10 ways to spring clean your home with natural products

An expert shares his top tips.
Farmhouse sinkPhotography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes

As the weather warms up it’s the perfect time to start thinking about spring cleaning your home. If you want to avoid nasty chemicals and do your bit for the environment, there are plenty of clever ways to get your house sparkling using natural household products.

“The days of toxic cleaners are over,” says Australian cleaning quality control expert Javier Bastardo from Fantastic Services. “We use natural products wherever and whenever we can, and many of them work just as well as their harsher counterparts.

“And it’s not just the environment that benefits from cleaning with natural products, so does your home, health, pets, appliances and the air.”

Here are 10 natural ways to clean your home

1. Clean walls with bread

“Yep, it sounds weird, but it’s not just the kids who like a touch of the old Mighty Soft! The walls do too – and if you don’t believe me, try gently running a slice over scuffs and marks that don’t come off with a cloth.”

2. Use a walnut to get rid of wooden furniture scratches

“By rubbing a walnut on the scratch you’ll give it back that brown-ish colour. At least a bit.”

living room with timber-lined ceiling
Protect natural surfaces the natural way. (Photography: Kara Rosenlund)

3. Shine chrome faucets with toothpaste

“Rub a bit of toothpaste on them and then wipe with a wet sponge to remove any water stains and hard water marks from it.”

4. Clean mirrors with coffee filters

“In order to achieve that flawless look, clean your mirrors with coffee filters. They are better than towels because coffee filters are lint-free.”

White bathroom with built-in bathtub and sage green mosiac tiles
Sparkling mirrors and shiny chrome at your fingertips. (Photography: Sue Stubbs)

5. Use lemon to remove odours from the bin

“Rinse some lemon rinds through it and run hot water. The lemon will remove the bad odour.”

6. Remove pet odour with baking soda

“The best way to fight the smell is to spray some baking soda on the animal’s bed. Leave it there to soak up for 15 minutes and then vacuum it.”

7. Unclog drains with baking soda and vinegar

“The non-chemical way to unclog your drains consists of 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup hot water. Pour the baking soda down the drain. Then add the vinegar, followed by the hot water last. Cover the drain with either a wet towel or a plug and wait five minutes, then rinse with boiling water.”

White marble kitchen with ceramic farmhouse sink.
(Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

8. Use natural soap on outdoor furniture

“All you need to clean outdoor furniture is natural soap and a bowl of hot water. Wash it thoroughly and rinse with the hose after that. Voila – squeaky clean patio furniture!”

9. Freshen up the dishwasher with baking soda

“From time to time the washing machine starts to stink, so shake a bit of baking soda on a damp sponge and clean any surfaces that you can reach.”

10. Clean the windows with vinegar

“One thing that can ruin the clean look of a house is dirty windows. For completely see-through windows, mix 2 tablespoons of vinegar and a gallon of water, put it in a spray bottle and use the solution on your windows. Wipe with a microfiber cloth.”

Contemporary coastal living with vaulted ceilings and exposed beams
(Photography: Brigid Arnott)

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