Tuesday,24 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1182, (30 January - 5 February 2014)
Tuesday,24 October, 2017
Issue 1182, (30 January - 5 February 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Entre Nous

Let’s talk about better living! Our new interactive family corner aims to expand our lifestyle horizons with practical little pearls of wisdom from the editor and input from our readers.

Eco-friendly cleaning

Many of the commercial cleaning products that we use to clean our homes are highly toxic, in fact having the contradictory effect of actually polluting our environment, the air we breathe and our skin with dangerous chemicals that recent research has linked to various serious illnesses, including cancer.
Fortunately, we can keep our houses clean and germ free while at the same time protecting the environment by using earth-friendly and effective natural cleaning products.
So dears, toss your toxic store-bought cleaning products out and instead, try these environmentally-friendly alternatives that you probably already have in your homes.

Lemon juice:
Lemons smell great and have an antiviral and antibacterial effect just as vinegar does. They are nature’s bleach. Mixing the juice with salt or baking soda gives it even more cleaning power. Lemon juice is also an excellent stain and grease remover. If you tossed half a lemon in the garbage disposal, it will deodorise and clean buildup that may be causing odour.

Salt: It can be used alone or with lemon juice for a wide range of cleaning tasks. It has antiseptic properties and is an effective disinfectant.

Baby oil and mineral oil:
Baby oil and mineral oil are the same thing. Baby oil just has a fragrance added to it. Mineral oil is different from other oils as it’s extracted from the earth (petroleum) and it does not go rancid like all other oils that we use in food, such as vegetable, canola, olive oil, etc. Mineral oil cuts through dirt and grease, which is why it’s a great way to shine stainless steel appliances. Only use a small amount; a little goes a long way.

White vinegar:
It can be used to clear grease, as bleach, disinfectant and to help prevent the growth of mould. To clean with vinegar, mix equal parts of plain white vinegar with water and put in a spray bottle.
Vinegar is a natural deodoriser, disinfectant and germicide. It is acidic and cleans streak free without leaving a residue like soap leaves behind.
If you don’t like the way vinegar smells, don’t worry, because the vinegary smell goes away as it dries.
To clean floors with vinegar: Mix about 1/2 a cup of vinegar with one gallon of warm water to have clean and shiny wood floors.
Be careful not to use it to clean on stone surfaces because it could cause damage by etching the surface.

Bicarbonate of soda:
It is an excellent stain remover, cleaner and natural deodoriser. If mixed with vinegar, it makes a powerful cleaner for bathroom porcelain. When made into a paste, it works great to scrub off the sink or stove. You can put it in your washing machine with your regular laundry load to deodorise your clothes and give your detergent an extra boost of power.

Hydrogen peroxide:
It is water with an additional element; therefore, it changes to regular water when exposed to sunlight, so you need to keep whatever you are working on out of the direct sunlight. Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidiser and works as a highly potent bleach without the harmful effects of chlorine bleach.
When stains or residue remain after cleaning, an application of regular household strength hydrogen peroxide will usually do the trick. You don’t have to rinse it because it has no residue. Just pour it straight onto the stain, cover it and check it in a couple of hours.

This is a recommended and tested all-purpose cleaner:
- Mix 2 tbsp white vinegar;
- 2 tsp laundry clorox,
- 2 teacups water,
- 3 drops of lavender oil
- 3 drops of tea tree oil.
Pour into a plant spray bottle and get cleaning!

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