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Natural Cleaning Hacks That Really Work

Natural cleaning hacks are bang on trend but are hardly a recent innovation. Your great-great-grandma may well have passed down a nifty cleaning hack many years ago that's stayed in your family ever since.

And while conventional cleaning products will always have a place in your carry caddy, more people than ever before are exploring the benefits of natural cleaning solutions as their awareness of environmental and health issues grows.

Natural cleaning methods are also cheap to use as the staple ingredients are lemon, baking soda, vinegar and water.

Here's a post to show you how conventional cleaning products can be used in conjunction with natural cleaning hacks to achieve the very best results for your home. Your cleaning routine is about to be completely overhauled - I know, exciting stuff!

Go natural to help save the environment

Natural cleaning products save on packaging, therefore cutting down on plastic pollution.

Plastic is killing more than 1.1 million seabirds and animals every year, so we must all do our bit to cut down on plastic usage.

Rather than buying a bunch of different cleaning products each designed to clean specific things, DIY natural cleaning products can be used on multiple areas in your home.

You can even reuse packaging from cleaning products that have run out. Once you've given them a good rinse they're ideal to store your new natural cleaning solutions!

Here's 15 natural cleaning hacks that are sure to make your house sparkle and shine...

For the kitchen:

1. DIY all-purpose surface spray

It's important to keep your kitchen worktops clean to prevent your family from becoming unwell from bacteria left behind by raw meat. So what better way to clean your worktops than using a natural method, which can be less toxic and therefore safer to use.

Natural surface cleaner

Start by mixing 60ml of distilled white vinegar with a tablespoon of baking soda and a litre of warm water in a bowl.

Peel a lemon and add the skin to your bottle to create a fresh scent. Take half of the lemon and squeeze it into your bowl, mixing it into the solution.

Then use a funnel to disperse the solution into your bottle. Voila! Your very own natural, all-purpose spray which will also leave your worktops free of smears.

This natural all-purpose surface spray can also be used on your bathroom surfaces.

Distilled white vinegar is cheap to buy and its acidic nature makes it the perfect disinfectant to wipe away bacteria. Likewise, lemon is an acidic fruit with antibacterial and antiseptic properties, making it a natural bleach. Plus, the lemon will mask the vinegar scent and won't break the bank!

Baking soda is not only a staple in cakes but also in natural cleaning hacks. It's slightly abrasive which helps to remove grease, and it also has the ability to dissolve dirt.

Pro tip - label your natural cleaning products and include the date they were mixed. Natural solutions may not always last as long as conventional cleaning products.

2. Extractor fan cleaner

We all know that extractor fan hoods exist to provide a home for grease and grime. But did we all know this nifty hack?

Take some cotton wool soaked in baby oil and use good old elbow grease to shift the built-up dirt on your stainless steel extractor fan hood.

Once you've removed the unpleasantness you can then use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe away the oil residue and polish the surface.

It's really that easy!

3. Homemade drain unblocker

Take a jug and mix 75g of baking soda with 85ml of distilled white vinegar. This should result in a fizzing reaction and might make you feel like you're back in school doing a science experiment. However, this is the one experiment that will actually end well!

Whilst the mixture is still fizzing, pour it down your drain. Quickly cover the drain with a plug or some tape to stop the mixture from escaping.

For best results leave overnight, or if this isn't possible just a few hours will still work wonders.

Before using your sink again pour boiling water from the kettle down the drain, as this will wash the solution away.

This tip can also be used on your bathroom drains.

4. Fridge deodoriser

Bad odours from your fridge can cause the whole kitchen to smell. Even the power of a Yankee Candle can struggle to mask these pungent odours.

However, this cheap and easy solution will do the trick!

Simply fill a glass with 230g of baking soda. If you like you can add a dozen drops of essential oils to the glass - lemon oil is a good choice to keep your fridge smelling citrus fresh.

Place the glass in the corner of the fridge, changing it every couple weeks. The baking soda will absorb and help neutralise the unpleasant odours in your fridge.

5. Oven cleaner

This one is so easy, you could do it in your sleep.

No, literally... you can clean your oven whilst you sleep.

The first bit does require you to be awake though! Fill up a spray bottle with 85ml of water, 115g of baking soda and 85ml of white vinegar.

Make sure the oven is cool and that you have removed the oven shelves before you coat the inside of the oven with the homemade solution. Remember to avoid the heating components.

Once the inside of your oven is thoroughly coated you can close the door and go to bed, leaving the solution overnight.

In the morning, wipe down the oven with soapy hot water before drying with a microfibre cloth.

Cleaning oven with homemade solution

6. Microwave cleaner

For this one you need a lemon to hand.

Cut the lemon in half and squeeze each half into a bowl filled halfway with water. Then add the rest of the squeezed lemon to the bowl. Place the bowl inside your microwave and on a high heat setting, setting the timer for 2-3 minutes or until it becomes steamy inside.

The oil in the lemon skin will mix with the steam to help loosen the built-up grime inside your microwave, making it super easy for you to just wipe down the inside with kitchen roll or a cloth without having to scrub away for what feels like a lifetime.

Plus, the lemon will help deodorise any bad smells lingering inside.

For the bathroom:

7. Natural toilet cleaner

For this one you'll need to mix 115g of bicarbonate of soda with 120ml of distilled white vinegar.

Once again, you could add essential oils to leave the toilet smelling nice. Essential oils are cost effective since a little goes a long way - you'd only need to add between 10-15 drops of your chosen oil.

Flush the toilet to wet the bowl first and then pour your natural toilet cleaner into the toilet, making sure it coats the sides.

This solution can be used as a deep clean if you let it sit for several hours.

If you need a quick fix (or you have those things called children), simply leave it for a few minutes and scrub the toilet bowl with a toilet brush before flushing the toilet.

Pro tip - keeping a shaker of baking soda in your bathroom cabinet can help quickly clean your toilet between deep cleans and even extend the time between each clean. Simply shake the baking soda into the toilet before you flush and it will absorb odours and remove stains.

If you wanted to keep using your trusty Cillit Bang toilet cleaner then you could add a shot or two to your solution, and this would mean you're still saving money in the long term as you wouldn't use as much toilet cleaner.

8. Sink and bathtub cleaner

This tip is certain to leave your sink and bathtub shining!

Begin by sprinkling baking soda over the surface of porcelain/ceramic bathtubs and sinks. Take a sponge or a scrubbing brush and very gently scrub the surface, working in the baking soda.

As if by magic, the baking soda will begin to lift grime, soap scum and water spots from the surfaces.

If you're going to have a sparkling sink you may as well go all out and make it smell amazing as well. Just add a dozen or so drops of lemon essential oil to the baking soda before scrubbing.

9. De-mist your mirrors

...with shaving foam. Yep, you read it right!

Shaving foam will stop your mirrors from annoyingly fogging up when the bathroom gets steamy. This bizarre hack can help keep your mirrors cleaner for longer.

Spray a good covering of shaving foam onto your mirror, then use some kitchen roll to polish up the mirror with the shaving foam.

The shaving foam will leave your mirrors steam free for a couple weeks before you need to repeat the process.

10. Mildew remover

The sight of mildew buildup on your shower curtain doesn't always mean you have to buy a new one. Instead, try this hack to restore your shower curtain to its mildew-free glory.

Place your shower curtain in your washing machine and add 115g of baking soda to your washing detergent, setting the washer to a warm cycle.

Next, just before the rinse cycle begins add 115ml of distilled white vinegar. The baking soda and vinegar will work together to lift the mildew from the shower curtain.

Once out of the washing machine, allow your shower curtain to completely dry before you put it back in the shower.

Clean shower curtain

This tip is a great example of how traditional cleaning products can work brilliantly alongside natural cleaning methods, helping you keep your home squeaky clean.

11. Natural air freshener

Keeping 200-400g of rice mixed in a jar with 10-20 drops of your favourite essential oil creates a cheap and easy natural deodoriser for your bathroom. Give the mixture a shake and cover with a breathable fabric (such as cotton) instead of the jar lid, securing the fabric with a rubber band.

Tips for the rest of the house:

12. Window cleaner

Streak-free windows are easy to attain with this simple hack. All you need is distilled white vinegar, hot water and a microfibre cloth.

Add one part hot water to one part vinegar to create a natural window cleaning solution.

Take a microfibre cloth, soak it in the solution and buff up your windows.

Pro tip - to ensure your windows turn out streak-free, never clean them while they're in direct sunlight. The heat from the sun can cause your windows to dry too quickly leaving you with that dreaded streaky finish.

13. Carpet deodoriser

Bad odours can cling to soft furnishings, carpets and rugs, so a cheap, all-natural deodoriser is something you'll want to have to hand.

To battle bad smells sprinkle baking soda onto your carpet/rug, mixed with 10-15 drops of your favourite essential oil. Leave the powder to sit for around 30 minutes and then hoover it up.

14. Wood polishing spray

For this one you need 180ml of olive oil, 60ml of white distilled vinegar and an optional 30 drops of essential oil to mask the vinegar scent. Add all of these ingredients together into a spray bottle and give the bottle a good shake.

Spray the solution onto the wood surface and use a dry microfiber cloth to buff to a shiny finish.

Remember to shake the bottle before each use.

15. Wall cleaner

You've just redecorated and your child has decided the lounge wall is the ideal spot to draw their latest masterpiece.

Child scrawling on wall with crayon

Deep breaths. We've got you covered.

Put a couple of drops of tea tree oil onto a slice of brown bread. Make sure the oil is facing the wall and then rub at the crayon mark.

The mark should come off quickly. To remove the excess oil use the crusts and gently wipe from side-to-side.

You must stick to brown bread as wholegrain is too abrasive and may cause scratches.

At this point you may be wondering why on earth this bizarre combo cleans up crayon.

Brown bread contains bran, which acts as a gentle abrasive that's able to remove the crayon pigment. The tea tree oil works to dissolve the wax.

Bear in mind that some painted finishes are more durable than others, so use this hack carefully if your walls are finished in contract matt rather than a wipeable vinyl paint.

If only cleaning was as easy as reading these tips

We hope that these hacks will help lighten your housework load rather than your purse.

Going all natural can be quite the commitment, so these tips show how you can still be environmentally conscious by combining conventional cleaning products with natural methods for the sparkliest and cleanest results!

Who knows, you may even enjoy cleaning now that you get to feel like a scientist, creating chemical reactions in the kitchen sink.

Okay, so perhaps the prospect of enjoying cleaning is a little too optimistic - but you may at least tolerate it with these easy natural cleaning hacks.

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