Eco-friendly home cleaning – How to use oxygen bleach and citric acid?Wiebke Venter
There are many reasons to rethink the cleaning regime in your household. Many ingredients in conventional products are carcinogens, neurotoxins, mutagens, teratogens, or endocrine disrupters, and therefore hazardous chemicals. It is worth swap them for natural cleaning products.
When you decide to use eco-friendly cleaning products, you are making a choice to protect the environment. Eco-friendly cleaning products are made of natural, safe, non-toxic, and biodegradable ingredients. They are also ideally made using sustainable manufacturing practices.
You will also save money by buying eco-friendly all-purpose cleaners that do multiple jobs. It’s much more stress-free to have just a few products that take care of your general cleaning needs, than a whole collection of toxic products for every single surface.
There are a variety of natural products that serve as multi-purpose cleaners. In this article, we would like to introduce a few of them:
Traditional bleach or chlorine bleach uses sodium hypochlorite to break chemical bonds and remove stain-causing substances. It is actually a highly toxic substance.
Unlike traditional bleach, oxygen bleach uses the gentler sodium percarbonate to do exactly the same. When mixed with water, the simple contents break down to non-toxic substances. Oxygen bleach contains no phosphorous or nitrogen, is therefore more environmentally friendly, works more slower than traditional bleach and is less corrosive and damaging to fibres.
Here are some ways to use oxygen bleach on laundry and in your home:
- Oxygen bleach whitens whites and brightens colours. It is safe to use on most fabrics except for a few very delicate ones, like silk and wool. Oxygen bleach will boost the cleaning power of your regular detergent. In both top and front-loading machines, simply add the powder to the empty washer tub first, then add the clothes. Oxygen bleach can be used at any water temperature. If the water very cold, some powders may not dissolve easily. In this case you could mix the powder with a cup of very warm or hot water first.
- It’s great at removing those tougher stains (like wine, grease, blood) without harming the material or surface. To use oxygen bleach for stain removal. Since oxygen bleach works slowly, its recommended to soak the stained clothing item for as long as possible – up to eight hours or overnight. However, make sure to test it on a small piece on the inside of the fabric first.
- Oxygen bleach solutions also work well to remove stains from carpet and upholstery. Mix a solution of oxygen bleach and water. Follow the package directions and smear onto the stained area. Try not to oversaturate the surface. Allow the solution to work for at least 30 minutes and then blot away the excess moisture with a clean white paper towel or cloth. Repeat if necessary.
- Oxygen bleach can also be used to clean surfaces like grout between tiles, shower walls, bricks, exterior siding, ceramic and granite countertops or plastic furniture.
- Clean and sanitise other household goods, like brushes, sponges, and mop heads. Other great uses for this product include the cleaning of diaper pails and cloth diapers. You can even soak toothbrushes, toilet brushes, and plungers in a hot oxygen bleach solution to sanitise them.
Buy your packaging free oxygen bleach here.
Citric acid is naturally found in citrus fruits. It kills bacteria, mould, and mildew. That makes it perfect for general disinfecting and cleaning. It’s also effective at removing hard water stains, calcium deposits, soap scum, lime, and rust.
Furthermore, citric acid is used in a variety of other industries like personal care, agricultural, food, pharmaceutical and electroplating industries. In food it functions as a preservative and flavouring agent.
Citric acid naturally occurs in food and water and readily biodegrades in the environment, there are no significant negative effects expected from its use.
Here are five ways you can clean with citric acid at home:
- Deep-clean your coffee pot or kettle: Fill your coffee pot or kettle with water and add in a couple teaspoons of citric acid. Once it’s done boiling any residue should be gone.
- Clean your toilet bowl: To create a natural toilet cleaner just add a tablespoon into the water and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes before flushing it away.
- De-gunk the dishwasher: Fill the detergent cup with the citric acid powder and run the dishwasher on a hot cycle, letting it do its thing! That will break down and rinse away all the grime and build-up.
- Get rid of mineral deposits: Mineral deposits from hard water are tricky to get rid of — especially on faucets and sinks. All you need to do is add a few tablespoons of citric acid to hot water, scrub with a sponge and rinse.
- Clean surface areas: By adding a couple tablespoons of citric acid into a spray bottle filled with water, you’ll have a mixture you can use to clean your shower, kitchen countertops and more. However, avoid using citric acid on natural stones, like granite and marble.
Get your packaging free citric acid here.
Ready-to-use all-purpose cleaner
You might sometimes want to have a ready-to-use all-purpose cleaner – that also leaves your home smelling fresh and clean. Then this one is for you:
The Mare & Itis Zesty Kitchen Cleaner is formulated using quality natural ingredients.
- Apple cider vinegar is great for getting rid of bacteria and mould.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil is known to remove grease, grime, and gum.
- Decyl glucoside is a plant-based surfactant that gives the cleaner its soapy feel.
These are natural ingredients that are non-toxic and biodegradable!
Although it is called “Kitchen Cleaner”, it can be used as an all-purpose cleaner too. A small spritz on any surface and you are taken to lemongrass-scented heaven. It leaves your space smelling (and feeling) fresh and clean!
We also recommend the Mare & Itis Window & Glass Cleaner. It is a mild, yet effective glass cleaner. The active ingredients being sugarcane derived ethanol and apple cider vinegar. This product can be used on windows, glass, and mirrors to effortlessly get all the muck off. Lemon Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil and Cinnamon Essential Oil give you that fresh feel after every wipe.
Become a green role model
Don’t be shy about green cleaning. Tell and show everyone that you started using eco-friendly, green cleaning products and how well they work. Others will most likely follow. Setting an example and get more people joining in, means a healthier future for us and our planet.