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Make your own green cleaning products

Handyman Magazine logo Handyman Magazine 3/11/2018 Handyman Magazine

Get the house spick and span with these eco-friendly cleaning recipes.

They are super easy to make and clean just as well as chemical-based products.

Base ingredients can be bought in bulk and can be used to make multiple batches.

All-purpose cleaner

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  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon dishwashing liquid
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 drops eucalyptus oil

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake, then allow to settle and top with water.

Spray on surfaces, then wipe off with a clean cloth.

For tough stains, leave for one minute before wiping.

Oven cleaner

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  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl, then slowly add water until the mixture forms a paste.

Allow to set for five minutes.

Apply to the oven walls with a sponge, then scrub to remove grime.

Do not use this mixture on the heating elements.

Mould killer

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  • ½ cup borax
  • ½ cup vinegar

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and mix to form a paste.

Apply to mould or mildew on tiles using a sponge, then scrub off with a stiff-bristled brush.

For tough mould or mildew, leave the paste for an hour before scrubbing off.

Timber polish

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  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white vinegar

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake.

Spray onto a soft cloth and wipe onto timber surfaces in the direction of the grain.

For detailed areas, work it in with a soft-bristled brush.

Buff with a soft, dry cloth until shiny.

Glass cleaner

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  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup isopropyl alcohol
  • 2 drops orange oil

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake.

Spray onto a microfibre cloth and wipe over glass surfaces, then buff with the dry side of the cloth.

Washing powder

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1/2 cup washing soda

1 cup finely grated pure soap

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup borax

1/2 cup bicarbonate of soda

Put the washing soda crystals in a clean plastic bag and crush them finely with a rolling pin.

Mix the crushed washing soda with the rest of the ingredients and store in an airtight box or jar.

Dissolve in a jug of hot water before adding to a top-loading machine.

For a front-loader, dissolve powder in a small amount of hot water and add to the dispenser.

Use one tablespoon for a small load, one-and-a-half for a medium load and two for a large load.

If using for hand washing, be sure to wear rubber gloves.

Wool wash

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  • 2 cups soap flakes
  • 1/2 cup methylated spirits
  • 25ml eucalyptus oil

This recipe has been used to wash wool for generations.

It’s ideal for blankets, quilts and pillows.

The eucalyptus oil keeps wool soft and repels moths.

Place the ingredients in a jar and shake until combined.

Use two tablespoons of wool wash per litre of warm water, then rinse.

Time-saving tips and techniques

a man holding a clock © Getty Images Clean more efficiently with these easy strategies:

  • Assemble a caddy of commonly used cleaners and tools so they are ready to go. Store them in a bucket with a handle for portability.
  • Tackle big jobs while you are motivated, to get them out of the way.
  • If you run out of time, small jobs are easier to come back to.
  • Dry-dust before applying any liquid cleaning solutions, so that airborne particles don’t cling to wet surfaces.
  • Wash windows on a cloudy day to minimise streaking.
  • Cleaning solutions will dry out too fast on sunny days, leaving marks behind.
  • Work from the top down, dusting before sweeping and vacuuming so you won’t have to cover the same area twice.
  • Dry shower screens after use to minimise soap scum build-up, prevent the glass becoming etched and avoid excess scrubbing.
  • Use a doormat to leave dirt at the door, reducing the amount of time spent sweeping and vacuuming while keeping floors scratch-free.
  • Set a deadline for your list of tasks. This will keep you on the move and make the job less daunting, as you know you have a time limit.

Pictures: Words To Live By

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