Switch to Green Cleaning and Save Money

How to switch to Green Cleaning and save money

Why not switch to Green Cleaning and save money.  We’re all looking for ways to reduce our spending and save a little bit of money whilst trying to be a little Greener and kinder to our Planet.  With the average household in the UK spending an average of £150 a year on cleaning products why not switch to Green Cleaning and save money.

Natural cleaning is a great way to reduce waste and be a little greener in your home; and you only need a few ingredients to cover all your cleaning jobs.

And if you’re a little sceptical about whether they will work just think back to those science classes in school. The pH scale is used to determine how acidic or alkaline different solutions are, that is when a chemical is dissolved in water.

The scale goes from 0 to 14. Right in the middle is 7, neutral. Anything below 7 is acidic and anything above 7 is considered alkaline.

The reason this is useful to know is because Acids are better for removing things like calcium (limescale), rust, and other minerals. Alkaline (base) solutions are better at cutting through dirt, grease and oils.

Save money on your Zero Waste Journey

Which Natural Cleaning Ingredients You Should Use and Why

Acids pH 1 to 6

Citric Acid (C₆H ₈O₇) pH 2

Citric acid occurs naturally in some fruits, but in particularly high quantities in lemons and limes. Citric acid makes a great cleaner and is very effective at removing limescale.  This makes it excellent for descaling and cleaning the shower plus a lot more uses around your home.

Vinegar (Acetic Acid CH₃COOH) pH 3

Vinegar is acidic which makes it great for removing mineral deposits and it makes a brilliant general purpose cleaner. However, it’s acidity also makes it possible for it to damage some surfaces, including stone and granite so remember never to use it on those surfaces.

Alkalines or Base 8 to 14

Salt (Sodium Chloride NaCl)  pH 8

Salt is an abrasive which makes it excellent for scrubbing things clean like wooden chopping boards. You can also use salt to help get rid of rust and mildew.

Bicarbonate of Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate NaHCO₃) pH 8 to 9

Bicarbonate of soda is an alkaline or base substance and is very good at powering through grease and dirt, but not enough to make it corrosive.  This makes it a great cleaning ingredient for all around your house.

Natural or Oxygen Bleach (Sodium Percarbonate Na₂CO₃·1.5 H₂O₂) pH of between 9.5 and 10.5

Natural Oxygen Bleach is a safe, non-toxic and biodegradable alternative to chlorine bleach.  It is composed of sodium carbonate (also known as washing soda or soda ash) and hydrogen peroxide. 

When dissolved in water it breaks down harmlessly to oxygen, water and sodium carbonate, the  oxygen that is releases lifts stains and dirt off whatever you’re cleaning.

Castile Soap  pH 9 – 11

Castile soap is a vegetable oil-based soap, that can be used to clean almost anything in your home.

Washing Soda (Sodium Carbonate Na₂CO₃) pH 11

Washing soda or soda ash is a caustic alkaline / base.  The high alkalinity of washing soda allows it to act as a solvent in removing a wide range of stains so is great for washing laundry and degreasing pots and pans.   

Gloves should always be worn when cleaning with washing soda as it can cause skin irritation .Also as it can be dangerous in large quantities, make sure to keep washing soda out of the reach of children and pets. It can be harmful to the eyes, cause irritation to the lungs if inhaled, and may cause abdominal pain or vomiting if large doses are swallowed.

Citric acid to clean

How Much Could you save if you Switch To Green Cleaning

To switch to green cleaning and save money you ‘ll need the following ingredients to get started:

  • Bicarbonate of Soda – 1KG for £4.60
  • Citric Acid – 1KG for £7.27
  • White Vinegar – 5 Litres for £6.85
  • Eco Friendly Washing Up Liquid (miniml) – 5 Litres for £14.45
  • Natural Oxygen Bleach (Sodium Percarbonate) – 1KG for £6.50
  • Cleaning Cloths – old tea towels / t shirts – £0
  • Reusable Glass Spray Bottles – 2 for £7 or reuse old plastic one – £0

The total cost of these items comes to around £47 and depending on how much you use they could last you a year.

After adding some eco friendly sponges and natural rubber gloves you could be saving £100 a year.  As well as saving money you will be reducing the amount of toxic chemicals in your home, reducing plastic waste and helping the planet.

Average Cost of DIY Natural Green Cleaning Recipes

To give you an idea of how much different natural green cleaning recipes cost to make I’ve costed out some of my recipes.

Sink Scrub – makes 1 jar for £0.68

  • 1 Cup Bicarbonate of Soda approx. 120g – £0.55
  • 3 Tablespoons Eco Friendly Washing Up Liquid – £0.13
  • Old Glass Jar to store it in – £0.00

This sink scrub is not only great for cleaning your sinks and baths it also makes a great oven cleaner, it’s basically your natural alternative to a cream cleaner.

General Cleaner (Vinegar) – makes 500ml for £0.34

  • 250ml White Vinegar – £0.34
  • 250ml Cooled boiled water – £0.00
  • Lemon peel – £0.00

Works brilliantly on most surfaces, great for cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, but don’t use vinegar on stone or granite.  Infuse your vinegar with old lemon peels to give your spray a citrus scent.  Also perfect for glass and mirrors.

Toilet Cleaner – makes 500ml for £0.86 or £1.14 with essential oils

  • 100ml Citric Acid – £0.73
  • 250ml Cooled boiled water – £0.00
  • 3 Tablespoons Eco Friendly Washing Up Liquid – £0.13
  • 20 drops of essential oils – £0.28 (optional)

If you want a thicker solution you can add some vegetable glycerin or cornflour 

Which Natural Cleaning Ingredients Should You Never Mix Together

Just because these are Natural ingredients that doesn’t mean you don’t have to be careful when using them.

These are some you shouldn’t mix together:

Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar + Peracetic Acid

Never mix Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar as it will form Peracetic Acid. Peracetic Acid can irritate your skin, eyes and cause damage to your respiratory system.

Bicarbonate of Soda and Citric Acid or Vinegar

When mixed together this isn’t harmful but it does make it virtually ineffective because when you mix an alkaline and a base they neutralise each other. When you add water to a mix of Bicarb and Citric Acid it will form bubbles which is the result of the chemical reaction producing carbon dioxide.

This is why I say that my toilet fizzers made from Bicarb and Citric Acid are to freshen the loo rather than to clean it.

Are You Going To Switch To Green Cleaning And Save Money?

Now that you know a little bit more about which natural cleaning ingredients work on different situations around the home and how much you could save why not check out some of my natural cleaning recipes

And remember you don’t need to rush out and buy lots of new things, make use of what you have.  Old tea towels, t shirts, muslins etc make great cleaning cloths.  You can also save old glass jars to store your cleaning products in.  

Written by 

Hi, I’m Frankie. This is my blog (Thoroughly Modern Grandma) about blending old fashioned values with modern technology, whilst trying to reduce our waste and be a little kinder to our Planet.

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