I love cleaning products, and I enjoy hanging out in the household cleaners section of stores, hoping to spot some nifty new product that I'll fall in love with. However I have pretty high standards -- my cleaning products must be non-toxic, and I really prefer multi-purpose cleaners because I just don't have the space to store hundreds of specialised products.
In the past years I have been testing out many household cleaning products in hope of finding something that is both non-toxic and actually works. Here are my favourite products:
Orange oil cuts through grease like a knife, plus it leaves everything smelling divine. Undiluted it can remove even really stubborn glue from labels, for everything else you dilute it with water. I use it to clean the floors and the surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom. The good stuff (oil without additives) it a tad pricier but is really worth it, one bottle lasts for a really really long time. The original one is the Oranex from Hobbythek, I also use the one from AlmaWin.
This little scrubbie beats almost all brushes that I have owned. I have several and use them to clean vegetables, pots, awkward bathroom corners, and my bike. They are surprisingly durable, don't get mildewy and almost completely biodegradable (except the wire). I originally discovered them through Kaufmann Mercantile (a store full of amazing but ridiculously overpriced products), but found much more affordable ones on Ebay directly from Sri Lankan sellers. A few days back I found one for less than 3€ in my local Denns (organic supermarket).
Magic erasers for everything
This magically clean the dirt from everything, from sport sneakers to the fridge -- everything except really soft surfaces. Really magic. They
Microfiber cloths for everything
Do a really good job of picking up dirt, and you can use them solo (just wet) on everything. I especially love them for cleaning windows and mirrors.
Vinegar + Cornstarch for cleaning windows
Cleaning windows and mirrors with vinegar is old news, but adding cornstarch to the mix that makes the glass really sparkly and streak-free. This works really well for me, even though my windows are always extra dirty because of sticky little hand prints and fruit-fly poo. Here is the recipe.
Astonish Oven and Cookware Cleaner for everything in the kitchen and bathroom
Based on silica clay, it does an amazing job of cleaning tiles, the ceramic and the steel sinks, the bathtub, it also removes rust. The brand is from the UK and I bought it from a local construction market, but I never found it there again. Now I get them off Amazon.
Natural hand cleaning paste to clean really greasy hands
You know the times where your hands are smeared with machine grease and you try to clean them with dish washing detergent? At a house that I visited I spotted this hand cleaning paste which was basically made out of sawdust + clay, and it got rid of even the most stubborn grease. Since then I have been looking for that product and the closest I got to it is the Profiline Bio Handwaschpaste which has just three ingredients: sawdust, clay and glycerine. Ecover also offers a nice hand cleaning paste. If you have access to sawdust, it is pretty easy to DIY such a paste, I have seen several tutorials on the internet.
Gall soap to remove stains from clothes
It does an amazing job at removing stains from clothes. I still have the bar I bought seven years ago. Frosch came out with a vegan alternative.
Soap nuts for the laundry
I love them, and they love my clothes back. They are extremely eco-friendly, perfect for babies or anyone with sensitive skin, and they make an amazing shampoo that is acidic and leaves the hair extremely soft and shiny. They are also anti-fungal, repel insects and are very gentle to fabrics. The downside is that they work only with warm water, so if you want to run your load with cooler water you need to pre-soak the nuts in hot water to release the saponin. Here is some great info on soap nuts, including a cost breakdown.
Molto Fügen Versieglung grout sealer
It was really really hard to find a grout sealer that wasn't full of very toxic chemicals, and the one from Molto has pretty good ingredients. I cleaned my bathroom and kitchen grout really well and used this to seal it. The grout stays clean for a really long time, until the seal wears off.
Mellerud Schimmel Entferner mildew spray
According the Öko Test, this was the only product that worked against mould and mildew and was not hazardous to health. It is basically Hydrogen peroxide with surfactants, you just spray, leave on for a few minutes, then wipe off. I recommend using gloves because the H2O2 can lightly irritate the skin. This product is also great for the weird black stain that you get on grout in the bathroom.
You could also use up to 10% strength hydrogen peroxide, however I find that the surfactants make the mildew easier to remove.
That's all from me! What are your favourite household cleaning products?