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Sustainable cleaning products Image: Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum

Here are better ways of cleaning that are healthier for you, your family and our planet.

Bicarbonate Soda (aka Bicarb soda, baking soda or sodium bicarbonate): Bicarb soda is an excellent odour absorber and mild abrasive for cleaning.

Borax: Natural in its concentrated form, borax disinfects, deodorises and inhibits mould growth. Keep out of reach of children as it can be an eye irritant and is toxic if swallowed.

Essential Oils: Essential oils such as mint, eucalyptus, lavender and tea tree can be used for deodorising or scenting cleaners.

Lemon Juice: A mild bleach, deodorant and cleaning agent.

Pure Soap: Pure soap is vegetable-based, rather than made from animal-derived glycerine.

Washing Soda (sodium carbonate): Slightly caustic and a great grease cutter. Don't use it on waxed floors (unless you want to remove the wax), fibreglass or aluminium.

White Vinegar: Removes soap scum, grease and mineral deposits and acts as a deodoriser.


These ingredients may be toxic in their concentrated form. Read the warning labels on the packaging and take care when using them.