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Cleaning for a breath of fresh air

With the word out that most of the cleaning aisle contains chemicals harmful to our health, people often ask the question, ‘Well, what should I buy? What is safe?’

It’s through no fault of our own. Clever marketing has brainwashed us to believe chemical smells are a ‘clean’ smell – indicating a clean area and one that has been able to kill all the germs.

Recently, the toilet block at our local park was commercially cleaned and the community’s parents were distressed that their children’s clothing had been ruined as bleach covered every surface. Yes the clothing was ruined, and the same cleaning product would have encountered their skin, their eyes and lungs.

Being in a clean environment or cleaning an environment shouldn’t make you feel unwell. There are complaints of clouded thinking, nausea, the constant smell of the cleaning fluid despite being away from the cleaned area, parents reporting children having meltdowns, behaving hyperactively, and having loose bowels following exposure to cleaning products.

You can influence how your environment is cleaned. You don’t need any of these chemicals – it will save your family’s health, your wallet and our environment. You see, those products are designed to adhere to surfaces, and readily collect dust and dirt – so that you are soon wiping to remove again. Cleaning products rinsed and washed away are just as harmful to our environment as they are to your family. Our treatment facilities don’t process those chemicals. Instead the wastewater is filtered and effluent treated before releasing. So, there is every reason to implement a simple, cost effective and safe cleaning regime.

Krissy from The Inspired Little Pot has lots of brilliant tips to handle specific cleaning issues at home or work – and has excellent information that caters for the occasions that are rare and challenging.

You can check out some of her recipes here.

But, for the most part, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda are the mainstays. Essential oils, including citrus, and Whollygrail’s Greener Cleaner are a handy addition to cover off most needs around the home and office.

Vinegar is best diluted 5:1 for cleaning purposes, and with antibacterial properties, can then be used for any surface cleaning – benches, walls, floors, even glass. Use a natural fibre, lint free cloth for best results.

Bicarbonate of soda is also readily available and gives good results when used in conjunction with vinegar solution. The inside of the toilet bowl becomes an easy and effective cleaning proposition when all you need is a good sprinkling of sodium bicarbonate and a generous splash of vinegar to then be vigorously scrubbed around the bowl with your cleaning brush.

Essential oils can be added in the same water to leave a pleasant fragrance following your eco clean. Similarly, diluting into a spray bottle gives you a ready made surface cleaner.

Whollygrail’s Greener Cleaner has been designed with the same principles. Using whole, natural ingredients like coconut soap, sodium bicarbonate and the goodness of Australian citrus, it is particularly useful on soap scum, greased surfaces and with stubborn stains. We do recommend patch testing any surface when using a cleaner for the first time, and please make sure you rinse off well with water and/or clean wet cloth to remove any remaining residue for a streak free result.

Happily used in all manner of tough household applications without exposing the family to harmful chemicals, we’ve even had great feedback from it cleaning jewellery!.