Monday, April 16, 2012

keeping it clean - naturally

Before this big renovation, we had the luxury of having someone clean the house 
every week. Such luxury I know, but as a full time working mum I never stopped 
appreciating the fact that I didn't have to spend my time at home 
cleaning the bathroom and kitchen and mopping the floors.

Since we have renovated, I have been reluctant to go back to having a cleaner - 
for many reasons.The first reason is that it will be a lot more expensive 
now given that we have more floor space and toilets/bathrooms.
 I also am still fairly precious about the house and am not yet over the novelty of all 
the sparkly new basins and toilets..... and I have this lofty idea that
 it's good for the boy of the house to see that we keep the house clean ourselves 
and don't just pay or expect someone else to do it. Sounds good though in
 practice I end up cleaning when he is fast asleep - but 
I guess it's the principle that matters.....

I have a whole new range of cleaning dilemmas though - more bench space, tiled
 showers, and glass shower screens. I have written before about wanting to 
find some sort of more "natural" way to clean at home. It's not the
 most exciting or blog worthy of topics of course, but I figure we 
all have to clean.

My quest to find a more natural solution to cleaning started with the shower screens -
after our builder recommended a product that they use on car windscreens to keep them
shiny and water repellant. 

No thanks.

Shannon Lush has the following suggestion for them:

mix 1 part methylated spirits with 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water.
Rub the mixture over the screen with a cloth.

 Shannon Lush is a bit of a domestic goddess where cleaning is concerned. It seems
there is nothing that can't be cleaned with a bit of bicarbonate of soda and 
vinegar. Sometimes I yearn for less of the vinegary odour though....
 I have always thought that Gumption was a great all purpose
cleaner with very little in the way of "nasty" ingredients -
though there isn't much on the tub that tells me what's in there.
Maybe I have been led astray by marketing.
 This UK brand was recommended to me by a friend who had used 
their products while working over there.
The glass cleaner in particular seems to be lovely and works 
a treat on the shower screens - nice minty smell and 
no big nasties

I only discovered this brand - Murchison Hume - by chance
last month. It is like the holy grail of "natural" cleaning products -
smells lovely, safe around food, and you don't have to wear gloves.
$$ though :(

So for the time being I am using a combination of the Shannon Lush approach, with intermittent use of 
either method or Murchison Hume products. 
I'll report back :)

Method products: UK website here and Australian details here
Available at selected IGA stores in Australia 
(I found them in the Ritchie's IGA in Westfield Carindale)

Murchison Hume website here


  1. Wen we moves into our new house I tried to go without the chemicals. It didn't work for me. Vinegar and bicarbonate did clean the toilet bowls but they must have not provided any moisturisation (????) and made everything stick to it. Yuck!!! We had to use a brush after every single use! Double yuck! So I am now using the cheap Eco toilet wash and the improvement is worthy of bragging about :p


    1. I use 5% (or is it 10%???) metho mixed with water, in a spray bottle for dry mopping our timber floor. I don't think I've used anything on our shower screens yet, as we squeegy and towel dry after each use. For toilet seats etc I use Glen 20.

      Look forward to following your blog.


    2. Thanks B :) I try to clean the shower screen straight away with the squeegy, but the man of the house is not so diligent, hence the need to clean the screen. Maybe I need to get better at nagging!

    3. Oh yes! I am nagging pro! The best thing about is that... it really does WORK! :)


  2. I swear by Gumption. It cleans everything but probably not so good for glass. Shannon's solution os probably the way to go.
    What do you think of the new Carindale? Pretty impressive huh?

    1. I know Kylie - I keep finding excuses to go there! Hope all is well with you.

  3. Just wanted to say hi as I only discovered your blog today. Love the reno you have done- your house is BEAUTIFUL- it was so nice to go back and read your story from the beginning. I always coveted a house like yours but have ended up with a california bungalow called Betsy which I now adore ( except her blue colour outside and custard yellow inside) as she feels just like a queenslander on the inside- 10 foot ceilings, wide hallways, wooden floors, vj's etc. We are in the midst of plans for a new bigger kitchen and new deck so it is great to see what other people are up to. Do you think you will be doing a post on your finished kitchen? Would love to see. melx (fellow brizzy girl)

    1. Mel thanks for such a lovely comment. You have inspired me to do a post about the kitchen (though I will have to tidy up before taking any photos ......). The tidiness displayed here on the blog is not always representative of true life! I'll hop over to visit your blog too. Fx

  4. Hi, as someone who has asthma and is extremely sensitive to chemicals, the Murchison Hume stuff is great. I found Method brand, while it is supposed to be 'friendly' really upset my lungs and made me sneeze. If you buy the big refills bottles from Murchison Hume it is really good value and last for ages. I also use a lot of vinegar too!

    1. Thanks! I certainly am finding the Murchison and Hume the nicest of all to use. Thanks for commenting. F

  5. Hi,
    You may not agree with me, but I just have to rave about Enjo products - no chemicals, no smells, no scratching or damaging nice new surfaces. Go online and get them to give you a demo. Someone will come to your house and lend you the cloths to put to use on your surfaces. I know they're expensive, but once you have the cloths, you don't need to buy more chemicals, and they last for ever (actually not forever, but mine are still going after a decade and hardly look used, although maybe that just says something about my cleaning). They also sell method products, but apart from the handwash, I don't use them at all (too smelly).
    They also have a product like gumption which is slightly less scratchy.
    Because you don't use chemicals with the Enjo products, and because they remove all those nasty bacteria, my children have grown up cleaning up after themselves - they smear on the wall, they get the mit and wipe it off. They have a bath, they clean it as they are getting out. So, two birds with one stone. I actually do some cleaning too, by the way, but because the Enjo products don't leave a residue, dirt doesn't stick to it, so less cleaning.
    Love your blog - I fell over it today. Oh, and I actually don't sell Enjo, I just love it A LOT.

    1. I have always wondered about Enjo as it is expensive and also seems like hard work. But then again I spent about 2 hours cleaning the inside of my oven with bicarb and vinegar last night (boy I know how to have a good time at the weekend!) and that was hard work too, so maybe I should look into it. Always good to instill those habits into children too at an early age. Boy of the house will reliably put the toilet seat down but that's about it. I've been really interested in the comments on this - it's nice to see that I'm not the only one who thinks about this. Thanks for reading the blog and taking the time to comment. F