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Are you fed up with spending money on cleaning products? Do you wish there was a healthier, greener way to look after your home? These surprisingly simple tips can transform your approach top housekeeping.

Do you want to be gentle to your wallet, your body and the environment? You'll be amazed how much you can achieve by using materials that are probably already in your pantry.

Orange Cleaner

A few years ago, I came across a lovely product called "Orange Cleaner", which was sold on a website for natural products. It was an all-natural, multi-purpose cleaner that I really loved. The smell lingered for days, giving you the impression the house really was clean and fresh as soon as you walked in. Unfortunately, it was a bit pricey. I decided to make my own instead.

The orange cleaner I make these days is really quite simple: the only ingredients are vinegar and orange peels. If you tend to drink freshly squeezed orange juice anyway, you have nothing to lose by giving this product a go. First of all, you have to get hold of a large glass jar with a lid. You fill the jar up with orange peels. Go nearly to the top. Then add the cheapest vinegar you can get, either alcohol-based or natural vinegar. The best thing is to add a non-porous, quite heavy stone into the top to keep your peels down. Leave your concoction to brew for about two weeks, though a bit longer is fine if you prefer. 

Once ready, strain your finished product using either a fine sieve or cheesecloth and put it in a bottle. Empty spray bottles would be ideal.

The advantages? It's cheap, smells good, and isn't toxic to children or anyone else. While it may not taste like much, drinking it wouldn't be fatal by any stretch of the imagination. This product is also completely biodegradable, so you're not harming nature. I've used it for around a year now and I love the results. I clean my floors, bathroom, windows, and surfaces with it and I can assure you my house doesn't look like a dump.

Cream Of Tartar

Cream of Tartar, officially known as potassium bitartrate or KC4H5O6, can be used to remove stains, and to clean your kitchenware and toilet. Often used in combination with baking soda. If you are an avid wool dyer like me, you'll have this stuff around the house anyway. If you're not, it's not expensive.

To remove stains, mix a little cream of tartar with three percent hydrogen peroxide and dab the resulting paste right onto your stain. Once you wash your garment, the stain should be gone. A paste of vinegar and cream of tartar can be used to clean your kitchenware as well as any metal ornaments you may have.

You can remove the mineral stains from your bathroom sink, bath and toilet by making a mixture of a cup of vinegar and a cup of cream of tartar. Use a scratchy sponge to scrub the target area, and voila. Wipe the surface with clean, dry cloth... unless you were cleaning the toilet of course.

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  • Photo by Anna Schaap/
  • Photo by Anna Schaap/

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