How to Live Organically in the Kitchen and Bathroom

Chemicals are the last thing you want around food, particularly if you’re making the effort to eat organic, and bathrooms are prime spots for overpowering air fresheners and harsh cleaners.

Dishes Natural dishwashing agents are made from vegetable-based detergents enhanced with essential oils and botanical ingredients such as the healing herb calendula, or whey, a natural by­product of cheese-making, which soften skin and prevent it drying.

Automatic dishwasher cleaning agents rely on chemical cleaning power to compensate for the fact that water jets are less effective than a person using a scrubbing brush. The natural tablets on the market avoid the likes of phosphonates and chlorine bleaching agents, using sugar-based detergents, natural water softeners and enzymes (to break down protein stains).


It’s amazing how effective water really is, but we’ve lost faith in it among the welter of cleaning products. Try simply wetting dirty surfaces then wiping up after a few minutes. The so-called “miracle” micro-fibre cloths tackle chrome, wood, plastic, marble, tiles and glass using only water as a solvent. They claim to do away with the need for cleaning agents altogether. Their makers put this down to ultra-small fibres that allow the cloth to absorb and accumulate more dust and dirt particles than normal cloth, and static electricity and capillary action that draws dirt and grease up from the surface, trapping it in the fabric.

When something stronger is called for, kinder multi-purpose cleaners use alcohol, sugar- and vegetable-based detergents, or the natural abrasive action of chalk or clay. Scrubbing with simple bicarbonate of soda followed by a hot water rinse will eliminate germs cheaply and naturally.

Mould, which can cause coughs and allergies, only grows where it’s wet, so the best defence is to keep the bathroom (and the rest of the house) dry and well ventilated, and achieve a relative humidity of less than 60 per cent. Avoid carpeting bathrooms and fix leaks immediately. To clean mould, treat the affected area with a mix of borax and water in a spray bottle, also if you want to renovate your bathroom, you can Hire Bathroom Renovation Dublin Today For All Your Bathroom Installation Needs.


A mop version of the microfibre cloth can be used dry, to attract dust and dirt particles, or damp for dirtier floors. Use cleaners based on natural linseed oil which keep baked tiles, stone and linoleum clean and polished. For linoleum, also try 9oz/250ml white vinegar and 1 3/4pints/980ml water. For anything else, use soapy water and a soft cloth.


If you wipe the oven out regularly, harsh oven cleaners won’t be necessary, but for intractable grime, mix 1oz/2 tablespoons washing-up liquid, and 1/2 oz/1 tablespoon borax in a spray bottle. Spray the dirty areas and leave for an hour before scrubbing.

Glass and chrome

Clean glass and mirrors with a mixture of 50 per cent vinegar and 50 per cent water in a spray bottle. Microfibre glass cleaning cloths need just a mist of water to clean easily and effectively. Use apple cider vinegar to polish chrome taps.


Researchers found that even before they introduced disinfectant, toilet seats were always cleaner than chopping boards, which had three times as many bacteria. The liquid from dish-clothes had a million times more bugs.

Natural toilet cleaners avoid corrosive acids, bleach and garish colours that give the impression of cleanliness but can upset the action of septic tanks. They use food acids such as vinegar and citric acid and plant oils to disinfect and decalcify. For a homemade cleaner, use lemon juice or vinegar which are both simple, effective and remove limescale. Just add a dash of tea tree oil to disinfect. Don’t mix toilet cleaners with bleach—the combination can release poisonous gases, so if you ever have any problems with your toilet consider hiring sewer cleaning contractors for some clogged sewer cleaning and septic tank cleaning services.

Air fresheners

The powerful air fresheners we use to tackle toilet smells don’t really freshen air, they just add more chemicals to mask odours, often releasing irritating and toxic chemicals in the process. Herbal water sprays give a fresh, clean smell—boil cinnamon and cloves in water, and put the resulting solution in a spray bottle—or use an essential oil burner.

Hand cleaners Soap made from plant oils comes in delicious flavours. For a heavy-duty clean, use products with vegetable or sugar-based detergents, natural abrasives such as wood powder or pumice, and natural solvents including citrus oil. Olive oil and caster sugar will help to remove fruit stains on hands—rub well into skin and leave a few minutes before washing.

Cleaning solutions

  • You’ll get good service out of natural brushes and scourers, and many people find them more attractive than plastic scrubbers. Wooden dishwashing brushes with natural bristles come with replaceable heads, meaning that you get more life out of one handle.

  • Bicarbonate of soda removes grease from pots, pans and other utensils, but rinse in hot water before drying and don’t use on aluminum and enamelled pots.
  • Forget chemical drain-unblockers. Natural versions use bacteria to break down fats, oils and organic matter. Or pour 1/2 cup of baking soda followed by 1/2 cup vinegar down the drain, plug it for a minute or two then unplug and run hot water for a few minutes.

Nature’s air fresheners

  • Commercial potpourri may contain chemical fragrances and colours. Making your own natural version is easy—there’s no set recipe, so try combinations of citrus peel, dried rose petals, pine cones and attractive twigs, cinnamon sticks and boost their natural scent with essential oils.
  • Grow herbs around the home—lavender and rosemary scent the air when you waft your hand through them.

Filed Under: Home & Maintenance


About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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