March is upon us. The month when Spring officially starts. It is my favourite season and I love the slow increase in daylight hours and relish in the moments when sunlight streams in. That additional light is probably why lots of us decide to spring clean at this time of year, as suddenly we can see all the dirt that wasn’t so obvious during the winter months! I must admit, once I get started I do love a good cleaning session but, recently it’s become more and more important to me to avoid cleaning products filled with chemicals. There really is no need for it as there are so many natural alternatives available nowadays. They can be pricey though, but as Jen Chillingsworth tells us in her latest book, Clean Green, it is possible to create your own natural cleaning products on a very low budget…
Following on from Jen’s debut book Live Green (our review here), Clean Green comes in the same small format and is again illustrated beautifully by Amelia Flower. I think what I love about Jen’s books is that they feel so accessible and non-judgemental. She talks of how she too once had a cupboard packed full of toxic cleaning products and thought nothing of glugging bleach down the loo. Since changing her ways, she now wants to encourage others to make changes, but suggests taking it slowly and doing what suits your lifestyle best.
The first part of the book looks at how to get started and how to fit cleaning into your schedule, as well as some health and safety advice. Jen then shares her advice on eco-friendly swaps for your cleaning equipment and the ingredients she suggests you use in your homemade recipes. There’s lots of practical tips on things like where is best to buy these items and how to make it as affordable as possible.
The rest of the book is split into chapters covering cleaning recipes for different areas of the home, including a drain un-blocker, stain remover, oven cleaner and window cleaner, to name a few. What’s great is that a lot of the recipes use similar ingredients, most which are easily accessible such as vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, lemons and salt. I’ve already tried out a few of the recipes and have been really impressed with the results, and also enjoyed the process of making the cleaners. The final section shares some projects for scenting your home naturally which includes making your own air freshener and room sprays.
This is a lovely little book that I plan to keep to hand in my kitchen. As any shop bought products run out I will replace with my own homemade versions, reducing our consumption of plastic bottles as well as the toxins our family is being exposed to, and lessening our impact on our precious environment.
Get your copy of Clean Green published by Hardie Grant.