Eco cleaning or “why does the bathroom smell of vinegar dear?”

For a long time I have considered the benefits of making my own home cleaning products and not using the shop bought sprays, wipes and scrubs that are available in a vast array of forms from the shelves of all general grocery shops. I have read articles in papers, women’s magazines and on the internet that tell us how these chemically filled cleaners are so bad for the planet. I have no specifics here or indeed any knowledge about the chemical makeup of the cleaners so it’s really all based on wanting to make my own products to make me feel better. If it’s better for the environment then that’s good too.

It seems that most of the recipes have white vinegar, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda as a base, some also add pure soap and others suggest essential oils.

Having used a couple of lemon rinds for cooking I had lemons that needed using up. I also had some white vinegar left from the pickled eggs we made a few weeks ago and I always keep bicarbonate of soda in for cooking.

I rummaged around in the kitchen cupboards for an empty spray bottle as I keep a couple for watering my seedlings in the spring time and these would do the job. I squeezed the lemons on the old fashioned glass juicer I use and tipped the white vinegar and lemon juice into the spray bottle. I then put the bicarbonate of soda into a bowl as I had read that if you mix the bicarbonate of soda with the vinegar it can explode so better safe than sorry.

I was ready for action. I removed the bits from around the bath and got spraying, dipped my cloth in the bicarbonate of soda and started to clean. The Wilf one was passing the bathroom and enquired ‘Why does the bathroom smell of vinegar dear?’ I explained my eco cleaner to him and he left not looking impressed but before he did so he asked if I wanted a load of chips in the bath . It may have just been the smell that made him pull a face that almost said “I thought you were stark raving bonkers and now I know for sure”.

I cleaned the basin, the toilet and the bath, standing back I noticed that the normal sparkle I get from using the commercial cleaners was a little lack lustre. Never mind, I went and got a micro fibre cloth from the cupboard and started to polish up the bath and basin. Um, still that smell of vinegar. I left the room a little perplexed having expended double the time and effort for only have half the shine I would normally get.

A little while later I returned for a further inspection, still the smell of vinegar wafted out at me, a little less now. The taps looked a bit less shiny and so did the bath.

I recall reading the holiday section of one of the Sunday papers a few weeks ago, they did an article on green holidays and the author had stayed in a bed and breakfast that did all the cleaning with home made cleaners, her comments had included “the bathroom smelling somewhat like the morning after you’ve eaten fish and chips at home”. I know what she meant now. One last warning, as my ingredients were eco friendly I didn’t put on rubber gloves, my hands are now very dry and require moisturiser.

Overall not a great success, I will keep searching although I do keep thinking that back to the days when cleaning materials were often home made. They didn’t all have nice white porcelain bathrooms with chrome taps to worry about! Any suggestions? Please let me know.

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