For cleaning products I use a combination of bought and what I have in the cupboard in conjunction with a bloody good scrub… i.e. both  chemical and manual cleaning.

Chemical Cleaning uses the power of chemicals in a solution to remove soils. Soils in this case refers to stains. If you want to know, you can read how alkaline dissolve fat and  why vinegar works here.
If not just be aware that
Organic soils are usually best moved using alkaline cleaners.
Inorganic soils prefer and acid cleaner.


Buy Or Make Chemical Cleaners

Buy plastic free
The easiest way to get plastic free cleaning product is to buy Ecover refill liquids. Yes the original bottle is plastic but you get to reuse it. Mine are still going strong years into the project.
If you can’t get to a refill station, this company sells concentrated liquids through the post. You refill your existing bottles and water down yourself. They come in plastic, but it represents a massive reduction.

Make your own
Or you could consider making your own cleaning products. It easy, can save you money and certainly cuts down on the amount of chemicals and colorings that you find in commercial products. With a small palette of ingredients you can clean just about anything.

When I say make I actually mean use neat or add water. It really is that easy. There are loads of complicated recipes on the internet using a mixture of ingredients. I have tried them but could see no discernable difference. Either other people have very dirty houses or I have very low standards.

Are they as good? Well it depends what you are using already. If you use green cleaners then yes they are and half the price. If you are using Cilit Bang all bets are off. So while they might not work as well as Cilit Bang in extreme grime scenarios, for general cleaning they are fine.

And all of them smell better with none of that weird choking chemical smell or overwhelming perfumes you get with the cheaper commercial products.

I Use
After a lot of experimentation I find I can mange with
Ecover washing up liquid refill or
Bar Soap
used in conjunction with a good scrubber cuts through most dirt. Alkaline
Bicarbonate Of Soda  for scouring and deoderizing. It can also be used to wash your hair and clean your teeth. Alkaline
Vinegar  dilute and use as a wipe. Also use as a conditioner for hair and a mild disinfectant. Acid

Other people reccomend Washing Soda and Borax. I have tried both of these but find them to make little or no difference. Read more HERE

Use What On What

For your cleaners to be properly effective you need to use them correctly. Though you might intuitively feel that vinegar should cut through grease it doesn’t.
Soils fall into 2 categories, organic and inorganic
Organic soils such as  fat, grease, protein like blood, and carbohydrate. I dont know what carbohydrate soil is – any one else? Mold, yeast and bacteria, motor oil, axle grease, cutting oils and other petroleum soils.
Inorganic soils such rust, scale, hard water deposits and minerals such as sand, silt and clay.

They require different cleaning solution.

  • Organic soils are usually best moved using alkaline cleaners.
  • Inorganic soils prefer an acid cleaner.
  • Minerals are often cleaned with general purpose cleaners.

Read more HERE


Honestly I find the best way to clean is to use a mildly abrasive range of cloths and scouring pads. You can find links to all our mechanical cleaning aids HERE

How to clean….

Hard plastic such as baths and toilet seats – Soap and a luffa or rough cloth

Tiles and porcelain – Bicarb on a cloth or luffa

Mildly Abrasive Paste – general cleaning
Add enough liquid soap to bicarbonate of soda make a paste

Wipe for windows and greasy surfaces
1/4-1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent/ soap
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups water

Shake & Vac
Bicarb  sprinkled on, left for a while then hoovered up.


Ecover washing up liquid refill
Bar Soap
Bicarbonate Of Soda


For more Bicarbonatebased cleaning tips try this Website
See a huge range of plastic free cleaning products HERE

5 thoughts on “Cleaning Products – Chemical – Buy or make

  1. I use bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) which I get luckily in bulk for my cast iron steel pan when it’s super crusty and it always gets it super clean. Looks just like new.

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