When you think of household cleaning, you probably conjure up an image of rubber gloves and an endless array of chemical cleaning products kept under the sink. In this blog we are going to open up a new world of cleaning joy and wonder with just a few natural cleaning products which we have put in an eco cleaning kit. See how you can do 99% of Your Household Cleaning with just four natural products in our Eco Cleaning Kit. Our selection of natural products are so effective and cost efficient that you will wonder why you haven’t been using them all the time.
Think of all the different cleaning tasks from washing up, windows, the floors, cupboards, the cooker, the hob, the fridge, the shower screen, loos. Then think of all of the different products which are marketed for all these tasks – washing up liquid, window cleaner, floor cleaners, multi-surface cleaners, oven cleaners, hob cleaner, shower screen cleaner, toilet gels. That’s a lot of chemical products, a lot of plastic and a whole lot of pollution.
How can you reduce all of this down to 4 natural cleaning products?
Very easily, we have made up a kit so you can make the switch to eco products with one click. Or, if you prefer, you can buy the productss individually. However, we’d like to you fully understand our natural cleaning products first, so you can get the most out of them.
Introduction to the Products in our Eco Cleaning Kit
Soap Nuts, or Soap Berries, Soap Nut Shells
A detergent which grows on trees. Yes, these soapy fruits grow year after year, and they produce saponins (soap) in their leathery skins. After being gathered by village collectives, the fruits are de-stoned and dried. They yield a water-soluble detergent which is great for washing the clothes to replace chemical washing powder and for making a multi-surface cleaner and washing up liquid. This soap is my ‘go to’ for shiny surfaces. Soapnuts are totally skin and hair friendly and you won’t need rubber gloves to use them. I’ll list their many uses further on.
Hemp Oil Soft Soap
This is a British oil-based soap which we make at Natural Spa Supplies from hemp seed oil and lye. Being a soft soap and having a gel-like consistency it can be used neat or diluted in water. It is a ‘universal’ soap which mean it is very multipurpose as it can be used for washing and exfoliating the skin, wet shaving and for cleaning. This soap excels at the difficult cleaning tasks such as roasting tins, burnt pans, the hob, very greasy surfaces such as the cooker hood, leather and steel. This soap prooves itself invaluable for cleaning germy things because it is a powerfully antimicrobial and along with this it is quick to deodorize surfaces. With our Hemp Oil Soap, you can deodorise your under arms in the shower in an instant and deal with puppy mess accidents and other hygiene incidents! I’ll make a big list for you in a bit.
Walnut Shell Powder
Another tree product, the ground shells of walnuts, have a rough but non scratching surface and we recommend adding a sprinkle at point of use for very hard tasks. The Walnut Shell Powder is also antimicrobial. Where other cleaning product had relied on microbeads which pollute the oceans and enter our food chain, walnut shell powder, fully biodegradable is a great way to add extra ooomph to your scrubbing.
Imagine a cleaning cloth made of cotton, a tad smaller than a face flannel, but with the textile loops which are as hard as gypsum rock. Now add some psychedelic colours to your imaginary cleaning cloth and you have a Scrubby. Just looking at a Scrubby will bring you joy, but get one in your hand and start using it and really, you will find it hard to put down. It helps speed up pretty much any cleaning task. Scrubbies are so tough that they can be washed time and time again in the washing machine at 50°C returning to their bright colours.
I use a Scrubby in my kitchen many times a day to speed of washing up and to help out all round. I have more, in the bathroom and loos. My husband even has one in his shed. The Scrubby is great for cleaning the bathroom fittings, taps and the shower screen. It excels at detail cleaning, such as the little line of grime which forms between the floor and the bath panel and tiles. Most rough surfaces such as skirting boards, stone floors would shred normal cleaning pads but not the Scrubby. It can handle almost any washable surface. Do just check a small area of your surface first, to make sure the Scrubby isn’t too powerful!
Soap Nuts Uses
Put 3-5 soapnuts in an odd sock. Place it in the washing machine drum and do your wash. Use the Soapnuts in the sock for another 3-4 machine loads. It costs just pennies per machine load.
Washing up & Surface Cleaner
Stand a handful of Soapnuts in a jug of water for an hour or so to make natural detergent. If you are in a hurry, put some Soapnuts in a jar of water with a tight-fitting lid and shake it up. You have an instant planet and hand friendly detergent. You could also strain some of the soap nut liquid into a pump spray bottle if you find it more convenient. Once you have used up the Soapnut liquid, add more water to make more! Keep going!
Soapnuts Can Clean:
- Dishes, pots, pans, glassware, mugs, cutlery – no need to rinse
- Hand washing delicate Textiles, especially silk
- Kitchen surfaces and tables
- Floors of PVC, laminate and linoleum
- Taps – it removes fine films of limescale
- Refrigerator and the exterior of other white goods
- Pet bowls
- Toilet bowl spray – use after each flush to minimize limescale build up
- Toilet seat, lid, pedestal
- Plant leaves
- Damp dusting of electrical goods and light sockets – the Soapnuts have a degree of anti-static qualities, which means your computer screen won’t get dusty so quickly
- Damp dusting of household ornaments
- Terracotta and porous surfaces such as a Clay Amphora Water Purifier – an oil based soap could block the pores, so we always use Soapnuts to these and any clay cookware
- Containers used for fermenting and brewing such as kilner jars, demijohn, fermentation vessels
- Cars, bikes, motorbikes including windows, wheel and hubs
- Tooth Cleaning – rinse afterwards
- Hair washing – don’t let it get in the eyes as it will sting, but very good for washing greasy hair.
Hemp Oil Soap Uses
Soap works with heat, agitation, time and water. As we leave the hemp oil soap as a concentrate, most of the time a little water is used with the Hemp Oil Soft Soap to activate it. For heavy duty jobs, apply the Hemp Oil Soap and give the soap time to work before rinsing it away. Being a soft soap, the Hemp Oil Soap can be diluted in hot water to for cleaning large surfaces such as floors. There are many cross overs between the tasks that the Soapnuts and Hemp Oil Soap can do, so I’ll list the tasks that only the Hemp Oil Soap can achieve:
Hemp Soap Can Clean
- Burnt saucepans – add hot water and 1-2 teaspoon of Hemp Oil Soap, return to the heat and stir the burn away with a wooden spatula. Finish the task at the sink with a Scrubby
- Roasting tins – use with a Scrubby
- Fridges – clean up surfaces with rotten food and slime
- The Kitchen Sink – use with a Scrubby – removes tea and coffee stains, removes grease and cleans drainer plugs
- The Cat Litter Tray
- Traditional Floors – such as flagstone, ceramic, painted wood – used diluted
- Glassware – I used it to clean oil out of glass jugs, but it need rinsing well and then drying and polishing. Apart from these cases, I’d normally use Soap Nuts to wash glassware because there is no need to rinse
- Leather – Sofas, chairs, leather car seats
- Plastic – including plastic car interiors – do not use on control peddles unless you rinse every trace away in case they become slippery in wet weather. Hint, the scrubby cleans all the trim details, but wring it well and hold a damp dish cloth behind it to prevent drips. Please read more about the Scrubby below
- Tack and Harness, Dog Leads and Collars – use with Macho Fina Sponge
- Leather clothing use with a silk Fina sponge
- Teapots – use with a Scrubby
- Plant saucers and metal or ceramic plant pot containers
- Painted Windowsills
- Outdoor Furniture
- Bird Feeders
- Pre-treatment of grubby Cuffs and Collars. Wet the soiled area, rub or scrub in the Hemp Oil Soap roll it up and leave for a while. Assess – can it now go in the washing machine or go through the hand wash, or does it need another application?
- Shaving – gives a great wet shave, reducing shaving rash and ingrown hairs
- Exfoliating – remove the dry and dead skin which can’t be moisturised – use with Copper and Nettle Exfoliating Glove
- Hand and Nail Hygiene
- Gardener’s and Mechanics Hand Soap
- My husband dips the end of screws into the soap and says they are much easier to drill in
- Breadboards clean and deodorize. Nobody likes their marmalade and toast tasting of garlic heh!
- Cast Iron Frying Pans – it cleans and deodorizes cast iron
The Scrubby can be used wet or dry, but for cleaning I normally use it wet.
Uses of a Dry Scrubby
Sweep up some breadcrumbs
Gather pet hair off the floor or carpet
De-bobble / remove piling from woollen jumpers.
Pairing up a Scrubby with a Dish Cloth
For many cleaning tasks I hold the Scrubby with a cotton dish cloth behind it. So, for example I would use the Scrubby with the dish cloth behind it to clean the shiny front of my fridge. Then turn the cloths both over so that the dish cloth can do the final wipe to absorb any drips, prevent water marks and leave a dry shiny surface.
Wet Cleaning with a Scrubby
- Washing Up with Soapnut solution or Hemp Oil Soap
- Cleaning washable counters and work surfaces
- The Sink
- The Taps
- The Draining Board
- The Fridge Interior
- The Hob
- Surface Grease and Spills from the Oven, the Oven Racks and the Door
- The Cooker Hood
- Sticky cupboard and fridge tops, mixture of grease and dust – use with Hemp Oil Soap
- Walls – best with Soapnut solution so the surface can be repainted, but don’t rub too hard because the paint is softer than the Scrubby
- Floors and Skirting Boards
- Windows – good for removing mineral films – use with Soapnuts
- Exterior paint work – use the Scrubby with a gentle pressure
- Washable surfaces on Boats, Yachts, Caravans – again do test the surface in a discrete area to make sure the Scrubby is suitable
- Animal Feed Bowls and Buckets
- Detail Cleaning at junctions between the skirting board and floor, the toilet pedestal and floor, around table legs etc
- Outdoor Furniture
- Many of the cleaning tasks listed above.
Once you get a Scrubby in your hand you will want to try it for all sorts of cleaning tasks.
Walnut Shell Powder Uses
- Add a sprinkle of the Walnut Shell Powder at point of need:
- Cleaning external window covered in mineral film / haze
- Cleaning the Shower Screen
- Cleaning stains off the sink
Well I think that must be 99% of your household cleaning tasks!
Why We Stopped Using Chemicals
1. Chemical cleaning products do not list their ingredients on the label. You have no idea of the formula and you cannot learn about the health dangers of individual ingredients. Across the range, chemical cleaners contain toxins which effect the brain, the lungs, the reproductive organs and many are carcinogens. Why would I buy something that I can’t understand or trust? Why would I want to make the companies that product polluting cleaning products richer? I checked one company, Unilever and their annual revenue is £45,000,000,000 and they do still test some of their products on live animals. Many people buy the Ecover brand which is owned by Unilever, thinking they are helping the environment. Grrrr! https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/company-profile/unilever
2. Many people and animals are poisoned by exposure or ingestion of chemicals used for household cleaning. Do you have safety locks on the cupboards were these dangerous goods are kept?
Children Poisoned at Home What’s Lurking Under Your Sink?
Common Canine Poisons in the House and Garden
3. Chemical cleaners leave toxic vapours in the air and on clothing and bedding which gives round the clock exposure to a variety of chemicals. It must have a big impact on people with asthma, COPD and other respiratory complains.
Cleaning and asthma what you need to know.
4. Chemical cleaning products are invariably packed in thick plastic. Although some plastics can be recycled, more virgin plastic must be added to make new products, adding to the plastic burden on the planet.
Plastic recycling facts
5. Ultimately all of the chemical products that are used for cleaning go down the drain. Then where? Usually streams and rivers towards the sea. All of the UK rivers are polluted with chemicals and householders are partly responsible. Some of the products used in household cleaning products do not biodegrade readily causing pollution levels to build up over time.
Chemical Water Pollution Caused by Every Day Detergents
6. If you have a septic tank, or grey water system, all of our products are septic tank friendly and we know that our products will fully biodegrade after use. Many chemical products do not biodegrade and the pollutant continue to build up in our rivers and soil. https://www.lanesfordrains.co.uk/domestic/help-advice/using-drains-and-sewers/homeowners-guide-to-cesspits-and-septic-tanks/
7. When I used conventional cleaning products, I was then tied into using rubber gloves. I still got contact dermatitis and my hands would itchy especially under my rings. Now of course, I can do all my cleaning without rubber gloves and I can be much more spontaneous. I don’t believe that washing up gloves offer complete protection and somehow the chemicals do get through them. As you can check in the link, gloves are made which resist specific chemicals https://www.safetygloves.co.uk/chemical-resistant-gloves.html but you don’t know what is in household cleaners.
8. When using chemical cleaning products (even with gloves) my nails used to split and I used to have to carry an emery board with me everywhere. I also had frequent sore throats, sneezing fits. It might have been caused by the artificial fragrances in these products. https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/cleaning-sprays-as-harmful-your-12033434
UK NHS staff could have been put at risk by inhaling toxic fumes from cleaning machines
Nurse exposure to cleaning products risks respiratory health, study finds https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/research-and-innovation/nurse-exposure-to-cleaning-products-risks-respiratory-health-study-finds-25-10-2019/
9. I am concerned for the health and safety of the workers who work for the chemical companies who are on the production line and are exposed to the vapours. https://www.wsj.com/articles/unilever-compensates-workers-in-dispute-over-alleged-mercury-poisoning-at-plant-1457609635
10. Concerns about carcinogens in household cleaners and toxic air in my home https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/toxic-cleaning-products/
Indoor air pollution from household products putting lives at risk, report warns
In conclusion, these 4 natural cleaning products, Soapnuts, hemp Oil Soap, Walnut Shell Powder and our Scrubbies are very safe, extremely effective, they couldn’t be any more planet friendly. We believe our products save you money and that like us, once you discover how versatile they are, you would never go back.
Click Here to Get You Eco Cleaning Kit capable of performing 99% of your household cleaning tasks. We really hope you gain a new pleasure from doing your Household Cleaning with our Eco Cleaning Kit and we are always here to help with your eco journey.
Do reach out to us, if you need any personal support.