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The organic home

If you haven’t noticed the onslaught of “natural/organic” products in the past few years then you have been hiding in the Himalayas. Pure products are omnipresent and it seems the “organic” industry can only get bigger. Amongst some stellar natural products, there are also some dubious impostors that claim to be something they are not. Of course the only way to truly know how natural the products are, is to make it yourself.

In a modern world there are some commercial beauty and cleaning products I cannot live without, however, there are some common natural products found in your cupboard that can rival the commercial brands. There is also satisfaction in the fact that you made it yourself and are helping the Earth one small step at a time. If you have to buy cleaning products, select products that are plant-based and biodegradable.

The following common household products can often clean as well as the commercial ones and can save you money too:

  • Bicarb soda – works well on sinks and toilets and freshens as well. To clean your dishwasher, simply sprinkle the bicarb soda into the base of the dishwasher, underneath the roll-out trays. Then run it through a full cycle, without any dishes in it.
  • Vinegar – and water in a pump spray bottle for cleaning mirrors and shining chrome
  • Eucalyptus oil – can be used to keep insects and bugs at bay. Add 3 drops of eucalyptus oil, 3 drops of lavender oil & 3 drops of basil oil and use as an oil vaporizer or diffuser.
  • Salt – use to clean and shine copper or brass surfaces, make a paste out of equal parts of salt, flour, and vinegar. Rub on with a soft cloth, let sit for about 1 hour, then wipe off and buff with a clean, soft cloth.
  • Lemon juice – acts as a natural bleaching agent. Put lemon juice onto white linens and clothing and allow them to dry in the sun. Stains will be bleached away.

Other tips for a more natural existence at home:

  • Use dishwasher detergents that are free of chlorine bleach and low in phosphates.
  • Use bathroom cleaners that are free of aerosol propellants and antibacterial agents.
  • Avoid air fresheners – consider how you can eliminate odour problems rather than just covering them up.
  • Use reusable unbleached cotton towels, rags, and non-scratch scrubbing sponges for all-purpose cleaning instead of bleached disposable paper products.

Pests can be controlled without the use of toxic chemicals. The best start to controlling pests is prevention.

Easy non-toxic ways to prevent pests:

  • Keep your home as clean as possible – particularly food areas.
  • When storing winter clothing, use cedar blocks or bags of cedar chips hung with your clothes – avoid mothballs that contain dichloro benzene or naphthalene, which are toxic and can contribute to respiratory problems.
  • Use mouse or rat traps instead of baits.

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