Until the start of lockdown, the only DIY cleaning hack I had ever tried was pouring baking soda into my sink plug holes and rinsing away with boiling water. I’ve always had a rather nice line up of ZoFlora, Astonish and ASDA’s own cleaning products sat underneath my sink, but it was only when I had more time on my hands during lockdown, that I started to think about the chemical content.
The chemical content is one thing to consider, but that aside, it’s also the fact that cleaning products can come with hefty price tags and some of the items in your kitchen can work just as effectively.
Take baking soda and vinegar for example; These have become iconic house-hold cleaning ingredients. If you can mix these up to form your own DIY cleaning products, you could potentially save a lot of cash in the long run!
The beauty of do-it-yourself cleaning products is that they are mainly based on baking ingredients, store cupboard essentials, herbs and powders, which can get plenty of use in your cooking as well as cleaning. So technically, when you purchase the ingredients, you’re getting more use out of them.
Just a reminder to always label any cleaning products you create yourself with what exactly has gone into them, in case you forget further down the line. Also try to avoid mixing your own products with harsh ingredients like bleach or ammonia, which can be dangerous when messed around with.
1. All-Purpose Freshening Cleaner
One-part white vinegar
Lemon rind or 2 drops lemon juice
Combine the white vinegar, water and lemon rind/lemon juice together, and pour into a spray bottle. Shake the mixture well and let settle for a few days before you choose to use.
This makes a very simple, yet effective natural solution for removing hard water stains from sink, cleaning bins, wiping away marks and smudges on floors and walls, and general sink /handle cleaning. The lemon will leave a lovely fresh scent, but just be careful to avoid granite worktops in which the acidity from lemon can sometimes cause etching.
2. DIY Glass Cleaner
2 cups water
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol 70% concentration
1/2 cup white or apple cider vinegar
1 to 2 drops of an essential oil of choice – eucalyptus or orange oil work well
Cleaning windows or mirrors doesn’t need to require a pricey specialist product. Simply combine the ingredients mentioned above and carefully pour them in a spray bottle.
The best advice for cleaning windows is to save the task for a day where there is no sunshine. If there is sun shining on the glass, it dries the solution quickly and can leave a lot of streaks. When cleaning mirrors, the easiest way to get a streak-free finish is to apply the solution to a soft clean cloth or paper towel and then gently wipe down the mirror.
3. Stainless Steel Cleaner
4 tablespoons baking soda
1 quarter warm water
This must be the easiest combination for making stainless steel shine and look squeaky clean. Great for sinks, taps, any steel areas of your kitchen counters, handles and appliances. You can also use it to wipe down your fridge as it helps to neutralize any bad smells.
Firstly, mix the two ingredients mentioned above in a spray bottle and spritz onto any stainless-steel areas, or directly onto a soft cloth and wipe down. Another quick method is to pour baking soda straight from its container down any drains and plugholes, let it sit for 10-20 minutes, and flush down with boiling water.
To shine up and/or remove marks from any stainless steel in your home, mix up a paste of baking soda and water. Apply the paste mixture with a damp cloth onto the steel and gently rub into the direction of the metals grain. Rinse away and lightly buff dry. Spotless!
¾ cup baking soda
¾ cup white vinegar
5-10 drops of an essential oil such as lavender
5-10 drops of tea tree oil
The combination of lavender and tea tree oil smells fresh and clean in any bathroom, and when worked in with the vinegar and baking soda, works incredibly well for scrubbing limescale out of toilet bowls. Just simply mix together in a spray bottle and spray around the toilet down and into the water. Leave to work its magic and use a brush to scrub around the toilet when finishing.
¾ cup of baking soda
¾ cup of white vinegar
Scrub brush and vacuum
Firstly, cover the entire stain with baking soda, ensuring it covers the whole stain fully. Then, mix your solution together in a spray bottle, using equal parts of white vinegar to water.
Spray the mixture over the baking soda on the stain; The vinegar and water mix will start to react with the baking soda, so don’t be alarmed when it starts to lightly foam! Just wait for the solution to settle and let it work its magic for around three hours. Then, take your scrubbing brush (or a nylon scrub) and start working the brush into the solution, into the stain. Don’t go too hard with this, just use gentle circular movements so you don’t damage your carpet.
Allow this to dry naturally and then the following day, get your vacuum hoover ready! You should be left with no stain, just a chalky residue from the baking soda, in which your vacuum will see to no problem…
6.Bath and Shower Cleaning Scrub
Liquid dish soap/washing up liquid
Microfiber cloth or other cleaning cloth
Funnel or measuring cup
Your bathroom should be a space in the home which encourages cleanliness, so it’s important to have a nice, squeaky clean bath and shower! Unfortunately, they are the first places which attract soap scum, mildew and grime, so it is important to keep cleaning both the bath and shower to keep these away.
The first step is to heat around a quarter of a cup of vinegar in a microwave-safe dish and do this for around one minute until the liquid is hot.
Next, add the hot vinegar into a spray bottle; Be careful with this step and if you have a funnel or a measuring jug, use this to carefully pour. Then add in a quarter of a cup of washing up liquid and shake gently to combine. Using this spray bottle, spritz the cleaning solution onto any affected surfaces around the bath and shower, and allow to set for up to 45 minutes.
Using a cloth soaked in water, rinse away the solution and fully wipe down. It’s also a great chance to use your showers detachable head for a more powerful rinse.