After trying a variety of ineffective environmentally-friendly cleaning products, I was about to call it a day. My bathtub was not squeaky clean (a no-no for us) and the kitchen, well, it could look better.
Completely by chance, I discovered the answer to all (yes all) of my household cleaning jobs in the very humble, yet very effective form of Washing Soda.
I am not exaggerating when I say it can do it all!
It cleans floors, greasy kitchen surfaces, soap scum in the bathtub, toilets, drains, descales kitchen appliances, gives glassware and tiles a beautiful shine, lifts stains out of clothing (hardcore ink, tea & blood ), great for burned pots and pans, softens washing water, gets rid of moss and stains on your decking… and so I can go on.
The only things it's not good for is aluminium, waxed or varnished surfaces or fibreglass items. I can live with that.
What makes me more exited about it, is that Washing Soda (sodium carbonate) is a chemical that occurs naturally in soil and water. It is considered green as it does not contribute to environmental contamination . It scores an exceptional safety rating from the Environmental Working Group with the lowest level of concern about its use in household settings.
I have made different strengths solutions in spray bottles that I have labelled accordingly. My kitchen surface cleaner and bathroom solutions have essential oils in.
I use the Cold Gold pure essential oil blend of Eden Days Body with orange, peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus, camphor and geranium.
I love this blend because of its strong anti-bacterial properties and it smells great!
Published studies state that eucalyptus essential oil has antimicrobial activity against gram-negative bacteria (E. coli) as well as gram-positive bacteria (S. aureus).
Tea Tree oil has similar published studies and is extremely anti-bacterial.; it is being considered for use in hospitals, because of astonishing ability to kill a wide variety of bacterial strains.
I also keep a glass pot filled with Baking Soda (Washing Soda’s little sister), in the bathroom and kitchen. It is just the thing if you need a bit of scouring power.
I have replaced all my kitchen and bathroom sponges with loofahs. I simply dip the moistened loofah in the baking soda and scrub away.
We all heard how one sponge that you discard (and let's face it, they don't do a good job for very long) will take up landfill space for up to 52,000 years.
Yes, your everyday sponge is constructed of a cocktail of synthetic materials; bleach, chemicals, sulphates, and petroleum-based polyurethane. It will outlive you and many, many generations to come on a dumping site.
If you are as eager as I am to make a change in the x square feet that you inhabit, I would highly recommend that you try this. It really does not cost you much.
It will replace a multitude of unnecessary cleaning products with potentially harmful side-effects to your family, not to mention the environmental impact it has.
Come, let's make a difference.
This is the recommended strength for a Washing Soda solution:
Mild - 1 tablespoon (20g) to one pint (500ml) of water
Regular - Half a cup (100g) to one pint (500ml) of water
Strong - 1 cup (200g) to one pint (500ml) of water
Here are a few of my favourite uses:
· Sinks, Bath, Shower spray:
Kitchen: Mild to regular solution with anti-bacterial essential oils.
Bath: Regular solution with anti-bacterial essential oils.
· Windows and Mirrors:
Mild solution in a spray bottle.
Add ¼ cup washing soda to the toilet bowl. Allow it some time to work, then scrub with a toilet brush, and flush.
Pour 1 cup of washing soda into a clogged drain. Follow it with 1 cup of hot vinegar. Let it sit and then flush with hot water.
Use a mild solution instead of dish-washing liquids
· Burnt pans and for soaking stained clothes:
A strong solution in hot water. Soak in a strong mixture of washing soda or make a paste and leave for a while.
It even cleans silver jewellery!
· Don’t breath the dust when you are mixing it.
· Wear cleaning gloves and avoid getting it in your eyes or mouth.
· Keep away from children.
- Do not mix it with something acid.