No nasties in our Hong Kong homes!
As a mama, you might be slightly more aware about the toxins found in your household cleaning products. Ever looked at the label of your floor soap and wondered just what the list of ingredients means? Using DIY natural cleaning products is not only a highly effective cleaning method, but it’s also a safe way to clean and sanitise your home, especially if you’ve got kids with allergies and sensitivities. What’s more, by making your own, you’ll also be doing your part to help the environment by using non-toxic ingredients and by reusing storage bottles and containers (#winningatparenting).
If you need another reason to try the natural cleaning method, it’s also really inexpensive as you’ll likely have many of these ingredients at home already or within easy reach. From cleaning glass and your family toilet, to tackling laundry and soap scum, try these seven family-tested recipes that’ll clear all sorts of mess from your Hong Kong home in no time.
From toys to countertops, everyone needs a safe all-purpose cleaner that can be used on a variety of surfaces. Thanks to Wellness Mama’s recipe we’ve found the perfect one. It uses borax (sodium borate) which is a natural cleaner that your grandmother probably used, as well as castile soap, making this cleaner generally safe for most surfaces. These items can easily be purchased online through iHerb or from the Gateway Supermarket in Sheung Wan.
- 1 tsp borax
- ½ tsp washing soda (sodium carbonate)
- 1 tsp liquid castile soap
- Essential oils of choice* (optional)
Instructions: Place borax, washing soda, and soap in a spray bottle and add 2 cups of warm water. Add several drops of essential oils. Cover bottle and shake well.
*Essentials oils help natural cleaning products smell great and citrus essential oils like lemon and orange have good cleaning properties and are antibacterial. Tea tree oil is also a good choice if you want something antibacterial.
Greasy kitchen messes are always tough to clean, but thanks to the Kitchn’s tried and tested concoction of natural ingredients, we’ve got a solution that slices through any mess with ease. The key ingredients in this recipe are castile soap and baking soda.
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 tsp castile soap
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- Essential oil (optional)
Instructions: Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle and top with warm water.
Need something heavy duty to sanitise the family toilet? This recipe from Live Simply has you covered with the natural cleaning and disinfecting power of hydrogen peroxide (some pharmacies like Watsons will stock this).
- 1 cup of water
- ½ cup baking soda
- ½ cup castile soap
- 15-30 drops essential oils (lavender, grapefruit, tea tree, lemon, or orange for best antibacterial properties)
- ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide (or vinegar)
- A squirty bottle, like an old dishwashing detergent bottle
Instructions: Combine the water, castile soap, baking soda and essential oils in a squirt bottle and shake to mix. As hydrogen peroxide and baking soda cause gas build up, it’s best to not add this ingredient directly into the bottle, but rather add the cleaner to the toilet bowl, scrub, and then spray the hydrogen peroxide on top and allow to sit for a few minutes. If this sounds too tedious, the hydrogen peroxide can be swapped with vinegar.
Ugh, the dreaded soap scum. No one likes to slave away in an attempt to remove this nasty film, but thanks to this recipe from Clean My Space we now have an effective and non-toxic alternative.
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup dish soap
- 10 drops of essential oils (optional)
Instructions: Mix, shake and spray!
Unless you’ve got kids with severe skin sensitivities chances are you’ve never thought about making your own laundry detergent. Thankfully this effective, easy, natural, non-toxic, and cheap method from DIY Natural makes for an easy switch from your store-bought brand. This natural laundry detergent is gentle on the skin and on clothes while also getting them clean and fresh.
- 1 bar soap (Dr. Bronner’s, Kirk’s Castile Soap, Ivory, ZOTE, or Fels-Naptha etc.) shaved or grated
- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup washing soda*
Instructions: Mix the grated soap and other ingredients thoroughly for several minutes. You could use a blender or food processor to create more of a powder that works in with cold water. Store in a sealed container.
*Washing soda (sodium carbonate) is not the same as baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Washing soda can be found online on iHerb.
Love your stainless steel fridge but not your kid’s grimy finger marks? The Fresh Mommy Blog has a natural solution that works wonders on stainless steel and glass.
- 1 cup of water
- ½ cup of rubbing alcohol (or vodka)
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 6-12 drops pure orange/lemon essential oil (optional)
- Spray bottle
Instructions: Funnel the vinegar into the bottle and follow with the rubbing alcohol. Then pour in the cornstarch and top with water. Add essential oils for a great scent and added disinfecting properties. Shake and spray before each use.
What about those awful super messy parenting moments where you need a really good grime and scrub cleaner? There is a natural and non-toxic recipe for that too! Mommypotamus came up with this gentle soft scrub that’s perfect for sinks, tubs, and most kid-related messes.
- 2 tbsp castile soap
- ¾ cup baking soda
- Just enough water to make a smooth, liquid paste (about 2-3 tablespoons)
- 10 drops of essential oil (optional)
- A squeezy bottle or jar
Instructions: Combine the castile soap, baking soda and essential oils and slowly add water to make a smooth paste. Add to squeezy bottle or jar of your choice.
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images, image 1 courtesy of rawpixel.com via Pexels, image 2 courtesy of Dane Deaner via Unsplash, image 3 courtesy of rawpixel.com via Pexels, image 4 courtesy of Hanne Hasu via Pixabay, image 5 courtesy of Andy Fitzsimon via Unsplash, image 6 courtesy of rawpixel.com via Pexels, image 7 courtesy of Hebi B. via Pixabay.