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Easy Eco-Friendly Home Cleaning Tips

By Karin Mangan

Today's busy lifestyles make convenience products more appealing than ever, especially when it comes to cleaning the home. But if you stop to look at your cleaning product labels, you might be alarmed by the number of chemicals you are spraying and rubbing around your house and washing away into the water supply.

Try these eco-friendly cleaning methods in your home:

  • Washing Machine: To remove soap scum, mildew, limescale, and other dirt from inside your washing machine, run it on empty every once in a while on a hot wash with white vinegar and washing-soda crystals.
  • Oven: Apply a thick paste of bicarbonate of soda over the inside of a dirty oven. Leave it overnight then scrub it with water and a brush.
  • Bath Tub: You can prevent limescale and soap scum from building up by wiping down the bath after each use. You can clean a very dirty plastic tub by filling it with warm water, adding some biological washing powder, and leaving it overnight. You can remove limescale by carefully applying a solution of half water and half vinegar to the limescale with a soft cloth. Avoid applying the solution to enamel. To remove stains from an enamel bath tub, apply a paste made of bicarbonate of soda and a little water.
  • Faucets: Clean chrome finishes by rubbing the surface with a cut lemon, rising with water, and drying with a soft cloth. You can also use white toothpaste to clean faucets, apart from those finished in gold or brass.
  • Tile Grout: A paste made from bicarbonate of soda and a little vinegar is effective at cleaning the grout between your tiles. Just apply it and scrub to get rid of mildew and soap scum.
  • Windows and Mirrors: Shine your windows with a solution of one part vinegar to four parts water, applied with a lint-free cloth. Shine them up with old newspaper. Clean mirrors the same way. Wipe the mirror in the bathroom after you use the shower to prevent a build-up of water marks and limescale. If the bathroom mirror gets very stained, apply a solution of one part vinegar or lemon juice and two parts washing soda with a damp cloth, then rise with water, and wipe dry with old newspaper.
  • Fabric Stains: You can remove stains from carpets and other textiles by spraying with equal parts white vinegar and water. Leave it for a few minutes then sponge it off with warm soapy water. You can remove grease from textiles by sprinkling corn starch on the spill, leave it for about half an hour then vacuum it up.

Once you get accustomed to these cleaning methods, you realize they are easy to prepare and apply, and you won't miss the toxic cleaning products.

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