Sustainable Living Through Cleaning

Sustainable Living Through Cleaning

Under your sink, how many cleaning products and detergents for every surface of your house are there? It’s surprising how many of these we hoard over time, each with their own unique use. But frankly, it’s a waste of money, and the chemicals used in these industrial strength cleaners are toxic for both our planet and for ourselves. People with sensitive skin can notice straight away how harsh these chemicals can be.

A recent theory of our society needing to be overly clean has come due to the fierce advertising of the “99.99% germs killed” and our idea that bacteria is bad for us. It’s called the ‘Hygiene Hypothesis’. Cleaning products that kill all bacteria are not necessary for our households, in fact, we need healthy bacteria to ensure our bodies even work properly. The Hygiene Hypothesis theorises that the exponential increase in allergies is due to the over-sanitisation of our homes and our lack of contact with bacteria as children. The fear behind the everyday germs is unnecessary, as our bodies are built to create immunities to bacteria and live symbiotically with them. The only practical place to kill 99.99% of bacteria is in hospitals and research facilities!

With making your own cleaning products we can save ourselves from allergies, strengthen our immune system and save our waterways from being overridden with toxic chemicals.




Replacing Household Cleaners with Simple DIY Versions


1. All Purpose Cleaner.

This is a recipe that your mum or grandmother might have used. It worked for them, so it will no doubt work for you!

 • Fill and empty spray bottle with 1:1 white vinegar and water. If you don’t have vinegar, use 1:5 apple cider vinegar and water instead.

• Add 10-15 drops of essential oils for added scent.


2. Citrus All Purpose Cleaner

This handy recipe uses any of the citrus fruit to create a new DIY cleaner.

• Place your used peels from an orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit in a large glass jar. Then fill the jar with white vinegar. Allow 5-7 days for it ferment.

• Drain then pour the liquid into a spray container and add a 1:1 ratio with water.


3. Castile Soap

Liquid Castile soap is made from olive oil, and is an exciting product as it is environmentally friendly. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but it has an enormous amount of uses. It can be used as a body soap, too clean your house and even suitable for your pets! Buying liquid Castile soap in bulk will save you money and you can mix different ratio with water.


• Dishwashing liquid - 1:10 Castile soap and water.

• Hand wash - 1:5 Castile soap and water.

• Laundry Liquid - 1:5 Castile soap and water.

• Spray stain remover - 1:2 Castile and water.



A few more cleaning tips


  • Stain remover soap bars can be brought from the supermarket usually wrapped in cardboard or paper. They are super for hard-to-remove stains.
  • If you don’t want to make your own, laundry powder/liquid and dishwashing liquid can be brought in bulk.
  • Reusing old containers (especially spray bottles) is the great, and prevents them from ending up in landfill.
  • Don’t buy paper towels ever again! Using old cotton washcloths and t-shirts is much more sustainable and can be reused after a wash time and time again. 


Source: A Zero Waste Life in Thirty Days - Anita Vandyke

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