After any natural disaster, be it a flood or a storm, it's important to take great care to keep you and your family safe. Once the storm has passed, however, it can be hard to assess the damage and know where to begin. Here are 11 ways to help you clean up and get back to normal after a flood.>>
Homemade Cleaning Products
Want to avoid harsh chemical cleaners in your household? Save money and protect your family’s health by making your own all-natural, chemical-free products using essential oils.
Commercial cleaners and air fresheners use a lot of toxic chemicals that can affect your health.
The essential oils used in the following recipes can be picked up at your local health food store or any other store offering aromatherapy products.
Lightly mist this delicious-smelling air freshener in a room whenever you feel the need.
50 mL vodka
1⁄4 tsp bergamot essential oil
8 drops clove essential oil
5 drops lemon essential oil
200 mL distilled water
- Put the vodka and oils in a spray bottle and shake to disperse the oils. Add distilled water and shake again to thoroughly combine.
- Leave for a few days to mature. Spray briefly to refresh a room.
Combine equal amounts of lavender, rosemary, clove and lemon essential oils in a small bottle. Take everything out of your cupboards and wipe the interior with a damp cloth that’s been sprinkled with a few drops of the oil blend. You can also sprinkle it onto cotton-wool balls, then place them in the wardrobe when you replace the clothing.
This simple treatment will leave fabrics soft and fluffy without the cloying scent of artificial perfumes.
1 cup (250 mL) white distilled vinegar
1 cup (250 g) bicarbonate of soda
2 cups (500 mL) water
10 drops rose geranium, lavender or lemon essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil or a combination of your favourite oils
- Combine ingredients slowly and carefully over the sink, because the mixture will fizz. Pour into a plastic bottle and replace the lid.
- Add 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) to the final rinse or place it in the fabric softener dispenser of your washing machine.
Mix a few drops of antibacterial essential oil (such as lavender, tea-tree or rosemary) into some bicarbonate of soda. Pack the mixture into a sock or stocking and stuff it into your sneakers or shoes . Leave in overnight to deodorise. When re-using the mixture, add extra oil.
Eucalyptus oil is one of the most powerful natural antiseptic oils, but is also invaluable when it comes to removing stains—particularly grease and perspiration—from clothing and other fabrics. Moisten a clean rag with a little oil and dab the stain from the edge to the middle, then launder as usual.
When washing dishes, add a tablespoonful of this aromatic dishwashing liquid to hot water. As this is a soap, it does not produce as many suds as detergent, but it is still very effective.
3 tbsp liquid Castile soap
2 cups (500 mL) warm water
2 tsp vegetable glycerine
2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
10 drops lemon essential oil
10 drops grapefruit essential oil or eucalyptus essential oil
Mix all ingredients in a jar, cover and shake well to blend. Store in a plastic squeeze bottle. If you don’t want to make your own dishwashing liquid from scratch, buy an unscented, undyed, phosphate-free detergent from your local health-food or organic store. Add your own essential oil plus a couple of sprigs of matching herb, decant into a pretty bottle and enjoy your washing up!
Regular wiping with this cleaner will remove grubby fingermarks and leave the surfaces of freezers, refrigerators and washing machines looking like new—without scratching them.
2 tbsp phosphate-free
1 tbsp cornflour
1 cup (250ml) water
1 cup (250ml) distilled white vinegar
A few drops of eucalyptus essential oil or tea-tree essential oil
- Put the ingredients in a plastic spray bottle and shake gently to combine.
- Spray a fine film of the mixture over the grubby surface and wipe clean with a soft cloth.
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