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Eco-friendly spring clean

If you’re treating your home to a big spring clean, check out our top tips on how to get everything sparkling and fresh without using caustic chemicals.

Eco-friendly spring clean

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Eco-friendly cleaning products

Eco-friendly cleaning products

Many of the most common household cleaning products contain chemicals like caustic soda and chlorine, which can damage our environment. But thankfully, as we all become more aware of the impact we have on our planet, supermarkets and manufacturers are responding to customer demands by producing a range of ‘green’ alternatives. So, you can now find all kinds of eco-friendly cleaning products on the supermarket shelves, from green tea handwash to almond floor polish. And because eco-friendly cleaning agents are produced using natural ingredients, you can even make your own.

All-purpose tea tree spray

All-purpose tea tree spray

The tea tree is actually a type of shrub native to Australia, and the oil distilled from its leaves possesses some remarkable properties, leading to its use as a treatment for a variety of medical conditions – from acne to athlete’s foot. Yet because tea tree oil has strong antibacterial and antiviral properties, it also makes it very useful around the home. For a great all-purpose cleaning solution, add 20 drops of tea tree oil to one litre of water, and for extra zing, add 10 drops of lemon extract. To make your new product even more eco-friendly, rinse out an old bottle of spray cleaner and refill with your new eco- friendly product.

Crystal clear windows

Crystal clear windows

Vinegar is a natural by-product of plant fermentation, and the regular bottled variety you’ll find on any supermarket shelf contains around 5% - 10% acetic acid. It’s this mild acid content that makes vinegar so effective at cutting through grease and grime, and it’s equally good at tackling visible mould and invisible bacteria. For an eco-friendly window spray, mix 2 - 3 teaspoons of vinegar with one litre of warm water and pour it into a spray bottle. You can use it in the kitchen too, but don’t spray it on marble or stone worktops as the acetic acid can erode the surface.

Carpet stain remover

Carpet stain remover

White vinegar can be very effective at removing stubborn carpet stains, but you may need a stronger solution than your window spray – so mix equal parts of vinegar and water, and spray directly onto the dirty mark. Leave for 5 minutes then carefully wipe the spot with a sponge and warm soapy water. Take care to clean gently in the same direction as the weave of the fibres. Although it’s highly unlikely that vinegar will cause any discolouration, try it in an inconspicuous spot first, just to be on the safe side.

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