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Being house proud is one thing. But when you have tiny feet running around the place it’s great to know you aren’t compromising on health for the sake of a sparkling home.

Supermarket cleaning products contain loads of chemicals which come with lots of promises – aka clever marketing!

The most common chemicals found in these products – and the ones you should avoid – are sodium lauryl sulfate, benzalkonium chloride, and triclosan, as well as all bleach, preservatives and fragrances.

These substances contribute to chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions, headaches, asthma, shortness of breath and nausea when inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

This week try something new that will leave the health concerns at the door.

Must-have cleaning products:

  • Vinegar: A great low ph balanced solution which prohibits the growth of bacteria.
  • Bi-carb soda: Neutralising odours in the fridge, cupboards or shoes.
  • Lemon: Great for bleaching white surfaces around the home.
  • Tea tree oil: An addition to any natural all-purpose cleaning solution.
  • Eucalyptus oil: Contains disinfecting properties for around the home.
  • Micro-fibre cloth: It can hold seven times its own weight and attracts dust as opposed to just moving it around like other cleaning cloths.
  • A quality vacuum: A vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA). It works by forcing air through a fine mesh to trap harmful particles such as pollen, dust, pet hair, dust mites and cigarette smoke.
  • Steam cleaner: Safely kills mould, dust mites and bacteria by heating fresh water to a very high temperature.
  • Gloves: Use cotton gloves under rubber gloves if you have sensitive skin.
  • Spray bottles: These are handy for homemade cleaning solutions and can be found at hardware or discount stores.

Cleaning Tips:

  • Shine chrome sinks by mixing 1 part vinegar with two parts bi-carb soda to make a paste. Spread around the area, leave for a couple of minutes and rinse.
  • Remove stickers on new crockery with vinegar or tea tree oil.
  • Loosen baked on food from inside your microwave by placing an even amount of vinegar and water in a bowl and boiling it inside the machine. The steam will help the food to soften making it easier to wipe clean.
  • Mix a tablespoon of bi-carb soda in water to clean cupboards and fridges.
  • Mix water and lemon juice to clean and disinfect cutting boards.
  • Remove stains and odours from plastic containers by soaking in lemon juice and water for a couple of hours.
  • Squeeze lemon juice in the sink when washing dishes to act as a degreaser.
  • Spray eucalyptus oil as an alternative to air freshener.
  • Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to hot water to wash floors.
  • Wipe items like phones, bench tops and bins with water and eucalyptus oil to disinfect.
  • Spray vinegar to sweat or deodorant stained clothes to remove discolour before washing.
  • Mix tea tree oil with water in a spray bottle for an all purpose cleaner.
  • Add a few drops of tea tree oil to your washing machine to freshen clothes.
  • Add a big splash of vinegar to a bucket of water and bi-carb soda to remove soap scum and mould in the shower and bath. (Allow it to froth a little before using) Scrub and rinse.
  • Sprinkle bi-carb soda followed by vinegar to clean drains. Allow it to froth and work its magic for 30 minutes before rinsing.
  • Use vinegar in the toilet to remove germs and prevent bacteria growing between cleans.
  • To deodorise carpets, sprinkle bi-carb soda and half a teaspoon of your favourite scented oil evenly over the area. Leave for an hour then vacuum.
  • Remove carpet stains by spraying a mixture of water, vinegar and bi-carb soda on affected area. Leave for a couple of hours and vacuum.
  • Place warm water, bi-carb soda and a few drops of your favourite essential oil into a spray bottle and use as an air freshener. Shake before each use.
Katy Ferguson

Katy Ferguson  

Katy began her career as a journalist in Coffs Harbour in 2006. Her work has since taken her to Canberra, Melbourne and the Gold Coast where she now lives with her husband, two daughters and crazy American Staffy. Since having kids, Katy now enjoys life as a freelance journalist for Seven News on the Gold Coast and River 949 in Ipswich. She also writes for haven and scout magazines. In her spare time you'll find her learning to surf at Currumbin Alley, walking her dog around Emerald Lakes and being a part-time taxi driver to her kids!