glad my laundry is external right now >.<

    Thanks in advance!

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