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Simple Cleaning

By Karen Bowley, Wodonga Albury Towards Climate Health (WATCH) and Wooragee Landcare

Using green cleaning products is not only effective but economical and contains no dangerous chemicals so is safe for you to use and for the environment. 

One of my favourite products is cheap and can be used for a  variety of purposes.  This product is bicarbonate of soda and I use it mainly for cleaning.  I buy my bicarb in bulk so this also lessens the amount of plastic containers that end up in our landfill.

 Together with vinegar it is a great cleaner especially for toilets.  Shannon Lush, who has written many books on cleaning, (eg” Spotless”) uses it too.   She recommends sprinkling bicarb over the inside of the wet bowl then splashing vinegar over the bicarb in the bowl then scrub.  Then rinse with water. This same technique can be used on bathroom basins, baths and showers. If you would like some fragrance you can add drops of tea tree, lavender or eucalyptus oil to the rinse water. Using bicarb also assists your septic tank if you have one by keeping the contents at the correct pH level.

And to clean tile grout make a thick paste of bicarb of soda and use an old toothbrush to scrub.  Or for stubborn stains, use one part vinegar with 2 parts bicarb to make it fizz.  Bicarb on a dry cloth can be used to rub clean washing machines, dryers and stainless steel troughs in the laundry.

I also use one tablespoon of bicarb of soda dissolved in 1 cup of water in my hair instead of shampoo every second wash.  This not only cleans my hair, but makes it soft and reduces any itching on my scalp.  You can use this same method on your dog to improve their smell and make their coat soft, either on its own or mixed in with some shampoo.

Bicarb is also great at absorbing odours so leave an open container in the fridge, stir the contents regularly and replace every couple of months.  In the house generally, leave a small bowl of bicarb with a few drops of an essential oil to freshen the air or sprinkle some in your smelly bin or in a cupboard.

Bicarb can even be used to clean brass and copper mixed with lemon juice, vinegar and vaseline!

So think twice before you spend a lot of money on cleaning products.  There is a simpler and cheaper way.