Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solutions

Have a bit of stain to clean? Here are some ingredients from the kitchen.

      2 October 2020

You don’t need fancy cleaners or harmful chemicals to clean and disinfect. These methods are more gentle on surfaces and your skin, but you might have to scrub a tad harder to get the stains off.

Best of all, these ingredients can be readily found in your kitchen!

Citrus Fruits

Citric acid is found naturally in citrus fruits, which makes them a suitable cleaning agent if you need to get stubborn grease out. Because citric acid kills bacteria, mold, and mildew, it’s great for general disinfecting and cleaning. Citrus also contains d-limonene, a natural solvent.

Popular citrus fruits used for cleaning are lemons and oranges. Though they may work on their own, these fruits can be combined with either distilled white vinegar, or baking soda to create a potent cleaning solution. You can even create a nice-smelling distilled white vinegar spray by soaking the peels in the solution for a week or two!

Common application: Cut fruit into half and wipe directly on surfaces, or juiced and sprayed directly onto surfaces.

Distilled White Vinegar

Besides giving your rice an extra fluff when added, it is a very versatile cleaning agent Because it’s acidic, distilled white vinegar can dissolve mineral deposits from all sorts of surfaces, such as glass, coffee makers, toilets and showerheads. It is also very effective in sanitising surfaces and masking odours, making it great at cleaning up pet poop and getting rid of drain smells.

Common application: Mix with water and spray directly on surfaces to be cleaned.

Baking Soda

Commonly used for baking cakes and cookies, baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is an alkaline compound. Baking soda is often placed in enclosed spaces to absorb odours. Baking soda is also a favoured cleaner because of its granular texture, which aids in scrubbing and can dissolve some acidic stains.

Common application: Soak item in a baking soda and warm water solution.

Olive Oil

Known for good natural fatty acids, it is commonly used by cooks and health-conscious people. It is also a handy natural skin moisturiser. Beyond being able to season and clean iron cookware, you can use this mild acid to shine stainless steel, and even revitalise and protect wooden furniture.

Common application: Apply olive oil to a towel, or spray directly onto surfaces.

Banana Peels

While the soft core of a banana is a delicious snack, the peels are rich in potassium. Leather absorbs the potassium readily, making it supple and shiny. It also helps to mask scuff marks too. It’s also handy for treating acne, thanks to the antibacterial properties of lectin found in the peels.

Common application: Rub the inside of a banana peel directly on leather, buff off with a microfibre towel.


Salt is a very versatile mineral. Aside from cooking, it is also used to preserve food. Salt works as an effective yet gentle scouring agent. Salt can be used as a catalyst for other kitchen ingredients, such as vinegar, to boost cleaning and deodorising properties.

Common application: Mix salt and hot water, or apply salt directly to liquid stains on fabric to absorb it.