Make your own simple cleaning products to replace harsh chemicals in your home

1. Multi-Surface Cleaner

Take 50/50 Castile soap and water, plus essential oils of your choice. Citrus aromas like lemon, sweet orange, and grapefruit work very well. 

Mix all of the ingredients together and you have a ready-made, animal free, harsh chemical free, phosphate free cleaner. For an added citrus boost, put 2 to 3 lemon peels into the bottles to infuse throughout. 

Add the mixture to a spray bottle. Leave it on in the kitchen and bathroom bench tops so they are ready when needed. 

2. Washing Up Liquid

Take 50/50 Castile soap and water, plus essential oils of your choice. Citrus aromas like lemon, sweet orange, and grapefruit work very well. 

Mix and add to a glass bottle and place next to the sink. If you have particularly greasy items to wash, a touch of bicarb soda and lemon juice first will help take away the oil. 

3. Glass Cleaner

Take 80/20 vinegar and water. Add to a spray bottle so it is easy to use. Putting one in each bathroom and the kitchen will make life easy. This is perfect for mirrors, glass-top tables, and splash backs and windows. Just use a microfibre cloth to polish clean. Note: don't worry about the vinegar smell it will disappear as soon as it is dry. 

4. Gentle Scouring Cream

Take bicarb soda and water, or exchange the water for either lemon juice or vinegar for an added cleaning boost. Bleach is simply not needed. 

5. Floor Cleaner  

Add 4 table spoons of neat Castile soap to a bucket of hot water. Add 5 to 6 drops of both eucalyptus and lavender essential oils.

How to clean wine, champagne, and liquor crystal glasses

This technique applies to your best crystal and high-quality glasses. For everyday glassware like tumblers and water glasses, the dishwasher should be just fine (well, it is for me). For dinner party and other quality glassware, I recommend hand washing.

Here are a few tips which I hope will help. 

  • Water (no hotter than you can put your hands in)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Castile soap (note: do not add any essential oils in this case)
  • Some clean tea towels 
  • Microfiber cloth

Fill the sink with warm water and add the the vinegar. If the glassware has lipstick on the side use a clean microfiber cloth dipped in vinegar or a cotton ball to wipe around the glass and remove the mark.

Put two clean tea towels at the bottom of the sink laid out flat in the water. This will help if you accidentally drop a glass (it may still break, but at least this will give you some cushioning). Dip the glass into the water and give it a good clean. If very dirty, you can add a couple of tablespoons of Castile soap to the water. Once done, rinse in clean water and polish clean with a microfiber cloth which will stop any fibres being left on the glass. 

If you have dirt at the bottom of a class you can add a splash of olive oil and let it sit for a few moments. This will absorb the dirt and then you can follow the method above.

It is best to not leave glasses or crystal over night, but sometimes cleaning up after a party is the last thing on your mind, so just rinse out and put the glassware to one side and deal with them the following day.