Now, I just want to let those of you that don't already know, into the secret . . . . commercial cleaning products are a farce and a complete waste of money. I don't mean that they are just expensive and full of all sorts of things that I don't want to wipe all over my house, but they also don't work anywhere near as good as what you can make at home.
I first became converted not through environmental or financial issues but because I was desperately trying to clean something that no amount of expensive products could clean and in a last attempt I reached for the bi-carb soda and it came right off. I was trying to get rid of that sticky grease that gets on the tops of your kitchen cabinets that you don't realise is there until you get up an have a look and by that time it's been there so long that it is really hard to clean. Boiling hot water and soap doesn't work, any cleaning product didn't work and I spent ages rubbing and rubbing. I then sprinkled a spoon of bi-carb soda on a damp cloth and without any pressure it wiped clean off! I couldn't believe I didn't know about this before and why wasn't everyone using it?
Since then I use bi-carb (baking soda) and vinegar to clean everything in my house. Nothing beats bi-carb on a damp rag to clean porcelin, tiles, toilets, etc. If you want to kill germs like on your toilet then just wipe over with vinegar. This will clean just as good as those stinky, dangerous products that people feel they need to use.
The other day my love of bi-carb was again strengthened when I was trying to polish my stainless steel splashback and oven canopy. I had some special "stainless steel cleaner" that I had bought in a previous life and was using that. It ended up so streaky and sticking to any grease that was there that I had my husband rubbing it with all his muscle power to get it shiny like I wanted it. The result wasn't great. The next day after I was sick of looking at how bad it looked I got out the bi-carb and rubbed it on. Without any force it cleaned and polished at the same time. I just buffed it a bit afterwards with a clean dry rag and it was perfect.
Now why aren't we all using it? It's so cheap , it's an all round cleaner, and it is by far the easiest and best to use. I guess that marketing tells us we need these certain products to get the best clean. Advertisements scare us into thinking that if we aren't using hospital grade cleaners then we are putting our families at risk of being attacked by germs. But, it turns out that disinfecting too much is actually harmful to our health. Children especially need to be exposed to certain germs to be able to build an immune system to fight off nasties. Putting them in a bubble places them at risk of being susceptible to anything that comes their way outside of the home. Besides, these awful harmful products are not something you want to be wiping around on surfaces where your children are. You might kill the germs but the product itself is probably more harmful. My rule is that if my son can't eat it then it isn't safe to spread around where he will be.
I use vinegar and bi-carb soda for all cleaning in my house and I make my own soap and laundry powder which you can read about here. I do have products for the making of soap and laundry powder in the house that are not safe for children so I am careful to keep them locked up, and other than my dishwasher's detergent (if anyone knows of a homemade alternative let me know) that is all that is used that I would consider dangerous in my home.
Don't be fooled by marketing, those companies are money making industries that invest millions of dollars to try to get you to believe that you need to use their products. Well, you don't need them so keep your money for yourself!