I’ve not been able to write for a while as I’ve gone back to full time work to save up for the extension and not had much time for DIY projects. So, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learnt in my new job that have turned me into a big fan of natural cleaning products.
I’ve been making some videos for a cleaning brand – I won’t name them as I might get the sack and I don’t believe that any of this information is particular to this brand but applies to the cleaning industry as a whole.
The videos I’ve been making involve a fairly standard scene where well known cleaning product is applied to a dirty surface and then cleaned off leaving it sparkling and smear free. Now, I’ve been producing a while so know that there will have to be a bit of edit magic to make a surface that has just been wiped perfect but here are a few things I didn’t know:
- The dirt has to be made by a specialist dirt stylist – we had a fantastic one who hand painted mould, made limescale from toothpaste and fingerprints with Vaseline.
- Hand models don’t use their hands for cleaning so may take longer than a normal person to learn how to squeeze a nozzle.
- The market for spray based products is small as many people round the world wouldn’t know how to use them (but would probably pick it up quicker than a hand model)
- In many countries they do not use mops they just put a rag on the floor and use a stick to push it round – ingenious!
- Being in a room with cleaning products over a long period of time makes my nose and eyes itch (we had a pack of production antihistamines)
- We all felt the pregnant woman on the set should only come into the room we were cleaning for limited periods of time.
and most significantly…
- To get that sparkling clean, smear free shine the client suggested we use, not their product but white vinegar!
Yes, without a hint of bashfulness the client said that white vinegar really is the best thing for the job when cleaning glass and tiles.
So with this in mind and a household of eczema, asthma and allergy sufferers I decided to do a bit of research and make my own simple natural cleaning product and here it is:
- Half white vinegar
- Half water
- Lemon and tangerine peel – to take the vinegar smell away
- Leave in a sunny place for a week
- Sieve and decant to a spray bottle
But does it work? Well, who cleans the inside of their kitchen draws regularly? Not me so I thought I’d test it out on some nice grimy fingerprints.
I was so excited I cleaned the bathroom – and that’s a sentence I never thought I’d write. The citrus peel doesn’t completely mask the vinegar smell but it dissipates really quickly. I would skip the ‘add peel and leave for a week’ step next time and keep it even more simple. Most importantly I didn’t need an antihistamine.
I’m really trying to cut down on my plastic waste, here are some very simple things that have worked for me. If you have a recipe for a natural cleaning product or tips on cutting out plastic I’d be really happy to hear them.