Bicarbonate of Soda
This is a versatile natural cleaning product that is a great non-toxic solution to cleaning kitchen surfaces and inside your fridge. You can also place a small container inside your fridge to absorb food odours. Bicarbonate of soda is also a great way of bringing sparkle back to your cutlery – place 2-3 tsps in a washing up bowl, fill with hot water and then soak your cutlery for 5-10 minutes.
I discovered Lavendin when we were living in Provence. Lavendin is a hardier and more pungent relative of the lavender plant and large bottles are available in most supermarkets in the south of France, where it is used more commonly than bleach! Not so here, I’m afraid, but you can get it online. It is expensive to buy in the UK, but a little goes a long way and will leave your home smelling divine. Add a few drops to hot water and you can use it everywhere – kitchen surfaces, floors and tiles. It has natural antiseptic properties so makes a fantastic toilet cleaner and the diluted oil can also be used on cuts and grazes.
Mix a solution of equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle and you have a solution that will clean most areas of your home. The smell of vinegar quickly disappears once allowed to dry. Note: undiluted vinegar is acidic and can damage tile grout and marble surfaces. Use the spray to clean your bath, sinks, and work-surfaces and use neat vinegar to clean your toilet. You can also use neat vinegar to descale your kettle – so much safer than using chemical descaling products as all you need to do is rinse out and then boil your kettle for your next brew!
Lemon juice is another natural cleaner. Lemon juice can be used to dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits. You can also mix lemon juice with bicarbonate of soda to make a cleaning paste. Use the paste to scrub dishes, surfaces, and stubborn stains. Lemon juice or vinegar can also both be used to disinfect the lid of your kitchen bin.
Salt is an abrasive solution that can be used in situations where “elbow grease” is called for! Use salt to get rid of stains on worktops and inside coffee mugs.