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Homemade Cleaning Products

by Kate on October 19, 2011

in Live Well

Most of us wouldn’t deny the need for cleaning products in our lives, however, we may well begrudge having to shell out for them. Even the cheapest own brand multi purpose cleaning products are a couple of quid a throw. As an extra insult to injury, they also contain very harsh chemicals, which are harmful to us and our environment.

Luckily, you can make cleaning products out of everyday household staples, that are cheaper, incredibly versatile, and natural.


  • A mix of 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water is a great spray cleaner. This can be used on all your kitchen work top and bathroom surfaces. The more vinegar in the mix the more powerful it will be. Use neat on sinks to make them sparkle and remove lime scale.

Top Tip – The smell of vinegar will evaporate fairly quickly in the home, however you can add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your mixes, or squeeze a lemon in there to give a fresher smell.

  • Vinegar used neat on glass with scrunched up newspaper will give a brilliant streak free result. This method plus a bit of elbow grease is also great for shower screens.

To say I like my tea is the understatement of the year, so there’s nothing that sets me up for the day worse than finding lime-scale grit in my morning brew. Just the thought gives me the shivers. So my top tip for removing lime-scale from your kettle? You guessed it… vinegar.

  • Boil the kettle with 1 part white vinegar, 1 part water. Make sure the element and any particularly scaly areas are covered. Swill the kettle out with water afterwards to get rid of all the icky bits.
  • A cup of vinegar can also be used in the fabric softener tray in your washing machine. This won’t do the job of softener, but it will kill germs and bacteria, and is effective at removing sweat stains and smells. It will also keep your machine lime-scale free.

Other uses – The natural bleaching properties of vinegar can help to reduce the blueness of a bruise. Just dab it on the affected area of skin.

Bicarbonate of soda

  • A cup of bicarbonate of soda placed uncovered in the fridge will absorb any unpleasant smells that are hanging around.
  • A product similar to a cream cleaner, can be made by mixing a small amount of bicarbonate of soda and water. This can be used in the bathroom and kitchen.
  • To clean drains, sprinkle a few tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda down the drain followed by a couple of cups of vinegar. Rinse with water after an hour. Increase volumes of bicarb and vinegar for bad blockages.
  • Bicarbonate of soda can be used to eliminate odours in the way fabreeze might. Sprinkle it on your carpet, and vacuum an hour later.

Other uses A paste of 3 parts bicarbonate of soda and 1 part water, makes an excellent and very cheap facial exfoliator. is a great place to buy vinegar and bicarbonate of soda in quantities large enough to last you months at a time. This is way cheaper than the supermarket cleaning products.

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