Unless you’ve been hiding beneath a pile of washing – and let’s face it with a newborn to contend with then that is possible – then you may have noticed that cleaning has become a thing. From cleaning to tidying the likes of cleanfluencers like Gemma aka The Organised Mum with her TOMM method and Marie Kondo’s KonMari are sharing tips on how to keep our houses clean and tidy. The rapid rise of Mrs Hinch shows our obsession with cleaning, her first book ‘Hinch Yourself Happy’ is currently the second fastest-selling non fiction title ever. But, with her first baby on the way, and the likes of Zoflora not being the most child friendly, she might want to start considering some more natural cleaning products.
Our favourite natural cleaning products
Chemical products can aggravate asthma and allergies, particularly in young children so many parents are looking for less toxic alternatives. Just because you don’t use products full of chemicals doesn’t mean that you can’t have a sparkling clean house. Here are our favourite natural cleaning products that won’t cost you the earth:
1 – White Vinegar – the hero of natural cleaning products this should be the staple for any parent trying to keep their house clean. Use it watered down to clean windows or taps and add it to your steam mop for the cleanest of floors. Try adding a small amount to the fabric softener compartment of your washing machine. It sounds bizarre but it will actually leave you with super soft clothes. It’s also great to help preserve the life of your washing machine and your clothes won’t smell of chips – we promise! With summer around the corner, another great use for white vinegar is to use it in the garden as a weed killer, mix a litre of vinegar with 3 large spoons of salt and washing up liquid for a child and pet friendly way of keeping the weeds under control.
2 – Bicarbonate of Soda – another household essential, bicarb is a great natural deodoriser and abrasive. Mix equal parts with water for a sink or bath scrub. Remove oil stains from carpets by sprinkling bicarb on, leaving for 15 mins and hoovering away.
3 – Lemon – one of the most powerful non-toxic cleaning products is probably hiding away in your fridge right now. The humble lemon can be used instead of bleach, add a cup of lemon juice to your washing for bright whites with a refreshing scent. Cut a lemon in half and rub it over shower doors to remove mildew and water stains. Use the other half of the lemon to rub on your taps to make them bright and shiny.
4 – Salt – mix 5 tablespoons with water and spray on your shower curtain to remove mildew. We all know lemon and salt make a good combination – tequila anyone? – but mix the two for a kitchen scrub. Great to scrub wooden cutting boards and surfaces. Pour some salt on half a grapefruit and run around the bath for a clean, great smelling tub.
5 – Essential Oils - one of the best-smelling, naturally antibacterial options for homemade cleaning products. Mix 15-20 drops of oil with a teaspoon of baking soda and 300ml of water to make a natural air freshener or put a few drops on a piece of kitchen roll and place it at the bottom of your bin to mask unpleasant smells. Popular oils to use are: tea tree – fights germs, bacteria and viruses, lemon – antiviral and antibacterial, rosemary – antibacterial and antiseptic, wild orange – combats grease, lavender – naturally antibacterial, eucalyptus – natural germicide, peppermint – antibacterial, pine – natural cleaner, thyme – powerful against germs, cinnamon – antibacterial and antiseptic.
Our favourite cleaning tools
Store your homemade cleaning products in reusable glass bottles, the Baldwins range of amber glass syrup bottles are great for this purpose. A good quality cloth is an essential and a damp one is great for cleaning down our playmats after a particularly messy snack or rainy day indoor picnic.
Eco-friendly cleaning brands
If you prefer ready-made cleaning products, our favourite ranges of off the shelf eco products include:
- Splosh - A refillable range of vegan-friendly products that are not tested on animals and are septic tank safe
- Alkimi - A range of non-toxic products that contain no harmful preservatives or abrasive chemicals. Alkimi products include sustainably sourced, natural ingredients, especially selected for their cleaning properties
- Ecover - The ‘original’ eco cleaning range has been around almost 40 years and has come a long way from its inception by a bunch of Belgian hippy scientists looking to find a cleaner way
- Method - Started by two childhood friends who wanted to revolutionise the cleaning world with stylish, eco-friendly products made with non-toxic ingredients
Involve the little ones with the housework
As a parent time is in limited supply so be kind to yourself and recognise that you need to be realistic about your expectations. Good enough may have to be the new normal for your cleaning regime! A great tip is to break the cleaning down into small chunks and do a small task each day so that precious weekend quality family time isn’t compromised. Be smart with your time and consider doing chores like cleaning the bathroom when the kids are in the bath. Make cleaning a game that you can do together; younger ones may enjoy helping you to dust or load the washing machine – especially if it means that they get to press the start button – and older ones can be persuaded to do chores in return for the ever important pocket money.
Disclaimer: It is advised that before the use of any natural product that you check sufficiently to find out if it is suitable for the intended cleaning purpose. Always test small, hidden areas before applying any cleaning solution. Always use caution and keep the products and homemade solutions well-labelled and out of the reach of children. Toddlekind cannot be held responsible for any adverse reactions from the use of any product recommended in this article.