Natural Spring Cleaning

Natural Cleaning

It’s that time of the year again; spring cleaning, and this year lets ditch all those nasty chemicals and clean effectively without putting our health at risk. I am a minimalist at heart so I like to use the least ingredients possible! You’d be surprised at just how little you need to clean your house effectively. In our house we clean as follows;

  • dusting – damp cloth
  • windows / glass – hot water, washing up liquid, lemon juice / vinegar and then dry vigorously with a dry cloth
  • floors – hot water, washing up liquid, lemon juice / vinegar
  • fridge – hot water, lemon juice / vinegar
  • microwave – microwave a bowl of water with lemons / vinegar for 2 minutes and wipe with a damp cloth
  • wooden chopping boards – half a lemon and salt
  • pots – steel wool and water
  • polishing timber – a blend of olive oil / coconut oil and vinegar applied with kitchen paper
  • oven – warm water, washing up liquid, steel wool, a Stanley blade and elbow grease
  • bath / washbasin – mix bicarbonate of soda and water into a paste, apply with a damp cloth, rinse clean
  • toilet bowl – bicarbonate of soda on kitchen paper and elbow grease
  • grout – mix bicarbonate of soda and water into a paste, apply with an old toothbrush, rinse clean
  • drains – hot water and salt


You can add essential oils to any of the above if you’d like. It won’t affect the cleaning power. I just couldn’t be bothered.

The washing up liquid (dish soap) that we buy by Bio D, which we can get refills of in the Food Co-op in Dublin 8.

We don’t use bleach in our house any more but if you feel you can’t do without it here’s a recipe for natural bleach

If you’re tempted to mix other products together please read this excellent blog post on Green Cleaning Ingredients you should never mix. Not only does it tells you the mixtures that would be dangerous, it also tells you the ones that are ineffective and why.

Also if you’d prefer to buy manufactured cleaning products then the EWG guide to Healthy Cleaning is a useful resource and on their website you can search for the ‘healthy rating’ of products.

To date I’ve been using microfibre cloths to clean stainless steel and glass but having heard that fibres from microfibre cloths are polluting our oceans I’m on the hunt for a less polluting option. I’ll update this blog when i find it.






6 thoughts on “Natural Spring Cleaning

  1. Great post, thanks Elaine! I especially love your oven tip – it really works! Like you, I want fewer ingredients – makes cleaning simpler and I feel happy when I open my cleaning cupboard to see mostly empty space. Once I’ve used up my current batch of homemade cleaner, I’m going to experiment with using only water for jobs that aren’t very dirty. I’m currently using diluted washing up liquid to clean my toilets and it seems to work fine (I have soft water). I’m reusing an old washing up liquid bottle which I fill about about halfway with wash up liquid and then top up with water, squirt it around the bowl/under the rim and scrub with a brush.


    • Yes, it’s amazing how few chemicals we need to clean. I think we’ve all been bamboozled by ads convincing us that we need a list of scientific ingredients to keep our houses clean and healthy. We’ve been cleaning without chemicals for nearly 10 years now and we haven’t been killed off by bacteria yet!


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  4. Hi Elaine, love this post! was just wondering, you know when dust accumulates in grooves in wood like cupboards, how do you get that out? like its too dense just to get out by dusting?


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