If you’re anything like me, the pending arrival of a new baby really gets you thinking a lot about your home.
Is the nursery set up correctly? Will the house be warm enough? Will it be cool enough and will it be a safe zone for them for as long as you all live there?
For someone so tiny, a new baby really does have you worrying on a whole new level!
So we all agree we want the safest possible home for our bubs; however safe can mean many things. Having the TV secured to the wall, no stairs to fall down, no ledges to leap off, no sharp edges on coffee tables and kitchen benches (phew the list is endless)! But ‘safe’ can also mean you’d like to go chemical free with your cleaning – especially given babies spend so much time on the floor and exploring everything with their fingers and mouths.
So it’s up to us to keep the house as clean as possible. Excitingly, there’s so much we can do with a few simple and natural ingredients and a few particular products that will virtually get you chemical free when cleaning.
We’ve given you a few ideas and tips for chemical free cleaning right here …
- Rub a slice of lemon over a chopping block or bread board to reduce bacteria (even better if you leave the lemon juice on the board and place in direct sunlight for a few hours).
- Toss a halved lemon in your garbage disposal to keep it smelling fresh.
- Remove stubborn food preparation smells from your hands (think prawns, onions and garlic) by rubbing a slice of lemon and a little table salt all over your hands for a minute or two.
- Boil a whole lemon in a small saucepan of water (just make sure it doesn’t boil dry) to remove any lingering cooking smells.
- Use the rind of a lemon to buff scratches on furniture (be sure to patch test first in an inconspicuous spot).
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil comes from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a small tree native to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. Tea Tree Oil has been used as a traditional medicine by Aborigines for centuries.
- Make your own natural hand sanitiser – combine Tea Tree Oil, Lavender Oil, Witch Hazel extract, a little 100% pure Aloe Vera Gel and a 1/4 teaspoon Vitamin E Oil ( natural preservative).
- Tea Tree Oil is a wonderful natural deodorant.
- It also makes a completely natural insect repellant which can be perfect for little ones with sensitive skin (be sure to patch test first).
- Make a general all purpose cleaning solution by combining 20 drops of Tea Tree Oil, 3/4 cup of water and a 1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar in a spray bottle.
- Add 1 or 2 drops of Tea Tree Oil to 20 drops of organic baby oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil and use for cradle cap or dandruff – massage into the scalp, leave on for 1 – 2 hours then gently brush or comb to loosen dry skin.
For thousands of years Salt has been used for many things – cleaning being just one of the very popular uses. It was way back when a little hard to come by but these days, Salt is readily available so don’t be shy to introduce it into your cleaning repertoire.
- Make up a paste of fine table salt, a little Apple Cider Vinegar and a little water and you’ve got the most natural and effective bath and basin cleaner – apply with a soft cloth in a circular motion. Goodbye soap scum rings around the bath!
- Pour a 1/2 cup of salt into your kitchen sink followed by a kettle full of boiling water – not only will this slough away any built up grease, it will also deodorise (supercharge the deodorising factor by adding the juice of half a lemon).
- Clean stains from tea pots and coffee cups by wiping out with a mixture of table salt and vinegar.
- Clean greasy pans – forget plunging them into hot water. Simply sprinkle with table salt then wipe out with clean paper towel.
- Ideally the only little one crawling on your floors will be your bub – deter ants by sprinkling table salt across door ways or wherever you see ants sneaking in. Apparently they find it very tricky to walk across salt.
The miracle ingredient if you ask me – if you have nothing else in your cleaning arsenal, you have to have vinegar readily available.
- To clean limescale and buildup from your kettle add a 1/4 cup of vinegar to a half full kettle of water and boil, then tip out the water and wipe over and rinse again.
- Clean windows and cloudy marks from drinking glasses with a 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water solution – for windows use in a spray bottle and for glasses soak, wipe, rinse and dry.
- Clean your microwave by boiling an open bowl of 1/4 cup of vinegar to 3/4 cup of water until steam forms inside the microwave. Allow to ‘steam’ for 2 minutes then remove the water carefully and wipe out.
- Remove soap scum from bathroom tiles (as long as they are not marble or porous) with the 1 part vinegar to 5 parts water mixture – use in a spray bottle, leave on for 1/2 hour then wipe over and rinse.
- Soften your clothes and be soft on the environment by adding a cup of straight vinegar to the rinse cycle.
- Erase stains from plastic containers by soaking in a solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda to 1 cup of water (increase volume accordingly). Do the final wash with dishwashing liquid and then rinse.
- Baking soda is brilliant at absorbing odours – leave an open box in the back of your fridge to absorb any nasty smells and sprinkle in the bottom of the kitchen garbage bin and your nappy bin.
- Clean bathroom and kitchen drains with a solution of 1 cup of vinegar to 1 tablespoon of baking soda – mix together and pour down the drain. Wait 1/2 hour then pour a litre of water down the drain to rinse through.
- Remove baked on grime from baking dishes by sprinkling baking soda all over and adding a squirt of dishwashing liquid and a 1/2 or full cup of water. Soak overnight then wipe out wash as usual.
- Freshen up couches, carpets, rugs, mattresses and even the pet’s bed by sprinkling with baking soda, leaving to sit for 1/2 hour and then vacuuming well.
Think about the cleaning cloths you’re using …
It’s awesome once you’re on track and you’re no longer using nasty chemicals – better for you and your family and the environment! It’s also important to consider other cleaning products you’re using too – replace disposable kitchen towels with microfibre and/or bamboo cloths which you simply throw into the wash and dry in the sunshine and use over and over and over. There is such a fabulous range with all sorts of uses. Look for a good quality mop too – forget those mops that use hundreds of disposable wipes! Check out the full range from Vileda.
This article was commissioned by the team at Vileda. The Mouths of Mums editorial team compiled this article after working with the team at Vileda and realising that they provide a huge range of top quality cleaning products.