Simple solutions for a cleaner, greener home…
Don't make the transition to a chemical-free home any harder than it needs to be; just replace these items as your traditional ones run out. Some of the best companies include Ecover, Bio-D www.biodegradable.biz, Sonett www.sonett.co.uk, Perle de Provence www.perledeprovence.com and a fantastic little company called Natural Clean www.naturalclean.co.uk Here are my top ten to replace:
1. Air Fresheners
For air freshening, forget those scary plug-in ones and spend a couple of quid on a plant spray; half fill with water and a couple of drops of essential oil and spritz to your hearts content. You can also leave biocarbonate soda in a carton to neutralise odours. There is also the stainless steel disc www.naturalcollection.com which is an amazing natural-smell buster. Plus, there's the gorgeous 100 per cent room sprays from Speizia www.spieziaorganics.co.uk
2. Antibacterial Cleaners
Grab a bottle of tea tree essential oil, which is antibacterial - only a drop or two is needed. For nursery furniture , use the antibacterial all purpose nursery cleaner from Home Scents www.homescents.co.uk
Ecover bleach is a great replacement www.ecover.com as is Oxygen Bleach from Natural Clean www.naturalclean.co.uk
4. Laundry Detergent
With babies and children you are guaranteed lots of laundry, and quite frankly I'm proud to be the woman who sings loud and proud about balls and nuts. I'm talking laundry balls and soapnuts - both are 100 per cent environmentally friendly, non-allergenic and far cheaper than commercial laundry detergent alternatives. Laundry balls www.aquaball.com contain ionised pellets that alter the water's molecular structure, drawing the dirt from the clothing. All you do is pop two balls in the drum and that's it - no need for softener. Soapnuts www.soapods.com are a wonder of nature, a totally sustainable resource that has been used for washing in India and Nepal for thousands of years. The shells contain saponin which, when in contact with hot water, becomes soap. Put five or six shells into a muslin bag or sock, place in the drum - and that's it. The great thing is that no extra rinse is needed - the soap naturally washes away after it has done its job and you won't need a fabric softener because there's no harsh detergent. If you like a fragrance, put a few drops of essential oil into the fabric softener compartment. For fabric softener, try Ecover fabric softener www.ecover.com
Natural Clean's Orange Degreaser www.naturalclean.co.uk is the best you'll ever find and cuts through even the messiest of remnants of a roast dinner. And remember, nothing shines a ceramic surface like lemon juice.
6. Glass Cleaner
Replace with the excellent 100 per cent organic Window Spa from Natural House. www.natural-house.co.uk
7. Dishwasher Detergent
Use an Ecover Tablet www.ecover.com with bicarbonate of soda and a bit of lemon rind in the cutlery to add sparkle.
8. Kitchen Cleaning Cloth
Microfibre cloth from www.e-cloth.com sorts most surfaces.
9. Water Softener
A Ball for the Bath chlorine filter www.sensitiveskincareco.com removes 90 per cent of chlorine from the water, making it softer and more appropriate for sensitive skins.
10. Furniture Polish
Simply replace with natural beeswax polish.