Green cleaning – natural ingredients for a clean, eco-friendly home

Green Cleaning - natural ingredients for a cleanThere’s far more to ‘natural cleaning’ than just white vinegar and lemon. Whether you want whiter clothes, shinier taps, a gleaming dining table or a fresher carpet, there’s an eco-friendly solution…  

Eco laundry bleach

Think you can’t keep clothes white if you’re ditching toxic chemicals? Think again. Droguerie Ecologique’s Sodium Percarbonate helps to rejuvenate white clothes and remove stains naturally. It’s an oxygen bleach made from salt, water and chalk. So there’s no chlorine or phosphates, both of which cause damage to our water systems.

As well as battling greying shirts and tackling stains such as tea, sweat, coffee and even red wine, it helps to soften water and reduce limescale build up. You can also use sodium percarbonate in the house and garden to kill bacteria, fungi and mildew. Just follow the instructions on the (plastic-free) packaging.


Natural deodoriser – bicarbonate of soda

Want to freshen up your trainers or banish the doggie smell from your carpet? You need some bicarb in your life. Whether you’re sprinkling it on your rugs, in your shoes or in the bin, bicarbonate of soda (or sodium bicarbonate if you prefer), neutralises nasty niffs without the need for any overpowering synthetic fragrances.


There’s also a tonne of other ways you can use this natural cleaning ingredient. (Whole books have been written about this multi-purpose cleaner.) Add it to your washing machine to prevent limescale build-up and soften clothes. Use it to scour the grease off your oven. Bring the shine back to your shower door with it. You can even add it to a vase of water to keep flowers fresher for longer.

Ecodoo Sodium Bicarbonate is available in 500g or a bulk-buy, budget-friendly 1kg.


Eco-friendly carpet cleaner

Speaking of carpets, they do tend to get rather grubby rather quickly, even if you have a strict shoes-off policy. Before you go to the expense of having them professionally cleaned, try Dri-Pak Borax Substitute. It works just like original borax and has a myriad of uses. You can use it to clean and disinfect hard floors, boost the cleaning power of your laundry powder and add it to white vinegar to make a homemade kitchen degreaser.

To clean carpets:

  • Add half a cup of Dri-Pak Borax Substitute to two cups of water and mix well.
  • Dampen a clean cloth with the solution and gently rub at any stains (making sure you don’t soak the carpet).
  • Wipe off with a damp cloth half an hour later.
  • Once the carpet is dry, vacuum as normal.

Most modern carpets can be cleaned this way, but you might want to patch test a hidden area of your carpet first, just to check for colour fastness.

Check out our other tips for cleaning with Borax Substitute.


Natural beeswax polish

There are plenty of beeswax furniture polishes on the market, but most have so many extra ingredients added to them it’s a wonder there’s any space left for the actual beeswax. So if you fancy making your own DIY green cleaning products, homemade polish is a great place to start.

  • You’ll need a jar with an airtight lid.
  • Scoop some beeswax flakes into the jar, cover them with turpentine oil and close the lid.
  • Add a little more turpentine the next day, and the day after that if needed.
  • You’ll end up with a creamy liquid polish that works wonders on wood and leather.

We recommend Droguerie Ecologique Beeswax Flakes, as they’re pure beeswax, pesticide-free and packaged in cardboard.


Eco insect repellent

In our view, castile soap is one of the best planet-friendly products to have on hand as it’s super gentle on your skin and the planet and incredibly versatile. You can use Dr. Bronners Liquid Castile Soap to clean dishes, clothes, floors, hands, bodies, hair and pretty much most other things you can think of. (Castile soap really does takes the phrase ‘multi-purpose’ to a whole new level.)  It also comes in several different fragrances.

To make a homemade spray to kill aphids and other garden pests:

  • Mix one tablespoon of liquid castile soap with one litre of water.
  • Spray the plant lightly with the solution.

It doesn’t need rinsing off and shouldn’t harm bees or other pollinators.

Dr. Bronners Liquid Castile Soap is highly concentrated, so it lasts for ages. Check out these 16 uses for castile soap for inspiration.


Natural descaler – white vinegar

No natural cleaning article would be complete without at least a mention of white vinegar. It’s an essential weapon in your green cleaning arsenal – useful for everything from descaling the bathroom to cleaning windows, softening laundry and disinfecting the loo. Ecodoo makes a wide range of vinegar based cleaners. There’s pure white vinegar (which is available in 1 litre and 5 litre bottles), ready mixed cleaning sprays and a gel version. You can even get scented versions (hint, try the eucalyptus one).

The Ecodoo Vinegar Gel is particularly good at tackling stubborn limescale build up, as you can leave it to sit on the affected area to work its magic. Try spraying it on your taps, leaving it overnight and then just rinsing the gel off in the morning.


Eco kettle descaler – citric acid

White vinegar isn’t the only natural descaler – citric acid is even better when it comes to descaling kettles, washing machines, dishwashers and other home appliances. There’s no need to scrub – the citric acid dissolves the limescale fur on the elements so it can be rinsed away. For kettles:

  • Fill the kettle with water and bring it to the boil.
  • Add a couple of tablespoons of Dri-Pak Citric Acid.
  • Leave for 15 minutes and pour the water away.
  • Rinse the kettle out a couple of times, then it’s ready to use.

Goodbye limescale, hello nicer tasting tea.

Looking for more green cleaning tips? Check out the Big Green Smile blog.