Lent – Cleaning Products

There is nothing like these late winter days with their particular blue skies and sharp sunlight, the sight of the first crocuses and daffodil buds for making me want to clean everything.

Last autumn I read a book (The Natural Home) which had a really good section on making your own cleaning products. They are meant to be effective, cheap, and better for the environment than many of the commercially available products. But somehow, although I have had a list of ingredients written out for a while, I haven’t quite got around to buying them.

I knew I wanted to give our toilet a good clean, because we live in a very hard water area the limescale builds up very quickly. On the way home from the shops I had a ponder. I didn’t really have the time to seek out the products for a homemade cleaner there and then (and I find the urge to clean is best if acted upon immediately!) and I really didn’t want to buy a commercial chemically bleachy cleaner. (I know everything is made of chemicals, but I am using the word as a shorthand for the nefarious ones here).

Despite living in the city centre (admittedly the smallest city there is) there are few ‘big’ shops easily walkable to. There is a Marks and Spencee in town centre, and then it is a short walk to a small Tesco. Not ideal if you want something out of the ordinary. Then I had an idea…I spotted the Oxfam Bookshop and remembered they sometimes sell eco toiletries, so popped in to see if they had any cleaning products.

Happily, they did! The range they sell is called BioD and I was pleased to see it wasn’t much more expensive than a mainstream brand. Definitely affordable. We chose a nice book for Jessica, and I spotted several other nice things I would like to buy over time – a bamboo reusable coffee cup, some fairtrade chocolate….

The long and the short of it is that I am really impressed with the cleaning power, if a little surprised by the strong vinegar smell. I think I will experiment with making my own when this has run out, but for now and to fall back on this is definitely a good buy. Very easy to use – squirt it in, leave to dissolve the limescale, brush and flush.

This has been in my mind since the autumn, I am glad that we are using Lent as a prompt to actually do some of the things that I have been thinking about for so long.

I may have to add a drop or two of lavender oil next time though…just to mask the vinegar smell!


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