Like most people, as it seems now, i have really sensitive skin especially so on my hands but being a “house wife” i spend a lot of my time scrubbing something of a surface it shouldnt be on (thanks kids!) so inevitably with bleach based products i emerge in an itchy red rash in between my fingers.
After reading a friends blog about chemicals and health implications and lots of other scary stuff (and yes the husband does think i was being slightly over dramatic with it all) i decided to look into some natural products i could use that not only do a great job but are affordable and kind to my skin and the environment.
Of course there are plenty of products on the market at the moment that are kind to the environment and your skin like Method or Ecover and yes we do use them for certain cleaning jobs like dishwasher tablets and washing powder and i have no complaints about their cleaning ability and are yet to cause irritation but they are pricey and being the thrifty so and so i am i dont want to be spending a fortune on cleaning products on a regular basis (yes i do have slight OCD!)
So armed with Pinterest and a few hours i scoured the internet for recipes and hints and tips on cleaning the vintage way. In the 50s for example they didnt have flashy cleaning products just a passed down recipe on keeping things clean.
The foundation for most, if not all homemade cleaners is white vinegar and this would be the part where i start jumping up and down with excitement about not just how great it is for like EVERYTHING but its cheap too.
I started with an experiment, just to see if it worked, with cleaning my long over due oven. I found a recipe for a 50:50 mix of water and white vinegar as a cleaner for both the oven top and in the inside.
I also used baking soda for this as a scrubbing, draw away the grease cleaner.
I sprayed with water/vinegar mix onto my stainless steel hob and simply wiped away baked on stains and really made the steel shine, i then sprinkled the baking soda on then wiped away to remove any residue of the vinegar. I used this method on the baking tray on the inside and actually the oven and ive never seen anything remove grease like it! EVER in the history of the world!! Ok that may have been a little over enthusiastic but seriously TRY IT!
The water/vinegar mix can be used to clean pretty much anything, its excellent on glass, i clean both inside and out with it and it works a treat, i use it on work tops for every day cleaning and it leaves a lovely fresh smell behind, you can also add a squirt of fresh lemon to your mix, it helps with shine and that vinegar smell if it offends you. I even use it on the kitchen floor when i mop and it it makes my lino shine like new!! I even tried just the white vinegar in the dishwasher, empty of course, to clean the inside and the tubes, my dishes have never been so clean! And so much cheaper AND environmentally friendly!! i even made the microwave look like new with using the same method!
So for me this doesnt only prove that i dont need to buy bleach based products to ensure a beautifully clean home with subsequently saves the pennies but that more poor hands dont need to take a battering everyday just to keep my home that clean and most importantly simplest is best. Just two ingredients, thats all it needs.