Cleaning products contribute significantly to the large amount of plastic bottles we get through every year. Marketing people have done a great job in persuading us we need a different product for every single task. In 2017 the average UK family spent £587 on cleaning and services!
The truth is cleaning needn’t be complicated and most household cleaning jobs can quite easily be done using the same product. A basic multi-purpose cleaner will work just as well in the kitchen as in the bathroom.
A few years ago, I started making some of my own cleaning products. You’ll find that once you have bought some basic ingredients, they can be used for lots of different things. Most household cleaning jobs can be done using white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and citric acid, which can all be bought relatively cheaply in bulk and reduces the need for all those plastic bottles. I also use lavender & tea tree oil to disguise the smell of the vinegar.
Simple Multi purpose kitchen/bathroom cleaner/shower spray
Distilled white vinegar mixed with water and a few drop of essential oils such as lavender or tea tree oil.
White vinegar is a natural disinfectant and lavender and tea tree oils are antiseptics.
Citric acid is another great cleaner and I’ve found that this is absolutely the best way of getting rid of tough limescale, especially in toilets.
I also use white vinegar as a rinse aid in my dishwasher eliminating the need for another bottle.
Flushable wipes/wet wipes
We’ve been sold lots of disposables to use for cleaning over the years when a simple washable cloth would do. Flushable wipes and wet wipes contain plastic. As well as blocking our sewerage pipes (remember the Fatberg!) the small pieces of plastic leach into the water and add to the global micro-plastics problem which is how plastic is entering our food chain. Whilst these wipes might be convenient in the moment, they are storing up trouble for us further down the line.
Take an audit of your cleaning products today and see what you can change. There are lots of recipes on the internet for making your own products. If this isn’t for you then just take a look at what you actually have in your cleaning cupboard and ask yourself if you really need to continue to buy everything. Lastly, remember to recycle any plastic bottles!