Five DIY non-toxic cleaning product switches that could save you money

In the pursuit of a clean and less toxic home, many people are making the switch from commercial cleaning products to a few simple household items to get their homes clean.

Commercial cleaners often have a laundry list of harsh ingredients, many of which can be harmful to children and pets. But what if you could swap them for less harmful, DIY alternatives, and save money at the same time?

In this article, Andrew Haydon at Simply Plastics reveals the cost-effective non-toxic cleaning solutions that work to clean and sanitise the home.

1) Kitchen tiles – bicarbonate of soda – £2.98 227g – 6 uses: 67p per use

To tackle greasy tiles in the kitchen, make a paste out of washing-up liquid and bicarbonate of soda. Using a scourer sponge, take the soft side to apply this paste to the surface of the tiles. Leave the paste on for a few minutes and then use the scourer side to thoroughly clean the tiles.

Follow this with a clean sponge and water and your kitchen tiles will be clean in no time. You can also use this paste in the shower to remove water marks and soap scum or grab an old toothbrush to clean deep into the grout.

2) Bathroom tiles – distilled vinegar – 568 mil 29p – 15 uses: 0.48p per use

If you just want to give your bathroom tiles a quick clean, add a cup of ordinary vinegar to a bucket of hot water. Using a rough cloth, like a piece from an old towel, soak the cloth in the vinegar and water solution, wring out the excess water, and wipe the grime off the tiles. Follow with a quick wipe using a soft, dry cloth, and the job is done.

You can also use the vinegar and hot water solution to mop floor tiles. The solution works wonders at cleaning off most marks and your floors will be clean without fumes that may be harmful to pets and crawling toddlers.

Another easy method for cleaning tiles is using an ordinary, affordable bar of soap. Using a soft, damp cloth, rub it generously over a bar of soap and then onto the tiles. Follow this with a clean and soft dry cloth in a polishing motion for a finishing touch. You can also use this to clean vinyl chairs or plastic outdoor furniture.

3) Perspex – washing up liquid: £1 per bottle 320 mil – 5 mil per use: 1.6p

According to Andrew, cleaning Perspex is easy. ‘Add hot water to a bowl and a little washing-up liquid. Using a soft cloth, you can remove any dirt and grime on the Perspex. Once you get the dirt off, wipe over the surface with a soft dry cloth to keep your Perspex surfaces looking clean and like new. You can also go the extra mile by choosing a washing-up liquid that is biodegradable and non-toxic.’

Perspex is becoming a home staple, whether it’s used for shed windows, a display cabinet, or splashback in your kitchen. However, caution is needed when cleaning this wonder material and this rules out any product that is acidic as it can turn the surface of Perspex cloudy.

4) Ovens – bicarbonate of soda – £2.98 227g – 8 uses: 25p per use

The best way to clean the inside of your oven is to make a paste with bicarbonate of soda and water. Use a soft cloth to apply the paste over all surfaces inside the oven and leave it alone for about half an hour. Grab a damp cloth and start to gently scrub away baked-on grease. You can use this same paste for the rangehood and any other metal surfaces.

Keep in mind though that some metal surfaces may react to the bicarbonate of soda so this cleaning method works best with stainless steel or enamelled surfaces. If you are in doubt, always test this method on an inconspicuous spot to see how it works. For stubborn grease stains, add a little bit of washing-up liquid to the paste.

5) Gleaming glass and mirrors – distilled vinegar 568 mil 29p – 30 uses: 0.3p per use

Springtime is the perfect time to get the windows clean and one of the quickest ways to clean windows is also one of the cost effective. Simply add a cup of ordinary white vinegar to a bucket of hot water. Dip a soft cloth in the bucket and wring out most of the solution. Wipe the window as quickly as you can and then use a soft, lint-free cloth to buff the window.

This quick window cleaning method leaves the glass streak-free and can be used on the inside and outside of the window. You can also use this solution for cleaning mirrors and other glass surfaces in your home.